A Vegetable-Scented Margiela Perfume, My Childhood Garden, & Me

To some, it smells like a lawn. But for NYLON’s beauty writer, it smells like home.

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For months, I’ve been wearing a fragrance that makes me smell like a farmers market. Maybe not everyone’s into the scent of freshly cut grass (one friend did say I smell “too much like a lawn”), but I haven’t stopped wearing Maison Margiela Replica From the Garden since I discovered it in January. The light perfume is sweet when you first smell it on your skin, but then there’s the soft whiff of oranges ready to be picked and tomatoes still on the vine. When I first tried it, I felt immediately transported to the wooden shed in my childhood backyard. According to the brand, the perfumer behind the fragrance was inspired by his childhood memories of spending time in the garden with his father — a scent memory I also closely relate to.

Whenever I think of my childhood in New Zealand, I picture my mom and dad in our garden. I can still hear them making jokes while pulling up weeds or debating what they should plant next. The vegetables were always unlike anything I’d ever seen at the grocery store — weirdly shaped and twisted in the most interesting ways. Every dinner, my dad would point out what part of my plate they grew, although I usually already knew because I helped trim the green beans, peel the carrots, or had seen the beetroot pickling in glass jars.

Since my dad passed in 2020, during my visits home, I’ve watched through the kitchen window as mom gardens alone. I know she misses gardening with him, just as I miss eating their homegrown creations. I never took much interest in the actual gardening as a child — instead I’d lounge in the sun chatting with them while they worked and later complain about a plate filled with broccoli — but now, I’ve found myself drawn to gardens. Seeing as New York is not known for its lush greenery, these instances are far and few between, so I cherish that feeling even in bottled form.

I’ve long been a fan of Maison Margiela Replica’s creative unisex fragrances. Before discovering this latest perfume, for years, I would spritz on Bubble Bath immediately after I got out of the shower. I would wear it almost all the time, sometimes alone or layered with another perfume, and I would feel like something was missing on days I forgot to put it on. I’m still using Bubble Bath when I crave the light and clean notes of soap and coconut milk, but increasingly, I’ve found myself reaching for From the Garden as my base instead when I want to smell earthier, grounded, and more like my childhood home.

My dad and his vegetable garden
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It’s been six years since I moved to New York to an apartment without a garden, and this August will mark four years without my dad. But I still feel my parents in every garden. I see them both laughing. My dad is wearing a floppy gardening hat with a string around his chin, and my mom has her sweatband on. I think of them handing out beans, carrots, or potatoes to our neighbors.

Eventually, I want to have my own garden to grow vegetables with my boyfriend and share them lovingly with our friends. But, until then, maybe the closest I can get is smelling like greens — and filling my plate with broccoli and eating every last bite, just like my parents taught me to.