I Only Wore It Once: Why You Should Consider A Special Wedding Scent

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What to wear on your wedding day is a vastly covered topic. But once you've said yes to the dress, the shoes, the veil, and the bridesmaids' accoutrements, you've got (at the very least) one more thing to address: fragrance. Wearing your everyday perfume makes sense, especially if you consider it a signature. But “Special day; special smell' certainly has a nice ring to it. And if you're Christine Luby, co-founder of Pinrose, crafting something new should be something of a given (if she can make luxury scent easy to parse online, then there's nothing she can't handle). After her February nuptials in Chicago, she wrote us about the process of creating a one-time-only scent that's romantic and personal, but not too nostalgic. Read below:

I got married on Valentine’s Day in snowy Chicago. My husband and I said our “I dos” in the warm glow of an antique furniture store with the wind whipping outside. It was magical, like anyone wants their wedding to feel. And when I feel like spending a few minutes remembering my wedding day, I take out the fragrance I created just for the occasion—it's like a scent time capsule and immediately takes me back.

Smell is meaningful to me, and not just because of Pinrose. For humans, scent is the sense that is most closely linked to memory. Our olfactory bulb lives deep in the limbic system, the ancient and powerful emotional control center of our brain. When you smell something, your brain doesn’t think—your brain feels. To me, the smell of fresh grass takes me back to the childhood comforts of suburban Chicago. The bite of Polo Sport is a bit like scent-waterboarding, alerting me to run from the dangers of boyfriends past. And now Lovebug, my Pinrose wedding scent, is an emotional fountain of peace and happiness.

When you take on the rather daunting task of creating an exclusive wedding-day fragrance for yourself, you need a couple of things. Namely, some reference points and some really good collaborators. In my case, the people came first. When I started working on this, I called two of my favorite perfumers, David Apel and Carlos Vinals. I knew I wanted something sophisticated, loving, and—more than anything—unique. David has a knack for unexpected wood scents—he's the guy behind Tom Ford’s Black Orchid and Pinrose's Campfire Rebel. Carlos created Marc Jacobs' Cotton, which was my go-to fragrance throughout my courtship with my husband. Having them agree to mix something with me for this project feels a bit like if Vera Wang agreed to hand-sew your wedding dress herself. Pretty surreal.

Once they were on board, I began working on the criteria for finding the right ingredients. It came down to three reference points. The scent had to:

  1. Remind me of who I am and where I’ve come from

  2. Match the design and vibe of our wedding

  3. Make my husband smile instantaneously

For me, this meant a rich, romantic blend of amber, pomegranate, and cocoa. The amber reminds me of my mother and grandmother, my perennial role models. Pomegranate and vetiver hues accented our cozy, quirky affair. And my husband is, quite simply, a lover of all things cocoa. So, that's how Lovebug was born. To solidify the association between the scent and our wedding, I made Lovebug candles that we burned throughout the night. The candles also doubled as memorable gifts for all of our wedding guests.

Once the wedding was over and we took off on our honeymoon to New Zealand, I dutifully put Lovebug away. Now I'm wearing a different fragrance to mark the next part of our journey. At home, I keep the bottle in a special place on my perfume tray—I hope to wear it once a year, on our anniversary. Though, I may sneak a spritz or two in the meantime. It's too good not to.

—Christine Luby

Photos courtesy of the author.

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