As the cofounder of the San Francisco-based fragrance company Pinrose, Christine Luby knows a thing or two about designing perfume. So when it came time for her to tie the knot, she decided to put that background into use, working with some of the top noses in the business to concoct a custom scent especially for her wedding day. The result? Lovebug, a warm mocha and pomegranate blend inspired by her childhood in Michigan and her husband-to-be’s love of chocolate.
Why did you choose to create a custom scent for your wedding?
It’s not just because I founded a fragrance company that scent is meaningful to me. Scent is our sense that is the most closely tied to memory. Whenever I smell Lovebug, it will transport me back to the magical day when Nick and I said our I do’s.
How did you kick off the process?
I started by creating a “mood board” for my fragrance. I then approached my two favorite perfumers, David Apel and Carlos Vinals, to see if they would work with me on creating the scent. These are the artists behind some of my favorite scents such as Tom Ford’s Black Orchid, Pinrose’s Campfire Rebel, and Jo Malone’s White Jasmine and Mint. It was a long shot, but to my delight, they agreed to work with me on the project.
What were some of your sources of inspiration?
I wanted to use ingredients that will always remind me of home—the past that has shaped my future. I grew up going to summer camp in Michigan every year. Nothing brings me back to my happy childhood more than the aromas of hot cocoa by the fire and the cedarwood cabins of Camp Echo. Lucky for me, my husband is a chocolate lover, and the gourmand notes of the scent make him smile instantaneously.
Next, the ingredients had to match the emotion and tenor of the wedding. I got married on Valentine’s Day in snowy Chicago. Salvage One, the setting for our big day, is an antique-furniture store. The chapel is built from mismatched pews plucked from churches across the U.S. I wanted the scent to accent the warm woods, the flickering candlelight, and the rich red bouquets that ensconced the cozy affair. Amber and pomegranate hues were used throughout the wedding, and lucky for me, these are two of my favorite fragrance accords.
What was the process of creating the scent like?
The process of creating the scent was first and foremost fun. It was as though I got to design shoes with Jimmy Choo himself. Carlos and David are masters at their craft—two of the very best perfumers in the industry. I visited them at their lab at Symrise to develop the scent and perfect the dry-down. We played with several different variations of the scent—some had hints of burnt caramel, others included the big white flowers of my favorite summer scents.
The final version of Lovebug that we landed on is a romantic blend of amber, pomegranate, and cocoa. Hints of vetiver sparkle on the dry-down. It is wintry, warm, and, most of all, unique. I was surprised at how emotional I felt throughout the experience of creating this scent.
What advice do you have for the bride who wants to create her own custom scent?
After having lived this experience myself, we will be launching “Pinrose Brides” to help brides customize their own fragrance. Whether you create a custom scent or are selecting from all of the great fragrances that already exist, I would recommend following three criteria to find the fragrance that is right for you:
1. Select ingredients that remind you of your past. It’s the best way to honor who you are and where you’ve come from.
2. Select ingredients that match the season and vibe of your wedding.
3. Select ingredients that will make your partner smile.
What do you need to know when creating a personal scent?
Treat your wedding fragrance as a sensory time capsule. Enjoy it when you want to be transported back to your wedding day—when you want to feel all of the joy and emotion that permeated your magical event.