Image Credit: Wed Society

I’m going to start as I mean to go on with this post by quoting some of fashion’s greatest. Christian Dior said:

‘Perfume is the indispensable compliment to the personality of women, the finishing touch on a dress’

His words say two things to me about fragrances:

1. They are a luxurious necessity, not to be mistaken as merely a luxury.

2.  Girl, you gotta get it right! Your fragrance says a lot about you, and never more so than on your wedding day.


Image Credit: Overdressed Overbaked

No pressure, hey?! Given the significance of this addition to your wedding ensemble, and the ever-elusive nature of the ‘perfect fragrance,’ I’ve enlisted the help of my trusted bridesman Alex, to guide our keen noses. Alex works for a luxury cosmetic brand and chose glorious fragrances for my husband and I to wear on our wedding day. So between the two of us, I think it’s fair to say, you’re in safe hands.

For both the Bride and Groom, we’re going to look at the inspiration behind our favourite fragrances, some of the top notes they’re hitting and the do’s and don’ts of application. First allow us to introduce our top 3 Bridal perfumes…

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Image Credit: Viktor & Rolf

‘Long after one has forgotten what a woman wore, the memory of her perfume lingers’ – Christian Dior

Indeed it will with Victor & Rolf’s ‘Flowerbomb’. Set in a beautifully apt diamond cut bottle, Flowerbomb’s addictive floral notes leave their trail, in a distinctly couture whirlwind. This fragrance combines harmonious sparkling top notes of tea and bergamot, middle notes of Sambac jasmine with a hint of orange tree, Catleya orchid, freesia and Centifolia rose and a woody base note of Patchouli. Labelled as ‘escapism in a bottle’, Flowerbomb’s magically evocative notes will awaken your deepest senses; a world away from reality, your own secret garden. This one is simply perfect for the ethereal woodland bride.


Image Credit: John Lewis

‘You are never fully dressed without perfume!’ – C Joybell C.

This is one of my personal favourites: Armani She. A soft, feminine fragrance, this luxurious blend moves perfectly with you from day to night, reflecting your individuality whilst cleverly creating a harmony about your demeanour. A fresh blend of delicate florals, heliotrope, almond accents and a caressing wake of vanilla and cedar wood, this scent has a gentle notion of the orient and yet is clean and contemporary. For the subtle minimal bride, She is beautifully delicate but remains intricate and sensuous in its sweeter notes. If I was ever to name a fragrance as my signature, I think this would be the one. And my husband, he loves it.


Image Credit: Zalebs

‘When a woman is in the arms of a man she loves in the dark of the night the perfume she is wearing plays a very important role’– Jean-Paul Guerlain.

Chic, sultry, intense and soft at the same time, Sì is a chypre scent reinvented, lingering on the skin and captivating the senses. Armani himself describes: ‘Sì is my tribute to modern femininity, an irresistible combination of grace, strength and independent spirit’. In a nutshell, we love it. Here at Festival Brides we love nothing more than a confident, alternative bride who embraces her wild and free nature, and Sì personifies this spirit. With its combined inflection of three accords: cassis nectar, modern chypre and light musky wood, this sultry scent is unforgettable, gorgeous for your wedding night. And so, in the fabulous words of Ms Monroe:

Who needs expensive, uncomfortable lingerie, when all one need wear to bed is her fragrance!?

And now for the gents, and this first one is the scent Alex oh-so-perfectly chose for my husband, Ralph Lauren Polo Red.


Image Credit: Bloomingdales

Now I don’t know about you ladies, but when a male fragrance is done well, I find it to be one of the most compelling and prominent features of a man’s attire. I’m not gonna lie to you, on our wedding day, my man smelt SO DARN GOOD and the memories that this scent on him evoke are just divine. Simply put: nothing’s sexier than the edgy confidence of Polo Red. Inspired by the qualities Lauren loves in a powerful car ‘speed, style and beauty’ this new fragrance is exhilarating, daring and confident.  Polo Red combines spicy red saffron with fresh red grapefruit and deep red wood. It’s a thrill seeker for sure, but don’t see that to be a cause for concern: worn minimally, although it’s wonderfully striking, I’ve never found it to be overpowering.


Image Credit: Giorgio Armani

For something a little lighter, meet Armani’s Acqua Di Giò. The fresh sea, warm sun and the richness of the earth inspire this distinguished eau de toilette, so whether it’s an earthy ceremony in a meadow or a festival wedding on the beach, this fragrance will wholly embrace your theme. Acqua Di Giò’s opens with a splash of fresh calabrian bergamot, neroli and green tangerine, followed by the mix of light aquatic nuances with jasmine petal, crisp rockrose, rosemary, fruity persimmon and warm Indonesian patchouli. Sensual, natural and authentic; could a bride ask any more of her groom on their wedding day? È perfetto as Armani might say.


Image Credit: Dixie Seoul

So that’s the ‘what’ to wear (in our humble opinion) but now the ‘how’. We all have our own unique way of applying perfume and I’ve seen a fair few, really rather entertaining, rituals in my time. My absolute favourite is when one sprays a cloud of perfume high into the air, struts through the haze, U-turns with serious attitude (think Campbell’s catwalk swivel), before finally prancing back through the remnants of their perfumed mist! Supposedly, it stops the fragrance from being too overwhelming but all I’ve ever found is it wastes a lot of very good perfume! So here’s the 411 on perfume application…


Image Credit: Free People

Yeah, it’s that simple and this concept can be as flexible as you like. Apply to as many or as few of the above, but one rule remains and must be adhered to: once you have applied your perfume do not rub it in. Rubbing perfume to spread the scent breaks down the perfume molecules, meaning your scent won’t last as long. Just spritz on and let it air dry.

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Image Credit: Free People

If all else fails, and you’re still not sure where you’d like to apply your scent, simply follow the mantra of the goddess that is Chanel…


Image Credit: I Love My LSI 

… Of course, you might want to exercise a little bit of caution with that method of application!

I guess all that remains is for me to encourage you to be daring and try something different. I love that both J and I wore brand new fragrances on our wedding day, and I have only those cherished memories associated with those two scents (FYI: I wore Stella by Stella McCartney). Let me leave you with this final, sweet note from Kate Lord Brown’s book, The Perfume Garden: she professes:

‘Perfume is the key to our memories.’


Clare xx


Wedding beauty on its way!

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