Wedding Reception Styling in Cornwall and Devon

Scent With Love

Scent With Love

Perfume your wedding to perfection

How to perfume your wedding to perfection

Hannah May
Hannah May - Chief Features Writer

In his darkly beautiful novel, Perfume, Patrick Süskind explores the mesmeric world of scent. “Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will,” he writes. “The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.”

Süskind’s olfactory obsessions show just how great the impact of smell can have, which is something that wedding world is having a moment with.

Beautiful And The Feast Wedding Scents Receptions Food1Beautiful and The Feast

“Using scent at your wedding can enhance the mood of the day,” says planner and stylist Rebecca Green from Rebel + Anchor ( “Some choose a scent that is special to them, or some wear something new so they have a special memory. The sense of smell is linked to memory and recall so this is a great way to bring back good memories.”

There are a variety of ways to create and sustain the scent of your day, which will help you to relive your wedding in years to come while ensuring your guests’ senses are fully stimulated, surprised and spoilt throughout the various stages and settings of your celebrations.

You might wish to simply ensure that you and your venue smell good, or perhaps think about the exact aromas you’d like to use – and blend – for a more dynamic and harmonious scenting experience.

The Garden Gate Flower Company Scents Flowers1The Garden Gate Flower Company

Starting with consideration of the theme, venue and season, ask yourself exactly what effect and role smell can play in proceedings. For example, a rustic winter wedding in the country could explore the fragrance of Christmas with notes of frankincense, mulled wine, berries and cedar wafting everywhere from the ceremony space to the candlelit feasting area.

Meanwhile, an Ibizan-style beach party could be fabulously enhanced with the tropical scents of frangipani flower, coconut water, sweet vanilla and orange blossom drifting throughout the day.

Beautiful And The Feast Wedding Scents Receptions Food3Beautiful and The Feast

Much like your wedding ensembles, scenting is largely about layering – and begins with your body. From what you shower with to any moisturisers, balms, oils and perfumes you lather, smooth and spritz over your skin, think about each element for the most luscious, long-lasting scent profile.

“When choosing your personal scents, consider the day as a whole: are flowers a key feature? If so, wear something floral,” advises Rebecca. “Or if you’re outside, then perhaps something woody. Do remember your partner’s scent and ensure you blend.”

Velvet Daisy Scents Flowers2The Velvet Daisy  Rik Pennington

Or why not opt for your own bespoke scent? “You can create a special scent to wear that is unisex, which can also be given to guests as a favour,” suggests Rebecca. “You could discuss this with your florist and see if there are certain flowers that have a particular scent that you could work with. Give guests a hint of the scent even before your big day by giving your invitations a quick spritz before sending them out.”

Other ideas include the use of diffusers, confetti and scented candles. “You could even create your own petal confetti and add some scent,” adds Rebecca. “However, make sure the scent doesn’t compete with the flavours of the food.”

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Beautiful and The Feast

In fact, one of the most effective ways to incorporate scent into your wedding is through the food itself.

“In terms of adding to the sensory aspect of weddings, we always find that cooking parts of our menus on open fire really gets the senses going,” says Fliss Loxley at Beautiful and the Feast ( “Guests get to smell the open fire and the char of the vegetables before they sit down. We use locally grown edible flowers and micro herbs to bring another layer of scent and taste to each bite.”

Beautiful And The Feast Wedding Scents Receptions Food2Beautiful and The Feast

By working closely with your caterer, you can create an aesthetically pleasing menu full of flavour and fragrance. And it needn’t stop there, with additional elements like your drinks list (think coffee vans, cocktails, punch bowls and citrusy homemade lemonade) and dessert options (candy floss carts, ice cream trikes and chocolate fountains) all accentuating the olfactory aspect of your day.

But when it comes to scenting your wedding, there’s one clear and easy winner: the flowers. “Flower and foliage scents are a dream and can be one of the most emotive delights,” agrees Helen Edwards at The Velvet Daisy ( “I always ask my couples if they have any particular flowers they'd like to incorporate within their designs, like reminders of homelands or holidays,” she says. “When I chat with my couples, many of them don't realise when they're talking that one of the most important features they remember is the scent rather than the vision of the flower itself.”

The Garden Gate Flower Company Scents Flowers2The Garden Gate Flower Company  John Hersey

This is again where timing is key. “Scents are quite seasonal and can really reflect the choice of month a couple chooses to get married,” Helen explains. For example, she cites spring as “a very distinctive choice for wedding flowers and all the more appropriate as one meaning of spring flowers is ‘new beginnings’”.

Your spring blooms might feature daffodils, paper white narcissus, hyacinths, wallflowers and lilac. “The velvety scent of gardenia, colourful scented primrose,” swoons Helen. “Beautiful scented flowers can often provide stunning designs in large arrangements due to the way they grow – on the branch or used with the foliage they’re grown with,” she elaborates of the powerful and palpable effect of petals. “Think clove-scented viburnum, osmanthus, the cool and citrus dream of mock orange and the fabulous selection of spring blossom.”

Velvet Daisy Scents Flowers1The Velvet Daisy   Blossoming Exposures

She does, however, express a word of warning. “Scented flowers can be a dream but can also be overpowering and produce considerable amounts of pollen really affecting those with allergies. Lilies often cause the biggest reactions and I would recommend not including them within wedding flowers, however dramatic and architectural the effect of using them would be.”

“I have always placed scent as one the most important parts of growing flowers for my couples,” reveals Rebecca Stuart at The Garden Gate Flower Company ( “Rather like a song you will hear on the radio that takes you back to fond memories, scent is a similar trigger. Often my couples will ask for flowers like sweet peas or roses as they remember them in their grandparents’ garden.”

The beauty of using a florist who grows or sources locally grown flowers is that British blooms have so much scent. “In Cornwall, azaleas love our soil and their scent is incredible – visit any stately home that has a garden and you are bound to find them growing. I love to include them in my bridal party flowers as their shape and scent work well with ranunculus,” says Rebecca.

The Garden Gate Flower Company Scents Flowers3The Garden Gate Flower Company  Jose Villa Photography

Whatever time of year you plan to wed, you can bring scent from the garden into your floral arrangements. “Starting off the year, you will find the heady scent of the narcissi paper whites that in the depths of winter provide a glowing spotlight on any dark table. In early spring we see the introduction of flowering branches. Statement arrangements can embrace larger blooms like magnolia and if you are lucky to find a daphne you will not be disappointed by her sweet scent, often overlooked due to her little flowers,” says Rebecca.

“Once summer is upon us, the seasonal showstopper – the rose – takes centre stage for packing a punch in bridal bouquets,” she continues. “I grow a huge variety of roses but am always led by their scent. Be warned though – many roses on the market sadly no longer have a scent and are bred for their robust vase life.”

And what about out-of-season weddings? “Autumn is where scent from the flowers starts to taper off. However, foliage like eucalyptus, flowering mint and myrtle are firm favourite ingredients for me,” she says.

“My advice is to chat to your florist about what scent is available from seasonal flowers in the month you are getting married. It will become a lasting memory trigger when you smell your wedding flowers years down the line on a walk in a garden holding hands with your spouse.”

These products are guaranteed to spoil all your guests’ senses...

St. Eval

Body Wash Scent Your Wedding Cornwall Receptions

Mini Heart Lifestyle Scent Your Wedding Cornwall Receptions

Achieving B Corp certification for its ethical and sustainable business practices, St. Eval blends an inspiring ethos with the most beautifully crafted candles, diffusers and body care products. Deeply inspired by their coastal and country surroundings, the unique nature-inspired fragrances will bring the scents and ambience of Cornwall to your wedding and endless style to your tablescape.

Reed Diffuser Lifestyle Scent Your Wedding Cornwall Receptions

Hand Wash Scent Your Wedding Cornwall Receptions

The heavenly new Botanical Body, Hand and Hair Care collections are the perfect way to begin your scenting journey come W-day. The harmonious blend of Grapefruit & Honey Myrtle Body Wash with Chamomile & Linden Flower Body Lotion is both cleansing and refreshing, while the Rose Geranium & Spearmint Shampoo harnesses no fewer than seven pure essential oils including spearmint leaf, lavender, rose geranium, roman chamomile and cedarwood. Designed to evoke the herbal healing of wild Cornwall, the 100% naturally derived ingredients will soothe and care for your body from head-to-toe and are ideal for vegans by being paraben-free and cruelty-free. The bottles and labels are also 100% recyclable.

Rhubarb Pillar Lifestyle Scent Your Wedding Cornwall Receptions

Tealight Lifestyle Scent Your Wedding Cornwall Receptions

Meanwhile, St. Eval’s collection of pillar candles, tea lights, diffusers and dinner candles create endless scent and ambience wherever placed. Prepare to fall in love with the pretty pastels and rhubarb, geranium, lemon and thyme fragrances of the Summer Folk collection, while the Sea Salt candles and reed diffusers will bring the fresh, salty sea breeze of Cornwall to your day. Scatter around your wedding venue, gift to your guests and savour the stirringly beautiful scent.

La Luna

La Luna Scent Weddings Receptions Wed1

Handcrafted using the finest ingredients and biodegradable, clean-burning plant wax, La Luna is a small Cornish business with a big heart. Sustainability is core to the ethos of owner Sinead Harvey, who places a particular emphasis on considered buying, sustainable packaging and being completely plastic-free. The results are as beautiful as they are benevolent. Housed in amber glass jars, the collection is nothing short of intoxicating. Rosa is infused with 100% rose geranium essential oil and smells like the sweetest bouquet of freshly cut roses, while Winter Sun reveals a decadent mix of blackcurrant, cardamom, green fig leaves and tuberose. The perfect aroma for a coastal wedding has to be Charlestown’s fresh blend of sea salt and oak moss that also imbues notes of gardenia, violet leaf and tonka. Or evoke Mother Nature herself with Cornish Garden, which releases the earthy scents of rosemary, lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, basil and moss with an enveloping warmth that lingers in the air long after the flame has burned. Sinead’s ever-evolving range features a scent to suit all settings and preferences, whether you wish to gift mini candles as favours or scatter a selection throughout your wedding spaces to elevate the sensory aspect of your day.

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La Luna Scent Weddings Receptions Wed3


Hand Wash Scent Your Wedding Cornwall Receptions

Linen Water Scent Your Wedding Cornwall Receptions
Organic Trevarno creates an assortment of skincare and soaps in the south of Cornwall using the finest and most sustainable, skin-loving ingredients without so much as a hint of anything artificial. Start by adding a subtle floral fragrance to your wedding linens with its Organic Linen Water, which is made from pure distilled organic flower water and is available in either Rose Damascena or Lavender. Complement this with Organic Room Mist, which distils delicate top notes of pure essential oil followed by full-bodied middle notes and long-lasting base notes in a trio of heady formulations: Cornish Garden (jasmine, rose geranium, lemon verbena), Coastal (lime, sweet basil) and Botanical (lavender, rosemary, thyme). You might even wish to stock up on Organic Trevarno’s luxury hand wash (in Coastal or Cornish Garden), which will leave skin feeling soft and hydrated while scenting your cloakrooms and spoiling your guests’ senses even more.

Room Mist Scent Your Wedding Cornwall Receptions

Botanical Room Mist Scent Your Wedding Cornwall Receptions

Carrière Frères

Carrière Frères La Rose Scent Wedding
Expressing its global commitment through eco-friendly products sourced as close to nature as possible, Carrière Frères is a formidable name within the world of French perfumery. Their heavenly scented creations come in the form of candles, diffusers and room sprays, but our favourite has to be the eye-catching botanical palets. The handmade 100% vegetable wax accessories contain a natural element such as sustainably harvested plants and woodchips. The mini pieces of hanging art will adorn your wedding space (or present as the most sensuous gift) while wafting their intoxicating fragrance, such as La Rose Aime Le Poivre palet that fuses Damascas rose buds and peppercorns for an invigorating floral bouquet. A summer celebration would provide the perfect excuse to scatter some Orange Blossom palets throughout your venue, while the Siracusa Lemon Botanical palet was made for an Indian summer affair. Then there’s the Siberian Pine and Winter Rose variety, which would lend itself perfectly to a yuletide celebration – or the fresh and woody notes of Cedar that will envelop any space and season with its sophisticated attar.

Jo Loves
Globally renowned for her intoxicating creations, Jo Loves from ‘English scent Maverick’ Jo Malone is a scent, bath, body and candle collection “inspired by the memories and moments in life that she loves”. Infused with emotion, the collections range from the sweetly classic Rose Petal 25 to the exotic perfume Golden Gardenia, which blends gardenia petals, suede cardamom, elemi and grey woods in an exquisite gold leaf patterned bottle. Or for the elegant and uplifting scent of porcelain white Norma Jean Rose spliced with peppered citrus, Jo’s White Rose & Lemon Leaves perfume is an all-out celebration of love.

HOMECANDLE Jo Loves Scent Wed Cornwall Receptions1

HOMECANDLE Jo Loves Scent Wed Cornwall Receptions3

Vegan and cruelty-free, the sumptuous scent ranges come in a variety of forms including candles, body cremès, bath colognes, lifestyle fragrances, hand care, body lotions, bath and shower gels, fragrance paintbrushes, hair and body mists, and travel collections so you can wear and take your wedding day scent on honeymoon and elsewhere. Wash, moisturise, perfume and refresh throughout the day, then slather and spritz again and again to transport yourself back to that exquisite moment of wedded bliss.

HOMECANDLE Jo Loves Scent Wed Cornwall Receptions2

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words Hannah May