Scent Memory: Lola Rykiel, PR Director at Sonia Rykiel

Lola Rykiel

Of our senses, the sense of smell is perhaps the most romantic and nostalgic. A fragrance can recall memories so precisely and poignantly, and perhaps better than any other method. In this column, friends of Ellis Brooklyn share their favorite scent memories. 

I met Lola a few years ago through a story I wrote on her for the New York Times. She was brand new to the city and had just started working in PR at her grandmother's company, Sonia Rykiel. You'd think that being a fashion and lifestyle journalist, you'd make friends with your subjects often but actually it's not the case. People can be closed off. Rather Lola is an exception. We had dinner after her Times piece came out and I had the bad fortune to choose a Mexican restaurant that was supposed to be hip but was just awful. Boy did we have a good time anyway (ok, tequila helped). She's full of French wit and, not to mention with grandmothers of Joan Burstein, co-founder of Browns in London, and Sonia Rykiel, quite the budding fashion tour de force. Oh, and she has terrific fragrance taste (is it a French thing?). In fact, I recently ran Raven by her before launching the new scent. Today, finds her in Paris, where she just wrapped up her duties for the Sonia Rykiel Spring 2016 show. Here, she takes time to share her favorite scent memory.

For me, the most memorable scent will always be Chamade from Guerlain— it's my grandmother Joan Burstein's perfume. She has never ever changed it and I hope she never will. It reminds me of leaving directly after school in Paris on Friday, to get to London for the weekend and arriving on time for Shabbat at her house. It reminds me of going to Browns the next day and playing dress up with my sister with all the designer clothes and shoes, which were too long and too big for us of course. We would end up leaving a terrible mess in the store but not once did she get mad at us! Chamade is a powdery, luxurious, inviting and delicate smell. It’s probably the best smell in the world for me; it both announces that I am going to have a lot of fun and makes me feel safe at the same time.

Photo: Courtesy of Lola Rykiel