How to choose your wedding fragrance

Our sense of smell is closely tied to our memories. Even a small whiff of an aroma drifting in the wind can surface vivid memories from decades before. For this reason, if you want to make your wedding day truly unforgettable, immortalize it with a special fragrance. Be sure to pick a scent that you don’t wear every day. That way, when you uncork the cap and smell it on your 50th anniversary, you can be instantly transported back to the emotions and sensations of your wedding day.

Choose at Your Leisure

As with choosing the photographers and videographers whom you trust with immortalizing your wedding memories, it’s important to choose the fragrance you wear with special care. Leave plenty of time for trying out new scents, since you can only smell a few at a time without experiencing “nasal fatigue” (when scents no longer register in their full glory). Just like cleaning your palate between gourmet food or wine tastings, if you need to run down a long line of possible fragrances, remember to take breaks in between.

Pick a Scent That’s “You”

There are many “families” of scents in the world: spicy, floral, musky, and fresh are just a few. You probably already know what scent families you prefer, so narrow down your search to only the categories you find the most pleasing. (Your wedding day is not the time to discover you actually hate strong herbal notes.) Each grouping has many, many sub-categories, so don’t worry about narrowing down your choices too much at this stage.

When you close your eyes and imagine what you hope will happen on your wedding day, what type of moment do you see? If you hope to be tranquil and serene, choose a soothing scent (like lavender) that will reinforce those feelings and keep away stress. If you hope to be energetic and talkative, look for a bright, cheerful scent (like citrus) to keep tired thoughts at bay. If you see yourself basking in the support and love of your friends and family, look for a sweet, reassuring scent like French vanilla. If you want to remind your partner exactly why he fell for you, pick a flirty fragrance with exotic notes of musk. 

Use Your Friends’ Noses

Before you commit to a product, get a second opinion. Even though a fragrance may smell wonderful in the bottle, some of them are like outfits that look best on their hangers. Once a fragrance hits your skin, it begins to interact with your body’s own scent (this depends on diet and hormones, among other factors) and, just like when you’re shopping for fabrics to match your skin tone, it’s important to find a fragrance that will complement you.

It’s also a good idea to run your fragrance choice by your partner before the big day–even if you love the scent you choose, you may end up disappointed if your partner doesn’t! Likewise, be cautious about applying it too strongly. The fragrance shouldn’t set off your guests’ allergies; it should just act as a subtle undercurrent to sweeten your day.

Find Something You Love

Finding the perfect fragrance is a little like finding the perfect marriage partner. While other people can advise you and share their wisdom, only you can know when you really fall in love. Trust your nose as you browse though the fruity, woody, flowery, mossy, sporty, spicy world of aroma shopping. Whether you opt for a designer name, an essential oil, or the simple zest of a squeezed citrus peel, when you attach a pleasant scent to a pleasant day you’ll be investing in future happy memories.