Memory lane Monday: Celebration scents and a big anniversary

celebrationThis week (Tuesday), my wonderful DH and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage. So please bear with me, as I’m in full nostalgia mode, pulling out wedding albums, and looking through old announcements, mementoes and photos, etc. And, of course, I’m pondering my choice of scent. What does one wear for a silver wedding anniversary celebration?

Unfortunately, my beloved has to work that day, so we’ll probably go to a nice lunch together on the day itself and splurge on a fancier dinner out some other time.

And we’ve talked about doing something special, like a trip, but that will have to wait awhile until we get our (budgetary) ducks in a row. His company has just had layoffs and he made it through, thank heavens, but that does tend to make you a bit shy of spending much money. Anyway, who says you have to do all your celebrating on the actual day itself, right?

For our anniversary lunch, I’m thinking Le Labo Tubereuse 40, or something equally joyful and uplifting. For our dinner celebration, it will depend on the temperature. If it’s still somewhat warm, perhaps I’ll pull out the blockbuster Carnal Flower. For a chillier evening, I’m eyeing something warmer, yet classy, such as Roja Dove Unspoken, Clive Christian C for Women, Chanel Coromandel or Hermes 24 Faubourg.

celebrationI wish I could remember what scent I wore for my wedding, but that day, at least early on, was a bit of a blur as I rushed around trying to get ready. And although I dearly loved fragrance then, I wasn’t anywhere near the perfume hound that I am now. I might have worn Diorissimo as I’ve always loved that scent, but more likely it was Chanel’s Cristalle. Or likelier still, Estee Lauder’s Private Collection. Its green sophistication always made me feel special, and as a nice plus, I recall it having a lovely body products line, including soap, dusting powder, body lotion and cream (I think).

I do, however, remember wearing a luscious blue-red Christian Dior lipstick, carrying a bouquet of calla lilies and coral roses (several of which kept falling out — arrgh!), and wearing my bridal gown, made from a Christian Dior Vogue pattern that I bought in high school.

Funny thing that. Nearly all the wedding dresses available back then were chock-full of bells and whistles: lace, beading, sequins, etc., and though those dresses were gorgeous, that style simply wasn’t me. This Dior dress, with its elegant simplicity, had my name written all over it. I kept that pattern all those years, taking it with me through high school, college and from job to job. In all my travels, I never found anything to replace it, and I loved it every bit as much in 1988, when I finally had it made (by a very talented lady) and wore it for my big day.

But getting back to fragrance. I haven’t been to a wedding in a while and none of the recent brides I know are very much into perfume (several went scentless), so what are the most popular bridal scents these days?

I remember Patty’s post this spring about her niece getting married in the beautiful Van Cleef & Arpels’ Orchidee Vanille, and she had some lovelies to choose from, including Houbigant Orangers en Fleurs, Dior Grand Bal, Puredistance I and Serge Lutens’ Un Lys, among others. If those were my choices back then, I would have been happy to head down the aisle wearing any one of them.

What about you? If you are married, what did you wear for your big day? And what do you enjoy wearing to a special celebration now (weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc.)?

64 Comments

  1. Gosh, am I the first commenter? Just wanted to say congratulations and that in the photo you both look lovely (yes, your handsome groom also). My husband and I got married in 1984, poor as the proverbial church mice, and like you, I have no memory of wearing perfume on that day. But we can fix that now, right?

    Here’s to many more happy anniversaries!

    • Thanks, Kismet! And congrats to you and your DH as well for your many years together. We’re making up for lost fragrance time now, that’s for sure! 🙂

  2. CONGRATULATIONS!! 25 years is excellent. How happy you both look.
    Why should you need celebrate (though of course I would also), isn’t 25 years of togetherness a 25 year celebration of good choice? Even getting through the crap days must be worthy of celebration too, every week.
    The Christian Dior gown is a fabulous choice, so freaking elegant.
    My fingers are crossed for a further 25 years of tolerable living together and moments of great joy to lighten the hum drum.
    Portia xx

    • Thanks so much, dear Portia! You are right — 25 years together is a celebration in and of itself, though there have been some dark days, but we made it through, thank the Lord! And thanks, we will hope for another 25, too, but as we got married a bit on the late side, that might be tough, but you never know!

  3. I was married over ten years ago. It was September, when the leaves in Wisconsin were starting to turn and the goldenrod was in full bloom. I wore Jean Patou’s Sublime, and it seemed absolutely perfect. As much as I love that perfume still, I don’t wear it often as I want it to retain those special associations of that day.

    • Wendy, congratulations on 10 years together! I bet it was a lovely time of year to be married. That’s so nice that you save Sublime as a reminder of that day — makes wearing it all the more special. I need to revisit that lovely scent as it’s been way too long.

  4. Dear Ann,

    Congratulations! 25 years is wonderfully celebration-worthy and may you have many, many more happy years together! I love your Dior gown! You are a talented seamstress – so simple and clean-lined yet so very elegant.

    On my wedding day I think I wore Victoria’s Secret Vanilla Lace – I had so very much to learn about perfume, didn’t I? Knowing what I know now, I would probably wear Chanel No. 5 parfum or maybe Heure Exquise. Something devastatingly feminine. Maybe I can talk my gorgeous husband into a vow renewal ceremony for our 10th (coming in 2 years) – any excuse for a party, a gorgeous dress and heavenly perfume, right? 🙂 I’m such a lucky girl to have found my true soul mate later in life!

    Even in these scary economic times, maybe you and your husband can just take a day or two together to do whatever your heart desires. Uninterrupted time together is the best gift of all!

    • Lynne-Marie, thank you so much for your kind words — I do so appreciate them! But I have to clear something up: I did not make the dress (I wish), but a very talented seamstress who had done many formal dresses and pageant gowns. That is not one of my gifts, alas; I’m doing very well to sew a button back onto my son’s pants. 🙂 Do have yourself a celebration with your wonderful husband and all your favorite things — you deserve it!

  5. Ann, what a wonderful surprise to open this post and see a photo of you! On your wedding day!!! You look so very happy, your groom looks handsome, and crikey, I can’t believe you made that gorgeous gown!!! All these exclamation points are part of my enthusiastic wish for you both to have a wonderful 25th year celebration (hey, lunch together is a good celebration) and many more years together. Even though you can’t remember what perfume you wore for the big day, now you have lots of great choices, judging by your list. I’m voting Carnal Flower! <3

    • Thank you, thank you, sweet Suzanne! But as I mentioned to Lynne-Marie above, I can’t take credit for making that dress. I just lugged the pattern with me throughout the years and then took it to a wonderfully talented lady and she did the rest. With our crazy work schedules and a young teen in the house, time together is limited, so even lunch will be a treat. BTW, I’m leaning toward Carnal Flower, too

      • BTW, dear, what scent did you wear on your wedding day, if anything?

  6. Dear Ann, congratulations! It’s wonderful to hear you both seem as happy now as 25 years ago. And the dress is beautiful!
    I’m not married, unfortunately still looking for the one… but if I were to marry now, if it were warm weather/daytime I’d wear MFK’s APOM or Seville a l’Aube, and evening/cool weather Lyric. But then again, I have scent memories with these already so maybe I’d start fresh with a new fragrance…

    • Lynley, thanks so much for your kind wishes. Don’t give up hope; you never know what’s around the next bend. Love your choices, all very beautiful, but going with a new scent could be great, too.

  7. Happy anniversary, Ann! If we were to renew our vows today, I would probably wear EL Tuberose Gardenia parfum or Zmohur Extrait, lavishly sprayed, as if I owned more than 2ml of it.

    • Thanks, lady! So glad you stopped by. Mmmm … Tuberose Gardenia! And Mohur extrait, you say? Oh, my! That sounds simply divine. Must try that someday.

  8. Congratulations, dear Ann! Hubby and I celebrated 25 in August. Strangely, the perfume I wore, Chanel Coco, is one of the only things I do remember about that day. This year we were able to spent a few days in Vegas and my love gifted me with a beautiful ring from 1910. Older than us and something to aspire to! Hope you have another 25 years or more of love together! XOXO!

    • Thank you, Rina, and a big congratulations to you both as well! And what a wonderful gift — I know you will cherish that ring always, as well as the memories of a fun trip to Vegas. BTW, another Coco fan here — you smelled marvelous on your big day. Wishing you another 25 years of joy also!

  9. I remember those days of big hair and pouffy dresses, and you look simply elelgant in contrast to some of the hideous fashion back then, so bravo on your good taste! When I married in ’81 it was a simple but nostalgic affair. I wore my mother’s wedding dress that was made by my grandmother, an outstandingly talented seamstress and classy lady. I knew nothing about perfume back then, so didn’t wear any for the big day. But now, if I did, I think it would be the lovely classic Chanel no. 22. I hope you have a lovely celebration together!

    • How wonderful that you got to wear your mother’s dress, made by your grandmother — it doesn’t get any better than that! Chanel No. 22 would be lovely for a wedding, I agree. lAnd thank you for your good wishes.

  10. A very happy anniversary to you both! You look so lovely, and your dress is very stylish – “meringues” were the fashion then, so you were extremely classy.

    I got married a few years before you, and like everyone else here we didn’t have much money. We were able to marry in the chapel of my husband’s college at Oxford (so cheap, but the setting was magical), I found my dress in a sale for £30 (which I think would be about $20), the couple who were married a few hours ahead of us that day kindly donated all their floral arrangements to us, and a friend catered for our reception at cost. The photographer was an ex-boyfriend (!), and I even managed to find the college cat and had a good, calming cuddle!. My perfume was Cristalle: I wanted something I had never worn before so that I would always remember my wedding day whenever I smelt it again – Cristalle had only just been launched, and was not well known. I thought it perfect, and yes, if I smell it now I remember that day! I reckon it would definitely have suited you and your elegant dress on your big day.

    • Thank you for your good wishes, dear Jillie. Congratulations on your 25-plus years of marriage! And thank you for sharing your wonderful wedding scenario — it does sound magical (especially loved the kitty cuddle as a nice extra touch) in that historic chapel. We paid for our wedding since we were older, but still couldn’t spend a bundle, so we went for the classy- on-a-budget approach. So glad you wore Cristalle — simply, beautifully, elegant! We definitely share good taste 🙂

  11. Congratulations, Ann, and I wish you and your husband many more wonderful years together! Twenty-five years…wow! I can’t remember what I wore for our wedding–probably Chloe. Again, we were young, very little money, and we paid for most of the wedding ourselves. I do remember I wore Jubilation 25 for our 25th anniversary, however! 🙂

    If I were getting married today, I think I would choose Songes. When I first sprayed that, I remember all these images of Spring and wedding bells bursting out of my imagination. I’m also in tuberose heaven (discovered a local tuberose grower at a fall festival this weekend!), so I think Carnal Flower would be out of this world, assuming your dh likes tuberose. (I know alot of people don’t care for it; it sadly gives my hubby a migraine). I know you will choose something awesome with all those choices! Happy, happy anniversary!! xo

    • Sweet Sherri, thank you so much! I’m on the same page as you, as we paid for our own wedding as well. We were happy to do it so as not to put any strain on DH’s retirement-age parents (mine, alas, were already deceased). I think Chloe would be a marvelous wedding day scent! I could not have worn it, though, as a bottle of the parfum had been a gift from a previous boyfriend. And Jub 25 for your 25th anniversary — how perfect! BTW, so glad you found some gorgeous tuberose flowers for your home … mmmm.

  12. Congratulations, Ann, to you and your husband on reaching your Silver Anniversary! What a happy accomplishment! My DH and I were married in January of 1991, and I also remember how the wedding gowns of that era were completely dripping with lace, rhinestones, pearls, sequins, and glitz. And many of them had cathedral length trains, since who wouldn’t want to be just like Princess Diana?!? Like you, I wanted something a lot less fussy. My mom and I debated sewing my gown, but I eventually found a lovely one by Galina that I adored. Your Vogue is a real stand-out for style and classic beauty. As for scent, I was a signature scent girl back in those days, so I believe I would have been wearing Arpege.

    Enjoy your anniversary celebration lunch, and be sure to spread out the partying as long as possible. I hope you two have another 25 years of joy!

    • You are so kind, Dina, thank you. And you two are closing in fast on the big 25 as well, so congratulations to you both! I’ve never been much for a lot of fuss and frills, so I’m glad to find another fan of elegant simplicity — I know your gown was gorgeous. Love your suggestion of spreading out the celebration — maybe a week would be good, eh?

  13. Trying to post off my unpredictable device, excuse mistakes please – dear Ann, what a gorgeous picture! Congratulations on your anniversary, that’s really something to celebrate. The gown is stunning and so was your bouquet. I’ve written here before about the role Coco played in meeting my husband so that’s what I wear every year. What is your DH’s favorite? Whatever you wear, enjoy 🙂

    • Hi, sweetie, and thank you — so glad you stopped by. I loved my bouquet, too, but it got a bit wild and undone, with a bloom or two falling out occasionally. Knowing me, everything couldn’t go exactly perfectly — there had to be at least one “Lucy” moment, ha! And I love your ongoing fragrant connection with Coco — who knew Chanel was a matchmaker?
      Alas, my DH doesn’t really notice scents; he always says something like, “it’s all good and you’ll smell nice whatever you wear.” And that’s OK, too.

      • Ann, he sounds like a good guy! My own husband has a polite vocabulary of “nice,” “really nice,” and “maybe not as nice as some of your others,” which lasted until I put on some real vintage MdiO Nuit Noire, whereupon he sniffed and said “WTF?!” But I have to admit that my own reaction was similar. You don’t spring that stuff upon the unsuspecting.

        • Too funny! Your DH sounds like a great guy as well, but when you hit him with the Nuit Noire, well, you probably slightly blew his mind, and what could he do? 🙂

  14. Congratulations on 25 years and here’s to many more! My husband and I were married in 1984 and we will celebrate our 30th next year. Where did the time go? I believe I wore White Linen as it was a hot August day and it seemed appropriate. Have a wonderful day!

    • Whoo-hoo, Dana, the big 3-0 — very cool!! I agree; the years do seem to rush by faster and faster. And I heartily second your White Linen — lovely scent and perfect to defeat the heat!

  15. Congrats on the 25 years! It’s sad that many people aren’t married half as long. My special occasion scent really is Dia. It’s supposed to be the “Diet Gold” but it’s still fabulous for a special occasion. Or Deneuve and Chanel no 19 in extract form.

    • Thanks, dear! I really must revisit Dia (scrambles to find sample, to no avail), as it sounds wonderful, as are the other two you mentioned. Gorgeous, gorgeous!

  16. Wow! Congratulations to you both on reaching 25yrs! And I’m thrilled that you are looking forward to 25 more (and why not?)!!! I have NO idea what I wore on my wedding day – the bulk of what I remember of that day was my new nephew’s endlessly piping ‘I’m sorry, Mommy I’m sorry, Mommy’ – couldn’t hear anything but that – but I figured it was part and parcel of joining families. Then my new niece poured a Diet Coke on my gown – luckily the skirt was all tulle so I just hosed it off and moved on – but I had to listen to my new s-i-l apologize nearly as many times as her son apologized to her! LOL!

    Alas, the marriage didn’t last – but we are still good friends, which is a very nice thing. Were I to marry today I would probably wear the full complement of Amouage Gold products (soap/cream) and a couple of drops of the extrait, which is ALL you need, trust me!

    xoxoxoA

    ps. your gown is absolutely gorgeous – but not as gorgeous as you!

    • Thanks, darling A — you are too, too kind! I’m sorry to hear of the marital bumps in the road that you had, but glad that you are still friends. I am on friendly terms with most of my ex-es (boyfriends, that is).
      Hey, and when you DO go into celebration mode, you will knock ’em dead (in a grand way) in your full complement of Gold! You’ll have to beat the lovestruck sniffers away, my dear …

  17. Happy 25th to you and your husband, Ann! What an awesome milestone. I married late in life – a mere 7 years ago! For our 25th, I’ll be almost 70. Wow. Now that’s a sobering thought. Won’t think about that one now. Lalalalala…

    I do remember what I wore on my wedding day. Chanel Allure EDT and body cream. Twas my favorite scent at the time. I’ve always been a perfumista, but never to the extent I am now. When I married, I probably had 10 bottles or so of perfume, no decants, no hundreds of samples. The internet and social networking exploded my hobby! My poor hubby! 😉 He had no idea what he was in for. Haha. And now I’ve turned him into somewhat of a perfumista, too. Lucky him, and lucky me!

    • Karin, thank you so much! And congrats to you on your years together. And celebrating at 70 is something to happily look forward to. And I love it that you’ve wooed him down the rabbit hole with you — you are so blessed (for that and so many other things)!

  18. I’m only 18, so I haven’t had as many of these big moments/big perfume opportunities, but for my high school graduation I wore Mitzah and I have been wearing Bois des Iles to my ballroom dance competitions.

    • Oh, Connie, you smell fabulous at all your activities! Love to read of a young perfumeista with great taste 🙂

    • Excellent choices, Connie! I love both of those. As Rosarita said, you have wonderful taste!

  19. Gongratulations on 25 years together! I am getting married next year on 4th of july. I have no idea what perfume to wear. Maybe you guys can help. I’m 31. This is my wedding dress: http://www.nastygal.com/clothes/siobhan-maxi-dress My make-up and hair will be very bohemic. I am considering Amouage Homage, Chanel Sycomore or Mona di orio Violette Fumee. Please I would love suggestions.

    • Oh, thank you, and congratulations to you — very happy for you! Love the dress; you will look very boho chic, yet still elegant. I’ve only smelled the Chanel (dying to try the Mona soon), but some others might have some ideas. The most important thing, I think, is to wear what makes you feel beautiful, happy and glowing

  20. 25 years together is quite a feat! You look so happy in this picture. On bad days perhaps you should pull this out and look at your smile! I didn’t wear any perfume back for my wedding (37 years ago) but Shanghai Lily would be at the top of the list now. For our 30th anniversary, we waited a few months before heading to Monterey and San Francisco to celebrate. Our sons were teens at the time and they came along. We had a wonderful trip and we’re so glad we did that. Lots of good memories. Happy Anniversary.

    • Tiara, that is a great idea — I have a little memo board by my desk, so up it will go! Thanks so much for your kind words. And congrats on your 37 years, wow! BTW, what a cool 30th anniversary trip you had — love, love, love Monterey and SF. I think Shanghai Lily would be so great for celebrating — a lovely scent that manages to be both elegant and sultry.

  21. Regarding Connie’s post (above) — I think it is wonderful that on the ‘Posse, we run the gamut…long-married, never married, single, male, female, older and younger.
    It would have been a wonderful thing to have found the ‘Posse at 18 years old — how many 18yr-olds even know about Bois des Iles??

    I’ve been married to the same Dear Man for 37 years.
    For my wedding……….gosh, I don’t remember what I wore. It was probably Tigress by Fabergé. That is The Hubs favorite perfume. He ADORED it in those days and frequently comments about my new-ish perfumes in a couple of ways (1) smells like Tigress — means he likes it, or (2) doesn’t smell like Tigress — means the perfume is merely ‘ok’.

    Congratulations, Ann, on the anniversary and being married to your best friend.
    Love the wedding gown!

    • What a great point you make, Gwenyth! I, too, love the beautiful diversity we have here on the Posse, all of us knit together by our love of perfume and friendship. Thank you for your good wishes, and let me congratulate you on your 30-plus years together — he’s definitely a keeper! And I love it that he still loves and remembers Tigress and rates everything else accordingly — very cool!

  22. Happy A-day, dear Ann! You look so lovely and happy in that photo – hope your smile is still just as wide today.

    Tomorrow, drink some lovely tea, wear some great perfume, and celebrate all there is.

    • Aw, thanks, sweet Lisa! My face is a little rounder (like the rest of me) but I try to keep on smiling. I will do just as you have suggested, and will lift a cup of something Mariage Freres in your honor tomorrow as well. 🙂

  23. Congratulations! I love your elegant dress, your jubilant face, and the look of quiet joy on your DH’s face as you walk down the aisle after the ceremony.

    • Lauren, thank you, that is so sweet of you! It was indeed a joyful and blessed day. Hope you are doing well, smelling fabulous and enjoying autumn!

  24. Happy Anniversary, Ann!

    I don’t remember what perfume I wore, but I do remember that I started sewing my wedding dress myself three days before the wedding.:) Next month my husband and I will be celebrating 24 years of marriage.

    • How wonderful, Milena — congratulations to you both! And i love it that you made your own dress — that really takes talent and a gift for it. I’m such a sewing klutz that I’m doing well to successfully put on a button, ha! Thanks for your good wishes …

  25. Best wishes, Ann! Doubt I wore perfume at my wedding–spent the night before at my parents house instead of mine…just remember a lot of rushing around. But for a current wedding, one couldn’t go wrong with Carnal Flower, 24 Faubourg or Orangers en Fleurs. My current fave blue red lipstick is Chanel Rouge Allure in Pirate. Or for cheap thrills, Revlon lip butter in raspberry or berry smoothie.

    • Thanks, Caroline! I know what you mean about rushing around — I felt more than a little discombobulated on the big day. I had company staying with me, and I was trying to get myself ready, yet still be a good hostess — yikes! No wonder fragrance sometimes goes on the back burner. BTW, nice scent choices and lipstick shades — lovely!

  26. Congrats on your 25th anniversary, Ann! You and your hubs look fabulous in that picture! I’m not married myself, but I wore Samsara to my brother’s wedding last year.

    • You are too kind, Jennifer — thank you! I know you smelled wonderful in Samsara at his wedding. Such a rich, luxe scent. I wore it back in the day, so thanks for the reminder — I need to wear it again this fall and winter.

  27. Happy Anniversary! and congratulations! I completely remember that Vogue pattern, too. Didn’t wear any fragrance on my wedding day as we eloped and I just didn’t think to pack a scent before we drove off to Tahoe to get married. Now for special occasions I reach for Chanel 31 Rue Cambon.

    • Tatiana, thank you so much! Glad you remember that pattern, too. In high school, I so wanted to sew glamorous things but just didn’t have the talent for it. But I spent many a happy hour in the fabric stores, admiring patterns, and when I saw this one — my mouth dropped open and i thought, “This is the one!” I couldn’t get to the cash register fast enough with it!
      So cool that you eloped, and to Tahoe, especially — very romantic. And Rue Cambon is so lovely; I have a tiny vial of the extrait and it is heavenly.

  28. Congratulations on 25 years!
    We just had our 7th anniversary last week. I wore Scent of Peace for our wedding – probably one of three times I have worn it. I realized the morning of the wedding that I had forgotten to pack the lovely little bottle of Kate Spade perfume that my husband had very thoughtfully purchased for me to wear. As I was staying on the Plaza, I walked to the nearest big department store in my jammies for perfume (there is actually a photo of me someplace walking across the street that morning in a robe, hideous black clogs, and my pajama pants – no makeup and hair half done on my desperate perfume search). I seriously wouldn’t have felt dressed without scent. Unfortunately, I was a bit overwhelmed and didn’t stand my ground with the pushy saleswoman. I really had planned to pick up something from the Chanel counter but she was determined to sell me something pricier so SOP it was. It sits unloved and almost completely full at the back of my perfume closet. I really should have insisted on No.5 or No. 19 both of which I love and would actually wear.
    If I were getting married now I would probably wear Incense Pure (in cool weather), Pear + Olive, or Evening Edged in Gold.

    • Thanks, Liz, and congrats to you on your anniversary! Sorry that happened on the big day (and sorry about the pushy SA) but glad it worked out all right, and I know you smelled lovely, despite it all. And think of how that photo will delight your kids and grandkids down the road. Maybe you can treat yourself to some extra goodies in your beloved Chanels and wear them happily on your upcoming anniversaries.

  29. Congratulations to you both! Even though I am well into middle-age, I married the love of my life not quite four years ago (anniversary next month) and wore Diorissimo, which I love and which strikes me a s a perfect wedding scent. I can’t remember what I wore to my first wedding, but I know I saved the best for last (bridegroom and perfume!) Celebrate this special day as often as you want!

    • Thank you, maggiecat, and best wishes to you on your upcoming anniversary, and on finding the love of your life. How wonderful! And I know you smelled terrific in the divine Diorissimo!

  30. Happy Anniversary, Ann! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful lunch today with your husband. And may you have another 25, or 30, or 40 blissful years together!

    • Thanks for stopping by and thank you for your good wishes! We have had a great day (he surprised me with roses at my office, which was a nice treat). Hope you are doing well and enjoying fall.

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