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Capturing the essence of mum - quite literally

7th March 2013 Print

Mums across the UK are ready to formally take centre stage this March as Mother's Day fever once again grips the nation. However, while sons and daughters carefully select their presents for the family matriarch - opting for the likes of chocolates, flowers and perfume - these gifts may not reflect what their mother represents to them. With this in mind, a new survey has been commissioned to find what the essence of a mum is - quite literally!
Ahead of the big day on March 10th, Fragrance Direct carried out a survey of over 1,500 people to find that while the perfume market may be the perfect means to get hold of the best Mother's Day gift, the scents available may not truly capture those who receive them. The company put forward one simple question: "If you could bottle your mum as a perfume, what would it smell like and why?" The results were diverse, though with plenty of surprises for good measure!
While respondents were quick to promote the many existing popular choices as representative of their mums - Chanel No. 5, Marc Jacobs' Dot and Dior's J'adore, to name a few - it was other smells that truly encapsulated the most important lady in their lives. In fact, off-the-shelf perfumes were only mentioned by just under four per cent of participants.
According to almost one in three people (32.1 per cent), mothers were most likely to smell like food - mostly that which they baked themselves. Regular foodstuffs that appeared on Fragrance Direct's list included cookies, scones, apple pie and cakes - though it wasn't all homemade goods. Bread, strawberries and cream, sweet peas, ginger and vanilla were also big hits with the crowd.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, in second place, was the scent of flowers. Three in ten respondents (29.1 per cent) earmarked these fresh and colourful plants as perfect ways to capture the essence of mother dearest; of these 449 descriptions, nearly half (209 people, 46.5 per cent) said roses, while lilies were second with 13 per cent of the vote (60 people); lavender was a close third with one in ten floral fans (45 people).

While it may not be the thing that mothers want to be best known for, "fresh washing and bedding" made a regular appearance on the list of results, with more people associating more stereotypical matriarchal roles with these scents than even lavender (47 people - 10.4 per cent of the overall vote).
However, other abstract concepts also made the shortlist. Among these were "success", "laughter and joy", "sunshine", "heaven", "happiness" and "cuddles"; perhaps the most eyebrow-raising one of them all was "an evening in Paris".
Nonetheless, there were a handful of people who were a little more jocular with descriptions of their mother's scent. Five people said cigarettes, one wrote "stale cheese", and another put "stubbornness". In the interests of a fun Mother's Day for all concerned, Fragrance Direct has decided not to reveal who those people are.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Julian Thompson, Head of E-commerce at Fragrance Direct, said: "With so many perfumes on the market, it can often be hard to find the perfect one for a mum on Mother's Day. However, while these designer scents can remind us of loved ones with just one whiff, it's often the little things that we grew up with - or still experience - that remind us of our mothers.

"And while we can't see there ever being a cigarette-inspired 'eau de tabac' hitting the market any time soon, perhaps fragrances such as cookies, apple pies and fresh washing may have a wider appeal on the market. When there's demand, there's usually a product to match it!"