Choosing the right fragrance for your big day can feel like just one more thing added to your long list of “to-dos” before saying “I do” — and that’s why we’re here to help.
Whether you’re having a hard time finding a scent that fits your personality, you’re not sure how to test scents beforehand, or you just can’t be bothered with all of those headache-inducing fragrance samples in your local department store, we’re breaking down everything you need to know to choose the right luxury fragrance for your big day.
Fragrances can be complicated, and weddings are already complicated enough. We’re not here to harp on scent notes and talk about how an eau de parfum differs from an eau de toilette— we’re here to demystify it all, help you take the first step, and give you our top tips to find the perfect “I do” fragrance.
Why Is It Important To Choose the Right Scent for Your Special Day?
When planning your wedding, it can seem like you have a million decisions to make (because you do). You might be tempted to take something off your to-do list and wear your usual signature scent, but the truth is that it’s pretty important to put some thought into the fragrance you’ll wear on your big day.
Scent can contribute to something called “olfactory memories.” This is what we call it when a specific scent seems to transport you back in time – whether it's the smell of a school bus taking you back to first grade, or your grandmother’s perfume reminding you of family holidays at her place.
Basically, the things you smell have an impact on the things you remember, and how you remember them.
You can play with these same scent associations for your wedding day — every time you smell your chosen wedding day fragrance, it will bring you back to walking down the aisle (no pressure).
How To Choose the Right Luxury Fragrance for Your Big Day
So, we’ve talked about the “why.” Now, let’s talk about how, exactly, you can bottle up those memories from your wedding day.
There are a few different things you should take into consideration when choosing a luxury scent for your wedding — these are our top tips to help you find the perfect scent for tying the knot.
Consider Scent Associations
When you are choosing your wedding fragrance, take some time to think about your fragrance associations and visualize how you want to feel on your wedding day.
Think about how certain scents make you feel — maybe cucumber melon reminds you of your favorite middle school body spray, and warm vanilla brings you back to a batch of your mom’s homemade sugar cookies.
We all have different scent associations, so just try to focus on how scents make you feel, rather than how certain scents might make others feel.
Let’s be real — your wedding day will be stressful, and it will all be worth it (we promise), but you might want to consider wearing a fragrance that you find calming.
Lavender is a classic go-to for something soothing — but just because it’s a mainstream go-to doesn’t mean it has to be yours.
Maybe a calming fragrance for you looks like a fruity, floral scent that reminds you of your trip to Hawaii, or maybe it’s the smell of apples and fresh spices because it feels like baking holiday treats with your family. Anything that helps you feel grounded and balanced is a valid way to ease your nerves.
Reflect on Your Wedding Theme and Style
When picking your wedding scent, you’ll also want to think about your wedding theme and style. For a tropical destination wedding in July, fruity and floral fragrances like peony and orange blossom might pair well with the bright colors and summery feeling.
For a pastel spring wedding, a fresh floral fragrance that smells of rose petals and vanilla might be a perfect choice. These fragrances can feel refreshing, soft, and soothing, so they can mesh well with an April or May wedding that features light colors, baby’s breath flowers, and understated décor.
If you’re tying the knot in the winter, you might choose earth tones for your venue, with evergreen centerpieces, wooden accents, and plenty of candles for soft, dreamy lighting. In this case, a woodsy and warm scent like patchouli and musk might feel fitting. These scents are rich and deep, and they can blend seamlessly with a wintery wedding without stealing the spotlight too much.
You can really wear scents from every fragrance family at any time of year, but you may have seasonal associations with some scents — and these could be helpful to consider during your wedding planning and fragrance journey.
Consider your wedding dress and wedding flowers, too… the last thing you want is a fragrance that clashes with, or overshadows, these two key elements.
Reflect on Other Fragrances You Love
If you’re having a hard time deciding where to start your search for a new fragrance, try reflecting on other fragrances that you already know and love. Maybe there’s a fragrance you always wear on special occasions or a scent that your mom wore throughout your childhood.
Regardless of why you’re drawn to the scent, making a list of different fragrances you love can help you find a starting point when you’re searching for the perfect scent for your big day.
Consider How You Want To Express Yourself
Just like every relationship is different, every wedding is different.
Think about how you want to express yourself on your wedding day — for a sophisticated, elegant, and traditional impression, you might want to reach for a timeless fragrance with hints of jasmine, amber, and rose. These scents truly never go out of style, and they might help you feel perfectly put together without being too over the top.
Maybe you would rather feel more carefree and fun on your big day. After all, weddings can be overwhelming between all of the planning and coordinating, and we don’t blame you if you’re ready to let loose. If this feels like you, a bolder fragrance might sound best. Black cherry, raspberry, and vanilla are sweet but playful scents that feel indulgent and youthful — making them the perfect pairing to spritz on before stepping into your next phase of life.
Choose Between Fragrance Types
It can also be helpful to narrow down your search for your wedding fragrance by first choosing what type of fragrance you want to wear on your big day.
If you think you’ll want a fragrance on the sweeter side for your big day, consider Sweet Ash. With silky moss, woods, and fir balsam alongside tonka and black vanilla bean, this fragrance offers a lowkey sweetness and earthiness that’s sure to please.
For a smokier scent, you can try Burning Bridges. Burning Bridges features a mix of vanilla, tobacco, iris, rose, fresh spices, freesia, and oakmoss. The result? A toasted and bold scent that will help you make a statement on your big day.
For a warmer, musky fragrance, Show Pony may complement a woodsy or winter wedding. With black tea, saffron, vetiver, sandalwood, bergamot, black pepper, and golden plum, this scent is effortlessly elegant.
If you want a smooth, juicy scent to wear while you tie the knot, consider Natural Talent. This fragrance combines apricot, jasmine, soft suede, osmanthus flower, clementine, sandalwood, and cistus. It’s a leathery, rich, and velvety scent that will make you feel luxurious.
Test Your Fragrance on Your Pulse Points
Once you’ve found a few different fragrances that you might wear on your wedding day, make sure to test them on your pulse points. You may want to test your fragrances while trying on your outfit for the big day so you can see how the scent complements your attire, and how you feel wearing it.
The key here is to test your fragrance several times before making your decision. It can be overwhelming (to your nose and your mind) to have to smell too many different fragrances at once, and it probably won’t make your decision easier, anyway. Testing your fragrance on several separate occasions gives you time to see what it smells like when other scents aren’t interfering with it.
Your goal is to narrow down your search to two or three scents. At that point, try wearing just one of them for a full day — and then waiting a few days before you try the next. This will help you get a feel for each scent individually.
Give It Time
Fragrances change throughout the day, and some fragrances fade faster than others — think of a fleeting fragrance that disappears before you head out the door versus your grandma’s everlasting scent that hung around long after she left the room.
Because of this, it can be helpful to let your chosen scent sit on your skin for a while before you make your final decision.
Wearing the fragrance for a day or two before making your final decision can help you see how it ages — and whether or not you get sick of it before it’s even time to walk down the aisle.
Wedding Day Wrap-Up
Choosing a luxury fragrance for your big day is one of many decisions you’ll have to make before your wedding, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. Start by thinking about your fragrance associations, what scents you love, and what type of fragrance you want to wear.
To narrow down your options, try to choose what type of fragrance you want to wear first, then explore the options within that fragrance family. Think about how you want to feel on your wedding day and what kind of wedding you’re having when choosing a fragrance.
Once you have narrowed your search down to a few choices, test each one out and wear it around. There is no “right” scent for a wedding — only the one that makes you want to say “I do.”
How scent, emotion, and memory are intertwined — and exploited | Harvard Gazette
The World's Favorite Scent Is Vanilla, According to Science | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine
Re-discovering Sandalwood: Beyond Beauty and Fragrance | NIH