Maybe you’re the kind of woman who has a signature fragrance, and no other scent besides your favorite will do. Maybe you’re a woman who has two or three perfumes that she rotates between. Or maybe you’re a woman after my own heart who has an entire shelf devoted to perfumes of all kinds, and spritzes them on entirely according to mood.
Scent is so extremely subjective. A fragrance that smells divine on one person may be putrid on another. A particular perfume can trigger delightful memories, or an unfortunate flashback. The fragrances I’m reviewing here for you have been tried and tested, they all blend well with my body temperature, and I’m recommending them to you based on personally experiencing the way they smell on me. I’m describing them to you based on the way they make me feel. Some are brand new, others tested and true. If you’re looking to add a new fragrance to your arsenal, I hope my guide helps you out!
Without further ado,
Perfume personality: Womanly and warm.
Recommendation: DKNY Golden Delicious
Why? What’s it like?: If you remember an earlier, fruitier incarnation of DKNY’s Golden Delicious and couldn’t handle the overwhelming appleness of it all, I encourage you to come back and give Golden Delicious a whiff. Yes, apple remains at the fragrance’s center, but it’s fleshed out with orange blossom and Mirabelle plum. This is a fruity, decadent scent that warms with your body heat to enticing effect. My husband loves when I wear it. And for that, and many other reasons, I love wearing it.
Perfume personality: Rich and luxurious.
Recommendation: Paco Rabanne Lady Million
Why? What’s it like?: First of all, can we talk about this BOTTLE? Designed by world-famous industrial designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, the bottle of Lady Million is “inspired by the known Regent diamond, which is on display at the Louvre and is considered the most beautiful in the world.” If that doesn’t earn a place on your dresser, I don’t know what will. (Please note, 1 Million looks like a bar of gold and the man in your life will probably love it on his dresser as well). Besides looking like a million, the fragrance itself is evocative of luxury. Neroli, bitter orange and raspberry give it a warm fruitiness while, orange flower, Sambac jasmine and gardenia soften it into a floral. Other notes of patchouli, honey and amber linger on my skin, making Lady Million a fragrance that has staying power.
Perfume personality: classic and feminine
Recommendation: Diane by Diane Von Furstenberg
Why? What’s it like?: It is said that Diane Von Furstenberg “wanted to put the power of women in a bottle,” with this fragrance. “People forgot about the power of perfume and the magic of perfume. Perfume has been used since antiquity to seduce. It is about emotion; it is memory and addiction,” quoth DVF. It took eight years to make Diane, and while her description may make it seem like Diane would be an over-the-top seductresses’ scent, it isn’t. Diane is delightfully soft and feminine with a heart of rose, and is the kind of fragrance you might wear on a daily basis if you like a classic, clean, light floral scent. I agree with the review on Now Smell This, Diane is a great scent for office wear. And we do all need a soft, universally flattering go-to daily perfume that you can slip on and feel beautiful in. Just like Diane Von Furstenberg’s signature wrap dresses.
Perfume personality: Ethereal and clean
Recommendation: L’Eau d’Issey
Why? What’s it like?: Forgive me a brief jaunt down Memory Lane. L’Eau d Issey launched in 1992 and it remains a classic touchstone for me. Talk about scent memory — this clean, light, feminine aquatic-floral takes me back to being not a girl but not yet a woman. For me there’s still no other scent quite like it — so clean and fresh, but with such an ethereal spirit to the scent. Issey’s water might as well be Issey’s air. Described as “A very complex fragrance…made up of a wide range of floral scents including lotus, cyclamen, freesia, carnations, and white lilies, with hints of amberseed and musk.” One whiff and you’ll probably agree. There’s nothing quite like L’Eau d’Issey.
Perfume personality: Lush and delicious
Recommendation: Trish McEvoy Sexy 9 Blackberry & Vanilla Musk.
Why? What’s it like?: Forget any chain store body spray memories that the name of this fragrance may evoke. Trish McEvoy fragrances may prominently include teen-friendly notes like blackberry and vanilla, but the musky heart of this perfume manage to make it both girlish and sexy, and not over the top. I was recently sent the pocketable version of this fragrance and it’s become my new favorite travel scent because of the size and especially because it’s such an easy to wear fragrance. Sexy, sweet, and subtle.
Perfume personality: Distinctive and unique
Recommendation: Anya’s Garden Perfumes
Why? What’s it like?: In just about any arena of cosmetics, there’s the mainstream and then there’s the alternative. Usually the mainstream makes use of more refined, processed ingredients that water down a product’s potency. And the alternative makes use of pure, natural means to get the effect their consumers crave. This is the same from haircare to skincare to cosmetics, and yes — fragrances as well. Bellas, meet Anya McCoy, president and owner of the Natural Perfumers Guild. Anya and her fellow guild members create perfumes in the traditional sense, by following flowers by the season and crafting blends of fragrances from the aromatics available in their gardens. Anya’s Garden Perfumes are cultivated from her magnificent garden in Miami, and these scents aren’t for the faint of heart or those accustomed to mild, department store purchased perfumes. Anya creates scents like StarFlower and Moondance, award winning perfumes that are potently feminine but undeniably unique. StarFlower harnesses candy flower, almond cherry, lemon, chocolate and tuberose. Moondance captures tuberose, water mint, violet flower and jasmine sambac amongst other aromatics. I’d describe these two as the most instantly wearable of Anya’s Garden Perfumes, for bellas who may be more accustomed to eau de toilettes you spritz on liberally. Natural perfumes take a bit to get used to, but if you’re seeking a truly unique scent that captures the verdant heart of nature, look no further.
Perfume personality: Sexy, sexy, sexy
Recommendation: Jean Paul Gaultier
Why? What’s it like?: If there’s any one perfume bottle on a woman’s dresser that a man is likely to pick up and smell for himself, it’d be JPG. The bottle tells you much of what you’re wondering about — this fragrance was designed by one of the world’s edgiest designers to celebrate the mystery of womanhood. The Classique eau de parfum is a heady blend of rum, rose, bourbon vanilla, and sandalwood. Decadent and yes, very, very sexy. Proceed with caution!
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Those are some of the favorite scents I’ve been sent, the perfumes that mesh best with my chemistry and personality, the fragrances I’m sure you’d love to discover under the tree at Christmas time. See anything you love already, or are dying to try?
What’s your signature scent, bellas?