Because scent matters more than you think.
Credit: Greg Vore

Your wedding is one of the most important events of your life, so you'll want to remember every moment. Luckily, memory formation is strongly tied to the sense of smell. Your perfume and personal fragrance are the perfect tent poles for a memory preserved in time. One whiff of the scent you wore for your big day and you'll be transported back in time. But the world of fragrance can be overwhelming, and wedding planning is often seasonal, so how does a bride-to-be find her fragrance soulmate? We investigate.

Think about personality.

Clara Malloy, founder of MEMO Paris, suggests that a bride stay true to her fragrance personality. "If you love soft perfumes, then orange blossom could be for you," says Malloy. "But if you are a stronger personality, reach for an ingredient that matches that strength." She explains that the scents you choose should match who you are. If you feel strongly about them one way or another, go with your gut.

Pick some central notes.

Keeping your personality in mind, pick a few key notes that you want in your wedding fragrance. Jan Ahlgren, of Vilhelm Parfumerie, suggests musk for fall, leather for winter (with a touch of honey), mimosa and lilacs for spring, and basil for summer. Ahlgren also suggests keeping an open mind, and closing your eyes while you smell fragrances. "By closing the eyes, you will most likely be amazed to learn what notes are in a fragrance you end up feeling a connection to. Let yourself be surprised; your sense of smell is more intuitive than you may think."

Wear the same scent as your partner.

Ahlgren also suggests picking a fragrance that both you and your partner can both wear. "Personally, I think it can be very sexy to wear the same scent as your partner," he explains, "Fragrance always wears differently on every person's skin. I created Dear Polly for my wife, and we often both wear it, yet it lives completely differently on my skin and hers."

Choose something familiar, but with a twist.

Jo Malone, founder and creative director of Jo Loves, recommends choosing a fragrance that you already love and wear regularly, but changing it up in a way that makes it feel a little more special. That way, she explains, when you're standing next to your partner, you'll still smell familiar. "You can make your signature fragrance specific to your wedding day by adding a twist of something else to create new memories," she adds.

Pair the right notes.

According to Malone, certain notes pair particularly well together. For example, if you love white flowers, like neroli, jasmine, tuberose, or rose, pair those scents with something fresh and citrusy, like pomelo of verbena. Those pairings won't smell overpowering.

Scent your venue.

Malone also advocates for strengthening the scent-memory connection by adding your fragrance to other elements of the day. "I always suggest to brides that they spritz their fragrance onto a paintbrush and paint their veil lightly with scent," says Malone. "Consider scenting your venue by scattering scented candles and by spritzing your wedding fragrance into the air, onto table linens, and over thank-you notes."


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