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 Ben Gorham: founder of Byredo. Last month, he opened a new pop-up store in Miami, and this month, he’s debuting a collection of scents just in time for Valentine’s Day. Le Sélection Valentine is a collector’s set of six of the brand’s iconic fragrances. The Cut spoke with Gorham about hangovers, chicken curry, and the ocean.
My first scent memory is: India. My mother is Indian, so I traveled there many times from birth, and I have quite vivid smells associated with those trips.
Happiness smells like: Newborn babies. Birth is the most wonderful miracle in the world and newborns smell truly innocent and pure. The births of both of my children were very significant to me.
Love smells like: My wife, I suppose — don’t want to get in trouble! I think love is one of the hardest things to define, though, because it’s such a unique, subjective emotion. It means so many things to so many people.
Friendship smells like: Honesty. It’s any scent you understand and find comforting.
Heartbreak smells like: Lancôme Trésor. The first girl that ever broke my heart wore that scent.
Regret smells like: McDonald’s.
Vacation smells like: Skin that’s been in the sun.
Success smells like: Success always has two sides, so I think it would have two smells: a pleasant one, and a very disturbing one.
Sunday morning smells like: Waffles.
What does Miami smell like: Hangovers!
A pleasant surprise smells like: Any home-cooked meal, but mostly my mother’s chicken curry.
If I could have one smell on my hands forever, it would be: Because of the curiosity of my nose, I think the worst thing I could imagine would be to have only one smell on my hands forever.
I smell like: Today, I smell like the ocean.
The pop-up Byredo Miami store is located at 161 NE 40th St, Miami, Florida.
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