Scents are so intimately tied up with our emotions, memories and sense of selfVivienne Hopley-Jones

Scents are so intimately tied up with our emotions, memories and sense of self. They can give us confidence, comfort or remind us of the places and people we have loved. Several students explore their signature scents - reflecting on the significance of specific fragrances in their lives and memories.

Alien by Thierry Mugler

Sophie Weinmann

When I was around 14 or 15, my parents gave me a small, refillable bottle of Thierry Mugler’s Alien to stry. At that time, I stuck to light, floral scents (I distinctly remember a citrusy perfume by Diesel I would wear as my daytime scent) and put on Alien when I went out or to a more sophisticated event. Spraying on the mix of jasmine sambas, cashmera wood and mellow white amber immediately misted me in a feeling of confidence and maturity. 4 years later, it’s become my go-to scent that I wear every single day. Not only does putting on Alien give me a sense of comfort in that the scent has accompanied me through different phases of my life, but every time I receive a compliment on it, it makes me think back to that distinct time of growing up and becoming an adult.

Love by Chloe

Niamh Curran

I discovered ‘my’ perfume when I was 16. It is a scent with powdery notes called ‘Chloe, Love’. My mum had been travelling and picked it up in duty free at random; it ended up being perfect. It is soft but has a strong lasting scent. Even when I wore it in school people said they had known I’d been in a room because they smelt it, and I get that now at university. I remember when they stopped making it I was heart-broken. I didn’t think I’d be so upset, but losing this thing that I had decided I wanted forever really hurt, however fickle a thing like that is. I got lucky though because they started making it again, and I was elated. It felt like I could have this one bit of myself back again. This calming, comforting smell that was, as opposed to almost everything in the world, felt like it existed for me.

Dark Temptation by Lynx

James Dickinson

I will never forget the first time I used Lynx body spray. Yes - the chocolate one. The now infamous scent conjures up memories for a whole generation of pubescent boys who doused themselves in the sickly sweet stench. I’m not sure how Lynx got such a big foothold in the market for teenage boys. I was aware that their advertisements were extreme to the point of near parody. Particularly memorable ones had a woman licking a man’s face, and the silhouette of a man’s testicles growing to a monstrously colossal size. Of cpurse I knew the ads were false, but I still felt special wearing the scent. To me, Lynx was symbolic of the unique male teenage desire to become a man. Now, I laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, and walking past a group of teenage boys and their lingering aura of Lynx still brings a smile to my face - realising how those insecurities that I once had slowly disappeared.

The One: Desire by Dolce & Gabbana

Anastasia Kolomiets

The sweet scent reminds me of grapes, grapes which have been soaked in sugary water and have almost been caramelised in the process. It is tender and sensual, it delicately wraps you in a soft atmosphere of some luxurious ointment. The memories hit you as soon as you get that first wisp of the scent-infused air. It is like a bottled piece of my life, worth about two years. Is D&G’s Desire still my favourite perfume because of the emotions and memories it evokes? It might well be, after all there are so many alternatives on the market. And yet I strain away from it, precisely because of its power.

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