December 1, 2020

Why stop at essence of Ikea? Let’s map our lives in scents

The smell of lunches at big school, hand sanitiser in a hospital and strawberry lip balm in Topshop – these are the markers that stay with us

Occasionally a brand will tout something that makes me look over my shoulder with a humid fear that they are watching me and marketing accordingly. In a move that I’m sure will feel curiously personal for many, Ikea has announced plans to release its own fragrance. It makes perfect sense that a company that has carved such an important place in our lives would attempt a move into this – the memories industry. The essence of Ikea itself should be preserved, along with every place where our lives change.

Ikea. What’s the smell of moving house for the third time in two years? Dust and plastic, and the sore inevitability of it all, the smell of pennies. But excitement too, in waves of cheap chocolate and the quiet thought that this shelving unit might hold up the rest of your life. Tea lights, because you plan to have dinner parties in this flat, and romance, which reminds you, you’ll need another plate. Rugs. Do we like “rugs”? This is where taste is made, in the slow-moving perambulation towards the tills. Do we like “things”, do we want “children”? The smell of hotdogs eaten in silence.

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