Scent is a difficult thing to write about. I find that when I write this blog I am constantly invoking tastes instead of scents: delicious, refreshing.
One of the first things I was happy to cast aside when starting a natural and organic beauty routine was perfume.
I'd tried the popular teenage classics: Thierry Mugler Angel and Chanel Chance. I would buy sugary sweet bottles of vanilla oil from the Body Shop, because I could afford them. I liked Stella McCartney's fragrance as I got older, mostly for the beautiful, bevelled, amethyst bottle.
But perfumes often gave me a headache - a caught, raspy throat feeling, like being trapped in an elevator with an oppressive personality. These conventional perfumes were easy to do without, and I would wander through department stores with the detachment of a Zen Buddhist.
And yet. I missed the ritual of applying scent, and having a fragrance that I felt belonged to me.
We all know how disarming this can be: when confronted with a stranger that is cloaked in a loved ones's signature scent. I always feel compelled to a) follow the person and b) tell them that they are wearing another's signature fragrance; but I try to resist such impulses.
My mum is Clinque Happy and Cerutti 1881. My Grandma is Chanel No5 and the original Loreal hairspray.
There are so many other scents I don't know the name of, but identify with with different individuals.
I hope that one day the Neal's Yard Pure Essence Eau de Parfum in Rose scent will remind people of me.
Natural and organic fragrances are often single notes, or thick with heavy essential oils. Neal's Yard fragrances, of which they have two: Frankincense and Rose, are neither. They have the complexity of a conventional fragrance, without any of the mind blurring qualities. The top notes of the Rose fragrance are Palmarosa and pink pepper, the mid notes Damask rose and rose geranium - my favourite essential oil, you must try it - and the base notes are cedarwood and benzoin. It's a true rose, an earthy rose, not the sugary fragrance evoked by sweets or Dr Bronner's rose Castille soap.
I always find the scent of roses to be therapeutic, whether that be rosewater, a rose garden, or this rose fragrance.
What's your signature scent?