Whether you’re after a memorable ‘finishing touch’ EDP, a bespoke wedding day fragrance or inspiration to ‘scent’ a venue, we’ve got everything you need to make your big day smell incredible
Given the multiple tabs already open in many a married couple to be’s brains, adding another item to the wedmin list may not be welcome, so if you’re up to your eyeballs in chair sashes and individual dietary requirements, look away now, because there’s another burgeoning trend making waves in the wedding industry, namely, ‘scenting’ your day. Whether bespoke, something new or a recognisable fragrance that sums up a couple or location, infusing proceedings with a particular scent creates a whole new plane of memory- distinct smells will always ring wedding bells, for brides, grooms and guests alike. Odour-invoked memories have even been shown to boost mood, lower stress and lessen inflammation , so if you wanted an excuse to minimise the spreadsheets for a while and go on an olfactory adventure, this is it. Here are five fragrant ideas to get the wedding scent ball rolling…
Bring a perfume pro on board
While going to extra effort to consider a wedding day fragrance may on the surface of it seem like a faff, it could save you both time and money if you’re unsure as to what you want and could do with some decisive expert guidance. In celebration of the Royal wedding, and wedding season in general, The Perfume Shop has recently launched its ‘Wedding Service’, offering tailored consultations for both bride and groom to try out new scents, drill down on what you really love and identify any scent memories you’d like to incorporate into your wedding. Consultations are free and you can contact your local store to book an appointment, and if you do purchase any perfume on the day, you’ll receive 10 per cent off. Let’s face it, every little helps when you’re planning a wedding.
Speaking of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s impending nuptials, The Perfume Shop’s Master in Perfumery Gergely Markus has conducted an imaginary consultation with the pair based on their lifestyle and preferred perfume families. Meghan has already spoken of her passion for three fragrances in particular- namely Oribe Côte d-Azur , £65 for 50ml, and Jo Malone Wild Bluebell , £90 for 100ml, and Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne , £90 for 100ml, so Markus recommends a jasmine and lemon base as found in Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia , £82 for 100ml or Bvlgari Aqva Divina , £43.35 for 40ml, on account of her love of simple, refreshing notes such as sea salt. As for Harry, apparently spearmint steeped Prada Luna Rossa , £48.50 for 50ml, would complement Meghan’s leanings towards vibrant herbs and warm ambers. No doubt the press releases will flood in when we do hear what the Royal couple has spritzed on the day, but Markus is hedging his bets.
Blend your own bridal scent
If you want to making your wedding day scent even more memorable, are planning a sophisticated pre-wedding activity that doesn’t reference penis straws or buff butlers, or you want to get some wedding prep with your fiancé/e in the diary with no Excel meltdowns on the horizon, a bespoke blending experience could be just the thing. Fragrance brands are becoming increasingly creative in terms of scent design and sensory experience, and they’re wise to do so given that more generic celebrity led perfumes are seeing waning sales, while niche and couture fragrance sales have been driving growth in the sector over the past few years, as Senior Account Manager at NPD UK Beauty Teresa Fisher explains:
“Despite the slow down in the fragrance market in recent years, it grew by £16.8 million in 2016, and the growth is driven by premium brands in the couture designer and niche sector. This shows what customers are really looking for from fragrances – something special for them, scents that represent them, and the luxurious retail experience and journey in store with a storytelling approach.”
Scent doesn’t come more niche and desirable than when it’s been created specifically for you, or yourself and your partner as a couple, whether you’ve commissioned it or even had a hand in blending it.
Jo Loves Fragrance Tapas Service offers an opportunity to tickle your olfactory taste buds by exploring fragrance in ‘courses’, and combining your personal preferences accordingly, whether you’re opting for an ‘off the peg’ perfume or want to layer your options. Akin to trying on a wedding dress or suit, you’ll also discover what you don’t like, which is almost as important when finding your fragrance niche. Your scent ‘meal’ will look like this…
First Course: Bath cologne is warmed with a tagine and released via a cloud of scented steam.
Second Course: Cleanser is shaken over ice and strained into a glass.
Final Course: Body lotion is whipped and foamed before being swept gently onto your skin with a paintbrush.
It’s Willy Wonka wacky, but informative and will inject some joy into your wedmin schedule. If you're curious, this is what goes down particularly well at the 'Fragrance Brasserie Bar' according to Jo Malone MBE herself:
"Wedding scents are always quite personal, but we do notice a number of trends for weddings. Brides usually opt for floral scents, such as White Rose & Lemon Leaves and grooms go for fresh, such as Green Orange & Coriander .”
For a more edgy, ‘lab coat’ style experience, a workshop or masterclass at east London’s Experimental Perfume Club or the touring 4160 Tuesdays will help you to craft your own unique perfume from scratch, whether you want to evoke sweet memories from a holiday together or create a fresh and zingy new dynamic.
Finally, if money is no object, Harrods' Salon de Parfum is the ultimate destination to source a rare fragrance that suits you or your partner to a tee, or blend a new one to your exacting whims, with eleven individual boutiques offering specialised and techy fragrance services. From Roja Dove, to Tom Ford, Kilian to Chanel, it’s fair to say you’re nose is in safe hands here. Harrods Beauty Director Annalise Fard illustrates just a few of your many options on the marble decked sixth floor Salon:
“With the emotional link between scent and memory, fragrance plays a huge role in your wedding day. We have a multitude of personalised fragrance services and experiences on offer in Salon de Parfums. From bottle monogramming with Burberry and custom-fragrance blending with Bond No. 9 to bespoke Japanese tea ceremonies with Floraïku , creating a unique, lasting memory is at the heart of everything we do.”
If you can afford it amidst the corkage fees and cake cutting costs (I’m planning my own wedding and still can’t come to terms with the fact that slicing a cake you've already bought can incur actual moolah but here we are), enjoy, savour and keep forever. Sigh.
Unite floristry and fragrance
Meghan’s Phillipa Craddock bouquet will reportedly feature that old Instagram favourite the peony, and given that Kate Middleton opted for the white flower based Illuminum White Gardenia Petals , £125 for 100ml, on her wedding day to tie in with her white floral bouquet, going matchy matchy could be an option for the upcoming Royal service. Floral Street Wonderland Peony , £55 for 50ml, combines spring florals with the warm notes that Meghan apparently loves so much- cedarwood and a woody balsamic edge give the fragrance depth. Another floral inspired Royal fragrance is Atkinson’s aptly named The Nuptials Bouquet , £100 for 100ml, which has been created to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, but plays on Queen Victoria’s bridal bouquet, which was also comprised of lily of valley.
If you’ve already got your flowers on lockdown, choosing a scent to compliment your bouquet and general floral vibe could make your day, and resulting memories, all the more ‘extra’. Plus it cuts corners where decision making is concerned, and chances are if you like the smell of the flowers you’ve gone for, similar scents will float your boat too, although it’s not always a given (see fragrance consultation above).
Give fragrant favours
If you have chosen a fragrance theme or particular flower to go to town on, representing it in other areas of your wedding could spark ideas and bring elements of the day together neatly. You could go all lovesick teenager and mist ‘save the dates’ or invites with scent, make mini atomisers as favours or leave scented tealights by place names at the table. You’ll forever be remembered as the couple that smells REAALLY great.
Scent your venue
This might push you over the edge if you’re a stressed ‘soon to be wed’, but if fragrance is your thing, and have you have the time and inclination, you can incorporate scent into your wedding in all manner of guises.
A complimentary Bridal Consultation at Jo Malone with a guest will give you ideas for fragrant details, from scented candles to diffusers to suit your style, venue and life as a couple, and you’ll also receive expert guidance in terms of where not to go overboard. You don’t need 29 perfumed candles on the go, you probably can’t afford it and it’ll make the beef wellington taste off (always consider that things hot up during the wedding breakfast in terms of sensory experience). You’ll receive a hand and arm massage as part of the appointment, and you can buy lace etched bridal bottles as keepsakes and wedding day scents, or add them to your gift list if fragrance would be more appreciated than kitchen utensils.
Otherwise, consider strategically placed scented candles in the ceremony area or mixed with non fragranced candles in your reception venue, steep natural confetti in scent to bring the petals back to life (basically pot pourri but more fun) or provide mini hand creams, fragranced body mists or hair perfumes in the loos for swanky scented zhushing throughout the day and night. Look to budget but brilliant personal and home fragrance offerings such a &OtherStories , H&M and Zara Home to keep costs more high street than sky high, and remember that you’ll have the memories to keep whether they’re scented or not, so don’t stress about searching out the “perfect” perfume. Wearing what you feel comfortable in on the day is the main thing. Scented menus et al can be filed under frivolous finishing flourishes.