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Selecting Your Wedding Day Perfume

By Rebecca Padgett Frett

Scents, like songs, are tied to memories. A signature scent worn on your wedding day is something that will allow you to relive and reflect on the day again. 

For eight years, I have worn the same perfume, Chance by Chanel. It’s a scent my husband said he liked when we first began dating. As devoted as I am to its amber, patchouli and jasmine notes, I knew I wanted something different on our wedding day.  

Shopping for a special scent can be a joyful experience. I began my search at Nordstrom’s bottle-lined beauty counters, but any department or cosmetics store will do. That being said, as much as we love online shopping, it’s not the ideal way to choose a perfume. We have not yet enabled scratch and sniff via electronic devices. 

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Enlist the help of an expert. Let her know that you are looking for a wedding day scent and list for her the fragrances you’re drawn to. Examples include floral, musk, fresh, woodsy, powdery, spice and citrus. The more detail you can provide, the better. Maybe you favor rose, ylang-ylang, bergamot, mandarin orange or vanilla. You can cleanse your sniffer, so to speak, by inhaling the aroma of coffee beans between scents. Or simply take a break.

Pay attention to your initial reactions. Much like with the dress, when you know, you know. As many brides do, I went for the elevated version of my everyday perfume – Gabrielle Chanel with notes of jasmine, ylang-ylang and orange blossom. It departed from my everyday scent, but it was still me. 

Some brides take into account the location and time of year of their wedding. For example, a destination beach wedding might pair well with a light coconut or citrus scent. A winter wedding could be ideal for a deeper, richer perfume of pomegranate or spice. 


Sarah & Paul Photography

For your wedding day, pick a scent that is long lasting, but not overly intense. You don’t want to give yourself or others a headache. Target pulse points such as your wrists, your neck and your elbows. You can also spray mist in the air and walk through it. 

Another way to make scent last is to layer it, beginning with a scented body cream or lotion. Choose a “base” that is the same scent as your perfume or something that pairs well, possibly a bit understated. 

Your wedding day perfume will become a scent for special occasions. Bring it out for your anniversary, birthdays, special dates, weddings or to celebrate the arrival of your children. 

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