Scent Survey: Megan Morton

Does this woman need any introduction? Hardly. But she’s getting one anyway. Megan Morton is an empire. She’s an internationally renowned stylist, a writer of books,  and many MANY more things. In fact she’s a whirlwind, a wonderful whirlwind of a woman.

Megan’s empire consists of her styling business, The School, The Propery, The Studio, and more. From what I can see, Megan throws herself fully into everything she does. Her response to my questions illustrates this – not only did she send her answers, but also additional questions and answers, AND a gorgeous short musing on scent and styling. She is quite a lady, that MM. Here is what she said:

‘Scent is vital to styling. Not just in a ‘all-stylists-have-unsual-and-good-perfumes-in-their-cupboards-because-they-are-stylists’ but because styling at its most basic is about moving perception. And to do this you need to manipulate all senses.

Good styling can make you feel like the temperature has gone down in the room or the clouds have passed in a space. It can make you remember with one random tear sheet the smell of wooden board in a farmhouse or the taste of quince paste through a combination of placement, lighting and magic.

Sublime styling can even go as far as to evoke a sense of smell. We sometimes talk at work about wanting to create imagery that ‘feels like the fisherman’s friend triple strength filter has been used’ – you know that total arctic mint feeling? Or a picture so moody it positively ‘reeks of musk’ with its old patinas and play on a yesteryear palette. To evoke a smell in a single dimensional image is for me the ultimate motivator.’

What did your childhood smell like?
Rotting mangoes and ripe bananas. Queensland summer. Heavenly and forever imbued.

What did your father smell like?
My father smelt of squash. Those rubbery balls. He loved squash and I adored him so much I would drive with him, stay in the car tuning his radio while he played his weekly fixture and drove home smelling like black rubber!

What does your kitchen smell like?
Diptyque fig room spray. I refuse to have an exhaust for cooking – but I cook badly and have three kids – so this is a clever masking agent!

What does happy smell like?
An open window.

What does your favourite place in the world smell like?
My mother in laws fireplace in Fayence, south of France. A woody smell like no other with a top note of herb. Christian Dior took a holiday home also in the south and he created the fragrance Milly La Foret in its honour. To buy this amazing scent you need to go into the Dior store (oh yes please!) but why I love buying it for people I love and for self gifting is that it is truly a smell of country France but it has a magnetic cap which for something so elegant is the ultimate in practicality.

What is your least favourite smell?
Defeat and heartbreak

What does love smell like?
Grey flannel by Geoffrey Bean. I make Giles wear it whenever the opportunity arises. It is linked to my teen crush on Geoffrey Been, meeting Giles as a child bride, and all of the love amongst it all.

Now, the above questions are the standard ones asked of all interviewees but Megan added a last one of her own. Here it is:

My Best 3 Random Smells

  1. Potted geraniums. I don’t mind if they are via window box in Saint Germain or Bunnings Alexandria, get my head in that heavenly aromatic pot pronto.
  2. Affogoto from Fratelli Paradiso. The smell when the proper ice-cream meets the liqueur and coffee. You could literally get high on this heady combo
  3. Cedel Hairspray. My great nanna, matriarch of my family and all that is good about my bloodline sprays it daily. Its that powdery scent from a bad aerosol that had faint underlining of chemical, but even getting a whiff of it makes me go mentally to her beautiful face and familiar smile. Could Cedel hairspray be the secret to old age for a 97 year old who never ate ‘health’!?!?

Image by Harold David