For Nigel, Forever and Always.
It’s my third wedding anniversary today and to celebrate I’m reposting an article I wrote not long after my wedding in 2014. ‘How to Scent a Wedding’ details all of the ways we incorporated smell into our big day. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did our wedding day.
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’.
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 Boutonniere no.7, a masculine gardenia with stripes of vetiver that came very close to cutting the mustard. But in 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 (on the M25 on the way to a Beyoncé concert, FYI), I knew in the moment I 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.