Playing For Keeps
Marie Claire Australia|December 2020
Are you loyal to one scent or do you have a few on the go? When it comes to finding a signature scent, perfumer Violaine Collas, the woman behind Dolce & Gabbana’s most iconic perfumes, reveals how to meet your match.
Brooke Le Poer Trench

On the eve of summer, after a year the likes of which we’ve never known, we’re more grateful than ever to have 2020 in our rear-view mirror. The time is nigh for a fresh start, and along with it, a new scent. Of course, that’s easier said than done, because while the act of spritzing may be straightforward, finding a fragrance that speaks to you is no easy task.

It’s difficult to find something (or someone) with which you share chemistry. That’s because what resonates with our olfactory bulb (where our brain computes smell) depends on so many things. Not least of which is what’s happened in our lives in the lead up to that first sniff.

Smell and emotions are stored as one memory in our brains, which explains why I still cannot get a whiff of Joop! without a split-second tightening in my chest over a break-up that occurred more than 20 years ago. Inhaling the citrusy cologne takes me momentarily back to that feeling of being a girl who would do anything to get the boy back. Anything. And don’t even get me started on Giorgio Beverly Hills, a fruity ’80s fragrance that my mum wore at the height of my parents’ divorce. When I smell it, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, the cobweb-covered corner of my teen memory bank lights up. And I feel ever so slightly adrift for a moment.

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