March 10, 2009


We are all ruled by our senses. Whether it is a visual picture that pleases us, whether it is touch, a delightful sound or a lovely scent.

I love fragrances and scents. They are not just enjoyable in a moment, they also bring back memories and can take us back to places in time.

There are many scents that I find pleasing, both natural and man-made perfumes. The history of perfumes goes back to ancient Egypt and is in itself almost an art form, or a science form that should not be underestimated. Making the perfect perfume takes talent and a lot of knowledge. Wearing the perfumed fragrance takes certain amount of talent too. Our scent is as individual, as our fashion style. It symbolizes who we are and who we would like to be perceived as. I love the idea of remembering a face, not just as a visual memory, but as a scent memory as well. To me wearing a fragrance is a part of who I am.

But there are also natural fragrances, that can remind me of my childhood and move me back decades into my past, back to people and places I once knew. A scent can evoke feelings of happiness, make me relax and calm me down, put my mind at ease and let me enjoy the moment more intensely.
And there is nothing more powerful than the familiar scent of someone we love...

Here is a list of my five favourite natural scents:

1. Scent of fresh cut grass.
It will always remind me of my childhood summers, spend in a natural, rural area around Prague, with my aunt and her family. It also brings back a memory from the places around where I was born, from meadows in a beautiful part of the world. The scent of fresh cut grass always makes me feel carefree and signifies serenity.

2. Scent after a summer rain.
The freshness of the air, shortly after a summer rain is impossible to duplicate. The way it makes nature comes to life is astounding. Likewise, the scent of raging ocean, when the waves are crushing against the beach, while I walk along the seashore, makes me feel invigorated and alive.

3. Scent of fresh soil.
This scent signifies to me the oncoming spring and summer. It represents planting period and a renewal period in nature, when the sun rays shine stronger and feel warmer. I love to tend to my garden and to plant flowers, in pots and in flower beds. The scent of soil and the feeling of the rich substance between my fingers makes me as giddy as a child. Gardening to me is one of the most relaxing activities I can imagine. And one of the most rewarding ones as well.

4. Scent of burning wood.
I love the particular smokey scent from a burning campfire, or a fire in a fireplace. This scent sets me immediately at ease, and aids greatly in my relaxation. It works in any season, as it can remind me of cozy winter evening at home, or a late summer evening outside. I also enjoy the scent of burning leaves late in the autumn that too brings back the memory of fields in my childhood.

5. Scent of blooming Lilac.
The fragrance of blooming Lilac is one of the most beautiful natural fragrances I know. It is fresh, romantic and everlasting. The intense, persistent and lovely scent of any flowers in bloom underscores the fact that Nature is the best and the most talented perfume maker.


A Woman Of No Importance said...

Beautiful, Z, I have a real keenness to have three of the varieties of lilac in my garden - You have reminded me to go for it this year - Thank you for the lovely inspiration! x

Betsy Brock said...

Ooohh..I agree! Those are all wonderful smells! We have a lilac bush that grows very close to a window. I love to open that window when it blooms and the back of the house fills with that fragrance!

Diane said...

Oooh... those are some of my favorite smells, too :). I have a perfume allergy, so I can't wear most scents (nor can I be around women who do, which was hard when I worked in an office) but strangely, men's cologne doesn't bother me... go figure ;)

Gal Friday said...

This was a wonderful blog entry to read today! And just seeing the perfume bottles--so beautiful even though I can't make out which scents they are-got me excited.(see my July 9, 2008 blog for my own perfume favorites)
I love to smell good and have my own favorites scents in a bottle and wear scent nearly every day.
Your favorite "natural" scents are all favorites for me, too(love the scent of a pine wood forest, too) and I like how you described the smell of a raging ocean.
I cannot wait until the lilac bush blooms in my yard(always around my daughter's birthday in May).
I am definitely ruled by my nose(and sensitive to bad smells more than others, too--or so I have been told at work)and can transport myself(almost) back to a certain time and place when I smell a particular scent or even try to remember a scent.

swenglishexpat said...

I totally agree with your choice of scents, in particular the lilac. You will remember, just like I do, late spring nights in Malmö, lilac and the blackbirds singing from the top of a lamp post. Aaaaah!


Smiling for my Protege ;] haha! thank you, dear!

I always find myself drawn to scents of strawberry and vanilla. Right now I'm rotating Juicy Couture, Daisy by Marc Jacobs and The One by Dolce & Gabbana. :]


sallymandy said...

Thanks Protege! I felt I was experiencing all these scents as I read your blog. I agree with you about the power of scent and how it can bring back memories from many times in our lives.

I like every scent you listed, and lilac is one of my all-time favorites. They're going to be out in an month or two where I live. I can't wait.

Reasons said...

Lovely, and nice to be reminded of things we can do to uplift ourselves - that aren't illegal and don't cost and arm and a leg!

Holly said...

I love scent!! It really provokes memories and can almost draw you right back to a particular place and time.

My 'signature scent' is Amazing Grace by Philosophy. I too adore the scent of lilac, and the air after a rainstorm. What a refreshing post! :)

Julie Hibbard said...

Oh...I'll be stealing this idea for sure! GREAT post!!! Smells terrific!

steviewren said...

The smell of earth right before it rains is one of my favorite smells. When I'm in the grocery store I always rub the cilantro so that the smell rubs off on my fingers. I do the same thing with rosemary too.

I've never found a perfume that I like to wear...either the scent disappears on me or it gives me a headache. I lean towards citrus smells though.

Hazel Designs said...

Yum, I love the scent of summer rain too! This post was great timing because today I put on perfume that I wear mostly in the summer, and it instantly transported me forward to June - can you tell I'm impatient? said...

thank you for your kind words...

love the same natural scents you've listed! was great to read them.. it put a smile on my face...

Zuzana said...

glad you find inspiration in this post.;)) I have been thinking of planting some lilac around my terrace as well.;))Always glad when you stop by.;))

how lovely with a lilac in your garden! My neighbors have one as well, I love when it blooms in the late spring.;))

that must be really difficult; do you also have allergies to deodorants and perfumes in soaps? It would be very strange for me not to be able to wear a fragrance.
But at least your man can smell nice.;))

I agree with the pine scent; that is lovely too. I have so many other scents as well that I like and almost wanted to make a top 10 list, but then again thought it might be too overwhelming.;) Pine would have been one of them as well as citrus scents.
I read the post you mention, it was a lovely read!
I made sure the perfume bottles on the picture were neutral on purpose.;))
My favourite perfume is "Light Blue" by D&G.;))

you got it; that is as if you would be describing my memory.;)) The scent of lilac and the song of the blackbird. Thank you for bringing back this memory from my youth.;))

you look so beautiful when you smile.;))
I agree with strawberry scents; well I love any fruity and fresh scents. I have not yet had the opportunity to sample "The One", but their "Light Blue" is my favourite fragrance.;))

thank you so much. I am glad you liked reading this and that you too love the scent of a blooming lilac. To me it represents arrival of summer and the end of school.;))

=Reasons to be...,
thank you so much for your nice comment and for stopping by.;) I agree, it is all about simple pleasures.;))

I am not familiar with that perfume and will try to sample it next time I am in perfume store.;))
I agree on the fact that our memory is so strongly linked to scents.;)) As it is to sounds.
Glad this was a refreshing post for you, dear friend.;)))

please feel free to steal as much as you want.;)) This is the first time that my post has a scent.;))

that is so true; I love the scent of herbs! I grow some citrus based in my a garden and once in while rub my fingers through them, as the scent is strong and refreshing.;)))

I so know what you mean; I too can sometimes not wear a fragrance for a while and when I do, it can remind me of vacations I took or the seasons of the year.;)))

you are very talented and my words are very honest and true.;))
Glad you like the same scents and that they make you smile.;))

Hilary said...

Ah something smelled wonderful and I followed it here. I'm glad I did. Wonderfully scented post. A fine list. The smell of baking is right up there for me too.

Zuzana said...

I agree!! Nothing smells more wonderful than when bread is baking in the oven. I wanted to post a top 10 list initially and baking would have been included.;))
I can not figure out if you are up late or up early.;)) It must be around 7am in Canada right?;))
No matter what time it is, always glad when you stop by dear friend.;))

Melanie Gillispie said...

I love all of these scents! The cut grass always reminds me of my great-grandfather. The after-the-rain scent: there's nothing like it! You know I love the "clean dirt" smell! Burning wood always makes me think of sledding when I was a little girl and coming into the cabin to get warm. I love lilac, but I think I like jasmine better. I walked by a jasmine bush one night right after it rained, and it smelled so good I backed up to just stand near it and breathe it in.

Zuzana said...

yes, I loved reading your post yesterday about the scent of clean dirt.;))
And I agree about the jasmine, it has a heavenly scent. It grows more in southern Europe, so we do not get to scent it so much here, unfortunately.
But I grow Caprifolium (i think it is called Italian Woodbine) around my terrace and that has incredible scent as well.;)