I Collect Perfume Bottles to Remind Me of Everywhere I’ve Been
The scents and fragrances bring me right back to the cities I visited and adventures I had.
I capture the experience of a new city in scent bottles.
I hold keen interest in pursuing adventure and travel, and because of my work, which requires me to travel extensively for client meetings, I get to visit all parts of the world and explore new cities almost every three months. (At least, in pre-COVID times.)
Staying in a hotel in a new city, with different culture, food, travel, weather and clothes, provides lots of memories to cherish and remember. But because I personally am very sensitive when it comes to memory, over the last 12 years, on each business trip, I have been buying perfume bottles to capture my experiences in each city. It may seem weird, but it’s my style to capture and relive my experiences in those scents. It’s given me time to reflect on what I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, the food items I’ve tried and the adventures I’ve taken.
Remembering the smell of a location or view of a scenic place that your heart longs for dearly—be it a tropical island, a lush mountain, an afternoon lunch amidst a city’s hustle-bustle, a wildflower meadow, a blue sky or a late night in a hotel with torrential rain outside—helps you reflect on all the experiences you’ve had in the past. In the same way, the fragrance of different perfumes helps me to time travel, makes me feel like I am actually at all those places I once visited, giving me the same adrenaline rush of experiences playing sports. Whether it’s the memory of relaxing on the beach while getting tanned by the sun or swimming in the ocean or traveling in a lightning fast bullet train, I let the fragrance of my perfumes take me to those places.
My Scents All Have Their Own Stories Baked Into Them
I have a full collection of 41 perfumes and fragrances from the 41 different cities I have visited over the last 12 years. Each perfume bottle and the memories associated with them are precious to me. New York’s Calvin Klein perfume holds a romantic scent with balanced sweet notes. It takes me back to my days there in 2010, when I had a brief but fulfilling relationship with a local guy there. I had a great time and am now filled with memories of walking the streets together at midnight and long drives on the weekends.
The sycamore wood perfume of Gianni Versace holds memories of my experiences of staying in hotels in Rome. I remember having gelato en route to work, as there were seemingly thousands of gelaterias selling scoops of classic flavors and whimsical originals, and seeing a street artist paint a beautiful picture in under 15 minutes.
The engaging scent of Guess perfume from California holds my very dear memories of being at Disneyland. The Ma Vie eau de parfum by Hugo Boss reminds me of the confidence with which I was able to give product presentations to my clients successfully, as well as sitting on the balcony during a dry summer with low humidity and cool evenings.
Scents from Bombay Perfumery in Mumbai evoke sweet memories every time I open a bottle of its long-lasting fragrances. They’re particularly special because in this city, I found my life partner, with whom I’ve spent many dates in different restaurants and beaches. Knowing my love for perfumes, he gifted me a bottle from Bombay Perfumery, and his gift has remained with me since.
The Perfumes Have Eased My Recent Lack of Travel
Currently, the pandemic has caused a hiatus in my expeditions. Almost all my work is from home. I do miss traveling, but at the same time, I like getting more time to spend with my loved ones. During this time, all of my perfumes are coming in handy to relive those moments. On any given day, at any random time, I feel the urge to open a random perfume bottle and time travel to all the places I’ve been. In that way, my bottles are my go-to place whenever I feel the need to take a break from the present.
These days, I feel people make so much effort and spend money on having new experiences but spend little time reliving or thinking about the amazing experiences that they have had in the past. The ability to remember and cherish the beautiful moments of life is really a gift worth having.