When I first started writing about weddings, ‘scentscaping’ was something only done by the most high-end planners and luxurious venues.
And to be honest, I thought it was a bit of a fad. But when you think about it, smell is one of our most powerful senses, and it has the ability to instantly bring us back to a place or time.
For my own wedding, we lined our tables with herbs, and because it was a warm day, the fragrance filled the room – and I have to say more guests commented on the beautiful smell than they did on the carefully styled place-settings we’d spent months putting together. So I’m officially sold!
From your own perfume to your entire venue, more and more couples are paying attention to scent in the overall vibe of their wedding, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot to do it.
To share some ideas for adding fragrance to your wedding, we’ve recruited the help of Meghan Fay.
Meghan is owner of London wedding planning consultancy Extraordinary Days (who we’ve featured on the blog before), as well as Managing Director of Design In Scent. A scent design company, they are launching their very own wedding collection very soon, with fragrances, ambience mists and candles along with lots of ideas to scent your wedding venue and gift your guests.
So who better to share her insights on enhancing your day with scent? Over to to Meghan…
Sitting in the back of my wardrobe I have a five-year-old bottle of Prada’s Infusion D’Iris. The bottle is a six-inch high rectangle made of frosted glass and topped with a white cylindrical cap. Through the veiled glass the translucent perfume which sings with garden flowers and dusts with baby powder is starting to run low.
My husband proposed (and I said yes!) just before Christmas time in 2011. That year, in my stocking, was this Prada perfume. Without thinking, I started wearing it at what was undoubtedly one of the happiest times of my life.
For the next 18 months as I planned my wedding and then only hours before walking down the aisle, I routinely spritzed it’s fine mist.
After taking a year-long hiatus, I went back to my Infusion D’Iris on a whim and as my finger pressed the pump and the particles left the bottle, I was overcome with emotion.
Like a montage from a movie, I was hit with memories of my mom and I giggling over wedding plans, my friends and I drinking champagne in celebration, choosing wedding rings with my husband, and on and on.
What was more though was that I felt all the excitement, joy, and love that I had during my engagement. It’s been over three years since my wedding yet each time I smell a hint of this scent, I am similarly overcome with memories and emotion.
Scent, unlike any other sense, is directly linked to our limbic system, the area of the brain most closely associated with memory, feeling, and imagination. This is why when we smell something, not only does it conjure memories but it evokes emotion.
The first time we smell a new scent, we subconsciously associate it with what we are experiencing at the time. This link is permanent, which is why even years later, smell can continue to evoke strong emotional responses. I didn’t realise it, but this is what happened with my Prada D’Iris.
After a wedding is over, there are very few tangible remnants to revisit the love and joy that was experienced on the day and in the months before.
As a wedding planner, I often profess with much conviction that photos and video are incredibly precious in that they give you a chance to look back and reflect on the beginning of your marriage as well as the loved ones you celebrated with. Scent, with its incredible power to bring back emotion-filled memories, is perhaps an even more profound way to capture these memories.
Scenting a wedding is a fairly novel concept. Yet, it is particularly beautiful and meaningful for those who incorporate it into their celebration. You can scent your wedding day in several ways and when you put these together, we call it “Fragrance Layering.”
1. Make It Personal
Your scent, is above all, highly personal and it should speak to your heart. When you get engaged choose scents that both you and your groom love.
It is particularly fun to find masculine and feminine scents which compliment one another so that when you stand next to each other your individual scents sit in harmony.
2. Scent Your Venue
Perhaps the most impactful way to fragrance your wedding is to fully scent your venue. The most effective way to do this is by using an intelligent dry air diffuser box (pictured above). This not only creates a beautiful atmosphere for your wedding but it will create a strong association between your scent and wedding for both you and your guests.
Adding scented candles in entranceways and bathrooms is also a lovely way to concentrate fragrance while creating a warm glow.
3. Scent Unexpected Items
Receiving a wedding invitation in the mail is an exciting moment for anyone! It can be made even more beautiful and memorable by fragrancing it with a spritz of your wedding scent.
Also, dried flower petal confetti holds scent incredibly well. The petals soak in the fragrance and then give off scent for hours.
You can hand out your fragranced confetti during your ceremony and then be whisked into marriage with the tossing of scented petals!
4. Don’t Go Overboard
Even the most beautiful scent can become overpowering if there is too much of it. Remember that during dinner the food and wine should be the star of the show rather than your wedding scent.
If using scented candles, mix them with non-scented candles and only have one or two on each table.
If using dry air diffusion, turn down the concentration for dinnertime.
5. Gift Your Scent
Just as your wedding scent takes you back to your wedding day, it will do the same for your guests.
If the first time they smell your scent is on your wedding day, your loved ones will associate it with the joyous occasion. Each time thereafter they smell your scent, they will be reminded of the celebration.
Be creative with how you gift your scent. You can give miniature perfume bottles as favours, use tea-lights as place cards, or engrave candle dust covers to serve as escort cards.
Long after your wedding, wear your fragrance on special occasions when you want to feel reconnected to the love, joy and excitement you felt during your wedding celebrations.
For early access to Design In Scent’s Wedding Collection visit their site and enter the code “fragrancelovestory”.