Some of my favorite types of scents are the ones that capitalize on the transportive nature of a good fragrance. Any perfume can recreate the smell of a floral bouquet or a spray of fresh citrus, but it’s the ones that harness the imaginative, mood-altering powers of fragrance that are the most fun. There are some that not only make you smell great, but are able to paint a picture for you, or tell you a story.
Even if you’re sitting in your stuffy cubicle or crammed in between strangers on the subway, one whiff will take you some place you’d much rather be, like walking down a beach or sitting in a smoky bar, or, in this case, in your bedroom on a Sunday morning.
Sunday mornings have become something of an urban legend in popular culture, being the subject of multiple hit songs to the focus of countless ad campaigns and so on. Sunday mornings are relaxing, lazy, and sacred only in the fact that they’re so fleeting.
You wake up late, make coffee, lay around with your dude, and worry about absolutely nothing because you don’t have anything to do. When I think about the stereotypical Sunday mornings, I see white sheets, natural light, newspapers, and no pants.
Well I don’t know if that’s the kind of Sundays you guys are having, but that’s not how mine go.
Every Sunday morning, I wake up in a panic, hope that my the screen of my iPhone isn’t shattered, make sure that I still have my credit card and all of my teeth, and chug a bottle of water while trying to remember the name of the guy next to me.
While all of you are apparently having relaxing, easy breezy Sunday mornings, I’m usually still coming off it while trying to scrape the taste of stale whiskey out of my mouth, dull the pounding headache, and curb my hangover anxiety by any means necessary.
That’s where fragrances come in. Just because my Sundays aren’t exactly the relaxing, rejuvenating mornings that they apparently are for the rest of you, doesn’t mean I can’t smell like they are. There are two fragrances that are inspired by Sundays and help me get to smelling like a normal, well adjusted person, even if I don’t feel like one.
Margiela’s REPLICA collection is all about recreating scents from different moments in your life, whether they’re specific, like Funfair Evening which smells like cotton candy and warm summer air, or Jazz Club, reminiscent of cigars, leather, and rum. They’re literal, elegant, and simplistic, combining only a handful of notes to remind you of a certain time or place and then letting your brain do the rest.
REPLICA scents aren’t structured like your typical fragrance with a top, middle, and base, rather, hitting you with everything at once so it wears consistently throughout the day. Lazy Sunday Morning combines white musk, iris, wood, pear, and rose for a light, breezy fragrance that’s balanced in a way that all of the notes play nicely without one being the focal point.
Lazy Sunday Morning wears close to the skin, so it’s most noticeable to others when they’re, well, right up against you.
It’s one of those scents that is simple and versatile, taking on a life of its own depending on who is wearing it, smelling unique paired with different body chemistries, more than is noticeable with other fragrances.
It’s a great fragrance if your Sundays are typically more of a war zone than a picturesque, relaxing morning. I sprayed it on this morning and it just made me feel cleaner and more put together, like I had actually ironed my clothes and washed my hair. It’s also an ideal fragrance for hangovers because it’s crisp and clean and almost an afterthought. The musk doesn’t get too heavy and the florals aren’t going worsen your already killer headache.
Sunday Cologne by Byredo, $220.
From the jump, Sunday Cologne is a more sophisticated interpretation of the Sunday idea, and is so good that if the person laying next to you is wearing it, you might just want to stay in bed all day.
It opens with bergamot, cardamom, and anise for an introduction that’s light, herbaceous, and a little spicy. The anise is what really sets it off here. It’s an intriguing selection to place at the top, beckoning you to come closer and making the whole scent a little more mysterious. Geranium, lavender, and incense make up the heart of the scent, while oak moss, patchouli, and vetivir hold it down at the base.
What I like about this scent is that it’s not just a hyped version of a “clean cotton” scent. While REPLICA built upon the moment of waking up to a sunny morning in a bed of clean white sheets, Byredo makes you wonder how you got there in the first place.
Sunday Cologne is light, but it’s not totally fresh. It’s like waking up in the button down you wore last night, with the faintest smell of someone else on the collar. It’s clean, but it’s dirty.
In terms of actual Sunday mornings, this scent is a little more my speed. Even on my worst mornings, it makes me feel a little more put together without feeling like I’m totally faking it.
What are some fragrances you love that are inspired by a time or a place? What are scent are you obsessed with right now? What are some of your WORST hangover stories? Tell me I the comments. I’ve got thousands. One time I woke up and my bed was cracked in half.
Tynan is hung over on Twitter at @TynanBuck.