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 Anya Taylor-Joy: actress and face of the new Viktor & Rolf fragrance, Flowerbomb Midnight. The fragrance highlights night blooming jasmine, a rare flower that only blooms at night. Other notes include black currant, peony, vanilla, and musk for an overall “mysterious floral sensation.” The Cut spoke with Taylor-Joy about popcorn, mezcal, and her love of extreme weather.
My first scent memory is: My father’s cologne. He used to travel a lot, and he would wear a different cologne depending on where he was going. I would give him a big hug and inhale deeply and be like, “Oh, how was Miami?”
Happiness smells like: La Bamba and the Argentine countryside. And horses, probably. I loved growing up on a farm and being around animals and having that sense of freedom.
Love smells like: My puppy, Khala! [Laughs] She doesn’t even smell bad when she sweats! It’s amazing. She’s a mutt I got from a rescue shelter when I was about 16.
Friendship smells like: Sun on skin. You know that smell when you’ve been hanging out in the sun all day and you give your best friend a big hug and she just smells amazing? It’s that.
Vacation smells like: Either sea salt and hibiscus, or hot chocolate and ice. I like going away somewhere quite tropical, but I also enjoy harsh elements too.
Success smells like: Early morning dew. I am pretty much always up as the sun is rising or just before, it’s my favorite time. If I can catch the sun going up and going down every day I feel like I’ve had a good day.
Sunday morning smells like: Bed sheets that are still rumpled because you don’t have to get out of them yet! And probably sunshine. Sunshine and bed sheets: everything you need in life.
Monday morning smells like: Coffee and honey. I tend to be an iced black coffee kind of girl, but if it’s too cold for that — and it has to be a certain temperature of cold for me to give up my iced coffee — but if it is really too cold I will do hot coffee and put honey in it.
A pleasant surprise smells like: Popcorn. I have really terrible eyesight so my sense of smell is really acute, and I could always smell if my mom made popcorn even before I came into the house after school. Usually she would leave some for me but if she didn’t, I would have to be like Mama, I know you made popcorn!
If I could have one smell on my hands forever, it would be: The way that my mom smells. I don’t know how to bottle that but I don’t ever want to spend a day without it. I love being able to hug somebody and go, “You smell like you.”
I smell like: Red roses and pepper. Though I have been told that I have a smoky quality to my scent as well. Someone said if I was a drink I would be mezcal, and I’ll take it!
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