By Taira Anderson
I keep an amber colored jar full of sap-covered pinecones in my apartment, but these aren’t just any pinecones. I collected them in Bellingham, Washington just before I moved across the country to attend graduate school in Ohio. Whenever I was feeling homesick and needed to travel back to the West Coast, I would open the jar and take a sniff. Instantly, I was back in Washington State, transported to Chuckanut Drive. Though I’d be standing in my little Victorian apartment in the Midwest, in my mind’s eye I could see the steep hillsides covered in evergreens descending to the rocky, salty shores of Bellingham Bay. If I kept my eyes closed a little longer, I could imagine walking up the wooded trail to Fragrance Lake (yes, that’s the actual name of the lake!), the smell of pine needles, damp soil, sea salt and sunshine all around me.
I’ve since returned to the West Coast, but I’ve held onto my jar of pinecones. I still take a sniff from time to time and feel grateful that my adventures have led me back home.
Scents are powerful like that. They take us places we’ve been and to place we’re dreaming of going.
This ability for fragrance to transport us is what inspired the Aera team to develop the new Aera Destinations Collection – a set of fragrances specifically crafted by master perfumers and expert designers to transport you to other lands without ever leaving home.
What’s on the itinerary? A sunny little spot in Italy, the most beautiful city in the world, and, of course, tropical paradise. Keep reading to get the deets…
The Creative Process…
It’s all about collaboration and it always begins with a dreamy idea. This idea really came alive during the onset of the pandemic when we were all missing the outside world and itching to travel. We pulled inspiration from our own experiences and memories of travel – collected postcards and snapshots from the coast of Italy, reveries of delicious meals at Parisian cafes, getting jealous of someone’s Hawaiian suntan that they returned to the office with (ahem, you know who you are 😉).
Once we had the places defined, we plunged into exploring scents, textures, and colors that felt specific to each place. For the Amalfi Coast we knew it had to feel like a sunny vacation, and we also knew natural lemons had to be featured because of the long and storied history of Amalfi lemons. When it came to Paris, we immediately thought of a Parisian brunch at one of those chic sidewalk cafes – champagne flowing, fresh flowers on the table beside a plate of colorful macarons, the Eiffel Tower just barely visible down the boulevard – yes, please! Hawai’i, of course, was centered on tropical escape – luscious fruits and carefree vibes.
With these place profiles sketched out, we then collaborated with our master perfumers and fragrance designers to bring the stories of each place to life through scent. They’re true artists and were able to vividly capture the soul of each destination and take our senses around the world.
Get Your Passport Ready…
Amalfi Coast – Blood Orange & Sunshine
Hop on a little red Vespa and zip along Amalfi Drive. Citrus sunshine is everywhere, and the Mediterranean sparkles brilliantly. Stop at a lemon grove in Sorrento, tour the verdant hills, delight in a taste of limoncello and feel every cell smile. Ah – la dolce vita!
Paris – Champagne & Macarons
Bonjour, Paris! Where joie de vivre sparkles in the air like champagne bubbles. Haute heels click across the cobblestones, and glasses of bubbly clink happily at open air cafes. Around every corner find couture, amour, and patisseries brimming with rainbows of macarons. Trace your way along the Seine and find yourself at the Garden of the Eiffel Tower -- C'est magnifique!
Hawai’i – Tropical Fruits & Sugared Limes
Soak up the Aloha spirit in Hawai’i, where lush, fruity cocktails are bottomless, and the palm trees are always swaying. Explore botanical gardens bursting with hibiscus, passionflower, and the call of the ‘I’iwi bird. Live your best island life starting now.
Shop The Destinations Collection
Taira Anderson is a fragrance storyteller for Aera with a master’s degree in writing and a passion for olfaction. She knows the power of fragrance and the power of language woven together can transport us to our fondest memories, most mesmerizing places, and even to imaginary worlds.