The Candy Perfume Boy in ‘How to Scent a Wedding’

The Grooms

The Grooms

It is often said that one’s wedding day is the best day of their life. Up until 10 May 2014 I would have said that this was a simple cliché and that there are many more enjoyable moments to experience in life – the birth of a child, perhaps or the many successes and milestones that one achieves as time passes. But the truth is that my wedding day – the day that I married my best friend and partner in life and in love, was truly the very best day of my life.

Tears were shed, smiles were abundant and laughter was a common sound. Joy was the theme of the day and as we shared our love and made our commitment to each other in front of the people dearest to us, we felt a happiness that is difficult to put down into words. Let’s just say that my new husband and I had an absolute blast and we danced the night away, hoping that it would never end. In our hearts, it never will.

As with any wedding we opted for a theme, picking the colours white, gold and green to match our (rather natty) Vivienne Westwood bow ties (yes, I’m name dropping – she did our socks too). We also chose a pair of origami cranes, a symbol that represents longevity and good fortune in Japanese culture, as the emblem that appeared in numerous formats throughout the day. All-in-all it was a tasteful and understated affair that matched our personalities perfectly (if I do say so myself).

Of course, The Candy Perfume Boy’s wedding was always going to be a fragrant affair and I would let you all, and myself down if Nigel and I hadn’t opted for at least a few nods to the art of olfaction during the day. I would therefore like to share with you some of the scented treats that we gifted to ourselves and our guests, ranging from the difficult choice of what scent to wear to the more frivolous decisions, which may or may not involve smelly bubbles. So please join me in this little taste of our special day that I like to call; ‘How to Scent a Wedding’.

His 'n' His Scents

First Things First – The Wedding Fragrance

Every perfume lover worth their salt knows that the wedding fragrance is by far the most important scented element of the big day. With our memories being so tightly stitched to the smells around us, a perfectly picked perfume can serve, not only as a beautiful compliment to the day’s festivities, but also as an olfactory time capsule ready to unearth a wave of memories each time it is sniffed. No pressure in getting it right then!

Picking my wedding perfume was one of the most difficult wedding-based decisions I made. I knew for sure that Nigel was the right gentleman for me and I knew that I wanted an LED dance floor that sparkled with a thousand twinkling lights, but the perfume I wanted to wear was a different matter altogether. So how did I choose the scent? Well, it had to meet the following criteria; 1) it had to showcase white flowers (because I adore them); 2) it had to fit in with our colour scheme of white, gold and green; 3) it needed to be evocative of nature; and 4) I needed to be absolutely in love with it. No mean feat.

I went through a number of contenders before finding ‘the one’, including Arquiste’s Boutonnière no.7, a masculine gardenia with stripes of vetiver that came very close to cutting the mustard. But in the end it was a chance encounter with Vero Profumo’s Mito Eau de Parfum at Bloom Perfumery in Spitalfields that sealed the deal. Much like the moment in which I proposed to my husband, I knew in the moment when I re-sniffed Mito that it was the one for me.

Speaking of my husband, his perfume choice was as fortuitous and surprising as my own. He, who really only wears ‘masculine’ and non-floral fragrances, fell madly and deeply in love with Papillon Perfumery’s phenomenal Tobacco Rose, and one quick sniff of this most divine of roses cemented his choice. Strangely, I smelled his perfume on the day more than my own and now mere whiffs of the sharp geranium-tinged scent from perfumer Liz Moores sends me straight back to that wonderful day. I hope that you’ll agree, that we were a pair of fabulously fragrant grooms…

What's a Wedding Without Flowers?

What’s a Wedding Without Flowers?

After the fragrance comes the flowers. Flowers are a must at any wedding and no nuptials would be complete without the beautiful sight of buxom blooms bursting in the background. We knew right from the outset that we wanted white flowers accompanied by a fair amount of greenery to match our colour scheme, but also our general floral preferences. It was also important to us that the flowers didn’t look too ‘arranged’ and appeared as a relaxed gathering in the silver buckets we had chosen. Or as my florist calls this; “the shoved in a bucket look”.

For weight we chose white spray and single-head roses, and white lisianthus. To add a bit of volume we chose gypsophilia (in white, of course) and to add a small touch of fragrance we threw in some delicately scented white freesia. The bouquets looked natural, clean and elegant, and we chose big white rose button holes to match, which served as beautiful contrasts to the rich navy of our suits. I honestly wish that I could have flowers like this each and every day.

The Charm of Candles

The Charm of Candles

A good scented candle is just as enjoyable as a well made perfume or a finely arranged bouquet of flowers. Fragranced candles simply are a must and my house certainly would not be a home without at least one fragrant wick burning of an evening. They’re romantic too, and the sight of a softly gleaming flame can really set the mood. For all of these reasons, and because we wanted everything to smell absolutely wonderful all day long, we opted to burn our favourite perfumed candle during the ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception.

The candle we chose was Aqua Universalis by Maison Francis Kurkdjian, a beautiful white floral and musk-scented torch that burns with the brightness of bergamot and the crisp green tones of muguet. Not only did the three candles we lit have excellent throw, filling each room with waves and waves of fragrance, their scent also matched, in fragrant form at least, our colours of white and green, working in perfect olfactory harmony with our beautiful floral bouquets.

Bubbles in the Air

Bubbles in the Air

Whilst we’re on the subject of Maison Francis Kurkdjian, let’s talk bubbles. Blowing bubbles are a necessity at any wedding, I say this not only because I have a mental age equivalent to my shoe size (9, FYI), but also because there is no sight more pleasing than watching grown adults partaking in bubble blowing competitions over their starters. Bubbles add a sense of joviality to the day and keep people entertained through those speeches that may go on just that little bit too long.

Of course at our scented wedding, these bubbles needed to smell and they needed to smell good. Luckily for us, the perfume industry’s most outspoken and masterful nose had just the thing – ‘Les Bulles d’Agathe’ – a collection of joyfully scented bubbles named for M. Kurkdjian’s niece. Seeing as the dominant colour within our scheme was green, we issued each table with either a bottle of cold mint or cut grass ‘bulles’, with the top table being treated to a special bottle of violet-scented bubbles. As you can imagine, they went down a storm, especially with my nephew whose favourite thing in life is the humble bubble.

Tables Named After Classics

Tables Named After Classics

We wanted the details of our big day to celebrate the things that make us the people that we are and no day would be a true representation of Messrs. Dunckley if there weren’t at least a few nods to the world of perfume. To honour our love of all things fragrance, we named each of the tables after some of our favourite perfumes, namely; Shalimar, Mitsouko, Arpége, Angel, Vaara and Amyris. The top table was named ‘Mito‘, after my choice of wedding perfume.

Scented Favours

Scented Favours

As a gift to all of our guests, we decided to forgo the usual favours of Jordan Almonds and opted for something altogether more fragrant. No surprises there, I know. Seeing as our memories are so intrinsically linked with our sense of smell, we wanted to gift our dearest friends and family with a scent that would always remind them of our wedding day. We therefore chose to give everyone a small sample of the perfume that their table was named after.

Nigel’s sister designed these beautiful sample cards using our origami crane motif and we presented each favour to out guests in a green organza bag. I like to think that one day each of our guests will come across their sample, uncork the stopper and take a deep whiff to remind them of Nigel and I. And who knows, we may have even created a few new perfume lovers along the way.



So that’s it for the scented tour of the Dunckley-Butterworth wedding on 10 May 2014, but I simply could not leave this post without posting a picture of our amazing origami wedding cake from The Hummingbird Bakery. It was three delicious tears of lemon, vanilla and red velvet sponge topped with pearlescent balls and four sugar craft origami cranes. It looked awesome and tasted so delicious that I don’t think any other cake will be able to compare. I would have saved you all a piece but somebody ate what was left, I’m not sure who…

All images are via Peter Buncombe, our amazing wedding photographer. You can check out his website here. I have no affiliation with Peter and simply share this link as I think his work is truly excellent and I would recommend him to anyone.


51 thoughts on “The Candy Perfume Boy in ‘How to Scent a Wedding’

  1. Congratulations and well wishes for your new life together. I love how you included your love of fragrance into the wedding, it’s the little touches that make it special. And your wedding cake is lovely, simply understated elegance. Kudos!

  2. Joy absoultely was the theme of the day. It really was the most joyful wedding celebration I’ve been to. I just have to see that picture of you and Nigel in your finery and a smile appears.

    Mito and Tobacco Rose were just perfect choices. I love them both and all the fragrant details you wove into the day were wonderful. Great flowers too.

    Happy scented memories.

    Oh and you were engaged when we first met so you will have to tell me the story of the proposal one day.

  3. I have never read about a more beautiful wedding. I will rent you when my kids get married. Mito? A well kept secret. 😉 Could there be a more perfect scent? I think not. Forsooth. Bussi xxx

  4. What an absolutely gorgeous wedding, Thomas. I especially love the Aqua Universalis candles- what an uplifting scent for what looks like a completely magical day. I remember years ago when you were writing about your awful job, and I am so, so happy to see you get such well-deserved happiness.

    PS Are you still at the 18 Crescent address? I would love to send a wedding present 😀

  5. Hi Thomas! And Nigel!;-))
    Understated and elegant,I love the snippets from your VERY fragrant happiest day!Congratulations again!
    Love that wedding cake,it’s gorgeous!(and I bet it was yummy!)
    Now the honeymoon countdown starts…3…2…;-))

  6. what an amazing wedding – I love all the details, particularly super to learn that Arpege was one of the chosen table names 🙂

  7. Oh, I have something in my eye! What a wonderful day, thank you for sharing the scented details with us. You’ve reminded me of the white freesias that we had at our wedding breakfast tables. I will always remember walking in to a room of gorgeous scent. Your cake is stunning and I love your table naming, fragrant favours and bubbles. Again, congratulations and every happiness to you both.

  8. Wow – just, simply WOW!! Firstly, very many congratulations to you both and many years of adventure and abundance to you. What a wonderfully classy wedding – elegant and chic indeed. And you both look so handsome in your matching suits – I love the idea of the bow ties and socks! As a Guerlain addict, when my hubby and I were married 28 years ago, we also named our tables after their frags and had similar giveaways tucked in little pots of flowers. Your post sent me rushing for our photo album 🙂 And that cake is just beautiful…

  9. I am so happy for you both, wishing you every happiness for the future, many congratulations! It looks like you made your wedding uniquely yours and it truly was a day to remember! I had freesias in my bouquet, 26 years ago this summer….

  10. Congratulations! I hope you two have a long and happy marriage. The ceremony looks like it will be incredible. I especially like the scented bubbles and perfume sample party favors.

  11. Thank you so much for this amazing posts and congratulations to you and you husband! I really enjoyed reading about your big day and how you integrated all those scents into it! I do light scented candles or an oil lamp every day myself – love my scented life 🙂

  12. What a wonderful wedding! You and Nigel look so handsome and happy together. Gifting your guests with a perfume sample is such a great idea. When they smell it they will always be reminded of the joy at your wedding day. And that cake positively makes me drool. Yum!

  13. Congratulations on your special day ♥ I love the idea of perfume samples for guests, what a great way to share your passion. ps. I adore the blue suits, very stylish!

  14. Congratulations to the two of you!
    And I LOVE this post – I have no idea what wedding perfume I should wear, but your list of what you must have is a good starting point. Thanks for the idea!

  15. I’m so happy and honored that you chose to share your special and fragrant day in such detail with us, your loyal followers! And of course congratulations to you and Nigel. Best wishes for a long and happy life together.

  16. Glorious! I simply loved reading the romantic details of this posting, and found it so delightful to visualize the fragrant table groupings, I imagined myself seated at the Shalimar table, of course 🙂 . What a memorable milestone you have created. WIshing you many happy years together with your beloved!

  17. What a lovely wedding! Your story is such an insipiration.

    PS. I love the idea of perfume samples as favors, and I adore the flowers, the centerpieces, and the boutonierre.

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