Inside the fragrance matchmaking service that promises to find the perfect perfume for your personality

Can a lifelong non-wearer of fragrance ever find her scent partner? A new aroma matchmaking service says yes, of course. Hannah Shuckburgh puts it to the test…

On Saturday nights, Becky from number 41 would babysit. My mum would kiss me goodnight on her way out to dinner, holding her face close to mine as she tucked the duvet tightly around me. Half-lit from the hallway, she was soft and hazy: velvet, silk, powder, jewellery and scent. For a few moments after she left, my room would still smell of Diorissimo, slowly fading as she walked down the stairs. Her scent was more than simply the perfume she wore. It was the embodiment of the glamour and mystery of night-time, of femininity and of adulthood.

A few years later, my friends and I were in Pineapple Lycra bodies, Palladium boots, flying jackets and Levi’s 501s worn high on the waist. We’d circle our eyes in kohl, make fake IDs on someone’s brother’s laminating machine, and give each other mixtapes of The Lemonheads and Alanis Morissette. That era smelt, intoxicatingly, of sweet berry lip gloss and The Body Shop White Musk. And there was Mitsouko, the Guerlain fragrance my dad has always worn. Now very ill with dementia, his mind and spirit faded, his smell – Mitsouko, dark coffee, Gitanes cigarettes – is as sharply in focus as ever.

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