scent memories

The Model Who Starts Her Day With a Dose of Dog Breath

Sara Sampaio. Photo: Getty Images

Scientific studies confirm that, 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 Sara Sampaio, a model, an actress, and the face of Gorgeous!, the newest fragrance by Michael Kors. Designed to help you make an entrance, Gorgeous! is a mix of sparkling pink pepper, zesty bergamot and mandarin oils, bold white florals, and comforting cedarwood. The Cut caught up with Sampaio to talk rubbing alcohol, bedtime lip balm, and a different kind of morning breath.

My first scent memory is: My mom’s cooking. The smell of French fries and of some kind of stew are ones that come to mind.

Love smells like: Chocolate cake just out of the oven. It fills up the entire house with the most incredible smell, and that’s what love feels like.

Heartbreak or loss smells like: Wet dog. It’s this horrible smell, but you still love them in the end.

Friendship smells like: Popcorn. It’s one of my favorite foods and it always puts me in a good mood. I love that smell. You’re usually eating popcorn in social situations, so that scent always reminds me of my friends, who I also love.

Regret smells like: Old food that you’ve left in your car. You realize it later, and you’re like, Oh shit. I eat in my car often, so I’ve left, like … fish, which is probably the worst thing to leave in your car. Or leave anywhere, to be honest.

Success smells like: Hard-earned sweat. You have to work really hard to get where you are. You have to get some sweat in your suit to be successful.

My ideal vacation smells like: Tropical ocean breeze on an island.

My home smells like: Over the holidays, it completely smelled like Christmas tree, which was amazing. There’s nothing better than coming home and smelling the smell of a real tree — the best.

The first thing I smell in the morning: My dogs’ bad breath. I have two Shiba Inus, and they’re always giving me kisses in the morning. They’re the cutest, but they have stinky breath because they’re old, and their teeth are just not as good anymore.

The last thing I smell before I go to bed: Aquaphor Lip Repair. I put a lot of lip balm on right before I go to sleep.

The worst smell is: Wet, raw fish. And poop. Poop is probably one of the worst smells out there, but raw fish might be worse than that.

A scent or smell I love that others usually don’t: Gasoline. I also like the smell of alcohol. Like proper alcohol, not like drinking alcohol. Like rubbing alcohol and really strong hand sanitizers.

I smell like: Gorgeous! by Michael Kors at the moment. It smells like happiness to me. It’s a floral fragrance but has some wood notes in it, so it smells like femininity and strength at the same time. It makes me feel confident. I like to put on a lot of fragrance when I wear it, so I’ll apply it on both wrists and on my neck, and my little secret is I like to put it on the nape of my neck, under my hair, so the fragrance goes everywhere every time you move your hair. Scent also lasts a lot longer on your hair, compared to on the skin.

The Model Who Starts Her Day With a Dose of Dog Breath