There is nothing quite like a scent to send you right back to a moment.
One smell can send you tumbling head over heels into a memory, bringing it all to life again.
There’s a certain sort of makeup, a powder foundation, that will forever make me think of my grandma whenever I catch it on the breeze. All of a sudden I’m 6 years old, sitting in her lap, tracing the lines on her hands while she tells me stories. Honeysuckle sends me to my mother’s garden. Sandalwood to Paris, balmy evenings walking hand in hand with a new love who would one day become my hustband-to-be.
To me a scent is even more evocative than a photograph. With so many memories wrapped up in smells, it only seems right that we give our wedding a fitting one.
Starting, of course, with the flowers.
I am completely delighted to let you in on a little secret, though I expect you may have suspected it…
…Nikki Tibbles, my florist of dreams from Wild At Heart, will be doing our wedding flowers.
It only seems right that having fallen in love with her shops when I first moved to London, carried home countless bouquets, Christmas wreaths and summer posies (never mind the dogs we’ve found homes for through her marvellous foundation!) that she be the one to transform my wildest floral fantasies into a reality.
I popped into Pimlico to visit the shop and play with some ideas for the tables.
Wild, unkempt, voluptuous, natural, and most of all… un-perfect.
There is no symmetry in nature. A beautiful thing is never perfect. Remember that.
Though some of Nikki’s blooms come close!
Blue and white dress
Sicily bag // Nude shoes
While the girls worked their magic, pulling roses from buckets, slicing greenery and working to a palette of dusty roses, I had a task of my own.
As wonderful as the flowers smell, I want layers of scent at the wedding.
Starting with a perfume for myself and the wedding party. Candles, naturally. And gifts for the family, so whenever they smell them, they’ll be transported right back to our wedding day.
Imagine the fun of going through pictures with your future grandchildren and being able to hand them a bottle of what it smelled like!
So we worked our way through the library of scents.
- Top notes: Lilac, galbanum
- Middle notes: Jasmine
- Base notes: Angelica seed oil, orange flower
Crisp green notes mingle with sweet florals, to create a clean, fresh scent, reminiscent of hazy spring days.
Beautiful for a classic garden wedding in spring or early summer. The sort with fresh cut grass, a crisp white marquee, cool champagne and the sound of laughter drifting across the lawn late into the night.
- Top notes: Honeysuckle
- Middle notes: Jasmine sambac, Egyptian jasmine, tuberose
- Base notes: Sandalwood
Deep, rich and exotic (much like the ideal husband).
A scent with hidden depths, made for hot summer nights. One for far flung weddings, well travelled couples or just those with wanderlust forever in their hearts.
Notes of honeysuckle, grapefruit, bergamot, mandarin, lily of the valley, gardenia, and jasmine sambac.
Clean, fresh, vibrant and as lovely as the mediterranean coast that inspired it.
Utterly perfect for a breezy clifftop wedding on the Amalfi coast, or a boho barefoot bash on the beach in Greece.
- Top notes: Italian bergamot, Bulgarian rose
- Middle notes: Vanilla
- Base notes: Amber, sandalwood, musk
You probably remember this scent from this blog post, when it launched.
So incredibly rich, spicy, sweet and warm. Perfect for a wedding among the date palms of Marrakech or for those looking for a little spice.
All beautiful scents, all beautiful weddings. But not quite me. So we moved onto something a little more traditional.
My namesakes, the roses of the collection. In all of their forms.
After all, there is simply no such thing as too many roses!
The Wild At Heart girls created the most beautiful collection of vases, stuffed with garden roses, peonies in their final throes (just how I like them) and wild flowers.
So we set about matching them.
My favourite of the perfumes?
- Top notes: Blackberry, cognac
- Middle notes: Rose centifolia, Bulgarian rose
- Base notes: Incense
Yea, this is not your grandma’s rose scent.
Warm, sexy, lingering, it’s the perfect mix of summer’s heavy roses, juicy blackberries and a gorgeous man who may have been drinking cognac earlier in the evening and still has a little on his lips.
Just the thing for our dinner and the dancing afterwards.
I’m sure you can tell, but we had a hoot playing this game! I couldn’t be more grateful to Aerin and Harrods for commissioning this post.
Having found my perfect evening scent, I set my sights on the candles.
Something to light both the ceremony, which will take place at sunset, and the dinner afterwards.
Both will take place outside in the gardens, so I wanted something rose based but not too sickly or strong, something that wouldn’t overpower the flowers or the gardens themselves.
Enter, Amber Musk.
- Top notes: Ambrox
- Middle notes: Coconut water, rose centifolia absolute
- Base notes: Benzoin, musk
A heady mix of cabbage roses, smooth, velvet like ambrox, a kiss of coconut so faint you’d miss it if you weren’t looking for it – like the smell of tanned skin after a holiday, and a gentle musk.
I’ve always had a thing for light cascading through glass and water, so these make the perfect fellows for our arrangements.
Mixed with unscented tea-lights in cut glass jars.
This dinner is going to be lit!
The dancing flames bring a whole new dimension to the flowers above, bringing out curves and textures you miss in the daylight.
Always one to be a little bit extra, I added one more layer of scent.
A lighter, brighter scent for the ceremony itself.
Rose de Grasse
- Top notes: Watery accord
- Middle notes: Rose centifolia, Bulgarian rose otto, rose absolute
- Base notes: Violet wood, ambrox, musk
The very essence of rose, from the very heart of the perfume world, Grasse.
Lighter than Evening Rose, it smells of summertime adventures, running through overgrown English gardens, and picnics.
What more could a bride ask for?
Well, perhaps the set…
Having thoroughly indulged ourselves with an afternoon that was heaven scent, I had to be dragged away from my roses.
If you’re tempted to scent your own wedding, but not sure where to start, pop into Harrods for a little session at the Aerin counter (which you’ll find in the beautiful marble-clad perfume hall) or spoil yourself with one of these…
Discovery Sets, so you can try them at home or with your florist.
It really does add another dimension to the day.
But more than that, it’s quite fun to plan too!
I can’t wait to show you what else we have planned…
…are there any particular beans you’d like me to spill?