Scented Lives Part 2: Pamela Bryant (My Grandmother)

Scented Lives

Scented lives is a series of perfume profiles that explores the perfumes and scents that have been a part of people’s lives. I believe that the perfumes we wear are the individual threads that help build the tapestry of our lives. They speak huge volumes about our character and help us form memories of times, people and places.

The series starts with the profiles of my family, friends and those that are special to me. Ir will then branch out to others with interesting scented lives. As I said in the last profile, if you are interested in taking part in the series, you can get in touch via the Contact Form or you can send me an e-mail on

How it Works

Each subject is asked to pick five perfumes (ones that they have worn) that have played a significant part in their lives. They will then be asked to give reasons their choices and explain what their associations with those scents may be. The series aims to use perfume as markers for significant points in the subject’s life, whether happy or sad, and to help them unleash their olfactory memories.

Previous Scented Lives

Part 1: Jane Bryant (My Mother)

Granny and I

Granny and I Strike a Pose…

About Pamela

Pamela, my grandmother, or Obi Wan (Obi Wan as in OB1 = Old Bag One) as I like to call her, lives in the rather posh village of Aspley Guise. She has asked me to tell you all, that despite living in a posh village, she herself is not posh, but I would have to disagree.

Currently Pamela, who is grandmother to four and soon-to-be great grandmother to one, is a retiree enjoying her non-working life, in which she spends most of her time lunching with friends and drinking the odd glass of wine. I suppose you would call her ‘a lady what lunches’.

Pamela’s scented life is certainly a varied one, and although I am, of course, slightly biased, I have to say that she has very good taste. As well as the five perfumes she has chosen to talk about here, the world’s coolest granny has also rocked some seriously decent ‘fumes in her time, such as; Estée Lauder’s Youth Dew, Guerlain’s Shalimar, Prada’s Infusion d’Iris and Clarins’ Eau Dynamisante.

The five perfumes Pamela has chosen are:

Coty L’Aimant

This is the first perfume that I remember wearing, I wore it a lot during my teenage years. I always remember it as being very glamorous and I felt very grown-up when I wore it. Thinking about it now, it’s not a perfume that I would even consider wearing anymore, perhaps because I am now much older, and my tastes have progressed dramatically since then.

The Candy Perfume Boy: I have never had the chance to smell L’Aimant, but looking at the notes it sounds like a wonderful aldehydic floral in the grand old style. I think it’s interesting that you should like this style of perfume, because it’s also a style that mother and I both enjoy. It seems that you have passed your tastes on to us and it feels good to be part of that scented heritage.

Aromatics Elixir by Clinique

Aromatics Elixir was my ‘going out’ perfume for a very long time, and like L’Aimant, I may not be so keen on it now, but I did really love it back then and I could be tempted to try it again. I always thought that Aromatics Elixir was very unusual and I don’t think I’ve ever worn anything remotely similar since. It will always remind me of many evenings out with my friends and family.

The Candy Perfume Boy: Ahh Aromatics Elixir! It’s such a wonderful perfume, I’m not surprised to see it on your list! I would say that it is similar to some of the other heavier perfumes you have worn in your time, specifically Youth Dew and Shalimar. I think you should definitely revisit it, maybe it would work for you on your many lunches!

Ô de Lancôme by Lancôme

Ô de Lancôme is the opposite to Aromatics Elixir because I reserved it mainly for day-wear. I loved how clean and fresh it is and I used to wear it a lot for work because it was bright and energising without being intrusive or loud. I wore this one up until a few years ago, until I replaced it with a similar scent (Eau Dynamisante).

The Candy Perfume Boy: This is the perfume that I have the strongest association of you with. I always remember you wearing it when you would babysit us or take us out, back when we were kids.

Reflection Woman by Amouage

My daughter (CPB: my aunt) brought this back from Oman for me as a gift. I reserve it only for the most special of occasions and I always think of her when I wear it. I also like to wear it in a crisis, with the hope that it will bring me luck. It’s a perfume that I would never have thought of buying myself because it is so expensive, but also because I don’t think I would have come across it. I treasure it because it’s a little piece of luxury that I hope will see me out…

The Candy Perfume Boy: Amouage is one of my favourite perfume houses. Their creations are so opulent and beautiful and I’m really glad that you have been able to experience the luxury that they offer. Reflection is a lovely watercolour-floral that really suits you and I’d suggest that you try a few other Amouage’s – Honour Woman and Ubar in particular, which I think would really suit you.

Guerlain Insolence

You bought this for me as a Christmas present one year and it brings back many happy memories of you Thomas, because I love you so much! I find it to be a very versatile perfume that I can wear during the day or during the evening. Unfortunately, my bottle is running out so I am treasuring the last few drops before it is completely empty.

The Candy Perfume Boy: Aw shucks granny! This is why you are THE coolest grandma on Earth! Insolence is just so unashamedly girly and more than just a little bit trashy, yet you pull it off with great class and poise.

Is scent important to you?

Yes it is, I’d never leave the house without perfume. I like to smell nice and it makes me feel good.

What are your favourite smells?

The smell of grass after the rain
Newly bathed babies
The smell of onions cooking
Baking cakes

What was your first experience of perfume?

Back when I was a child perfume wasn’t as prevalent, though I do remember that my mother always smelled nice. When I was about 11, I remember an aunt gifting me Yardley’s Lavender Water and I think that was the first perfume I tried, it felt so luxurious at the time.

Is there a perfume that reminds you of another person?

Before your grandpa died, he used to wear Kouros (Yves Saint Laurent). I bought it for him as a gift and it became the only scent that he ever wore.

If you could choose only one perfume, a ‘desert island’ perfume if you will, what would it be?

I would choose Insolence.

Join the Discussion!

Are you familiar with any of Pamela’s choices?

Do you have a signature scent, or a scent that defines you?

What scents do you think will remind people of you?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments box below!


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Image 2 My Own