Call it the Proust effect: Memories are often triggered by smells. Scientific studies confirm that out of all the senses, smell offers the best recall. In Scent Memories, the Cut asks people about the scents they associate with different times in their lives. Next up is model Danielle Herrington, who only after a few years of modeling, became the 2018 cover girl for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Herrington is the third black woman to appear on the cover, following in the footsteps of Tyra Banks in 1997 and Beyoncé in 2007. The Cut spoke with the Compton native about taxis, tacos, and the best-smelling butt cream.
My first scent memory is: Liv Hair Creme. My mom always used to use it on me and my cousins. I’ve been using it for years and years, ever since I was tiny.
Happiness smells like: A home-cooked meal. Specifically, one cooked by my grandma. Her go-to is fried chicken, broccoli, and rice.
Love smells like: Valentine’s Day chocolate. Everybody used to give me chocolate on Valentine’s Day … but I hate chocolate. [Laughs.] I would never eat it, but I loved that I would get it.
Friendship smells like: Chips, salsa, and guacamole. My friends and I love Mexican food; we’re always eating a lot of tacos and rice and beans together.
Heartbreak smells like: A New York taxi cab. Riding around in a taxi reminds me of feeling kind of lonely and being far away from family.
Regret smells like: The lingering smell of alcohol on someone the day after.
The worst smell is: Pumpkin. I can’t stand it. Anything pumpkin-scented. Pumpkin-spice anything? No.
Vacation smells like: The beach and salty air. Anytime I go on vacation, it’s to a beach-y area.
Success smells like: Champagne and a celebration. After I got the cover of Sports Illustrated, my whole agency and my whole family were all with me, celebrating. If music had a smell, I would say music.
Sunday morning smells like: Coffee and sizzling bacon.
Monday morning smells like: Clean clothes.
My home smells like: Fresh-linen-scented candles and a lot of coffee.
A pleasant surprise smells like: That fresh box smell, like when you open something brand new. And freshly baked cookies.
I smell like: Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and orchid fragrance oil.