“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future,” Coco Chanel allegedly once quipped. A little dramatic, but I can understand the pro-perfume stance behind it. I can remember every single one of my “signature fragrances,” and the era in which I wore it. After all, scent and memory are closely linked to one another. Take for instance, CK One ($68), which was marketed as “the first unisex fragrance” to gain mainstream popularity. It came out during the fall of 1994, when I was obsessed with My So-Called Life. I’d spritz it on my wrists and neck before school each day, fantasizing about having my own Jordan Catalano to make out with in the boiler room. In my “perfume dating history,” CK One came right between Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers and Gap Dream. I’m not sure if there’s anything else I can remember so linearly as I do my signature scents.
I was solely devoted to each and every one of my perfumes, but once I became a beauty editor and had access to trying many different kinds at once, my collection naturally expanded. I’m grateful—it’s definitely a major perk of this career. But sometimes, I do miss how special it was to wear one specific fragrance for years and have it be something that people associated me with. Still, I’m not one to complain, and now I have the privilege of switching up my fragrance depending on the mood or season, and trying certain fragrance categories that I may have been hesitant to try before. I’ve also found a new appreciation for fragrance in recent years thanks to my friend and fellow writer, Krista Burton, who knows everything under the sun about perfumes. Whenever we are in the same city, we’ll hit a perfume shop to hunt for new scents and stock up on samples.
As you’ll soon find out, many of my go-to fragrances are gourmand scents. Though, I love a floral one every once in a while. However, you won’t find rose perfumes on this list. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with my chemistry and gives me a headache every time, which is a travesty since I love roses and rose scents in general.)
Ready to smell… like me? Keep scrolling to learn about 12 of my favorite fragrances—from new floral obsessions to longtime gourmand favorites—including Aquolina’s *very iconic* Pink Sugar Eau de Toilette Spray ($65).
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