Monday Question – Scents Of Place: Where Do You Want To Go?

Perfume can be transportive. Many niche lines make a living by creating a distinct scent of place in a bottle.

Where would you like to go today courtesy of a fragrance?

What is your dream destination where a scent can take you in a whiff?

Which perfume takes you where you want to go? Even if only in your mind?

My Answer:

I love the ability of perfume to take me away. Whether it is a literal journey to the place a frangrance wants to evoke, or my personal journey of association, the escapist properties of perfume draw me in every time.

Right now I’d love to follow Moon Bloom to a tropical island to escape the snow. But I would just as gladly follow my nose to London where Chanel’s Sycomore – of all things – takes me, since I bought it there it always takes me back.

Where do you want to go on this dreary Monday?

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61 Responses to Monday Question – Scents Of Place: Where Do You Want To Go?

  1. Lynley says:

    Although it isn’t cold or dreary here, last May when I was at Ephesus in Turkey I wore Ninfeo Mio, and in the heat the rich sappy smell of the fig trees dotting the site filled the air. So now when I wear that, or Roma Imperiale by Profumi del Forte which I wore for most of my time in Turkey, I am transported back there- one of my favourite places in the world

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ah that sounds lovely, already I am congratulating myself on this great question idea where I get to live vicariously through all of my reader’s wonderful vacation memories. :)

  2. Sandra says:

    Chanel Gardenia takes me back to Brazil where I wore it almost everyday. Give me sun!!!!!

  3. cookie queen says:

    Patchouli. Takes me back to the free festivals of the seventies.

  4. Hey there Birgit,
    I have a few smells of place. Fragrances that instantly transport me to a time and place:
    Coromandel takes me to Vienna, to the day Val, Jin and I all went and grabbed Val’s bottle. This time also going and grabbing my own bottle with you and Sandra, Coromandel is Vienna for me.
    Ubar is Rajasthan in India for me having worn it there last holiday and it’s wonderful bloom and blush in the dry heat of a Rajasthani summer was perfect. Even sitting here in a Paris hotel having breakfast I am transported there by the thought and it’s as if the scent surrounds me totally.
    Going way back years and years the smell of CHANEL No 5 or Shalimar instantly make me remember my Mum and Byzance makes me remember my sister getting ready for an event.
    Excellent Question, as always.
    Hope you’re all happy and well.
    Portia xx

  5. Ines says:

    I always want to go to a tropical vacation type of place (so there’s always some tuberose of the sunscreen variation in my collection). ;)
    I’d like to go skiing in my mind as well but the closest I got to that was with Bal d’Afrique (interesting how that name would never get you to think skiing). :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      How interesting! Bal d’Afrique and skiing! Who would have thought?
      What would I associate with skiing? Probably something boozy to get the blood in my frozen extremities circulating again… ;)

  6. annemariec says:

    It’s summer where I am and we have had heat wave conditions for the last three weeks. I’m not saying ‘bring on the frost and bitter wind’, but I’d love a trip to the beach. I live inland. Immersion in salt water is what I crave. Hermes Eau des Merveilles will have to do!

  7. Vanessa says:

    I’d gladly go back to New Orleans on a whiff of Magazine Street. ;). Or the wild coastline of Corsica – transported in that case by Parfums 6130 Lentisque. Fleurs de Sel by Miller Harris is a good bet for dropping you on the dunes of Brittany.

    And I just had a great weekend in E Anglia, and got complimented on my perfume (this is rare!), so Piguet Calypso will be an instant reminder of that part of the country – where a surprisingly good time can be had for somewhere so unrelentingly flat.

  8. Tara says:

    Great question. I’m still looking for a big white floral that could take me somewhere tropical. Bali or Mauritius would do nicely.

    A fun thought on a very dreary Monday.

  9. Farouche says:

    This is not a physical location, but a state of mind. I always spritz a tiny amount of Hermes Eau de Merveilles under my T-shirt before yoga class, so that scent represents calmness and focus to me.

  10. Darilyn says:

    I want to go back to Las Vegas where I bought my first bottle of Attrape Coeur at the Bellagio!
    I was lucky enough to win a little money at the slots and decided to treat myself, as I had never spent that much money in my life on a bottle of perfume…but no regrets, it is my all-time favorite!!!

    • Olfactoria says:

      That was a fantastic way to spend that win! Ah, the Bellagio! I’m a sucker for things like that ultra-kitchy fountain display. The water ballet to the sound of Time To Say Goodbye made me cry! :)

  11. ringthing says:

    Great question! I’ve worn Chanel 19 since high school in the 70s and when I wear it today, I can scan through the years to pick a memory. Only thing is, they’re not all good memories…. but I can pick and choose.

  12. Suzanne says:

    Great question, I’m really enjoying hearing everyone’s responses.

    It’s snowing here very steadily today, and this week looks to be a storm system kind of week, so my Scents of Place is to be transported back to Rome, in sunny September, with a spritzing of Prada Inusion d’Iris. (I bought it in Rome and spritzing it also brings back the memory of being with Ines and Asali, since they encouraged me on that front!)

  13. shellyw says:

    My mother gave me a bottle of Jessica McClintcock when I was in high school. I wore it to a terrible prom/date. To this day I smell it and am brought back to that time and place. Then our secretary started wearing it and I have to tell myself in the morning when I walk in, what year it is. Maybe I should give her perfume to solve the problem, it is just so hard to pick for others.

  14. Alice says:

    I tried Shay and Blue Suffolk Lavender a few days ago (and like it) so… …fields of lavender basking in the afternoon sun, my fantasy in the midst of dreary February. I don’t actually possess a lavender perfume so all suggestions for my perfume ticket to those fields welcome, preferably not a soliflore but blended with other notes.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I love lavender and recently have really craved it. Vero Profumo Kiki is amazing, Kilian’s A Taste of Heaven is really, really good, and -lo and behold- I ‘ve even enjoyed Chanel’s Jersey a lot lately. Its lavender musk combo is very soothing and has a child-like innocence I find appealing at the moment.

      • Alice says:

        What lovely suggestions, and such a coincidence that you have been craving it too! I find it strange when I get fixated on a particular note, very difficult to understand why – but you are right, lavender manages to be fresh, innocent, and soothing, perhaps it’s that combination that works well to counter the stress and gloom of this time of year. So my February mission is to explore lavender…

        • Olfactoria says:

          Have fun with the note and I hope it brings you relief from the cold and greyness outside.

          • Alice says:

            Forgot to say – I quite liked Jersey when I tested it in a shop, but was slightly put off by some very negative reviews. I will re-try (i’ve found that ‘quite like’ can turn into love, whereas ‘very impressed’ can later become overwhelming).
            I’ve also just noticed Patricia de Nicolai’s Amber Oud is reported to have lots of lavender – definitely adding that to my list!

          • Olfactoria says:

            I so agree! ‘Quite like’ has turned out to be more reliable when it comes to what I actually wear, than ‘very impressed’. :)

  15. FeralJasmine says:

    A dose of Tom Ford’s Velvet Gardenia will transport me in an instant to New Orleans, where I misspent so much of my youth. Amber-vanillas make me think of Istanbul for some reason. And although I have never been there, Neela’s Trayee whisks me off to the India of my imagination. For some reason it makes me think of a temple to Kali, and I imagine the best incense burning and soft feminine chanting whenever I smell it.

  16. Norman Grant says:

    Can I reverse the question? A friend is going to Oman and she wants to bring me something from there. Oudh oil? Oudh/rose oil? Oudh chips to burn? All suggestions welcome as it seems this is an opportunity I shouldn’t miss.

    • Olfactoria says:

      A very good question. The Amouage attars come to mind of course as they are no longer available anywhere else. Let’s hope for some Omani reader to chime in too!

  17. Sel Marin (Heeley) and Sel de Vetiver to take me to the sea and some vanila like L de Lolita Lempicka for some confort and uplifting spirit…

  18. Rose says:

    This question has me reminiscing on some great memories. I would go back to the first time I visited New York City. I visited a boutique called Bond No 9 and my parents bought me my first niche perfume called Scent of Peace. It’s funny because still to this day, I buy Scent of Peace right away whenever I run out. It always brings me back to all the wonderful things I did and saw in New York!

    • Jack says:

      Rose,

      I’m glad you shared your experience because mine is pretty similar. My favorite fragrance, and the one that I am currently wearing, is Scent of Peace for him from Bond No 9. I was wearing it the time I proposed to my wife in New York City, so it always brings me back to that wonderful weekend.

    • Olfactoria says:

      What a great story, Rose! I totally understand you, NY is such a magical place.

  19. BEAUTYCALYPSE says:

    Givenchy Insensé (perfumer Daniel Molière), in that satined, heavy bottle – is a scent of relaxation and holiday because I gave it to my sweetheart a while ago, and he used to wear it when on holiday or during weekends, as his “off duty” perfume :D
    Oh, and it “beams” me to all the places we’ve visited back then. Like a short movie of sorts ;)

  20. Undina says:

    Traversee du Bosphore now for me has a strong association with my most recent trip to Hawaii. I want to go there again! :)

  21. Nemo says:

    I went a little crazy with my first sample of Kenzo Jungle L’elephant over Christmas, so now whenever I wear it I am reminded of the holidays, home, and family. It adds a little extra coziness to the winter days!

  22. Jordan River says:

    Magnolia Grandifora – Michel takes me to the highest branches I could climb to as a kid in our backyard magnolia tree.

  23. There is a fragrance company in Key West that makes a lovely scent called “Black Coral”. I’d love
    to have a bottle and go back via scent to my adopted “home” where I lived for twenty-five years. I get homesick just thinking of “Black Coral”. One summer when I was touring around in France, I took small bottles of it as hostess gifts, and they loved it. Imagine, taking fragrance TO France. Several asked for refills after I returned to Key West.

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