“Smell is of all senses by far the most evocative: perhaps because we have no vocabulary for it – nothing but a few poverty-stricken approximations to describe the whole vast complexity of odour…it cannot be…blunted, by the use of a word; and so it strikes afresh every time, bringing with it all the circumstances of its first perception.”Patrick O’Brian
Any notion of the sensual during this irritatingly termed “new normal” epoch, has fizzled out into nothing – thanks, in part, to face masks, social distancing, and for some, the virus’s flu-like symptoms (like a loss of taste and smell).
While relief from the nastier end of smells, such as body odours steaming from fellow public commuters or the aromatic stench of seedy city corners, has been a relief, there’s also the wonderful scents we have had to do without.
From the fresh breeze that brings whiffs of the sea, to the smell of upturned soil while you stroll, the bouquet streaming out of neighbourhood cafes grounding rich coffee beans, and warm bread tempting you to bakeries, there is such a world of fragrances now muffled and nearly lost to these essential face masks and virus symptoms.
So, while maudlin at home, daydreaming about fantastical foreign locales much different to my four walls, I created a set-up that evolved from a special Afternoon Tea time with my Conde Nast magazines and some of my imported TWG teas, to a singular sentimental experience true to my travel sensibilities: Afternoon Tea and Traveling by Scent.
This whole solo playdate (which I have atleast every fortnight since the pandemic lockdown began) involves a whole production where I begin by mentally preparing with a pretty fantastic Spotify playlist of my own creation in the morning.
After jamming to an eclectic mix of music much similar to the playlists I craft for each individual location I’ve ever travelled to, I take care of my skin: Face masks, lip care, and a sudsy scalding hot shower included.
With not much of a beauty regiment in place, the few things that have remained consistent, are trying face masks and hydration sprays. The NUXE Insta-Masque is a current favourite, for its exfoliating and unifying priorities.
I’ve really been contemplating what to use that would make my skin glow, without compromising the safety I get from Sunscreen, and NUXE Huile Prodigieuse is a multi-use dry oil that does just that; leaving me feeling pretty much like an Oscars statue.
What makes these beauty picks even better, is that they all smell incredible!
So, after my shower I tend to slather the mask on my face for a bit, and massage the golden dry oil on to my body. A face wipe later and I am on to the NUXE Very Rose Toner Spray – apparently really effective as a way of balancing the pH of the skin, and preparing it for moisturisers by also removing any excess remaining oils or dirt.
I’m no pro, but by this step I’m feeling pretty cocky that I’m looking a little dewier and cuter.
My lips deserve attention now, and the hot water has boiled for my loose-leaf tea, so I venture away from my usual outdoor utilitarian lip service, for the frankly yummy as hell-smelling NUXE Honey Lip Balm which is legitimately ultra-nourishing, as well as doing a decent job of repairing my usually peeling lips (they’re weather-sensitive, okay?!)
…and now we begin travelling with scent.
I wish I had both the nose and notes to collect an array of fragrances to travel further with, but for now I have my regularly used:
- Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue (as a ridiculous fan of citrus and the Amalfi Coast)
- Caroline Herrera Eau de Parfum (so gentle with soft flower notes)
- and what is now my favoured “special occasions” perfume: Berdoues Somei Yoshino, from the Collection Grande Crus.
My closest connection to the places I won’t be venturing to in the next year atleast, has been Conde Nast Traveler magazines so far. Now, after my showers, I developed the coping habit of spritzing a little of the Berdoues Somei Yoshino perfume on me and, settling in to read.
See, for the makings of a sensual experience in lockdown and for the evocation of springtime in New York or Summer in Paris, I have to fool my mind and body in symphony. It takes the fruity robustness of either my imported TWG Haute Couture Tea or Happy Birthday Tea, and the floral and spicy aromatic Berdoues fragrance, combined with the wanderlust printed onto my Conde Nast Traveler, to get me mentally (and spiritually really) travelling.
Ever smelled the Berdoues Somei Yoshino perfume?
Both its fragrance design and packaging, is created with cheerfully blooming Japanese Cherry Blossoms in mind. With main accords such as warm spice, white florals, patchouli, and more, as well as the delicate artistry bursting onto the glass bottle, it’s not too hard to imagine yourself trailing through undulating terrain and, experiencing respectable and awe-inspiring Japanese zen tea houses, and walks along whimsical village gardens.
I have liked the olfactory imprint of this Berdoues perfume so much since I started travelling by scent during lockdown, that once local travel was unlocked, it became a fixture in my suitcase. Now, I’m never without it – whether I’m experiencing the Atlantic Ocean or cityscape.
Have you travelled with scent yet?