If there’s one thing I love as much as hygge, it’s fragrance. I have a collection of around 40 perfumes, and I’m always looking to add more. But it’s not just perfume – I’ve always had a thing for scents in general. I have a very sharp sense of smell, and there are lots of scents I associate with hygge. In this post I’m going to talk you through some of my favourites – maybe we share some of the same hyggeligt scents?
For some reason, I always appreciate the way the air smells more after dark. In summer, it may be because the heat is released from the ground, coaxing all the scents out in the warmth, but I have absolutely no idea why winter air smells so good. In summer, I love the smell of honeysuckle and jasmine, and the smell of wet grass left to dry. It makes me think about when my grandma used to water the garden when I was little, and how I’d help out (ish) by watering all my favourite flowers the most – the teeny tiny London Pride and the pink roses. The scent of a clear winter night always reminds me of the first time I went to Norway back in 2008. That pure, clean air always makes me smile, even though I don’t know how to describe it – darkness? Frost? Stars?
It makes me sad that ‘vanilla’ is often used to mean ‘bland’ or ‘boring’, because it smells and tastes so delicious! I find it a very comforting smell, and it reminds me of baking fairy cakes as a child. I love the smell of an expensive vanilla extract or a vanilla pod, and I’m just as happy with ‘fake vanilla’ too. My favourite Bath & Body Works scent is Warm Vanilla Sugar (reminds me of my trip to New York where I first discovered it in 2014), and one of my favourite fragrances is Aerin’s Tangier Vanille (which is insanely light for a gourmand perfume), which reminds me of a birthday visit to Sketch for afternoon tea where I received it as a gift!
How can anyone not love the smell of a freshly blown-out match? When I light candles now, I’m transported back to childhood birthday cakes every single time. Mine and my brother’s birthdays are only five days apart (Halloween and Bonfire Night!), so we’d both blow out candles on both our own and each other’s birthdays to avoid any squabbles. On a related note, I LOVE the smell of bonfires. Autumn is my absolute favourite time of year, and there is nothing I love more than getting off the bus on a November evening to be greeted with those plumes of heady smoke seeping out of someone’s back garden. The smell of a real fire too – you can’t beat it can you?
When my brother and I were little, we had a couple of elderly neighbours called Len and Mrs Len (we never actually knew Mrs Len’s real name, but she didn’t mind our highly imaginative nickname). Len showed us the little baby greenfly that lived in the foam on our lavender plants, and always danced over to the ice cream van to buy a couple of cones. Every Christmas and Easter, our mum would send us down to Len and Mrs Len’s house to give them a present, which was absolutely always a hyacinth in a bucket (no, nothing to do with the character). I LOVED the smell of hyacinths then and I still do now, and it’s a bonus that those little blue and pink bells are so pretty.
Strawberries aren’t my favourite berry (I’m sure you were dying to know that), but the smell makes me so happy. My ultimate favourite summer activity is going to a pick-your-own farm and filling a basket with berries, plums and apples. I’ve had a little strawberry plant for a couple of years that flowers at the weirdest times (I was pretty surprised to see delicate white petals peeking out just before Christmas), and the smell of freshly chopped strawberries served with a generous slump of whipped cream is divine.
As if I wasn’t going to talk about perfume! My ultimate hygge fragrance is my own signature scent, Alien. I’ve been wearing this for about 10 years, and I’m not even remotely sick of it. Everyone knows me by this scent, and even though I flirt with other fragrances, this is always the one I come back to. I sometimes spritz it on before bed just because it makes me feel like myself. Chanel features heavily in my sensory hygge – Coco, because it’s my mum’s ‘special occasion’ scent, Coco Mademoiselle because virtually every friend of mine has worn this at some point (as have I) and Chance Eau Tendre because it is a beautifully blossoming spring scent. Jo Malone’s Mimosa & Cardamom and Blackberry & Bay colognes are staples of my autumn fragrance wardrobe, and for men I love Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling.
Now over to you! Which scents would I find in your hygge moments?