With the power of scent, you can transport yourself to your favourite vacation spot with just one spritz. Whether it’s a coastal hideaway or exotic honeymoon, fragrance can take your mind there – no plane ticket required. Think of it as scent escapism.
“Even though you can’t travel, your imagination can go anywhere you want it to via your sense of smell,” says Jo Malone CBE, perfumer and founder of Jo Loves. “For me, scents make me feel like the world is still there.”
From wanderlust-worthy notes to destination-inspired scents, here’s how you can use fragrance to transport the senses to a far-away land.
JET AWAY VIA SCENT
Never underestimate how powerful scent can be in capturing a memory and transporting your mind back to your vacation happy place.
“Smell enables you to unpack that suitcase of vacation memories and relive them,” Jo explains. “It can be the lemongrass that you smelt in a candle at the local market, the smell of the beach at 7.30am on your morning stroll, or the distinct aroma of the fresh sheets in your villa.”
If you’re looking for a new vacation-inspired scent, Jo suggests looking for/sniffing out ingredients that tell you the story of that place. Sometimes it’s not immediately obvious until you’re back home.
“You open the suitcase after a vacation and say ‘Oh, it smells of holidays’. That’s the feeling you want in a scent. That’s what you want to bottle – it’s like fresh air, beach and happiness combined,” she says.
So, what specific notes and combinations should you look for when you’re seeking a scent to satisfy your craving for destination escapism?
Like art, it’s all subjective but there are certain notes that are associated with persuading your nose that you’re in vacation mode, feet in sliders on a white sandy beach (even if you’re really in cashmere socks on your sofa).
“Certain ingredients uplift the mood, just like a vacation would. Citruses immediately trigger optimism and joy, orange blossom appeases and comforts, whereas green notes like mint can really help collect emotions,” explains Veronique Gabai, fragrance expert and founder of Veronique Gabai.
“You might not know exactly why a fragrance makes you feel peaceful or exhilarated, but at times, it’s just the powerful naturals in them that trigger these emotions.”
FRAGRANCES TO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE ON HOLIDAY
We’ve picked six of the best destination-inspired scents to help you dream of your happy place from your living room.
Wanderlust notes: Bergamot, coconut milk, pink pepper and ylang-ylang
A distinctive floral, this solar scent is designed to evoke the memory of a vacation stroll along the beach. Warm and inviting, it’s like sunrise in a bottle. Replicate the sea breeze and sand between your toes and you’re sorted.
Wanderlust notes: Ylang-ylang, pink peppercorn, ginger and vetiver
Giving you desert island vibes, this exotic scent is inspired by Mohéli, the nature island of Comoros. A homage to the lush vegetation, the blend includes the green notes of the native flower, ylang-ylang.
Wanderlust notes: Pomelo, vetiver, patchouli and pomelo zest
Like the scent equivalent of a summer holiday. This sharp, grapefruit-inspired citrus fragrance is Jo Malone CBE’s interpretation of the Caribbean's white sandy beaches, fresh linen sheets and sparkling iced water. The destination inspiration is Parrot Cay, a tiny white island in Turks and Caicos.
Wanderlust notes: Orange blossom, bergamot, neroli, sandalwood and almond
Who needs trinkets when you’ve got a fragrance souvenir? Inspired by the Côte d’Azur, this white floral brimming with orange blossom has subtle notes evocative of life in the Med. Think sweet almonds to remind you of morning pastries at a beachfront café.
Wanderlust notes: Mandarin oil, orange blossom and coriander
Transport yourself to the buzz of the Amalfi Coast with this citrus-aromatic scent that captures the whitewashed villas dotting the cliffsides. While the citrus notes make for an effervescent tonic, green notes like mint and coriander pull on your memory banks.
Wanderlust notes: Vert de bergamot, mandarin, geranium, vetiver and spearmint
Stuck in the city? Dubbed ‘Ticket to Ride’, Virgin Mint is designed to take you on a road trip to explore the freedom of wide, open spaces. Aromatic, green, and naturally leafy, it’s bold and refreshing. Spritz it and picture yourself driving along a highway with the car windows down.