I Solemnly Wear

Place tells us when and how to wear fragrance. Why is getting hitched any different?

It’s wedding season. And for those tying the knot this Spring, the day, the destination, sharpens into focus. Location sets the tone. It’s the foundation from which all else is built, a home for the finer details to flourish. On this day, the relationship between place and perfume cannot be overestimated — the creation of treasured memories, inseparable from the scent we wear, is an enduring union in and of itself.

Where we wed says much about the individual. But, more acutely, it encapsulates a vision of a shared future, an expression of oneness. On a day that lives and breathes connection, fragrance has the power to join the dots, to synergise all worlds: our inner life with the world around us. A new identity. A life of its own.

So, as we anticipate one of the biggest days in our lives, the power of place can usher us in the right direction, towards the perfect wedding day perfume.

Church Wedding

The altar bells, the white florals, the time-honoured traditions, churches are synonymous with the institution of marriage. And for the bride, an archetypal white wedding calls for classic femininity. 

Creed’s Love in White brings this in abundance. A heart of Italian white jasmine, Guatemalan magnolia and French daffodil, this 2005 classic opens with fresh, zesty top notes, before entering into a worldly mix of blossoms. Sophisticated and slightly powdery, Love in White is a declaration of love, a “romantic floral” Eau de Parfum. 

It seems fitting that, within a place of worship, we turn to Aventus. A modern-day marvel, Creed’s signature masculine fragrance is praised the world over. This Eau de Parfum cuts a silhouette of the consummate contemporary man. Stylish, clean and classic, a sumptuous pineapple and jasmine heart rests atop a rich woods and ambergris base. Launched in 2010 to mark the House of Creed’s 250th anniversary, Aventus feels like heritage manifestly of the future, an olfactory wisdom, bottled. It celebrates a life well-lived, for an occasion impeccably observed.

Beach Wedding

Panoramic backdrops of endless blue waters and golden sands kindle an intrinsic beauty. Whether casual or formal dress — if not a blend of the two — the fresh ocean air, the sound of lapping waves, are blissfully grounding. Mother nature, at her shore, is a pillar of peace and tranquillity from which the coastal ceremony can unfold. 

Sel d’Argent, reminiscent of salt on the skin after a late afternoon swim, shines. BDK’s ozonic fragrance is a woods but pops like a citrus, with fig, sea salt and bergamot, before settling into a warm — yet fresh — glow of Mediterranean blossoms and timbersilk — stunning for her, and for him. 

L’Humaniste by Frapin compliments a crisp sea breeze on a warm Spring day. A playful gin base props up a delicately spiced head of pink pepper, lemon oil and cardamome, giving way to a nutmeg, thyme and juniper berry heart. Open-mindedly masculine and effortlessly bright, L’Humaniste glimmers with gusto and grace.

Sunscreen and mojitos? A more whimsical play is Virgin Island Water. Sixth generation nose Olivier Creed, and his son Erwin, draw inspiration from the tropical palette they experienced off the waters of Ginger Island. The result: a joyous cocktail of lemon, lime and mandarin, into herbaceous florals and a comforting coconut base. A wedding scent sculpted in the trade wind.

Countryside Wedding

The countryside wedding comes in many forms. Heritage-listed buildings, vineyards, boutique country manors — wherever the venue, chances are the bucolic beauty of wide open spaces, rolling hills, the sense of seclusion, are what draws you in. 

Beautifully fresh and familiar, Clive Christian’s 1872 Feminine boasts one of the most precious ingredients in perfumery: rose de mai. A flower that blooms three weeks of the year, it requires 170 roses to extract a single drop. This classically feminine fragrance fills the fields with intense fruits and florality, perfectly aligned to a landscape of love. Alternatively, Wind Flowers lives and breathes like an English countryside. Creed’s latest sensation is ultra-feminine, a floral amber that reflects the journey and embraces the future, a garden dancing on the skin. 

As refreshing as a walk through the Irish countryside, Green Irish Tweed’s rich, aromatic fougere weaves together rustic charm with stately elegance. A burst of verbena dries down to a violet heart, before settling into iris and sandalwood. Popular with many-a-movie star, Green Irish Tweed is the herb garden of the Hollywood Hills, a leading man’s fragrance in his very own motion picture wedding.

Destination Wedding

Aren’t they all destination weddings? Ostensibly, yes. But think overseas: exotic, far-flung — anywhere but home. Since 2007, Memo Paris, through the prism of travel, expresses fragrance through magical destinations and their potent raw materials. 

Fragrance, they believe, should be allowed to do anything. Without limits. As with the Nomadic Leathers collection, a vintage twist sees them merge the character of landscape with aromas of antique luggage by using leather accord (see African Leather, French Leather, Oriental Leather and more). 

Whether bound for the Mediterranean (Corfu — a vibrant mossy woods inspired by the Greek island), Bali (Kedu — inspired by the gardens of Java) or Egypt (Siwa — a complex fusion of amber and citrus inspired by the world’s largest sand desert), Memo evokes a sense of time and place like no other. As in their motto: "The Journey is the destination."

Festival Wedding

Festival weddings, or “wedstivals”, are the ultimate anti-wedding. Throwing tradition to the wind, the festival aesthetic — eccentric dress and off-beat surrounds — affords carte blanche when picking a scent. Where the party takes precedence, you’re free to write your own rules.

Inspired by Burning Man festival, Vanilla Vibes imagines a futuristic amazon under the vanilla sky of the Nevada desert. A disco of salt flower, orchid and vanilla, Juliette Has a Gun’s 2019 release is a ritual to rhythm, a liberation of love.

For him, Free d’Homme is rebellion in a bottle. Costume National’s latest amber revels in smoked lemon, saffron flower and cypriol, an irreverence that says “welcome to the woods”, take a walk on the wild side.

Castle Wedding

For many, the pomp and pageantry of a castle (or any castle-like venue) is romance personified. The fairytale wedding.

Dating back to the European Renaissance, Acqua della Regina 1221 Edition is befitting of the history and grandeur of such storied spaces. A modern interpretation of the 1533 original, it was a royal tribute to the gift of love from Caterina de’ Medici to the king of France. A classical citrus that can be worn by all, neroli stars both in the head and the heart notes, on a delicate patchouli base. Known as the “Queen’s water”, it is Santa Maria Novella’s oldest fragrance.

In keeping with regality, the Crown Collection by Clive Christian recaptures an elusive elegance, reimagining two fragrances from the house’s predecessor, the Crown Perfumery Company. Born out of their original compositions from the late 1800s, the striking red jewels and their golden crown caps are a true emblem of British luxury.  

Both shared fragrances, their complexity is something to behold: Matsukita, for its greens and spices into balsamic resins; Crab Apple Blossom for its bright citrus and apple blossoms into rhubarb and mojito accord, before settling to a creamy trail of amber, cashmere, and sandalwood. Simply exquisite.