Perfumed Bride : Choosing Scents For Your Wedding

I have my priorities straight: I selected my wedding perfume a few days after my engagement, while I bought my dress six days before the ceremony. I do not necessarily recommend following my example (discovering that something does not fit correctly a day before the big event is stressful!), but the choice of fragrance should not be an afterthought.

There is a reason why brides are the epitome of beauty and radiance—no makeup, dress or jewelry can compete with the radiance of someone happy and in love. A well chosen perfume that can make you feel beautiful and elegant is the most exquisite ornament. It also becomes a special scented memento reminding you of this happy day. My wedding was already a few years ago, but I only need to take a whiff of Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower to be reminded of the chaos and excitement of that day.

But how do you pick a perfect perfume? Do you wear something familiar or do you select a completely new fragrance? What role do scents play in your wedding ceremony? Some of these questions can best be answered by Alyssa Harad, who wrote a book about falling in love with perfume and becoming a bride at the same time. Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride  is a story about being seduced by scents and creating memories through aromas. Since perfumes played an important role in my and Alyssa’s weddings, we exchanged many letters on the subject. Victoria:  What would you recommend to a woman who is trying to decide what perfume to pick for her big day? Any other helpful pointers for the brides to be?

Alyssa: When you are a bride, you are part person, part symbol. I think the most common misconception about weddings–and the one that causes brides the most grief–is that they are all about the bride having her “one special day.” In fact, unless you are eloping, weddings are as much or more about the community that’s coming together to celebrate and welcome you in as they are about the bride. Being clear about this saved me endless worries and fights. But it also made rituals like make-up, hair and perfume even more important.

It would have been easy to turn choosing my perfume into a struggle–to worry about pleasing my groom or my mother or the guests or just making a match to the landscape and the weather. I considered all of those things, because it’s fun to consider them and you have to take basics like temperature into consideration, but in the end I chose the perfume that made me feel like the person I wanted and needed to be on that day. When I helped my sister-in-law pick a perfume for her wedding I approached it in the same way. After we established her basic tastes, instead of asking about her outfit or what my brother liked, I said, “How do you want to feel? Who do you want to be?”

Victoria:  Why was perfume such an important catalyst for your wedding?

Alyssa: Well, in the beginning it was less of a catalyst than it was a very welcome distraction. By the time I got married I was thirty-seven-years-old and my now-husband and I had been together for eleven years. I knew I wanted to get married, and I knew I wanted to have a wedding big enough to welcome everyone, but my initial idea–which seems completely ridiculous now–was that I would be able to just show up, say my lines, and then have a good time at the party. I didn’t realize the wedding would begin the minute we told people we were engaged! So while I was trying to ignore that reality, I became more and more obsessed with reading perfume reviews, ordering samples and learning how to smell.

In the end, perfume became a kind of back door for me into all the things that scared me about becoming a bride. It was a way to navigate beauty counters, and to navigate the problem of trying to be beautiful. A way to connect with my mother and her friends. A way to conjure up and understand the self that wanted to wear a dress and be a bride.

Alyssa: How about you, V? I was a perfume newbie, but you had years of sniffing and collecting under your belt by the time you got engaged, and perfume was already a part of your identity when you met your husband. How was perfume a touchstone or catalyst for you?

Victoria:  When I first met my future husband, I was already falling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of perfume. Throughout our courtship, I remember thinking a lot about fragrance, both as something that I enjoyed wearing and a direction I wanted to take in terms of my career. In some ways, perfume was simply always there, and since I was immersed in it, I wanted to share it with others. The wedding ceremony meant to me not simply an exchange of vows, but a chance to meet our respective families and friends. Our loved ones are scattered all over the world, and so the wedding became more about them. I hoped that they would enjoy the party and have wonderful scented memories of the event. We used a lot of sandalwood and jasmine to scent and decorate the hall. Those are among my favorite perfume notes (hence, the name of the blog, alluding to both jasmine and wood), and they also have beautiful connotations of serenity and love.

Victoria:  Whenever I looked at traditional bridal magazines during the preparation for my wedding, I was struck by the conventional bride images–white dress, gossamer thin veil, tasteful delicate jewelry, exquisitely arranged bouquets. The advertising for bridal scents followed the same logic. That image was enough for me to balk at the idea of a wedding altogether. I just couldn’t see myself as that woman. And then I would look at Indian or Mexican bridal magazines, where the color was important, the more makeup and the more jewelry the better. That was not me either, but somehow I could see how I could adapt the colors and the bold scents that I loved. In the end, for my non-traditional wedding, I wore a perfume that might be called fairly traditional–Carnal Flower, a lush white floral bouquet. It was bold, but it was also familiar. And so, what perfume did you pick? Why did you select it?

Alyssa:  I’m really struck by your story, because in many ways it mirrors my own. I found traditional bridal images, with all those lovely, slender nineteen and twenty-year-olds in white dresses so far from my own experience that I couldn’t even bring myself to pick up a bridal magazine at all! I imagined myself wearing a riot of color, or something really over the top–more of a red carpet outfit than a bridal gown. The first perfume I thought I might wear was Serge Lutens Chergui. I was obsessed with honey notes, and Chergui gave me those, but it was also kind of difficult and edgy. And it was Lutens, the pinnacle of perfume cool!

But in the end my wedding was not about rebellion, it was about trying to come to terms with all the traditions that scared me or that made me feel excluded. In a way, we’d already rebelled for eleven years, so our wedding was about turning back to our extended networks of family and community and acknowledging how important they were. It was a chance to thank them for making us who we were and are, so that we could be a couple. So like you, in the end I wore something fairly traditional. But–I’m so sorry–I don’t think I should confess what it is, since that would be a little bit of a spoiler! It was definitely something from a category I thought would never be me, though–which was also my experience of being a bride.

 Victoria:  When you think back on your wedding, what stands out in your memories the most? Do you remember scents and if so, which ones?

Alyssa:  I have to say that when I think of my wedding I remember the light and the landscape more than I remember a specific set of smells. We had the wedding in my parents’ backyard, in Boise, Idaho. They live up in the sagebrush foothills that surround Boise, and I thought a lot about the blonde grasses and silver sage on those hills, and about the desert plants in my mother’s garden, which mirror the wild plants on the hills. I think that was part of my initial attraction to Chergui–it’s connection to the colors of the desert, and to the smell of hay. Les Nez’s Let me Play the Lion is another perfume that reminds me of the landscape–much more strongly, actually. It always makes me think of the dry summer heat and dust I grew up with.

Now, I really want to hear *your* answer to it, because I know you were in a place with a lot of incredible, insistent smells.

 Victoria:  Henna, marigolds, jasmine, and burning wood! At one point, my husband’s parents wanted to do a traditional ceremony which is very similar to what we do in the Russian Orthodox church—invite a priest and have him chant and burn incense to bless the house and the couple. The priest came and instead of a small incense burner, he made a huge bonfire in the middle of the living room. Within seconds the whole place got engulfed in incense smoke, and all of us started choking and getting teary. But it was fun! We smelled this incense on our clothes for weeks after the wedding.

But seriously, I remember my Carnal Flower the most. I was so nervous and anxious, I wrapped myself in this perfume like a comforting blanket. These days I can’t even wear it without feeling the same “butterflies in the stomach” sensation I felt during my wedding.

Photographs 2, 3, 6 © Alyssa Harad. The rest © Bois de Jasmin (by Vera K, photo 1 © Vera, used with permission).

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48 Comments

  • Zubi d’Nova / Melissa de Blok: As a half-Indian girl, I approve of this post! 😛

    On a serious note, this is a gorgeous post, and is giving me a lot to think about when it comes to my (future) wedding (not engaged YET, but close). I want to incorporate a LOT of scent and somehow find a way to broaden people’s olfactory horizons. Perhaps a scent bar, or mini samples for guests? I don’t know.

    Really loved the pics and the conversational tone, as well as the gorgeous writing from both of you. I’ll be referring back to this post a lot.

    Thanks! 🙂 August 2, 2012 at 7:18am Reply

    • Alyssa: I think this post is at least half-Indian. 🙂

      I love your idea about engaging people’s sense of smell. Maybe you could have a simple “scent course” at the reception, of rosewater or jasmine blossoms in water for people to refresh their hands and faces? I know an Austin perfume blogger who commissioned an indie perfumer to create a scent for her bridal part–I think I’m far to indecisive and worried about people’s tastes to do something like that, but it’s a very cool idea. And one of the most memorable things about my wedding process wasn’t the ceremony itself but just talking to all my mother’s friends about the perfumes and scented flowers present at their weddings. They had wonderful stories to tell. August 2, 2012 at 1:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Melissa! So glad that you enjoyed it. Alyssa also had a brilliant idea of having a perfume themed bridal shower, which she described in her book.

      A scent bar would be great. We didn’t do party favors for the guests, since the wedding was already enough organization as it was.

      At one wedding I’ve attended, I’ve seen little sprinklers with rosewater and little jars with attar on the tables. Anyone who wanted could apply these scents. It was a lovely touch and apparently quite traditional for Indian gatherings, not just weddings. August 2, 2012 at 1:40pm Reply

  • Suzanna: Brava! What a lovely topic for a post, and I am sure one that resonates with many people. Makes me want to revisit the Les Nez scent, too.

    Men’s point of view would be interesting! Perhaps someone will weigh in with this–even a bride who recalls what the groom wore.

    Love Zubi’s idea of a scent bar. August 2, 2012 at 8:52am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! It was so much fun to talk with Alyssa and to browse through our respective photo albums. The colors of Alyssa’s wedding were just so gorgeous!

      My groom wore Black XS by Paco Rabanne. At that time, it was his signature scent. These days he has more to choose from. 🙂 August 2, 2012 at 1:33pm Reply

  • Sandra Levine: It was easy for me 36 years ago, when I was a perfume serial monogamist. The bottle I was working on was Tatiana. August 2, 2012 at 9:10am Reply

    • Victoria: Suzanna recently introduced me to Tatiana–it’s so beautiful! A veil of honeyed white petals… August 2, 2012 at 1:31pm Reply

      • Sandra Levine: I smelled it recently. It was very nice, but quite different from the original formulation, which, if memory serves, was spicier. August 3, 2012 at 9:01am Reply

        • Victoria: I wish I knew it in the old formula then. That’s too bad, but then again, everything gets reformulated these days. August 3, 2012 at 12:34pm Reply

        • Barbara: Tatiana smells so different from what it used to be. I almost don’t recognize it. 🙁 August 3, 2012 at 1:03pm Reply

  • Jillie: It’s so interesting reading both your accounts of choosing your wedding day perfume. I have to say I was like you – I chose my scent in November for my July wedding, and bought my wedding dress for £12 in a sale in the June; although that was 32 years ago, and I think the perfume cost more!

    It was our anniversary last week, and as I have done every year since, I wear my Cristalle. Although it has definitely been reformulated, it still brings back memories of that day (as was my intention) – a beautiful sunny day (after a night of thunderstorms) in an old Oxford college. One of my favourite photos is of me cuddling the college ginger cat who had wandered into the quad – his name was Moggy Don – and I scooped him up, not realising that the photographer had followed me! This compensated me for not having my own kittie as a bridesmaid at the wedding.

    Yours and Alyssa’s ceremonies sound so beautiful and exotic, and your descriptions conjure up the vivid scenes and smells so well.

    Oh, and referring to Suzanna – my husband wore Eau Sauvage, which is still his favourite! August 2, 2012 at 9:39am Reply

    • Victoria: Jillie, I absolutely love reading these wedding stories. Thank you so much for sharing yours!

      Yes, my perfume definitely cost more than my dress (although to be fair, this being an Indian wedding, I had to have 5 different outfits). 🙂

      And speaking about a cat, we had an evening with some dancing, and this big white cat appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the dancing circle. He kept running around and didn’t appear to be scared at all. He was dancing with us!

      August 2, 2012 at 1:29pm Reply

      • Barbara: So cute! That’s such a nice photo. August 3, 2012 at 1:03pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you! The little girl was scare of the cat at first, but then she got up enough courage to touch it with just one finger. 🙂 August 3, 2012 at 1:17pm Reply

    • Alyssa: Happy Anniversary, Jillie!

      Cristalle sounds so perfect for a sunny day after thunderstorms. Now I am imagining you very fresh-faced, holding that cat… August 2, 2012 at 1:41pm Reply

  • Zazie: What an interesting exchange and lovely post!
    I didn’t wear a white dress either to my wedding. Conventional bride dresses are often gorgeous, but I decided that I would refuse the “girly ways” once more and chose a wonderful, more androgynous yet sexy outfit – a trousers dress, I don’t know if this is an English word. Anyhow: I wore pants.
    My outfit made me feel confident and beautiful – and diva-esque in my own terms.
    I bought it two weeks ahead of the ceremony. I had plannend my perfume moths earlier: a CDG incense fragrance that I didn’t even particularly love – but as I got married via a civil ceremony, I thought a touch of incense could be fitting. However, when the day came, the heat, and my face, told me I needed something refreshing and thirst quenching… and as beautiful and “exotic” as I was feeling on that day. So I married in OJ’s Frangipani. Each year, on the date of our wedding, my husband gifts me with something scented – accompanied by an OJ Frangipani scented product. It reminds both of us of that day and of our honeymoon! August 2, 2012 at 10:02am Reply

    • Alyssa: I love OJ Frangipani! I can see that being a wonderful summertime wedding fragrance. So elegant, and it has that wonderful salty quality to it. If I weren’t already wearing Eau de Merveilles I would be running to put some on right now. And Zazie, in the first conversation I had with my mother about The Dress I told her I would be wearing a suit. It didn’t turn out that way, but that was my first impulse. August 2, 2012 at 12:47pm Reply

      • Victoria: One of my Russian friends wanted to get married wearing a red dress, but the priest would absolutely not allow it. “Net, net, net!” So, she changed into a red dress for the reception. I didn’t get married in red (my outfit was green), but for the reception I also wore a cherry red ensemble. August 2, 2012 at 1:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: Recently I was with a friend who was about to get married, and we looked at various traditional white wedding dresses. Some looked beautiful, but they felt like they weren’t a part of my story.

      I bet that your trouser dress was very chic! My mom said that originally she wanted to get married wearing pants and a big hat, but she couldn’t find anything that suited her. So, her wore a blue veil! August 2, 2012 at 1:24pm Reply

  • Emma: I’m like Kathy Griffin and Joan Rivers, I hate weddings, and that goes for gay weddings too! That said if I were to get married I’d wear Datura Noir, it’s been re-reformulated again, the new version is sheer like silk nylons, this white floral is less sugary gourmand, more refined and subltle than ever, the projection is now fairly close to the skin. August 2, 2012 at 10:23am Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve never been a girl who dreamed of a big white dress and veil wedding, so our solution was perfect–we had a party and an adventure, not just for us, but for our friends and family too.

      I didn’t realize that Datura Noir got reformulated. I will have to revisit it. August 2, 2012 at 1:16pm Reply

      • Emma: You made it an adventure, I love that, I think this is great!
        I bought my bottle at Bergdorf Goodman the other day but don’t go by the testers, they’re from older batches. It’s definitely been striped of the most sugary sweet elements, I detect soft white musk in the fond similar to Citronnier and Louve but this is still Datura Noir, more beautiful than ever. August 2, 2012 at 6:19pm Reply

        • Victoria: That sounds even better, Emma! I love when the reformulation changes the perfume for the better. Admittedly. it doesn’t happen that often. August 3, 2012 at 8:41am Reply

  • silverdust: We celebrated 25 years this past Christmas. I don’t know if I fell victim to advertising or truly loved it, but I wore EL’s Beautiful. (I stopped wearing it a couple years after.) The ad campaign at the time had beautiful Paulina done up in the whole bridal ensemble with cute kids alongside.

    Even though I liked “Beautiful,” I knew not to overdo it even though it was a cold, gray day on the East Coast and opted for the body products and a spritz on the back of my knees. It was a very traditional affair in church with a luncheon reception afterwards.

    If I were a bride today, I’d be struggling with wanting my favorite scent swirling around me, leaving a cloud as I walk down the aisle, but not wanting to turn off anyone who doesn’t appreciate the monster sillage. (I like strong perfumes as my skin eats fragrance.)

    However, I’d also want a fragrance that wears close since so many people would be coming in for hugs and kisses.

    This subject serves to highlight how times change for everything, including scent! August 2, 2012 at 10:43am Reply

    • Victoria: Congratulations! I wish many more happy adventures and discoveries together.

      I love the Beautiful ad campaign with Paulina. She looked just stunning, and to this day she’s my favorite Beautiful model. I think that Beautiful is a great wedding scent, because it has an excellent presence and it’s very memorable! August 2, 2012 at 1:14pm Reply

  • Nancy A.: Victoria,

    Memories are the blueprint of our lives and the fragrances at the given time for those who share your “scentiments” about special days in our lives are exceptional memories. There was a time that I wouldn’t wear many well-loved perfumes all because it reminded me of a time that went before that I wanted to leave behind. My wedding day was a theme of Christian Dior — lipstick, blush and I believe it was Miss Dior (original) that I wore down the aisle. Pretty potent stuff, now that I think of it. The selection of photos are beautiful in your review — always look forward to them. August 2, 2012 at 12:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: What a gorgeous theme, Nancy! Miss Dior is potent, but it’s so beautiful and distinctive.

      Thank you, I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. I loved Alyssa’s wedding bouquet photo (#2). Sunflowers are the happiest of flowers too. August 2, 2012 at 1:11pm Reply

  • Monica: Such a wonderful evocative post! Both of you lovely ladies are an inspiration in such kind, generous ways. Weddings are about the bride and groom, and as you pointed out about the loved ones also. Alyssa, I WISH you would fess up and tell!!! And Victoria your cloud of Carnal Flower sounds sooo perfect! August 2, 2012 at 12:24pm Reply

    • Alyssa: I fully fessed up and told in print, dear Monica! Just felt like it would be unfair for those in the middle of reading… August 2, 2012 at 12:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: It was my comfort blanket! I really clung to that perfume to stay sane, because the weddings, especially Indian weddings, can be overwhelming on all levels. It was fun though! August 2, 2012 at 1:06pm Reply

  • HB: What a beautiful post – thank you for sharing this! Gorgeous photos and now I want to go smell some Carnal Flower as it sounds just perfect for setting the scene. Along with the incense, of course.

    For our wedding, we went with non-traditional in just about every way without it being skydiving or out-and-out eloping. We were married in a city park that is a functional wetland (a tiny one) and I wore a dress that I bought off the sale rack months before in one of my favorite stores. My perfume was my then-signature Molinard EDP. Even though I considered something different, my need was to be comfortable and confident since I am shy and sharing such a personal moment with our families was stressful. Other than the familiar scents of the wetlands and my perfume, we had two potted ivy plants that were given to our mothers after the ceremony. Very simple but grounded.

    Did I mention that we started the whole ritual with a dance? (It’s how we met…) 🙂 August 2, 2012 at 2:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! I don’t want to spoil it for those reading Alyssa’s book, but I also loved her choice of perfume.

      Love the story of your wedding and all of the unconventional, unique touches that made it your own. And as a dancer, how can I not love a wedding that starts with a dance! What kind of dance was it? 🙂 August 2, 2012 at 2:26pm Reply

      • HB: I’m a dancer too so it was particularly nice to start that way.

        We danced Lindy Hop – not a quick-tempoed one! – to Nina Simone’s recording of My Baby Just Cares for Me. Only a few people attending *got* that we switched off lead during the dance – actually I stole it and gave it back which nearly made my husband laugh. It definitely made my maid of honor have to bite her tongue to keep from giggling. A lot of fun for sure! August 2, 2012 at 3:51pm Reply

        • Victoria: Brava! Sounds like such a great start to the wedding. I’m smiling over you stealing the lead. In the Russian tradition, there is a custom that the bride and the groom have to step onto a hand towel. So, whoever steps on it first gets to be the head of the household. It gets pretty competitive! 🙂

          My MIL and I wanted to have dancing! So, the night before she taught me some of the traditional dances. We were dancing barefoot, and in the evening it was already quite cool. After a while the grass started getting warmer and warmer as people joined in the dance! My ballet teacher was at the wedding, and she did a gorgeous variation for us (wearing a sari).

          But the cold evening took its toll nonetheless, and I came down with a cold a day after the wedding! August 2, 2012 at 4:24pm Reply

  • minette: wonderful post and equally wonderful comments! i love the bonfire in the living room, victoria! and i well know the scent of russian orthodox incense, and the wedding ritual.

    my own first-wedding story is rather dull in comparison. i was married in niagara falls, with the mayor officiating, in the indoor garden there, in a tea-length beige dress with lacy cutwork. and i wore chanel no. 5 parfum and edt (this was back when no. 5 faded really quickly on me, and i needed to layer it).

    the marriage was not destined to last, but i still love chanel no. 5.

    what would i wear to my second wedding? probably something like fm une fleur de cassie, femme de rochas or guerlain jicky – all very personal and “me.”

    but first, i must meet the man! August 2, 2012 at 2:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: It makes a lot of sense to me to wear something personal and that smells of “you.” I selected Carnal Flower, because it felt so good. My second choice would be Neela Vermeire’s Mohur or Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady. Mohur would be perfect, because of its Indian story and its rose and sandalwood notes. Maybe, I will wear it for our wedding anniversary next year. 🙂

      The Niagara Falls wedding doesn’t sound dull at all! The setting must have been great and very impressive. Your ensemble sounds so elegant. I bet that your second one will be likewise a beautiful affair, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that all of your dreams will come true. August 2, 2012 at 3:29pm Reply

  • Alityke: I’ve spoken of my wedding scent before. The stunning but now rare as hen’s teeth Nicky Verfaillie Grain de Sable. Cantelope melon and jasmine with some sandalwood in the base.

    Mr Ali wore Quorum and it is still his “go to” 26 years later.

    The wedding night I wore the ultimate witch, Dior’s Poison in all it’s original glory. I now collect 1980s Poison and wear it with pride. Only Poison misses out Mr Ali’s thinking brain and heads straight south 😀 August 3, 2012 at 10:41am Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 My friend swears that Tubereuse Criminelle is the ultimate aphrodisiac! Must be something to do with tuberose, and Poison is a big, dark tuberose after all. No wonder that in India unmarried girls are advised against smelling too much tuberose. Apparently, it can be dangerous. 🙂 August 3, 2012 at 12:36pm Reply

  • OperaFan: I’ve also mentioned my wedding scent several times on this blog [recap: AG Rose Absolue & Joy combined]. I married 7 yrs ago, already a “mature woman” (LoL!) with a respectable fragrance collection. Choosing the wedding day perfume was easy. Roses and Jasmine were and still are my favorite scents and bring me the most joy (no pun intended).

    Knowing how stressful a wedding day can be for a bride, I made sure whatever I wear would help keep my head above it all and it worked. My wedding (in late June) was held in NYC. Because of a traffic jam, we ended up walking the length of the block to the church. Everything was running late (photo op & reception were in 2 separate NJ locations), then the DJ played the wrong tune for the first dance. Nothing phased me and the guests that we met with months later were still complimenting me on the wonderful time they had.

    I always envisioned myself in a dress that evoked the black & white photographs of operatic divas from (I think) the Edwardian era – Melba, Sembrich come to mind. My wedding dress was ivory because I tanned too easily and at my age, did not fancy myself in white. The wedding bouquet was made with red roses, giant pink peonies, bouvardias, and varigated iveys. The bridesmaids wore tomato red dresses which (unintentionally since it was selected by the matron of honor) reflected the traditional red worn by Chinese brides.

    I have many wonderful “still” memories of that day and in spite of all the little snafus, consider it to have been absolutely perfect. The perfume, which I wear annually on my anniversary, always brings me back.

    Thanks V and Alyssa for sharing your wedding day memories with us! August 3, 2012 at 12:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: Before the wedding my MIL said that if 70% of what we plan happens the way we want, then we should consider it all a success. I think that it was true. As you say, despite the various snafus, everyone had a great time and our friends and family still talk about it.

      So, reading your story reminded me that the most important thing is that you were happy. Those little details don’t matter, but in your case, it sounds like a beautifully planned, elegant wedding. I love the idea of your bridesmaids in red and you in ivory. Of course, your perfume layering combination is what changed my mind about Joy and made me buy Rose Absolue. I’ve been wearing Rose Absolue + Joy EDP ever since you’ve mentioned it. It works so well. Thank you again. August 3, 2012 at 12:53pm Reply

      • OperaFan: Dear V – A delayed reply, but I wanted to let you know how happy I am that I was instrumental in helping to re-acquaint you with Joy and Rose Absolue! And now, make sure you try that layering combination with Apres L’Ondee. (Joy on top, of course!) August 11, 2012 at 8:27pm Reply

    • Alyssa: I love this story! Some friends of ours got married at city hall in NYC in February (I write about it in the book, actually) and one of my best memories is of looking out the cab window and seeing all these people in wedding finery streaming down the sidewalk toward the hall. It was freezing cold, but their bits of lace and flowers or their shoes gave away where they were going.

      My DJ had a mind of his own as well! August 5, 2012 at 1:52pm Reply

      • OperaFan: Thanks, Alyssa. We hired a bus to transport some of our older guests, and others who had to drive from far-off locations. It’s tough when your church and the reception venue happened to be 40 mi apart and across the Hudson River from eachother! The cross streets in NYC are narrow, so all you need is a double-parked car to cause a traffic jam. The bus wasn’t able to move, and the limousine was farther behind, so I thought the best thing to do was just get out and walk – something I was already used to doing in the city.

        The priest saw or heard about what had happened and incorporated it into his homily. We had a great laugh over it all.

        The DJ was young. He found a different title and just assumed it was the right one instead of confirming with me. I had maturity on my side and can imagine how a younger bride might have been devastated by the mix-up. We were also lucky that we had a copy of the CD in our luggage at the hotel where the reception was held. Having invested in a series choreographed dance lessons, we took no chances. So the “first dance” actually took place somewhere in the middle of the program, after we had already danced many times! August 11, 2012 at 8:39pm Reply

  • Barbara: What a great post! I’m in the middle of Alyssa’s book right now.

    My wedding was years ago, but I remember how good I smelled wearing Ombre Rose. 🙂 August 3, 2012 at 1:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: You did! 🙂 That’s such a beautiful fragrance.

      I hope that you’re enjoying Alyssa’s book! August 3, 2012 at 1:16pm Reply

  • Miss Conduct: We had what we called the Econo-Wedding: we eloped to the arty West Texas town of Marfa and got married in the beautiful peach stucco courthouse there. We stayed at a hipster campground which featured restored 50s travel trailers they rented as “rooms.” I wore a J.Crew chiffon bridesmaid’s dress that was on sale for $49 and some shoes I already had.

    My wedding perfume was Sonoma Scent Studio’s Voile de Violette. I already owned it, and I thought I would like smelling it and remembering our wedding forever. So far, this has been true! August 7, 2012 at 8:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: That sounds wonderful, as does your perfume! I love the idea of doing something so spontaneous and yet it seems that you’ve thought of the details. For our civil wedding, we went to the city hall and afterwards strolled around Lower Manhattan and had a wonderful time just observing the people around us. August 8, 2012 at 2:52am Reply

  • breathesgelatin: Well, I was just married on August 4! I wore Andy Tauer’s Carillon Pour Un Ange. 🙂 August 17, 2012 at 11:04pm Reply

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  • kekasmais in Asya’s Idea of Paradise: … my, what wouldn’t I grow. If I had the room for a full orchard, then definitely cherry trees, but also apple trees, pear trees, some blackberry shrubs and tomato… December 10, 2016 at 12:46am

  • Victoria in The Secret of Scent or Adventures in Provence: No, I didn’t know it, but I approve (on principle; from an economic perspective, I don’t know if it makes sense.) There are small bookstores around Brussels, but they’re very… December 9, 2016 at 4:43pm

  • Victoria in Asya’s Idea of Paradise: Very glad to hear it. 🙂 December 9, 2016 at 4:41pm

  • Victoria in Asya’s Idea of Paradise: Is it the one that looks like a bell? If so, I remember tasting it a couple of times, and what I loved even more than the taste was texture.… December 9, 2016 at 4:40pm

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