You Smell Different

It’s been brought to our attention over the last few years that smells can trigger memories better than almost all of our other senses.

“When nothing else subsists from the past, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered· the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls· bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory” -Marcel Proust “The Remembrance of Things Past”

So, given my recent array of events – namely being my gigantor breakup that happened about six months ago – I’ve run in to an interesting predicament. Upon packing my things to move to Seattle on Sunday, I came across a bottle of perfume – my “signature” scent, Diesel’s Fuel For Life. This is pretty much the only thing I wore over the duration of my three year relationship, and on whiff of it brings back floods of memories – the bars we went to, that shirt I wore when we went to our favorite restaurant, the hours and hours spent sitting on the couch watching various History Channel and Food Network programs.

I still like the smell, but is it worth all of the residual memories? I’m unsure.

So my question to you – when a major life change occurs in your life, do you or would you change your scent?

I’m thinking that I might want to ditch this [beautiful] bottle and look for something new, to symbolize my new chapter.

But what?

Should scents align with the projected future? Will light and airy indicate a carefree and happy future? Will sandalwood and musk make for a dramatic and sensual time?

What is your signature scent, and how do you choose? Do you change it up when major life changes occur?

  • Lacey

    You know, I always wore perfume to make whichever silly boy I was dating be thrown into a miserable pit of I-Miss-Lacey should they smell it after our demise. I think because I kept that state of mind, I can smell old perfumes and not get nostalgia tummy sick. That said, whenever I smell somebody wearing Simon’s old cologne, I want to throw up and punt a ferret.

  • Lacey

    Also, <3 Proust quote, <3 article.

  • Tess

    chunk it… trust me. you’ll find a new scent just like you’ll find a new love. :)

  • bri

    In college I discovered Black Raspberry Vanilla…and it became my signature scent. And then it got discontinued right before I graduated, so I was forced to choose a new one. But it seemed like the right time.

    Sometimes a new scent can offer you that little push into embracing a new set of circumstances :]

  • Kitty

    Having just gone through the same thing I found that picking a new scent was cleansing in a way. New chapter. New fragrance.

  • Tiffany

    I’ve been wearing the same scent for years!!!!!!


  • I would definitely get rid of it to help you move on. Who needs to be flooded with old memories and heartache when starting a new chapter? :)

  • peareeze

    RT @MissElle: You Smell Different

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  • Love this post!

    I still have a nearly full bottle of the perfume that I wore for all my fancy stuff in high school – dates with the high school boyfriend included. I hate the smell of it now, and I spent $45 on that thing back when $45 was a heckuva lot of money!

    Also, I would like to incorporate “punt a ferret” into my daily vocabulary. Thanks, Lacey :-D

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  • Apparently, smells trigger memories better than all the other senses. Explains my love of certain fragrances

  • Funny…I change my hair color after major break-ups, my perfumes I never change. Now smelling men’s cologne can conjure up past loves.

  • I’m late to this party, but having stumbled on this article I just had to say something!

    I think you get to the point where you can smell the cologne of an ex and think only of the good times, rather than the heartbreak, but it takes a long time, and until you get there, I say save yourself and your sanity the heartbreak and find another perfume to wear.

    I used to wear Ralph Lauren Romance all the time when I was with an ex, but now it seems to lack depth. My heart still does a little flutter when I smell the colognes of my first ever boyfriend, the one that broke my heart when I was still a teenager, but that’s because I can look back and smile on the good things.

    Isn’t it strange how scents can conjure up such vivid memories?

  • I think the only way you can move on from this past relationship is to rid yourself of anything that reminds you of it… good or bad. Learn from the past, and move on to a better relationship. This means dumping the old scent and discover a better one… Go girl!

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