We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
  • MAC CosmeticsEarly access on 12/5 to MAC x Mariah Carey for Obsessed & Devoted members here, starts 12/05 and ends 12/07.
  • Macy's$10 off every $50 cosmetics & fragrance purchase, ends 12/08.

I wish I had one, truly. All of my memories that get recalled because of a perfume are all rather recent (as in, the past five years or so), as I was not allowed to wear perfume or anything too scented growing up. I suppose the closest is “kitchen lemon” (which is a soap by Bath & Body Works), which just reminds me of my Dad washing dishes–I remember we used a lot of Joy dishwashing soap, because it didn’t have too strong of a scent.

— Christine

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

91 Comments

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the post above for information regarding pricing, availability, dupes, and availability, and keep discussion on-topic. If you have general feedback, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

Comments on this post are closed.

Bath & body works’ wild honeysuckle. It reminds me of the Summers spent upstate in the Catskills (NY) such a carefree time. I remember the way to the pool and the mart… I didn’t quite see it but everything smelled of honeysuckle. It always takes me back there

Lou Lou by Cacharel; I’ve worn it continuously since it was released in the US, when I was about 14 or 15. It’s been my signature scent, and although I’ve tried many others, and even loved some, Lou Lou is just “the one”. It’s become increasingly hard to find over the years, so I wear it primarily for special occasions, so I associate the scent with good times. Plus, I always seem to attract alot of attention when I wear it, but that could just be because I just always feel good when I do.

I see Lou Lou a lot on eBay, Amy, so if you ever want to get another bottle, it’s easy to find. I think I actually sent you a link to one eBay auction a while back. The prices are usually pretty good too!

I LOVED Lou Lou when I was younger. I still have an empty bright blue bottle of it on my vanity thats prolly 22 years old!

Neiges by Lise Watier reminds me of Christmas so I love it! But Armani code has to be the best, because it’s the perfume I wore when I started dating the love of my life, I still bring it out for special occasions! I guess I lied because Marchesa has to be the most memory envoking one, my boyfriend and mine first anniversary… Such a wonderful weekend!

Japanese musk by “THE BODY SHOP”. I bought this perfume when I was in high school. Ooooooh I remember so vivid that it was Christmas and we were having a great time with my friends (as we had no classes to attend), strolling around the city with all the festive Christmas lights and Christmas songs….Drinking hot beverages at coffee shops, and buying gifts for our family. It’s like I am there every time I smell it. I swear I feel the cold in my skin. It’s been over 12 years and I still have a little bit left. I wear it every Christmas. Just a little bit because unfortunately it was discontinued.
Does anyone know where I can find it again? I know it’s a European brand and probably you have no clue but……just asking.

Billie, have you tried eBay? I just did a quick search for you and found a number of Japanese Musk by The Body Shop selling right this minute. (But I don’t know if they’re exactly what you’re looking for as they all seem to be body oils. Is that the version you used?) You can get one small 15 ml bottle for about $17, while the large 240 ml sizes are going for about $100.

I wouldn’t worry about buying perfumes from eBay, btw. I buy a LOT from there because I either go for vintage fragrances (old versions of things that haven’t been reformulated and changed under the new rules) or else I go for niche fragrances. Neither thing is sold in most regular stores. (Actually, vintage formulations are not sold anywhere except via online retailers. And given the massive changes in perfume formulas these days, I think vintage is almost always best.)

Randomly found some old Body Shop perfumes in my storage space..Oceanus, Sweet Pea, Fuzzy Peach. Good Times Good Times. Back when The Body Shop was still owned by The Body Shop.

Taylor Swift Wonderstruck! This is a very new fragrance for me but has a ton of memories, I actually bought this on the day of mine and my boyfriend’s first date and I’ve worn it every day since then so it holds a lot of happy memories with him since I’ve started wearing it 🙂

White Diamonds reminds me of my grandmother going to church. 🙂 And Dancing Waters from BBW remind me of when I first started dating my girlfriend.

Victoria’s Secret Cupquake. My host student when I was in the States wore it every day, so it reminds me of my adventures with her. The smell of pine is also pretty special. We get a real Christmas tree every year and we’ve done so my whole life, so the first few days of decorating, etc. are always associated with pine!

Pine trees, campfires/marshmallows, and old books…doesn’t really sound like that pleasant of a scent, but it smells like happiness to me. I’m not good at making up names, so “unassuming” sounds fine, and it would be in an unassuming bottle 🙂

I don’t know about memories, really, but I definitely felt happiest when I smelled cacharel’s gloria. It was the first sort of “expensive” perfume I ever bought, and if it hadn’t been dc’d, it would still be my main perfume today.

Serge Luten’s Feminite du Bois reminds me of times when our family was together to celebrate Christmas and New Year, that doesn’t happen now((( And also reminds me of loads of stuff, I totally love it))))

La Balenciaga which I bought in 1988….smells like pressed powder makeup….very powdery…soft and romantic…not fragrance or over-powering….In fact, I put on so much that my crush at that time said I put too much on….so embarassing, but I didnt care.

The other one was Chanel 19 Parfum…not cologne, not eau de parfum..but Parfum…just a tad was all I needed. Got it for my 14th birthday 1/2 oz.

I still own both of them since these versions no longer exist…just for memories…when you get to my age…everything is just memories, especially romance.

Not exactly a perfume, but Bath and Body Works’ Cucumber Melon body spray was HUGE when I was in middle school, so every time I smell it now I am immediately transported back to that time. Also Clinique’s Happy Heart was something I wore for years–probably from 18 to 23 or so. When I broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years I immediately switched fragrances. Now whenever I smell it, I recall that time period (but can look back on it fondly now)

As for an actual bottled fragrance, my father had a bottle of CK One when I was younger. He never wore much cologne, so it was the one fragrance that I always remembered. I still buy it.

Just for scents? Cigarette smoke makes me think of hugging my grandfather. It was never abnormally strong. You couldn’t smell it just be being around him. But I’d bury my head in his jacket when we hugged and that smell was stained on all his clothing. A weird scent to have a fond memory of. But I feel like he’s still around whenever I pass someone smoking. It feels nice.

For a perfume I bought for myself because of a fond memory! There’s a seller on Etsy called Madame Scodioli (ScodioliCreative is the shop) that sells a perfume called Fiji Mermaid. I was born in a California town on the shore. The home we lived in was a few blocks from the beach. It has that crisp, slightly briny scent that lingers with jasmine. It’s perfect. Like standing in the garden with that beautiful salt air. Very much the scent of my home.

Oh, I have lots of olfactory memories! Great question, Kafka, thank you!

Paloma Picasso reminds me of my early childhood because my mom wore it all through the eighties and nineties. Even though it’s technically a serious, seductive chypre, to me it smells like bedtime stories and cuddling. Sometimes, if she happened to be working late, I’d pull out a scarf she’d worn recently just to get a whiff of Paloma. Later, I’d hear her heels clicking in the hallway and smell cold air and Paloma. (Which may sound sad, but it’s actually a fond memory.)

Givenchy III – my late grandmother’s signature perfume. To me, it’s the ultimate non-conformist, authentic scent – daring, independent, strong, feminine. Just like she was.

Versace Baby Rose Jeans – the first perfume I ever wore. My Dad bought me a bottle for Christmas ’97 (I was 15) and I felt so grown up and elegant when I wore it. (It is in fact a watered-down, nondescript scent, but at the time I thought it was chic in a bottle, lol!)

Estee Lauder Pleasures for Men – my first boyfriend wore it and it still smells like puppy love and that uncomplicated, carefree way of being in love.

Guerlain Shalimar – (the original, none of that Parfum Initial flanker nonsense) I only ever had a sample vial of this, but I wore it constantly the last time I truly (madly, deeply :D) fell in love. I promised myself I won’t purchase it until I feel that way again.

Love, Chloe by Chloe – I bought it after my first significant professional achievement and it always makes me feel confident and in control, even though it’s actually a rather mellow, powdery scent.

Also, musical and olfactory memories tend to overlap for me. It’s probably the songs I listened to tirelessly while wearing a certain scent. For example, Shalimar reminds me of Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me to the End of Love, while the Killers’ song Bones always brings back the smell of Versace Versense.

LJana, what a beautiful post! I loved reading your list and your memories, and comments like the one about “puppy love” were things I could definitely relate to. Your reference to Paloma Picasso also made me smile. I haven’t heard someone mention it in a very long time. In fact, about 5 months ago, I bought a La Perla perfume because it was compared to Paloma Picasso and Ungaro’s Diva. (I don’t think they’re super close, but then it’s been a while since I smelled true/original, unreformulated, un-gutted Paloma Picasso.) And a big HA at your “none of that flanker nonsense.” LOL!

Thank you, I’m glad you liked it, it was an inspiring question! I’d love to come across a bottle or two of vintage PP, but I’ll try to smell the La Perla if I get the chance.

Flankers are a pet peeve of mine. I just don’t get the reasoning behind them – ‘let’s make something exactly like Shalimar, but you know, lighter, inoffensive, pinker?’ Well, that’s like saying ‘I want to read something exactly like War and Peace, only shorter and without the tedious battle scenes!’. I understand everyone’s tastes are different, but there’s plenty of well-made original fragrances to choose from.
The only flanker I remotely like is Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere, but I’m still not sure I’d invest in a full-size bottle. If you don’t mind my asking, what do you think of it?

Ljana, I actually snorted out loud at “that’s like saying ‘I want to read something exactly like War and Peace, only shorter and without the tedious battle scenes!’.” ROFL!!! You write really well. 🙂 As for Chanel’s Eau flanker to No. 5, I think it all really depends on the kinds of scents you gravitate to and how much you adore No. 5 original.

The Eau Premiere is a lighter, fizzier, more citrus-y version of No. 5. It’s basically No. 5 at half strength but with things like the aldehydes toned down. Paler, softer, perhaps more wearable for everyday, etc.

If you’re asking about me personally, I’m not into the Eau type of scents for anything, and usually opt for orientals or florientals (floral orientals). Crisp, green or crystalline soft fizzy things don’t seem super on my body. I like things spicy, warm, smoky or with a POW! lol Have you thought about just buying a large decant or large-ish sample vial of the No. 5 Eau to see if you’d like it after repeated uses? I use Surrender to Chance (adore!) for samples or larger decant sample size, as well as eBay. It’s the best way to see if something would work on you in the long term before shelling out serious money. 🙂

Thank you for your answer, the compliment and the suggestion!

I don’t particularly adore No. 5 (I prefer No. 19 among Chanel’s classics), but I respect it immensely, if that makes sense. I usually keep a small bottle and wear it once or twice a year. Eau Premiere struck me like a good mix of relaxed and sophisticated (though certainly not legendary), but I worry I’d tire of it quickly. I’ll try to find a decant sample and test it for a while. 🙂

My fondest scent memories are pretty recent too, but it does ask for fondest and not the earliest you can remember.

My fondest scent memory is associated with Tom Ford Black Orchid. I bought it on a holiday trip in New York City with my first boyfriend more than five years ago. We picked the scent for me together and I wore it all winter, spring and summer long when I fell in love for the first time. We’re still together and I still wear it whenever I want to be relive that first falling in love experience. He still loves it and always remarks on it if I wear it.

Miss Dior “Cherie”, my husband gave it to me when my first child was born and it always brings me back to that time in my life, good memories!!!

Subscribe

Join our newsletter and never miss a post!