12 People Who Always Smell Good Share Their Secrets

One of the funniest things Mindy Kaling has ever said is that, if she were to create an app, she would make “Shazaam for perfumes.”

I need this app badly. As a woman on a quest to define her own signature scent ever since the sixth grade when a friend made Clinique Happy undeniably hers, I have literally chased people down the street to ask them why they smell so good. Sometimes they get away, which is sad, and when they don’t, it is never not awkward. No one wants to tell you the name of their smell! And I get it: scent is personal.

But there are a bajillion potentially intoxicating perfumes in this world, and as with “cool new music” or shows on Netflix, sometimes you need someone you trust to help you out with a recommendation. As such, I asked members of the Man Repeller team to text that one friend in their lives who always smells good — whose presence they can identify by scent alone, or who they instantly associate with a certain smell. Thankfully, almost all of their friends divulged. Below are the answers.

Leandra Medine, Founder, and Abie Cohen, Leandra’s Husband

Who came to mind: Fivestory owner Claire Distenfeld

Why Leandra chose her: I chose Claire because when I smell Santal 33 on or near anyone else I feel like she is being photocopied, which is such an impressive feat on her part! To me she owns one of the most popular scents in New York.

Why Abie chose here: You immediately know when Claire enters or is in a room. And when she’s there, smiles are being spread.

How long has she been wearing it? Every day for 11 years. She uses 5-6 sprays and says it lasts all day without ever smelling harsh.

What she said when Leandra and Abie texted her about it: “11 years ago I was living with my then-boyfriend on Elizabeth street. One afternoon, I opened the window and this waft of magic air flowed into the room. I looked down to see a perfume store in the works, set to open in a few days.

I went down eventually and met the founder of Le Labo. He smelled me — not in a weird way, but more of an artist-painting-a-subject way. He told me to wear Santal 33 with such conviction that I have never looked back. I think at this point, Santal is part of my blood type. And while it has gained popularity in the past decade, it’s such a complex scent that I feel like it smells different on everyone.”

Haley Nahman, Deputy Editor

Who came to mind: My friend Stephanie ALWAYS smells exactly the same, and so good! She’s a meet-for-dinner friend, so whenever I smell someone else wearing her perfume, I get a flash of giving Steph a hug by the door of a restaurant. The consistent familiarity of her scent makes her a very cozy person to me.

What she wears: Chloé Eau De Parfum

How long has she been wearing it: Since college

What she said when Haley texted her about it: “I’ve been wearing Chloé since college, so about a decade. I actually love it because even though I know many people who wear it, it smells different on everyone. Maybe it’s because of how it mixes with my shampoo or soap, but I can’t get away from it now.

I can hardly even smell it on myself anymore; it’s just part of my morning routine! I like having a ‘signature’ scent, but I also like when people switch depending on the season. What’s funny is I went into Aesop a few weekends ago and got a new fragrance (Aesop-Tacit), which I like, but it’s not me! I can definitely smell it when I wear it, so it feels foreign.”

Jasmin Aujla, Senior Partnerships Strategist

Who came to mind: My friend Cana, one of my best friends that I met at uni, a.k.a. college. She lives in Berlin now so I don’t see her as much as I like but when I do, she always smells really good — very comforting and fresh. We used to live together at school too, so I know it’s not a one-off thing. She is genuinely just a good-smelling person.

What she wears: Chloé Eau De Parfum (“Three squishes.”)

How long has she been wearing it: About two years

What she said when Jasmin texted her about it: “That is such a nice compliment 🙂 Firstly, I wash regularly. Secondly, I think I get it from my dad. My mum always said that we both have this thing where we just smell very good so I think it’s in our genes. My daily face cream is from Shiseido but I don’t use any body lotion. I just put perfume on once in the morning and that’s it!”

Emily Zirimis, Visual Manager

Who came to mind: My mom! She always smells crisp and clean to me, like fresh laundry or a spring day, with or without perfume. It always gives me a feeling of comfort and nostalgia.

What she wears: Eau de Parfum Giulietta. I worked at TOCCA several years ago and was fortunate enough to test out products and take some home to try out. Somewhere along the lines, my mom fell in love with the Eau de Parfum Giulietta by TOCCA, which has a description that reads as follows: “The love story of Italian director Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina comes alive in this sweet floral scent reminiscent of their Corsican honeymoon.”

How long has she been wearing it: About four years

What she said when I texted her about it: “I love the soft scent — it smells clean and is great to wear during the day without feeling like you’re wearing a ton of perfume. I call it my ‘day scent.’ It’s extra nice for summer evenings, too.”

Imani Randolph, Editorial Intern

Who came to mind: Myself — I know, that sounds insanely narcissistic, please forgive me. But ever since I started wearing Glossier You, I receive consistent inquiries about my scent. It’s so intense that my roommates can smell it radiating out as they pass by my door.

I wear: Glossier You

I’ve been wearing it for: Five months

My feelings about it: Whenever people tell me I smell good, I’m happy to share that the coolest thing about this fragrance is that it smells a little different on everyone, hence it being called Glossier You.

Elizabeth Tamkin, Market Assistant

Who came to mind: My mom, who always smells like that one person you know is just perfect. My dad gets my mom perfume for just about every occasion (if it’s Saturday, get her a perfume!) to the point where — when I was growing up — her dresser had so many perfumes on it, they covered nearly the entire top. He often even bought repeats. She mixes them up pretty frequently, but they’re always clean and fresh smelling. My favorite one in particular, the one that makes me immediately think of her and which I can smell at this moment, has a hint of lemon.

What she wears: Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Colonia Magnolia

How long has she been wearing it: For at least 10 years

What she said when I texted her about it (after debating WHICH perfume I was talking about for about 10 minutes): “I’ve been wearing it since a trip to Florence. I like it because it smells clean and fresh.”

Nora Taylor, Managing Editor

Who came to mind: My friend Molly, who, on top of being the best accessorizer I know, always smells amazing. She lives in Seattle and I only see her once a year, so there’s something really comforting about having a scent memory associated with her. I also spent a lot of time getting ready to go out in her apartment, so it reminds me of our not-quite-misspent youth. It isn’t one particular scent, though; she just always smells really put together and fancy.

What she wears: Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon and Nirvana Black

How long has she been wearing it: About three years

What she said when I texted her: “They are nice and subtle, a little sophisticated. They make my sweatshirt and jeans feel up to date, or timeless, because they are.”

Harling Ross, Fashion Editor

Who came to mind: My mom. I love hugging her and burying my nose in the crook of her collarbone because it’s like a magical little pocket where I can get a really good whiff of her signature scent. It smells musky and sweet, like slightly damp flowers. She always puts it on after taking a bath, while her skin is still warm.

What she wears: Serge Lutens A La Nuit

How long has she been wearing it: Two years

What she said when I texted her about it: “I prefer floral smells. I think people should pick perfumes that make them happy when they smell the smell. It’s funny because I have smelled perfumes on people that I loved on them, bought it, used it and hated it on me. But floral smells seem to get better instead of worse on me. There must be some unique chemistry that happens that is different with everyone.

Once I knew the range of smells that worked for me, I would go to counters and ask what they had with certain floral undertones that I knew I liked. Then I tried the samples and let it stay on my wrist for the day. I’m sure the same procedure would work if you liked musky tones or leafy tones or whatever is your thing. I have shifted around here and there in the past, but always with the same undertones that I learned worked for me. Sort of like finding lip colors that suit you — once you narrow it down it’s easier.”

Patty Carnevale, Head of Partnerships

Who came to mind: My cousin Lauren. She gives the best hugs in the world and always smells SO GOOD. Hugging her is like a mini-vacation.

What she wears: Coconut hair products (“Maui Supreme coconut oil is the best for moisturizing!”)

How long has she been wearing it: “Years! Embarrassingly maybe since like…high school or middle school”

What she said when I texted her about it: “I think it’s my hair that makes me smell good. I have always been super into using coconut shampoos and conditioners. I also like the smell of this perfume I got from Anthropologie called “Palm Beach.” It literally smells like the beach: suntan lotion and sand. Also, I usually spray this in my hair!”

Crystal Anderson, Operations Manager

Who came to mind: One of my favorite people in the world, Jen Ramey. We worked together at IMG and when I first met her I could not stop thinking about how great she smelled, but obviously, I didn’t want to be a creep, so I waited like a year before I actually asked her what she wore!

What she wears: Fracas

How long has she been wearing it: Over 20 years!

What she said when I texted her about it: As she usually does when we chat, she just laughed. I’m pretty sure she knows how obsessed I am!

Kate Barnett, President

Who came to mind: I think I just became this person. In the past couple years most perfumes have smelled too chemical to me, but I hadn’t found the right mix of oils until about a month ago when I started using Uma Pure Energy Wellness Oil. Instead of being asked what I’m wearing, when I have it on, someone inevitably asks, “What smells good?” and then I get to say, “I think it’s me?” and it keeps being me! I actually gave my bottle away last week because a lovely woman I had just met had such a beautiful reaction to it. Definitely getting more.

What she wears: Uma Pure Energy Wellness Oil (You can also get a small tester at Uma Oils for $8.50)

How long has she been wearing it: One month

Amelia Diamond (hi), Head of Creative

Who came to mind: A woman named Preia* who I do not know well enough to text, but whose perfume I copied a few years ago after hugging her hello (it was friendly but work-related) and then never wanting to let go (weird of me because again, it was work-related).

What she wears: Le Labo Another 13, which I now wear, too, because of her. I hate admitting this publicly.

How long has she been wearing it: Forever, according to what I remember from our conversation, and later, a friend confirmed at least that they always thought she smelled amazing, too. I copied her about three years ago now I think? For a while you could only buy it at Colette, but since Colette closed, Le Labo started selling it in its stores. I have recently debated finding a new perfume, because in addition to the smell, part of what I loved is that I didn’t smell like every other person in New York (I know that sounds dumb). Maybe I’ll copy one of these good-smelling women above!

*Ed note: Preia and I have since gotten in touch. She was not weirded out! And in fact, she suggested I try the lotion.

Collage by Plume Creative via Getty Images.

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  • Adrianna

    I rarely smell anyone unless they apply some sort of perfume or scent – and I don’t like it. I’d rather just not smell you.

    This reminds me of an article MR/Amelia published back in 2015. (2015??) https://www.manrepeller.com/2015/11/perfume-reviews.html

    My partner and I both use nonscented products, and we both like each other’s natural smell

    • Modupe Oloruntoba

      Real (slightly awkward) question – how do you know what you smell like? I could never smell anything particularly identifiable about my own natural scent! All I can smell on me is the products I use (black soap in the shower, a mix of leave in conditioner and some natural oils in a spray bottle on my hair when it’s in braids/locs, like right now), and when I don’t use them, I don’t really smell anything?

  • Ana

    LOVE THIS! The way people smell is soo interesting! I always wear rose based perfumes (as homage to my Bulgarian heritage, they’re known for their rose oil). Of course I don’t want to smell like an old lady (no offence, old ladies) and I’ve found LeLabo Rose 31 to be the best. I get compliments all the time and it’s not Santal 33 (which is nice and all but at this point I think literally all of East London smells like it).

    • I feel like everyone on the Eastside of LA smells like 33 too! Can’t go a day without smelling it on someone.

      • tinygoldenpins

        OK. Don’t live in Soho, anywhere in LA, or London (wah). So….I could probably get this scent but I’m dying to know what it smells like!!!!

    • coffeebee

      What does an old lady smell like? If she smells of roses and lovely perfume, then it sounds like she’d smell wonderful. Perhaps we can describe scents as being modern, vintage, soft, bold, or choose any other of a million descriptive words – but avoid labeling it is “old lady” like that’s a bad thing. Perfume doesn’t have to succumb to ageism.

      • tinygoldenpins

        Thank you.

        Very truly yours,

        Old lady.

        • coffeebee

          <3 sending shalimar scented hugs <3

          • tinygoldenpins


          • beckly

            Miksouko over here!

          • coffeebee

            Yes! Groundbreaking scent.

      • Ana

        true story, nothing against old ladies in general or their smell, I was picturing my nan. sorry for the generalisation

        • coffeebee

          All’s well. I’m happy your Nan enjoys fragrance.

      • Kat

        When I smell “old lady” perfume it has a particular dusty/musty tone to it, like it’s been sitting on a shelf for too long. It’s not just the rose on its own, it’s the dusty tone that masks the beautiful rose scent and makes it feel “old”. I get the same thing sometimes with rose-flavored drinks–sometimes they’re great, but sometimes they just taste like you’re drinking a cup of old potpourri. But you’re right–perfume doesn’t have to succumb to ageism!

    • mary

      my sis hates i like rose base fragrances …she thinks they smell like a funeral home…so its not an old lady- thing …but the fact that scents excite the senses and invoke different memories in others

    • Kiks

      Rose 31 is so lovely. I always steal allllll the toiletries from fancy hotels that stock it in their rooms (shoutout, Thompson and Fairmont!)

      Good old YSL Paris (not Parisienne or Mon Paris or however many others have Paris in their names) is another one of my faves that has hints of rose.

  • Emily M

    This was cool to read! I wish I had a signature scent. I feel like no perfume ever lasts on me–they all seem to fade after 30 minutes or so! Maybe I’m just a sponge??

    • Erica

      I have the same issue! I put about 3 sprays on and it’s immediately cloying, then completely gone by the time i get to where i’m going. Currently in the process of trying to find my scent – would love to know how they apply as well! spray all over? roller ball on wrists, neck, etc?

      • Cheryl Hill Kazee

        Fragrances disappear quickly on me too unless I spray in the crook of my arm. It’s a little harder to sniff yourself there, but on me it extends the life of my fragrances.

    • MellieOleson

      Have you tried rubbing on a very thin layer of Vaseline and spraying on top of that? Even using lotion and spraying on top of that will help extend the scent. Luckyscent.com also has a perfume extender.

    • Emily

      They fade really quickly on me, too. I think it absorbs into my skin, when I put on strongly scented hand lotions people will comment on the smell at first, and then not a few minutes later, so it must be going somewhere ha!

    • beckly

      It’s not uncommon. Try spraying your clothes instead. My kids fight over my silk scarves because my perfumes linger on them. They all smell like me, apparently. 🙂

    • julie_k

      Second all the other suggestions, plus spray it in your hair.

    • Permanent Bishface

      Some perfumes mix so well with you that you stop smelling it after awhile and some you smell all day. There’s one perfume that I can rarely smell on myself but people always compliment me on throughout the day.

  • Modupe Oloruntoba

    Will read the rest later but that Santal 33 story is Brilliant. It sounds like a believable perfume ad, lol

  • magiblin

    Aerin Ikat Jasmine! I think I got it as a sample from Sephora or Nordstrom or something, but it was so light and wonderfully floral (no musk or other heavy scents that typically go with jasmine) and it’s like having star jasmine in the air when it’s not in bloom. So many of my friends and coworkers all now wear it!

  • Merrynell

    I love how Santal 33 smells good on pretty much everyone I’ve encountered who wears it but I hate that everyone is wearing it. SoHo and LA literally smells like Santal 33.

    • gracesface

      I have never smelled it before and I am SO curious!

      • Permanent Bishface

        It’s soooo good. I’ve been dying to buy a bottle since I got a sample from Sephora last year and fell in love with it. It’s so pricey, though.

    • tinygoldenpins

      What does it smell like……?

      • coffeebee

        Cedar. Dill. Sandalwood. Musky/fresh sweat.

        • tinygoldenpins

          Whoa….That doesn’t appeal to me at all.

        • Bann A


        • Selina Moses

          Glad I’m not there, that doesn’t smell like my thing at all

    • Mona M.

      yes you are so right, LA and NY you will def smell santal 33 at least once a day!!

  • tuberoseandvetiver

    I have a friend who only wears Chloe as well. She always carries a small bottle with her. So cute. So chic.

  • I haven’t worn a fragrance in several years, but I haven’t found anything I really like enough to smell all the time. I’d probably be someone who’d try to have a custom scent made on a visit to Paris, so that it was exactly what I like and I could endure the smell for a few years. I did really like Gucci Rush when I was in college!

    Eva | http://www.shessobright.com

  • ByeBeckz

    I don’t think I’ve ever met a perfume/cologne I don’t like! They’re all so different, and I love thinking of the effort that went into creating something that might last forever- like Chanel no.5, released nearly a 100 years ago?!?! I think my collection is a little too big right now but I rotate through them to ensure none go bad. It’s so fun to play with them and they all have their own personality.

    Fave though- Eternity by Calvin Klein for men. I like wearing men’s cologne sometimes, it makes me feel bolder and the smells are more present and often less wispy than females’.

    If anyone else is obsessed with Perfumes, read Perfume by Patrick Suskind or just watch the film (just as good imo). AMAZING and gave me my appreciation for the art.

  • Basil

    My friend Irit smells of Chanel Chance, so much so that I felt really weird getting another version of it (like I was stealing her scent).

  • Kattigans

    I’ve been wearing the same scent for 5-6 years. So much so that it seeps into all my clothes and I feel like thats just how I smell. When I have switched it up my other favorite scent is Le Labo Bergemote 22…love.

  • coffeebee

    I’m a perfume lover and collector, so I love articles like this. There is a whole world of fragrance to explore and it’s a ton of fun. I would never hesitate to share what perfume I’m wearing on a certain day (it changes every day) – it’s weird to me that women can be so protective and secretive about it. In fact, if you ask me what I’m wearing, better get ready because I’ll give you way too much info about the best year, version, concentration, and anything else you need to know to replicate the scent. PERFUME! <3

    • Sha Sha

      What’s the best perfumes for you?

      • coffeebee

        It’s hard to pick even a few because I rotate scents a lot, and I often find new ones to love. I wear both low and high end brands. Some of my most loved include Chanel No 22 and Bois des Iles, Guerlain Shalimar and Cuir Beluga, Diptyque Eau Des Sens, Prada Infusion d’Iris, Lancome Poeme…but don’t hold me to any of those. You might get different answers next month!

        • Kiks

          I LOVE Prada Infusion d’Iris. Always get compliments when I wear it. I own like a dozen perfumes and that’s the only one that’s almost empty.

    • Selina Moses

      Are you me?

      • coffeebee

        There are many of us out there – it’s great meeting another perfume fanatics.

  • Sq

    This was a good read! The best smelling person I know is my BF, he always wears one from Diptyque. I like to have 3 scents for different moods, at the moment I really want Serge Lutens Fleur D’oranger.

    • Lexie

      I love Philosokos by Diptyque! Smells like grass and spring!

  • Lorange E

    Fun story! I personally cannot stand the Chloe perfume. It was really in about six years ago, and I would literally cross the street so that I didn’t have to walk in someone’s trail of Chloe perfume. Loving that Santal 33 is the hip new scent because I like that one okay. To each their own!!

  • BScrivner

    Since so many perfumes have had to change their formulations due to EU regulations, I’m not sure that Fracas today smells anything like the Fracas of 20 years ago.

  • Heena

    Le Labo came out with another version – Another 13 – that I now wear every day! It smells beautiful. My mom is a perfume hoarder and seeing her dresser overflowing with perfumes has really pushed me into the “signature scent” territory of a few perfumes. Scent is so personal though, I love it!

  • Lynn Bentley

    The company I love is Demeter they’ve got all kinds of sense stuff that you would never think of like Play-Doh hot buttered popcorn and stuff I also like that they don’t test on animals in a lot of the products that we’re seeing here are all animal tested. They have one that’s called laundromat that smells like fresh washed clothes it is fabulous.

    • mary

      love their scents…either Grass or Ginger Ale…so fresh….

  • Aydan

    Glossier you and MK sexy ruby!! I randomly got the MK as a Sephora sample and the mix of the two has been electric! I’ve gotten stopped on the subway, bar, hang outs, etc by both men and women

  • Kelly

    Tom Ford’s Oud Wood is pretty fantastic. If you like Santal 33 you’ll probably like this one too. Pretty pricey though. : /

  • I WANT to be someone who has a recognizable scent….but without overdoing it. I haven’t quite found the trick. Any advice out there??

    • coffeebee

      You could try spraying on your torso only, instead of neck/arms/chest. The scent will waft around you that way, without being overpowering.

      But my best advice is – life is too short and there are too many perfumes to limit yourself to one. Explore, smell, and try them all! Your “signature” could be that you just always smell like something good, no matter the variety.

      • TinySoprano

        I do the torso spray too.

        But what’s even more important to me is finding a perfume that reacts well to your skin chemistry through all stages of the perfume. That means trying it on and checking it every couple of hours (and sometimes the next day too if it’s a potent one). The result is you find a perfume that somehow smells like you, but enhanced. We even found a perfume for my stinky man friend this way that everyone calls ‘the Sex Perfume’ because it gels really well with his natural smell. He wears it to job interviews now, and I swear that stuff is like a +10 to Charisma because he usually gets an offer.

    • Susanne

      Please try Estée Lauder’s Beautiful. Do not just sniff the tester. Actually spray it on yourself. Cheapest place to buy is Fragrancenet.com. As you walk by people they will ask what scent you’re wearing. It delightful.

    • Lorange E

      How to put on scent without overpowering everyone around you: Spray, delay, walk away. https://twitter.com/queereye/status/964192135330353154?lang=en

      • Thank you. This scene is so good!

  • I’ve been wearing Estée Lauder’s Tuscany per Donna for about 25 years (yup, I was a teen wearing this) and has been my signature scent for ages! It got to the point where I pretty much didn’t like any other fragrance on me. I finally found two that make me feel even close to as glorious as Tuscany does: Tocca Florence and Tory Burch Absolu. I was so disappointed when Tuscany didn’t smell the same on me anymore (what did they do to it?!) and it was so hard to find anything else that smells like my personality in a bottle.

  • Jessica

    Recently converted to using cologne rather than perfume and I much prefer it now. I use Prada Pour Homme and get so many compliments on it! I’m really not a ‘flowery’ sort of person so I have always felt that most perfumes don’t suit me much but I think I have found my niche now.

    • Permanent Bishface

      I love a good man’s scent on a woman. I like to mix perfumes and colognes to make my own scent.

  • Amy

    Growing up the main thing my parents gave me for birthdays and Christmas was perfumes, so sometimes when I check on the old ones I haven’t worn in years I go back to being an angsty 12 year old, or my emo phase when I was 14 or an anxious high school senior. But now I think I found my signature scent and I kind of hate it because I like wearing different perfumes. I like it when my friends say I always smell good but at the same time they ask what I smell like every time they see me because chances are its a different answer everytime. Also, when spring comes and the sun is out (finally!) it is SO good to wear a sweet flower-ish scent!
    Also, favourite parfume so far: Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel, no doubt. Pricey but worth it.

  • Abby

    OLO Lightning Paw is the best perfume everrrr, I get tons of compliments, and it’s super unique. It’s also very reasonably priced for perfume!

    • tinygoldenpins

      omg, I love that name!

  • Amber

    Amelia, you HAVE to text Preia, this is to great for her to not know

  • gracesface

    I have a sandalwood roll on that I love and that I think smells really nice. Once for a wedding dress fitting I went into the store wearing both that scent and a sage/mint deodorant I had. The assistant immediately asked me what I was wearing when I got there, I’ve never been so flattered y’all!!!

    However you also reminded me how two of my co-workers wearing crazy heavy perfumes and how annoying it is, even though they have both been asked not to put so much on (but hey, one girl has to cover up her marijuana fumes somehow!). Thank god for our little desk fans.

  • Amanda Roussel

    In high school I volunteered at this day camp in rural Alabama, about 1.5 hours from Birmingham (where I’m from). I remember there were these [relatively] two older (mid twenties at most) red headed sisters who had the most enigmatic scent. Despite it being July in the deep south, high 90s and humid, whenever the sisters walked by you were swept up in how fantastic they smelled! In comparison, the rest of the staff smelled (understandably) like sweat, sunscreen, and indoor pool. When we were packing up supplies to drive back home, I asked what they used. Turns out one of the sisters was a hair stylist at an Aveda salon that featured Malin and Goetz Cannabis perfume oil. A few years later, now myself in college, I caved and bought a tiny-but-still-expensive roller ball, and it never smells as good as it did on the sisters!

    • garnishmywages

      love a good story!

  • Tatiana

    original musk from kiehls and nirvana black. 1:1

    • Emily Michaelis

      thank you for this rec, this sounds amazing

      • Tatiana

        I’ve also recently started to use Tocca hair mist (stella) and it’s divine. Eau de Merveilles from Hermes is also good. These are both more light, but still musky.

        Also: always buy unscented deoderant…it can really throw off a perfume

  • Dr.

    Santal 33 was released 7 years ago – not 11 .

    • Tatiana


  • Emily

    I posed this question to MY friend who always smells incredible, and she said it’s a mixture of perfume, plus hair oil and shampoo. One thing I’ve learned from her is not to be afraid of cologne or male deodorant. So many times I asked her what smelled so good and it was either old spice deodorant (the fiji scent actually smells pretty feminine on) or a new cologne! the times that I’ve worn old spice fiji plus perfume I’ve gotten a lot of compliments and inquiries haha.

  • eva

    i had this giant bottle of ~dragon’s blood~ and it finished and i can’t find it to replace it i got something else with the same name on amazon and it’s just not the same…UGHHHH otherwise i wear thierry mugler’s angel la rose in the winter and elizabeth arden green tea in the summer but i don’t feel as possessive about those

  • BK

    Relating strongly to this because I am one of those people who smells great (not meaning to boast). I wear Chanel Sycomore and have had people literally smell me at bus stops. Once in a small-group lecture at University my professor interrupted someone speaking and said “I’m sorry but I HAVE to get to the bottom of this: somebody here smells WONDERFUL”. When I confessed it was probably me and my Chanel, he told me what I was doing was a “great public service” and made me stay back after class to show him where I found it online. It’s quite an intoxicating scent so I tend to leave the rest of my bodily applications quite neutral – unscented cocoa butter, goat milk soap – to let the perfume do the talking and not compromise the scent.

    • coffeebee

      What a compliment! Sycomore is beautiful and memorable.

    • Ema

      Great story! Never heard of it but now I am curious. I am with your professor, where do you buy it? I guess you don’t find it at regular Chanel counters?

      • Kiks

        You can buy it online, I haven’t had the opportunity to look anywhere in person but I’d guess maybe just Chanel boutiques?

        • Ema

          Thanks, will try. I have a friend who works at Chanel, I will ask her

      • BK

        Well, I live in Australia and struggle to find it in department stores and it’s not on our version of the Chanel website – I’ve taken to ordering on the US website and having it shipped to a parcel forwarding address that can send it on to me! It’s worth the fuss, honestly!

    • Kiks

      I just found a sample of Sycomore in an old Chanel bag and I am SO OBSESSED. I made my husband smell me and he almost fell over (like, in a good way). I am saving up for a bottle.

  • Gonna have to go smell some of your recommendations! Thanks for the reviews 🙂
    xo- Lauren Will

  • Bonnie Lee Kimball

    The best smells I highly recommend is *Amazing Grace* by Philosophy .. Prada Iris Milano was my fav which is hard to find these days .. I also switch it up a bit with Egyptian Musk Oil and China Musk Oil ( small tube bottle for $5 last a long long time, you only need a couple of dabs) they are heavenly smells and last longer then the high prices perfumes I bought 😊

  • Jen

    I started wearing Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino Acqua, the moment I sprayed it in the store my heart skipped a beat. For me it’s the perfect summer perfume and I’ve been wearing it everyday since the beginning of summer (I live in Australia so it’s been 6 months now) and I never tire of it. It’s my forever summer scent!

    • L-MO

      Another Tom Ford fan here – was in the duty free at Heathrow picking up a bottle of Jo Malone Oud and Bergamot (so much cheaper than in the US) when I smelled Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille and instantly fell in love. I’ve probably worn it every day since then.

      • pineapplesunset

        Yess! I have a sample of the Tobacco Vanille that I covet! They also had one called Ombre Leather that I layer on top of it. I can literally smell the next day, which is insane

    • julie_k

      Tom Ford forever. that is my summer funner and White Patchouli is my almost every other day always, I love it and get compliments on it constantly.

  • Angela

    My mom’s signature scent is Dior Addict Eau de Parfum, which she’s been wearing since before I was born. She says that she only wears this one perfume to ensure she doesn’t accidentally mix scents. When I was younger I just assumed everyone only ever wore one perfume.

  • Zona

    Most smells inevitably make my head hurt ,but back in 2007 a customer of mine ALWAYS came in smelling great without leaving me sick. She was wearing Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue. I wore the perfume but now I find just the body cream is enough . I may have found a new scent just this week in a sample of Georgio Armani Si Passione. I don’t THINK it will make me sick and it smells really good to me.

  • Selina Moses

    I love perfume and have about 20 (I will end up with about 50 no doubt) I chop and change. A signature perfume is not for me but wearing perfume is. Who doesn’t share what their perfume is? Get over yourself and share the perfume love, there are so many to choose from, someone else is hardly copying you by wearing it


  • mothra777

    I spent 40 years trying to find my fav. I even tried to smell like that handsome guy from the leather goods store at the mall, … so long ago I think it was Aramis? What I crave now, and am complemented on, is REPLICA by Maison Margiela, BY THE FIREPLACE. It is described on the bottle as Burning Wood & Chestnut. With a style for men and women. Marc Jacobs DECADENCE would be my second fav. sniff, sniff MMMM … dIsg!

  • Laurel Kemp

    I have been a long-time lover of Jo Malone but recently I caught a whiff of such a delicious perfume it made all others fade into the background. The scent is called ‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Frederic Malle, the company describes it as ‘An exuberant dose of Turkish rose rests on a bed of patchouli heart imbued with sandalwood and frankincense. An accord of clove, blackcurrant and raspberry binds the perfume together for a final movement of symphonic femininity.’..All I can say is that it is hypnotic, complicated and totally addictive. Colleagues, friends, strangers on the underground and once a table at a restaurant have asked me what I’m wearing.
    Sadly it is also the most expensive perfume I have ever come across $370 / £235!!!! Once a week I go to Harrods and beg the saleswoman to give me a sample, I once even asked my boyfriend to go in and hunt one down for me! Until I win the lottery I will survive on these samples!

    • Lexie

      I love Jo Malone, too!

  • Fortune Dushey

    Love this post!
    I too have searched for years for my own signature scent and finally found mine last year.
    L’eau D’Hiver by Frederic Malle. It’s light, fresh and very natural!

    • coffeebee

      LOVE L’eau d’Hiver. I wore it earlier this week. It’s my favorite soft, light, soapy clean scent.

  • Susanne

    There is only ONE perfume out there worth it’s salt in gold and that’s the classic Estée Lauder’s Beautiful. TRUST ME, you wil constantly be asked what you’re wearing and told how fabulous it is. It’s a classic and just the best one there is.

  • Julia Navratil

    Guys. PLEASE try Baccarat Rouge by Mason Francis Kurkdjian!!! My friends now have a tally going because people approach me to ask what I’m wearing so often. One time a hair stylist followed me out of a salon, lifted up my hair, and proceeded to smell my neck before blurting, “it’s YOU.”

    • Mona M.

      After Molecule 01, Baccarate Rouge is my #2 holy grail, so yes great call 🙂 However, pricey.. 🙁

  • Hil

    It’s not cool but I’m loyal to Chanel no 5. Sometimes I think about getting something else when my bottle runs out, but I probably won’t because I love to smell this on myself throughout the day.

    • coffeebee

      I love No 5. It will always be in rotation for me.

      • Kiks

        I wear it when I want to feel powerful and grown-up!

  • Lexie

    I love perfume so much!!! I actually prefer The Noir 29 to Santal 33! I have gone through about 3 sample bottles now .. I think it’s time to invest!

  • Mona M.

    there is another scent that gets a lot of love… I highly recommend, called Molecule 01. For those that like sheer, barely there scents, but seexxxxyyy… trust me. A soft velvety sandalwood. You do have to do 4-8 spritzes (strangely that’s never over doing it) but you will love it, and those around you too, without being overbearing. While Santal 33 is what I think, the “Thiery Mugler Angel of the 2000’s” … meaning, you can spot it right away and you can smell it coming a mile away. Powerful scent but not for the faint of heart. A great source online for huge selection of unique perfumes and you can order samples , try luckyscent.com my go-to for years. Oh and if any of you try molecule 01 be sure to give it a few moments to ‘do its’ thing!!’

  • Monique

    I always get compliments on how I smell. Last weekend at a bar I had a woman grab my arm and tell me I smell intoxicating and that she wanted to dance with me – I was wearing Gucci Bamboo.

    My “signature” scent is Diptyque Eau Duelle with a spritz of pink sugar perfume. Pink sugar reminds me of my childhood and it adds a super sweet note to the spicy vibe of the Diptyque. My english professor always says “someone smells good” when I walk into my lecture so I know if an attractive 50+ year old man likes it….I’m doing something good hahaha

    • Permanent Bishface

      Pink Sugar is pretty much my signature scent, even though I’m in my 40s lol. I also LOVE Eau Duelle and some other Dyptique scents and I mix PS with other fragrances as well. Men seem to love PS on me the most.

  • I wear Chanel 19 poudré (a more modern version of Chanel 19: less aldehydes, even more iris).
    Makes me feel ladylike at all times, even when I walk around in sweatpants (aka most days).

    I stopped with Chloé because half of Paris was wearing it. But it is an amazing perfume, it stays really well.

    Happy to see Lutens mentioned. I love his perfumes, but they are expensive AF, and my favorites don’t stay well on me (Louve and Sarrasins). I quit bying them because what’s the point of splurging for a perfume that stays just for an hour

  • bryn hagman

    I often get asked (mostly by cab drivers, but hey I’ll take it) what I wear — MAISON LOUIS MARIE #4 (Les Bois de Balincourt) is my secret weapon. Everyone THINKS its sandal 33 but its so much more feminine/delicated to (and on) me. I love love love it for Spring/Summer. In late Fall/Winter I switch to BYREDO Super Cedar which is super woodsy and makes me feel like a frost covered tree. Yes Yes Yes.

    • Kiks

      I had the most hilarious cab driver last time I was in the city — I was wearing a light mist of Chanel No.5 and he complimented me, saying “most ladies they spray too much on and their perfumes always smell like…” Me: ‘Like a baby prostitute?!’ Him (laughing): “YES!!!!”

  • Diana McNeill

    I have been wearing Giorgio Armani Code for 16 years. Everyone who smells it thinks of me. It’s definitely my scent.

  • Katie F

    my everyday casual perfume is glossier you (and it does get a lot of compliments! i even like to wear it to bed) but my favorite special perfume is byredo’s mojave ghost. i like to describe it as a more grown up daisy by marc jacobs it’s so so good – not sure if the “niche” brands have really caught on in texas so i can get away with le labo and byredo still being unique haha

  • Ema Dell’Orto

    I love Bois Farine (literally Wood Floor) from L’artisan parfumeur but not sure I smell good’with’it. During years I loved L’eau d’Issey then Rem from Reminiscence which smells like the sea.

  • jiggahava

    I have to spread the love for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: http://www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com/. They have scents that have different themes and categories, including Shakespeare and other literary references. They are also not afraid to get political and one of my favorites by them are the ACLU series. They have quite a cult following. I’m definitely in the cult, I have nearly 100 scents by them.

  • Ellie

    I love this!! I’m so weird about my smell I always use the same deodorant, shower gel and perfume and I just feel off if I don’t!

  • Kathleen

    my best friend ALSO always smells good and ALSO always wears that Chloe perfume- that stuff is magic. I’ve wanted to jump on the bandwagon for years, but it feels so specific to her that I won’t buy it, both out of respect for her and this sad, strange desire to find my own signature scent… I welcome ideas, because right now I’m just perfume-less and relying on straight deodorant and Ouai rose oil

    • Kiks

      Roses de Chloe is the same base scent but with (obviously) a strong note of roses. Get it!!!

  • I love Frapin’s perfumes and consider Passion Boisee my signature…but I also started wearing Glossier You when it launched and I get asked about it all the time. My barista asked me what I was wearing today! If I want to wear something pretty, broadly appealing, and that I don’t have to think or worry about too much, it’s an easy spritz.

    I wore Coco Mademoiselle for years (late teens into 20s) and then stopped because too many people I knew also started wearing it. I’m a snob.

    • Kiks

      I did the same thing with Prada Candy. I was literally the first person in my (very small) town to wear it.
      Once it became available there, everyone smelled like it. But my friends all said it always made them think of me!

  • Kim

    I am actually so perfume obsessed that I keep returning to this thread every day/several times a day to check new comments! We’ve now reached 100! Keep ’em coming!!

  • Sometimes we ignore the power of the scent! For years I used to smell a perfume in some women that I really loved but never figured out which one it was! One day, when I was buying a mascara on Sephora, the lady gave me some perfume samples and… I found the scent!! It’s from Lanvin and from that moment (it was 5 years ago) it turn out to be MY perfume since then! I used it everyday, in Winter and Summer (it’s perfect every season) and… people recognize me from it! Specially my boyfriend who adores it 😀

  • Emma Ashley

    Commodity’s Gold anyone?

  • mary

    LOVE … FRACAS …..
    … Yes to CHLOE….
    Michael……….Jo Malone Lime Basil Mandarine, … Fresh- Sugar

    …silly it all started w/ my big sis’s Anais Anais

  • Ema

    I loved reading this post and the comments. I don’t have a signature scent because I like to try new fragrances and switch according to the season (I gravitate towards fresh and floral/fruity frangrances). However over time the two scents that got people to ask me what I was wearing are Chloe (that I wore for a long time, maybe my longest run for a perfume) and Viva la Juicy. Also a favorite that I keep going back to for daywear is l’Eau des vignes by Caudalie. Actually, a “spinoff” of l’Eau des vignes in particular (called Fresh) had people constantly telling me in the street that I smelled clean. I stopped wearing it because I couldn’t find it any longer but now I see it’s back on their website.
    I tried a sample of Glossier One recently and I agree it’s kind of addictive but it reminds me a lot of a scent by Malin and Goetz that I used to wear called synthesized lotus root (not sure if they still make it). For the evening I like “Tenue de soiree” by Annik Goutal (it’s kind of strong, even if it has a fruity background, but I had several male friends who told me I smelled delicious while I was wearing it). I owned and wore several Annik Goutal perfumes (Eau d’Adrien, Eau du Ciel, Heure Bleue) and they have an old-fashioned smell that makes them very unique.

  • pamb

    My first job after re entering the workforce after being a SAHM was at a local tabletop boutique that also had an Apothecary, the first in town over a decade ago, when such things were unusual. I literally sprayed perfume on myself, used different hand lotions and smelled candles all day! My favorite scents were the ones from TOCCA, there’s not a bad one in the bunch. Anthropology use to carry them, although I didn’t see them last time I went it. Sephora carries them too.

  • Jenny Skarda

    about to read but shoutout to the cover art on this, y’alls art direction gives me LIFE

  • Bibi

    I’ve been using “Un jardin sur le nile” by Hermes for four years, I’m so in love with its “zesty”, woody and fresh smell.
    I love to use it especially during sunny dats.
    But I’ve became allergic to it, I can’t put directly on my skin, I’ll spray on my clothes or hair instead.