Fragrance has an uncanny ability to instantly transport us to a specific time and place, whether that’s a secret garden or a school disco, so it’s no surprise that couples are now choosing to curate the scent of their wedding with as much care as they would any facet of their big day: just as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who chose a selection of fresh and floral fragrances from French perfumers Diptyque for their wedding on Saturday. While the brand has not revealed the exact details of the candles and room sprays, which scented the environs of St George’s Chapel along with the luxurious hotel spaces where the bride and groom dressed and prepared for the ceremony, that were eventually selected by Harry and Meghan, it’s a given that the fragrance will take the couple back to their big day for years to come. We can only imagine that the frustrated lifestyle blogger in Meghan is itching to share a wedding day ‘shelfie’ replete with ‘Roses’ and ‘Figuier.’
Finding a signature scent that’s memorable, encapsulating and – crucially – smells pretty great has always been something that’s sat on a bride’s to-do list, a couple of lines below ‘buy dress.’ Curating the perfect fragrance for the ceremony itself – one which meshes perfectly with the bride’s perfume and the floral arrangements – is a newer, albeit growing, phenomenon, which will surely benefit from the ‘Meghan effect.’ According to leading wedding planning app Bridebook, 6 percent of their users claimed to incorporate scent as part of their wedding in 2017: a small proportion, yes, but up from 2 percent in 2015. ‘Though visuals are the brunt of the wedding experience, with flowers and décor being the third and fourth most expensive aspects of a wedding after the venue and catering, true trend setters aren’t limiting themselves to the sense of sight alone,’ their experts reveal. ‘We predict that this trend is only just gaining its stride and is sure to become a wedding staple for years to come.’ Ahead of the curve is Jo Malone, whose Orange Blossom fragrance is said to have scented the Westminster Abbey nuptials of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (it’s her signature, apparently): the brand has been offering complimentary wedding consultations for years, helping the bride – and up to five of her friends and family – discover how to bring tailored fragrance to her wedding, whether that means bespoke scents or the perfect scented candle.
Before designing a wedding bouquet, Sue Barnes, founder of Lavender Green Flowers, reveals she will often ask the bride about their preferred fragrances. ‘This is often an element many brides haven’t thought about until they meet with us, but it can really influence what flowers we might recommend,’ the florist, who curated Pippa Middleton’s wedding blooms, explains. Choosing flowers with a specific scent is, she adds, ‘a lovely, subtle way to add another layer of personalisation to your wedding, and years later you will find that scent evokes memories of the day. We work with brides to ensure we capture the right feeling for them, whether they want the smell to take them back to their childhood walking around their grandparents’ garden, or to a particularly special holiday place – we love to make that happen.’ Jasmine is one of the most popular choices, lending itself to Pinterest-friendly trailing bouquets and decorations.
When thinking about the wider wedding experience, too, it’s time to think carefully about the type of scents that will match up with each stage of the celebrations. ‘As well as considering carefully how the wedding flowers will look, the fragrance journey that the couple and the guests take on the day is a very important consideration, too,’ says Sue. ‘‘Often there will be various fragrances for different parts of the day - something more romantic and soft for the ceremony and then something more zingy for the party.’
Look back at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding guest list in the gallery below...
Earl Spencer and Lady Karen Spencer
Prince Harry's uncle - and Princess Diana's younger brother, with his wife, Lady Karen Spencer.