Just like Elizabeth Gilbert wrote that every city has a word, I am a firm believer than every city has a scent. Ever since I was a teenager and fell in love with perfume on my first trip to Paris, I have made a point to purchase a new scent each time I travel internationally, and wear it every day while exploring that country. This way, on drab and dreary workadays at home, I can transport myself instantly to Tahiti, Argentina, or Madagascar with a simple spritz from a bottle.
I am currently on vacation in Rome, and searching for my scent. I may have found it in the form of Gucci by Gucci. Trolling the Sephora by the Trevi Fountain yesterday, I veered towards the Italian brands—Gucci, Prada, Versace—and started sniffing. Being a fan of full, spicy scents rather than their fruity or flowery counterparts, Gucci by Gucci immediately struck me as “the one.” With notes of guava, raspberry, spider lily, patchouli, honey and musk, it is a very dynamic scent, and I found that it smelled better and better as the day wore on. If I were to have bought the scent at home without the memories attached, it would smell to me like fall feels—warm and cozy, wrapped in a cashmere blanket in front of a roaring fire. But because I will buy it in Rome, the scent smells like the Colosseum, Piazza Navona and Trastavere.
Forget photos and tacky souvenirs, the perfect scent brings back more memories of my favorite cities than a picture ever could.