List Item No. 27: Choose a “signature” perfume

SMELLS and aromas can be powerful memory triggers, transporting us instantly to another time and place.

The scent of fresh lavender sends me back more than four decades to my grandparents’ huge garden and restores to life once more my ever-patient snowy-haired Nana Christabel, who tried so hard to teach me to sew.

Over the years I made countless little bags from scraps of fabric and stuffed them full of lavender from that garden.

Invariably there would be a little hole somewhere in the seams, but the bags were made with love and my leaky little gifts were souvenirs of happy days.

Sadly, the aromas that my family and colleagues associate with me these days are less pleasant.

Long-term readers of this newspaper may remember that I took my first faltering steps into the cut-throat world of journalism on this very publication, back in the days when the editorial team was tucked into the attic room of the Lansdown building.

We didn’t quite wear the Trilby hats and belted Mackintosh coats so beloved of reporters in the movies, but it was difficult to see from one side of the tiny office to the other through the cigarette smoke or hear yourself think above the rattle of the manual typewriters.

It was here that I developed a love of coffee that has never gone away; no cappuccino or latte for me – it has to be strong, almost black and definitely real (absolutely no instant coffee allowed).

Now I work as an education officer in a museum (it’s a long story, I’ll tell you another day) and my colleagues call me the Coffee Queen.

When I’m in, they say, the smell of brewing coffee hits your nostrils as you enter the open plan offices.

OK, so it’s not a bad smell, and it’s better than the one that is linked with me at home. After all, who wants to be known for ponging of horse poo?

I have to get up at the ridiculously early hour of 5am to muck out our two ponies before work, and the only thanks I get from the family is strict instructions to leave my “horse clothes” at the back door!

So, number 27 on my list of 50 things to before I’m 50 is to choose a perfume that can become my “signature” scent, so that my grandchildren can have some pleasant smelling memories of their Nana.

For weeks now I’ve been working my way through the perfume testers at Boots to find something that is distinctive but not over-powering, and not too floral either.

I’ve finally settled on Si by Giorgio Armani; it smells fabulous and I like the positive name too! Now all I need is to save up the money to buy a bottle …