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Perfume Smell Test

Perfume Smell Test

What fragrances do you like? I’ve been wearing Santal 33 this year, and I’m always curious to discover others. As my friend Gemma once told me, “Life is too short for a signature scent, I want to smell like as many beautiful things as I can.” So, we invited our officemates to smell seven fragrances and gives us their unbiased reviews…

Perfume Smell Test

Perfume Smell Test

We sprayed each fragrance on slips of blank paper — so they had no idea which scents they were smelling. (They “cleansed” their noses with coffee beans in between perfume sniffs.)

Perfume Smell Test

Above, the seven very different scents we tested. And here were the panel’s findings:

Perfume Smell Test

Perfume #1: Coriander, by D.S. & Durga, a cool husband-and-wife studio based in Brooklyn. (Remember Kavi?)

Price: $175 for 50 ml.

How the brand describes it: “Sparkling leaf, cubeb, green pepper and cracked Ukrainian coriander seed. Cool spices and Mediterranean sea breeze — like the hills above Odessa.”

Our officemates’ reactions:
“It starts out sharp and green.”
“Did you dip this piece of paper in gin? Is this gin?”
“Smells nice.”
“It has a salty vibe.”
“The opening is very masculine almost barber-shop-y, like pine and herbal.”
“It smells like a hipster barber shop.”
“The gin smell is mellowing out.”
“It has a juniper/cedar vibe.”
“I love this.”
“I want to smell this in two hours; I bet it would spread out and get larger and woodier and smell amazing.”

Who they imagined would wear this: “A Scandinavian street style girl. It’s cool, like wearing oversized glasses.”

Perfume Smell Test

Perfume #2: Sole di Positano by Tom Ford, the super luxury brand beloved by beauty editors.

Price: $225 for 1.7 ounces

How the brand describes it: “A bright new dimension bursting with a luxurious mélange of sun-drenched citrus. The delectable new scent evokes the dream-like brilliance of the Italian coast with succulent bite. A masterful blend of Italian bergamot, petitgrain bigrade, lemon and mandarin gleams with the sharp contrast of shiso leaf, reflecting the sunlit vibrancy that evokes coastal paradise.”

Our officemates’ reactions:
“This is so floral.”
“More understated.”
“White flowers.”
“An abstract jasmine/tuberose kind of thing.”
“A classic.”
“Fresh, good for warmer weather.”
“Bright, happy.”
“I’d wear it on a hot day when you want something fresh but not typical.”
“Cheerful.”

Who they imagined would wear this: “You’re going on vacation — you’d wear this at the hotel.”

Perfume Smell Testto

Perfume #3: Garden Rose by Aerin, a classic American brand founded by the granddaughter of Estée Lauder.

Price: $165 for 6.8 oz.

How the brand describes it: “Garden Rose Eau de Cologne takes you into the English countryside, filled with the irresistible sent of wild roses.”

Our officemates’ reactions:
“It smells like a flower, but I can’t place it.”
“A nice long bath, with a bar of soap.”
“I could wear this.”
“I would wear this, too.”
“I wouldn’t mind this on a date.”
“Smells like soap.”
“A nice summery fragrance.”
“It’s rose, a straight up-and-down rose.”
“It’s really nice.”

Who they imagined would wear this: “I would!”

Perfume Smell Test

Perfume #4: Paperback by Demeter, a fun brand sold in drugstores, with playful scents like New Baby and Kitten Fur.

Price: $17 for 1 oz.

How the brand describes it: “A trip to your favorite library or used bookstore. Sweet and lovely with just a touch of the musty smell of aged paper, Demeter’s Paperback harnesses that scent with a sprinkling of violets and a dash of tasteful potpourri.”

Our officemates’ reactions:
“I really don’t like this one.”
“Way too junior for me.”
“It’s like Nickelodeon.”
“It smells kind of fun, like first sleepover.”
“I don’t hate this.”
“Woody vanilla and a little bit of cocoa.”

Who they imagined would wear this: “A friend who is 15.”

Perfume Smell Test

Perfume #5: Chanel No. 5 by Chanel. Arguably the most iconic perfume of all time, Chanel No. 5 was the first fragrance launched by the famed fashion designer Coco Chanel in 1921.

Price: $125 for .25 oz.

How the brand describes it: “N°5 exudes the very essence of femininity… This floral bouquet composed around May rose and jasmine features bright citrus top notes. Aldehydes create a unique presence while the smooth touch of bourbon vanilla leaves an incredibly sensual trail.”

Our officemates’ reactions:
“Really strong to me.”
“Smells like straight-up baby powder.”
“If paisley could smell like something, that’s what it would smell like.”
“A classic floral.”
“Smells like bar mitzvahs because it’s what everybody’s bubbes wore in 1985.”

Who they imagined would wear this: “A boho girl who got it from a thrift store, and it was 30 years old.”

Perfume Smell Test

Perfume #6: Beach by Bobbi Brown, the minimal makeup guru.

Price: $76 for 1.7 oz.

How the brand describes it: “An eau de parfum inspired by Bobbi’s favorite place — the beach. This best-selling fragrance captures the atmosphere and essence of summer. Designed with a lightly intoxicating blend of sand jasmine, sea spray, and mandarin, this fragrance is wearable anytime, anywhere.”

Our officemates’ reactions:
“Tea, sunscreen.”
“Oooh, it does smell sunscreen-y!”
“It’s the sunscreen scent!”
“Is this just sunscreen on a stick?”
“A little tougher smelling than the rest, it has an edge to it.”
“Equal parts sunscreen and candy, like SweeTarts.”
“It smells like my mom on a family beach vacation in 1983.”
“Definitely has the Coppertone vibe.”

Who they imagined would wear this: “Someone on vacation, or during the winter if you have seasonal depression.”

Perfume Smell Test

Perfume #7 (and the crowd favorite): Mojave Ghost by Byredo, a cult favorite brand created by a tattooed Swede who grew up in Toronto, New York and Stockholm.

Price: $150 for 50 ml.

How the brand describes it: “The soulful beauty of the Mojave Desert is as comforting to many as it is hostile to others. In this xeric wilderness, the ghost flower is a rare species that dares to blossom above this baked, hard ground. Mojave Ghost is a homage to this most bewitching flower — it has a woody composition with a light and graceful character that slowly discloses its true intensity.”

Our officemates’ reactions:
“Peachy, pleasant.”
“I just want to snuggle up in a blanket with this.”
“It feels like a daily perfume, not just for a special occasion.”
“It feels warm; there’s a warmth underneath it.”
“It’s daytime, I want to wear this in the morning.”
“It’s an easy wear, like jeans and a sweatshirt and your favorite sneakers.”
“Kind of green and watery.”
“I’m getting some sort of stone fruit; some woody stuff coming up.”
“It’s definitely unique.”
“I love it.”

Who they imagined would wear this: “A great laid-back gal.”

Perfume Smell Test

Perfume Smell Test

Perfume Smell Test

What do you think? Do you wear any of these? What is your go-to fragrance? Thanks to our officemates for playing!

P.S. My life in perfume, and an eyebrow before-and-after.

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo at Friends Work Here. Thank you so much to our perfume testers: Tory Williams, Ben Wagner, Christine Sirois, Paul Jun, Wesley Verhoeve, Hayley Nichols, Amy Fuller, Jeff Beil, Hans Hendley and David Paul O’Brien.)

  1. Jillygirl says...

    My fav’s have been in order,
    1980’s:
    Chanel 5
    Chanel Eau Sauvage (men’s!)
    Chanel Cristalle
    1990’s:
    Kenzo by Kenzo (the old one, not the new one!)
    Then developed chemical sensitivity and everything smelled synthetic to me so switched to essential oils, usually just lavender. I miss fragrances! I’d love rec’s on really refined all natural scents, if any exist. My mother wore Joy, which I love still!

  2. Tracy says...

    This post was so amazing (and hilarious ?). Loved it. Seems like Mojave Ghost was a crowd-pleaser which is great because I was deciding if I should/n’t take the plunge! Thank you xx

  3. Loribeth says...

    I’ve been layering a touch of the Kai Rose perfume with Nest Citrine (both in rollers) on my wrists and behind my ears. It’s my favorite combination ever. I used to be into muskier scents but lately I’ve been wanting a light, citrusy-floral.

  4. e says...

    Right now my regular is Jo Malone French Lime Blossom. I got a different one for Christmas last year but it gave me such a headache I had to go to the store and spend almost an hour testing to check which ones give me headaches and which don’t. It’s a pretty immediate reaction I have w/ perfume actually, but I can’t actually figure out the specific ingredient/scent that sets it off. Anyone else have this issue?

    Otherwise, I have a bunch of samples from Jo Malone, Chloe, and Marc Jacobs (I used to be a pretty regular MJ wearer – especially Daisy) that seem to all be in a similar family . Gotta love Sephora for the abundance of samples!

    P.S. Joanna – Great job at the Books Are Magic event last night! I actually first found your blog through Emma’s (back when she updated it regularly). I would have said hello, but even introducing myself to strangers who are obviously nice is too anxiety-inducing!

    • e says...

      (oops, just saw all the other comments about headaches!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, thank you so much, e! that means a lot. i would have loved to meet you! :)

    • e says...

      Ha, okay next time I will, promise!

  5. Kerri says...

    This was an amazing post! I love the way you all put this together. Really gives a sense of the fragrance!

  6. h says...

    I live in NZ and we can’t buy Santal 33 here, but I had heard so many good things about it online that I bought it by mail order a few years ago. My husband and I both wear it, and always get so many comments on it. So when I went overseas recently I bought a new Le Labo fragrance (Neroli 36 which has a jasmine vibe) and loved it in the store, but now without fail, it makes me feel nauseas when I wear it. I’m so bummed, because it was so expensive! Does anyone know of any way to stop this effect? I think a long bumpy taxi ride while wearing it the first time has made me associate it with motion sickness. Help. :)

  7. Ali says...

    Pink Sugar is my go to fragrance. It’s so pleasant and sweet and summery.

  8. Amy says...

    Wanted to add that Replica Beach Walk is lovely for summer. I bought a small roller ball of Bobbi Brown Beach and had to return it. It is so overkill “suntan lotion” that I felt suffocated. In my opinion Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc is what Bobbi Brown’s scent should have been — the light, lovely smell of summer. I’m addicted to it, though Tom Ford’s heavier scents don’t work for me.

    • Roselyn says...

      I LOVE Replica. Beach Walk is all I wear since February <3

  9. Amy says...

    Mojave Ghost is my newest fragrance. Definitely a winner and different from anything I have ever smelled! Plus, Byredo’s packaging is AMAZING. A cool bonus. :)

  10. This is serendipitous – this morning I was just thinking about what perfume to wear next (I bought a limited edition rose scented Yves Saint Laurent perfume in Paris last year, and it’s sadly almost out). Excited to check these different scents out!!

    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  11. Lisa says...

    My favorite perfume of all time is By the Fireplace by Maison Margiela. It smells like roasting s’mores around a campfire. It’s smoke, vanilla, wood and it’s neither feminine nor masculine. It’s my go-to fall/winter scent. I also like Beach Walk on a summer day. It’s not as sunscreen-y as Beach. I’ve been looking for the perfect grassy green scent for summer for a long time. Something that smells like the woods right after it has rained. I’ve yet to find it.

    • I got a sample of this and ughhh it’s so good I want my whole life to smell like By the Fireplace.

  12. Maria says...

    I know there are a lot of mixed opinions, but perfumes are totally personal to me! Ever since I got my first “real” job, I started buying a scent on my birthday and on special trips. I have been doing this for 4 years now and collected a few:
    – Elizabeth & James Nirvana (white)
    – Chloe (I forget!)
    – Jo Malone (Basil and Neroli)
    – Aerin (Ikat Jasmine)
    – Maison Louis Marie (No 04 Bois de Balincourt), purchased on a recent NYC trip.

    Every time I spray one of these, it brings me a brief moment of nostalgia and reminds me of a time when I was 22, 23, 24 and 25! It also reminds me of how much my interest/taste have change in 4 short years. I no longer yearn for the strong, sickly sweet scents of Chloe & Elizabeth and James. I am all for warm and ‘unusual’ scents now!

    P.s. I think perfume oils are way more superior than alcohol based perfumes. I think they also last much longer. :)

    • Missy says...

      I love oils too! And I wear Bois de Balincourt. The only downside with oils is that you can’t roll them on your clothes or else they stain :*( I prefer to wear perfume on my clothes instead of my skin because I think the smell stays more true (if that makes any sense).

  13. Katie says...

    Thanks for teaching me the word ‘xeric!’
    I wear a mix of Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose and Nirvana Bourbon. It’s deep and intoxicating and I get so many compliments on it.

  14. Annalisa says...

    I would be so very grateful to know if anyone has a lily of the valley recommendation. I cannot find the sample I got years ago, and it was truly perfect. The scent is so dear to my heart.

    • Judy says...

      I wear Diorissimo, by Dior, which is a lovely lily of the valley scent.

    • My mom had a lily of the valley scent years ago…I was thinking of it just before I read your comment!

    • Laura C. says...

      @Judy: my grandmother wore Diorissimo and ten years after she passed away, I remembered the name of her scent, so I stopped by a shop and had the great idea of smell the fragrance. I started to cry immediately after. It eas so her!
      Well done Judy, that’s a very good scent.

    • mc says...

      my mom wore penhaligon’s lily of the valley for years and it was lovely!

  15. MAG says...

    I love scents so had to read this. Even though fragrance can be so personal it was interesting to read how each scent was received broadly, on the whole, by the group of your colleagues. Fun!

  16. Roxana says...

    I live in India and given how hot and humid it can be, the kinds of perfume I wear are limited. That said, I am a rose girl – I am currently tripping on Annick Goutal Rose Splendide. Other favorites include Tom Ford Purple Blonde for days when I want to go kick some ass, Guerlain Idylle (soft and feminine and lace-y) and Chloe for daily- wear.
    Other favorites in the past have been Hermes Kelly Caleche (the EDT, though. The EDP is way too strong), Lacoste Pour Femme and Crabtree and Evelyn’s Rose perfume.

  17. Leah says...

    Have you been to the new Le Labo space in Williamsburg? It’s beautiful … and oh so Williamsburg-y. Also, your officemates are hilarious. xo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha no but i’d love to!

  18. Maire says...

    I wear BCBG Bon Genre in the fall/winter (but this could really be worn all year round- it’s just the best and I always get compliments) and I was wearing Especially Escada in the spring/summer, but I just got a roller of CLEAN Skin, and it is amazing. In fact, I really love all the CLEAN scents, but the only downfall is that they don’t last the whole day. Still, it makes me happy when applying in the morning.

  19. Alina says...

    Ugh trying to find a new daily scent now and it’s so hard! I definitely can’t spend $150 on something I don’t know I will love. Anxious to read the comments on this one!!

    • TNelly says...

      Try samples on ebay.

  20. Johanna says...

    I love, love perfume. My first was a tiny bottle of Chanel No. 5 when I was about five years old because my grandfather knew I loved my grandmother’s and always asked her to spritz me.
    Now I have 10-20 different fragrances at any given time, I wear them to suit my mood and definitely couldn’t settle on just one to wear every day.
    Some are summery to me, others wintery, or they remind me of vacations and special days, etc, definitely like the variety.

    • Same. I’m commitment-phobic when it comes to fragrances. But the same notes grab me again and again. Rose… apricot… monoi… leather… and sometimes coconut. Not all at once – but consistently.

  21. Sarah says...

    What a fun post! I’m excited to try out a few new summery scents. I just finished reading “Coming to my Senses” by Alyssa Harad, and I’d really recommend it to anyone who enjoys perfume. Best takeaway from the book was to take advantage of stores that offer sample programs! Such a fun, accessible luxury. :)

  22. Porkchop says...

    I have always wanted to try Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather, which supposedly smells like a brick of cocaine lol. I learned this from a Drake song. I don’t do drugs but am curious!

  23. Porkchop says...

    Jo Malone perfumes are the only ones I have found that don’t aggrevate my allergies. I have the blackberry and bay and the nectarine blossom and honey ones. LOVE them.

  24. Jude says...

    p.s. I also got Paperback as a present once for my avid-reader friend in Norway, who loved it, maybe we just truly appreciate books in Europe? : P

  25. Jude says...

    Hahahaha, I was reading this article, and was surprised to receive a slap in the face as my current scent is Paperback and according to the testers I smell like I’m 15! I’m 28, but I did love Nickolodeon and sleepovers as a kid so clearly it evokes my childhood for me. ; ) Or maybe it’s because it reminds me of the smell of Barter’s Books Secondhand Bookstore up at Alnwick. I love it and have had it since Christmas. Clearly New Yorkers have a terrible sense of smell. : P

    • It probably smells way better on a person than a freshly sprayed whiff on paper! It’s so individual too. I love the idea of that perfume.

  26. Santal 33 was my 2017 scent to date…same for my Dad. My parents and I were out for Christmas Eve dinner in Sarasota and I begged our waitress to ask a man at another table what he was wearing. I made an extra trip to the loo just to smell it again! Props to her, she asked him as she delivered the bill to that table and he wrote it down for us on his copy of the receipt. I ordered a Le Labo sample set for myself and my Dad who immediately needed to know what the fuss was about. I love that it’s so perfectly unisex that we can wear it differently. Incidentally, the sample set was a great idea because it’s how I discovered their Bergamote 22, now my summer scent.

  27. Megan says...

    My grandmother wore Chanel No 5 every single day. It was her signature scent so much so that her cat, who happily resided on her lap, wound up smelling of No 5. My grandfather gifted it to her every year, without fail, and when he was no longer able to shop on his own we bought it on his behalf. Unbreakable traditions. My grandmother passed away and I started wearing her scent. Each time I spray it I am flooded with sweet memories of her and I feel so blessed to be able to recall her so vividly with a single spray. I even try to spray that cat, who now lives with me, every once in a while thinking maybe he too can remember her based on her scent (wishful thinking? animal cruelty?). I miss her deeply and love feeling her elegance around me even if it is through a perfume.

    • jules says...

      I love this story.

    • Debbie says...

      ❤️❤️❤️ I wear it too, it reminds of my mom.

    • Laura C. says...

      My grandmother wore No 5 (my other grandmother wore Diorissimo as I said before) and that’s a scent that I couldn’t wear I think. It’s too her. I miss her terribly.

  28. Jody says...

    Lots of comments about perfume giving people headaches and migraines. I’m in the same boat. I wish some people understood this and didn’t douse themselves with scent. I was once told (by a very dapper and sophisticated man) that perfume/cologne is meant to be intimate. You shouldn’t be able to smell it on someone unless you are a foot or two from them. Please people. Don’t leave a trail of scent behind you. It’s tacky and makes a lot of people sick.

    • Celeste says...

      I also get migraines, sometimes triggered by scents (usually florals). I love that advice; it should be intimate.

      I would love to try Tom Ford’s Santal Blush. A woman reading next to me at a bookstore once was wearing it and I didn’t get a migraine. It was one of the first perfume scents I’ve enjoyed in yeeears. But holy cow, it’s so pricey!

    • Sarah says...

      I am a professional singer, and once I had to leave a rehearsal for an all-pro ensemble because the perfume of the singer next to me was so strong that I felt I might faint. I can only wear extremely light perfumes myself, and I save them for special occasions, never when I’ll be near other singers. I have liked “See” by Chloe, and I feel that it doesn’t hang around too long, it just smells clean. Chanel No. 5 makes me dizzy!

    • emmanuella says...

      AMEN!! Thank you for writing this. I feel like every time I leave the house it’s a 50/50 chance I’ll get a migraine from someone’s perfume or cologne. It’s hard for people who don’t get migraines to sympathize. Just because it’s invisible doesn’t mean it affects us migraine sufferers any less. You wouldn’t go up to a stranger and kick them in the shins, would you?

  29. Lauren says...

    I love anything that smells like roses too. My favorite Stella Rose Absolute was discontinued years ago. Any favorite rose perfume suggestions?

    • Beth says...

      Eau de Protection by Etat Libre d’0range is my favorite hippie rose. La Fille de Berlin from Serge Lutens is also nice, and a little more fresh/gardeny smelling. Cafe Rose from Tom Ford is great, but only a “going out” fragrance for me.

    • Johanna says...

      Byredo’s Rose of No Man’s Land is the truest rose to me. Not the idea of a rose, as I’ve found with so many others like Jo Malone’s Red Roses and Aerin too.
      Of course, it also depends on how it wears on the skin, but Rose of No Man’s Land smells like a fresh-cut rose that you’re going to put in water to me, and I love it.

    • Tori says...

      ellis brooklyn’s rrose. it has peony and citrus layers too. and it’s mild, which i prefer.

    • Penhaligon’s Elizabethan Rose is incredible, such a pure, fresh scent like a rose with dew on it…I think it’s discontinued though :( I have some left but my husband bought me their Peony scent for Christmas and I love it too. I also often wear their Sartorial scent (a fabulous unisex one).

    • Jenny says...

      Frederic Malle’s Portrait of a Lady!!

  30. MCNorthwest says...

    Were we talking about perfume? Because once I saw the whippet in this post, it’s all I can think about. Beautiful!

  31. Lizzie says...

    the main thing I took away from this post is how cute that dog is!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha that dog is the star of the show! :) she is so sweet in real life, too.

  32. lauren says...

    I love how they said “a friend who is 15” specifically, instead of something like “someone who is 15” or “a 15-year old.” As someone who grew up more on the mature side, I loved having friends who were older but it was rare when the friendship was respected as such. I was always seen as a “younger sister” instead of a friend.

  33. S says...

    I have and love a few different Jo Malone scents and Burberry for different occasions but have been loving both of the Aesop fragrances – Marrakech for fall/winter and Tacit for spring/summer. I love the rollers for travel too!

  34. Olivia says...

    I don’t mean to sound totally lame, but is this really what people pay for perfume?! Holy cow!

    • Vicky says...

      That was my thought too! In fact I came to the comments to see if anybody else thought that, to see if I am out of touch completely!! But noone around me would pay that kind of money for perfume, not even single people, let alone people with kids and all the expenses that go with them… it’s a different world!

    • Jules D says...

      I think New Yorkers (myself included) have a completely warped vision of money/ cost. Those prices seem totally normal to me, even though I know they are not! I would love to read a post about that.

  35. i used to wear lily of the valley from crabtree + evelyn, which smells lovely and reminds me of my mom, but i’ve since given up perfume.. its toxic, its way overpriced, its unfair to people around you who may not want that alcoholic stench, and its hard to regulate (which basically means no one know whats really going into your bottle). i mean, you are spraying it directly on your skin, which means it will seep right into your body. why risk it?

    try essential oils, try rose essential oil if you love the smell.. or lavender if you want to relax or want your fussy baby to finally fall asleep in your arms, or bergamot for virus. go to trusted sources for it like doterra or young living.

    and if you are a mom, like me, use this awesome cheat sheet to care for your kids (and you!)..

    https://www.shareoils.com/products/essential-oils-for-healthy-happy-kids-tear-pad?variant=2194757636

    • My husband is really sensitive to smells, but I LOVED perfume. I’ve stopped wearing, but now spend the extra cash on a variety of organic soaps with pretty smells. It’s nice to mix it up, and it’s actually kind of just for me since it wears off during the day :)

  36. Lindsay says...

    Thanks, I’ve been wanting to try Mojave ghost after seeing the founder of Sezane wear it. I think I’ll like it. I wore Beach about 12 years ago and back then they had this amazing exfoliating soap I loved. Growing up in CA and visiting beaches / pools a lot, it’s such a nostalgic scent for me. I’ve been wearing jo Malone “wood sage and sea salt ” and I also love cashmere mist. I learned recently I do not care for Chloe perfume. I love gardenia in the summer. I’d love to see more perfumes reviewed by the panel!

  37. Stephanie says...

    I currently love:
    Byredo – bal d’afrique
    Martin Margiela – lazy sunday morning
    Le Labo – gaiac 10 & santal 33
    Tom Ford – neroli portofino

    • Carly says...

      I wear Bal d’Afrique! Putting it on every morning is a ritual I look forward to daily.

  38. Em says...

    I gotta know what a “Scandinavian street style girl” looks like.

  39. aga says...

    I had been coveting Chanel Chance Eau Tendre for yeeears. I would sample them at Duty Free stores at airports, making sure I got some on my scarf and coat to try to make the smell last as long as I could because I loved it, but I couldn’t bring myself to spent 100$ on a perfume. But this year I finally did it, I was given some american dollars for christmas and on my way home, at the Bogotá airport I bought my first real perfume and I looove it. I didn’t tell my partner about the expense but whenever I wear it he kisses my neck more often and tells me I smell nice. Best purchase all year!

    I also love these Anthro perfumes: At Last https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/lollia-eau-de-parfum?category=beauty-fragrance&color=072
    and this Rose one:
    https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/pharmacia-eau-de-parfum?color=066&quantity=1&size=One%20Size&type=REGULAR

    But they don’t last nearly as long as the Chanel.

  40. I searched for months and months for a rose perfume, and couldn’t find anything that didn’t smell musty once I sprayed it on my skin. I ended up purchasing Mojave Ghost, which is not rose based. So after I bought Mojave Ghost, I found the most perfect rose scent, in lotion form. Earth Tu Face rose lotion, sold at Jenni Kayne. Love it :)

    • Jane says...

      Im with you Monica! Earth Tu Face products are all natural scents, grown in California. Ive been exclusively using their products for years. Perfumes give me a terrible headache but Earth Tu Face is magical and light and pretty smelling without chemicals or anything artificial , yay!

  41. Colleen says...

    I love Chanel No. 5, but it is ridiculously expensive, so I get excited when I receive samples in beauty catalogs. I love Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana, but I ran out. so I am using Maison Margiela’s “Replica” in the Beach Walk scent.

    • Samantha says...

      I love Light blue but only on other people because it smells like pure lime on my skin. Not nice.

  42. Maywyn says...

    Channel #5 favorite since the 1970s…has the feel of grounded intelligent confidence, like you can run wild with Bear Grylls without crying and screaming the entire time. I rarely wear scent. My favorite is the Coppertone sun lotion.

  43. KC says...

    I Love:
    Prada Candy (Spring & Summer)
    And Nirvana Bourbon (Fall)
    Nirvana Black (Winter)
    Burberry (anytime)

    • Kari says...

      Are you me? Add in Gucci Guilty from time to time, and this is my exact fragrance lineup!

  44. I loved this post. Especially your officemates’ reactions!!

    I’m looking for an Earl Grey Tea perfume! I love that smell. Does anybody know of any perfumes with earl grey? :D Thanks!

    Alina
    http://www.eclecticalu.blogspot.com

    • Alex says...

      The Earl Grey smell comes from bergamont orange so maybe look up perfumes with that note and warm undertones to match the *tea* mood…

    • Ali says...

      Jo Malone has a great Earl Grey & Cucumber perfume! http://bit.ly/2qyJQjq

    • Abesha1 says...

      Bergamot essential oil, diluted in an unscented carrier oil such as coconut. No chemicals at all, and quite inexpensive!

    • Kate says...

      I second earl grey and cucumber by jo malone, but you may also want to try russian caravan by the brand cb i hate perfume – i love both.

  45. This was such a fun post to read. Thanks so much Friends Work Here folks! Agreed – let’s have more!!!

  46. Robin Young says...

    I’m very sensitive to smell and cannot wear a lot of the mainstream fragrances sold at department stores. I do love Molecule 01, Molecule 02, and Escentric 01 by Escentric Molecules. I don’t ever smell them on myself, but I get stopped constantly to ask what I’m wearing. Also, I love Creed Acqua Originale in Vetiver Geranium – I get stopped all of the time when wearing that one, too. Before I work out, I spritz on Bobbi Brown Clean-it’s fresh and light and not overpowering. This was a great post! I’m on the fence about Mojave Ghost, but I’m considering it!

    • Paula says...

      I wear both Molecules too and get compliments all the time…but slightly more on 01 than on 02. You?

    • Another Molecule 01 fan here. I’ve never really worn perfume…I’ve tried a few times in the past, as I’ve been bought some lovely scents as gifts, but found that being able to smell the scent on myself all day would bother me, and sometimes give me headaches. With Molecule 01 though, I can’t smell anything on myself after the initial application, though everyone else can – I’m also regularly asked what I’m wearing. I just bought the sampler set of all of the Molecule & Escentric perfumes and am looking forward to trying those out too.

  47. Ashley says...

    Make this a seasonal feature, please?! I love hearing people try to describe fragrances. The paisley comment made me laugh out loud.

    If you’re looking to try a new fragrance, I’d recommend the decanting site Surrender To Chance. It’s a ridiculous name, but a great service. You can buy small amounts of literally any perfume that has ever existed for ~$5 . That way you can test out a fragrance before you invest in a full-size bottle!

    • Kristiana says...

      Ashley ~ I hooted at the paisley comment as well! Thought it was incredibly accurate for this fragrance ;)

    • Faith says...

      Thanks for recommending Surrender to Chance! I’m going to check it out now. :)

  48. Mallory Adiego says...

    Huge Byredo fan! I’ve been wearing their Sunday Cologne, which is actually a men’s fragrance. Notes of bergamot, lavender, geranium, vetiver. My friend told me “you smell like a hippie who showers and likes wearing cashmere,” which I took as a compliment :)

  49. Brianna says...

    When I was on my honeymoon in Tulum I decided to buy perfume as a souvenir at the beginning of the trip, and then wore it the whole time we were there. Now, whenever I wear it (coqui coqui tobac), I’m instantly reminded of that wonderful time.

    • Liz says...

      genius!!!

    • Lindsay says...

      When I was in southern France, a girl got on the bus and I had to ask her what kind of perfume she was wearing, it was so good (but of course!) but all she said was vanilla. I’ve always looked out for a perfect pure vanilla, never found one like it. Anyone know of any??

    • Lauren says...

      Lyndsay, just wear vanilla oil! Smells great

    • Twyla says...

      Lindsay – have you tried Comptoir Sud Pacifique? A lot of their fragrances are vanilla based.

  50. Cara says...

    Fun post! I love perfume. I usually wear the Jo Malone- Pomegranate Noir. It has that masculine, woodsy, not fruity or flowery at all smell and I love it.

  51. Tokyo Milk’s Dead Sexy is amazing!

    • Shannon O'Connell says...

      Yes!!! My absolute favorite. I jokingly call it “whore at a funeral”. It’s like church incense and flowers, but sexy!

  52. This is SO good! I’ve never found a good way to fragrance shop and I think this is a perfect edit. I’m always curious what people think about different scents. The descriptions are excellent and the imagined woman wearing it, so perfect. I’ve accidentally found fragrances I like. My favorite is the vetiver cologne from Santa Maria Novella. I just happened to sample it while wandering around the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas and didn’t think much of it until about 30 minutes later when I couldn’t stop smelling my own wrist, it smelled so good. I’ll try others, but always go back to that one.

  53. Amanda says...

    I love hearing so many different favourites! I can never just settle on one scent, although my husband gifted me Miss Dior on our wedding day, so I love wearing it as it always brings me back to one of the best days of my life. Scents I am currently loving: Nemats Amber Oil, The Body Shop’s Jasmine White Musk Oil, and for the summer, FCUK Friction, which smells of coconut and vanilla; a guilty pleasure in the warmer months!

  54. Kim says...

    I work in fragrance, and it’s actually a urban legend that coffee beans cleanse the smell palette…the best method to reset is actually to smell your own fresh skin between smellings!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh wow, kim, good to know! thank you!

  55. Heather says...

    I have such a hard time deciding on perfume! This was great, but I’d love to see a version with all natural perfumes for those who can’t handle the chemicals.

    • Mallory says...

      I second this!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great idea, thank you!

    • Alina says...

      Yes!!! always searching for this and am not into essential oils….

    • Kelly says...

      I third this! Would love a more natural/organic version of this, maybe with some that are available as solid perfumes. Not sure how that would work out testing wise, but it would help out readers who can’t do sprays (asthma).

  56. Emma says...

    I was on a moist crowded stinky underground commuter train to work one morning and a woman walked by me smelling of life, liberty, and happiness. I begged her to tell me what she was wearing and it was Santal 33, I ran to the store and bought the X-L size. Now people stop me everywhere I go asking me what I am wearing. Worth every penny.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YES! lexi gave me the travel size as a gift, and it’s crazy how many people compliment the scent. i love it :)

    • Aya says...

      I rarely wear a scent but the night I wore a sample of Santal 33, 4 people complimented me. I feel like a sexy, comfortable me.
      I had it in my Nordstrom’s cart about 15 minutes ago, took it out, came over to CoJ, read the first sentence of this post and went right back and bought it. Ha. Thank you, Joanna!

  57. Laura says...

    MORE OF THESE! This post was so fun. I’d love to hear what people have to say about Nirvana Black (fave!). I don’t own any Jo Malone ones but that would also be interesting since they’re so “classic.”

  58. Tiffany says...

    I hate chemical scents and heavy perfumes- I’m also a nurse so I need to keep things light. When I want to wear a scent I’ll usually apply a drop or a combination of vanilla, jasmine, and sandalwood essential oils to my wrists, beck, or even armpits!

  59. Lisa says...

    I had to laugh at #4 “Paperback” – the brand’s description resonated with me, I love the smell of old books, and my favorite Whisky smells and tastest like that – but then the officemates’ reactions where kind of off-putting.
    I’d like to try #6 now, though :) Love the smell of sunscreen, am allergic – seems an awesome compromise!

  60. Cassy says...

    I love perfume. Unfortunately, many perfumes give me headaches if I wear them more than a few hours so I was limited to wearing them only a night when I knew I would showering the scent off in a few hours. After several years of testing, I finally found one that I can wear all day long, Le Labo’s Bergamonte 22. I can wear the other perfumes in the Le Labo line longer than other perfumes but this is the only one I can wear all day without a headache. The scent is subtle and feminine; its also my husband’s favorite of all the perfumes I tried so that is added bonus.

  61. Jenny says...

    This was a fun read! I’m really sensitive to scents and many give me an instant headache. But a few years ago I discovered L’Occitane’s Citrus Verbena Eau de Toilette and was instantly hooked. It smells fresh, warm, and summery. The juicy sweetness of the citrus balances the grassiness of the verbena. It’s very subtle, so it feels like something special just for me. I love catching a whiff of it on my scarf or the cuff of my sweater, or knowing that my boyfriend is breathing it in when he hugs me close.

  62. coda says...

    at the moment I am mixing my own scent using coconut oil, some lime and fresh basil. I combine the three ingredients at night and let them soak together over night. then after my morning shower I dab some on my collar bone and neck.

    in winter I use babyoll with vanilla and cinnamon.

    • Tiffany says...

      Yum! Thanks for the idea! I’ll bet any citrus rind, herby leaves, or even vanilla pods would make an excellent scent!

  63. Katie says...

    I love how scent is such a powerful reminder of a person or place. My mom has worn the same perfume since I was born and when my brothers and I were little, we would get upset when she didn’t smell like “our mom”. When I moved away from home (across the country), she gave me a little bottle of her purfume so I could smell it if I missed her. I’m almost 30 and I still smell that bottle when I’m homesick.

    • Zoe says...

      This is so sweet and lovely!

    • Rachel says...

      I know this! My great-grandmother wore Joy every day I knew her. She has been gone a long time but recently I bought a vintage bottle. As soon as I open the bottle I am transported to my father’s car as a child when she would reach back from the passenger seat and grab my hand to hold. It’s so strong sometimes I actual tear up from the vivid memory.

  64. I love Byredo’s Gypsy Water (which is the PERFECT perfume name!) and Chanel’s Coco perfume. I wore Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom mixed with Basil Neroli on my wedding day because I heard it’s tradition to carry orange blossom and I got married in Florida!

  65. jd says...

    ps, I buy perfume mini samples off ebay to try out new perfumes– minimize the investment in something one may not like, plus they are good for travel.

    • Kay says...

      You can also buy decants off of Lucky Scent or The Perfumed Court. Fun to try out new scents and convenient if you don’t live near stores that sell niche fragrances!

    • Tricia S says...

      Love this suggestion!! Thank you

  66. I love Hermes Eau des Merveilles – smells like the sea :) I’ve never been liked floral perfumes for whatever reason.

  67. jd says...

    I have mojave ghost and love it — so does my husband. not too overpowering

  68. Denise says...

    I haven’t been a perfume wearer but I like to gently smell them on others so I’ve been trying the ones you feature on this blog! So far I love Rain Day by Derek Lam 10 Crosby & Nuxe Huile de Prodigieuse. Unfortunately the Santal 33 smelled like a box of crayola crayons to me which is not for me. I’d love to try some of these if they sell the sample-size vials.

  69. Kay says...

    Byredo Bal D’Afrique for daytime/office; Le Labo Vanille for fall/winter, mostly but it’s a year-round scent, too; Le Labo Rose for evenings.

    I like buying rollerballs rather than full bottles because I tend to use only a dab of perfume each day, and I feel like a bottle would go bad before I could finish it. This also allows me to afford several scents in rotation at once.

    Previous faves: Chloe EDP, Stella, Stella Nude, SJP Lovely, and Gap Dream (high school!).

  70. Anna says...

    OH MY GOODNESS. I loved this post! I am not much of a perfume girl, and yet after reading the comments, I am suddenly a convert. Reading everyone’s responses made me realize how much I overlook this important sense. These smells are so important to not just our noses, but are all tied into memory and feelings and dreams. I think I have just enough on my Nordstrom gift card from Mother’s Day to get me some of that Mojave Ghost – sounds dreamy. Thanks Joanna!

  71. Clary says...

    I wasn’t a perfume girl, I thought it wasn’t for me. Then I read an article by Chandler Burr about how Le Jardin Sur le Nil was made for Hermes, http://chandlerburr.com/articles/chandlerdetail.htm
    The perfume entered my mind and I couldn’t think about anything else till I bought it, it was magical. Later I bought the other Jardines, the Jardin Sur le Toit is my second favorite.
    Funny to find a perfume triggered by the mind, not the nose.

  72. Patricia says...

    I love Egyptian Musk. I try to change it up every once in a while, but I always go back. I got Santal 33, but I kept smelling pickles and hamster cages when I wore it so I gave it to a friend. I had stored it in my makeup bag and I love the way my makeup smells from it, so it was just a combination of my skin and the scent that didn’t work.

    • Cara says...

      Oh my gosh this made me crack up- pickles and hamster cages!

  73. Nathalie says...

    I wear aromatic Elixir of Clinique since 10 years, it,s so special, so diferent than the others perfume, I can’t change. I live in France and i don’t know what american girls and women thing about this parfume?

  74. Katie says...

    I just love all of this so much. What a fun crew you work by/with! I’d wear Paperback cuz it’s cheap AND I teach English to 13-14 year olds, so it’d be delightfully “so meta”, as the kids say. Based on the feedback, I’d also give Mojave Ghost a whirl, as it sounds like it smells like my Grammy & Boppa’s So-Cal condo in the 80’s. YAY for that!

    My go-to fragrance of late is Paris, She Met Him in Secret, which is part of some real cute line Anthropologie carries. I fell for the scent & packaging. This winter, though, as part of my efforts to beat the winter blues, I was rubbing Coppertone on my wrists on the reg. So many people noticed & commented that I kept it up until we finally had our first week without any rain SINCE SEPTEMBER, last week.

    • Rebecca says...

      You must live in Seattle! Unbelievable winter but at least Memorial Day weekend was gorgeous!

  75. Love this! What a wonderful way to describe a fragrance. My mom has worn CHANEL Cristalle Eau de Toilette during the winter & Eau Verte during the summer FOREVER. It’s somewhat hard to find but kind of wonderful that my sister and I can dip into a store when we haven’t seen her in a long while and be reminded of her. I’ve been on a mission to find my signature scent for a while now. I fell in love with Diptyque’s L’Ombre dans l’Eau Eau before it became ubiquitous in the U.S. and went on a mission last summer to replicate Zenology’s black tea scent. I’m still searching. But yes, the element of “what does this scent say about me” and “do I like it” is a fun exercise in brand experience.

    P.S. Hi Tory & Wesley!

  76. So many people I adore in this post. I LOVE THIS!

  77. Julia says...

    For me it is Laura by Laura Biagiotti since I am 18 yrs old. I would describe it as just the right fragrance for a romantic woman who will always feel like a girl inside. :-)

  78. C.C. says...

    Shalimar! Always and forever! (but Channel No. 5 is a great back-up).

  79. Susan says...

    I’m a perfume junkie. My tastes range across the board from floral, to oriental, to green. I couldn’t imagine not having a different smell for every day. Some current favourites are anything by Juliette has a Gun, Stella McCartney’s ‘Lily’, and anything by Chloe. However my absolute, will wear until I die perfume is Gaiac 10 by le labo. Every time I wear it, without fail, someone comments on it.

  80. Lauren E. says...

    I wear Tocca Giulietta now but my favorite scent of all time is Inis Arose, an Irish perfume that I bought when studying abroad in Ireland, a trip that changed my life. I smelled it on someone riding the subway recently after not having smelled it for years and almost broke down in tears. When they say scent is the sense most closely tied to memory they sure aren’t kidding.

    • Sadhbh says...

      Ah, Inis Arose was my first EVER perfume! It was a gift from my mother when I started secondary school. It always reminds me of my school uniform. I think Arose has been discontinued, but I currently wear Inis Ór and I love it. You can buy it online! Also, glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Ireland – from a current Dublin resident x

  81. SN says...

    Jo Malone anything — I love Orange Blossom and Wood Sage & Sea Salt… and wore English Pear & Freesia on my wedding day :-)

  82. I particularly like fresh scents for my every day and I really like Elizabeth and James Nirvana White, I have a tiny rollerball version that I keep in my purse for touch ups and it just makes me happy =)

  83. What a fun post — As a writer I love people’s descriptions of scent. And — I also wear Santal 33! And sometimes I also wear Aesop’s Tacit, which is a bit more summery.

  84. Paige says...

    I wore Chanel Chance for years. I stopped wearing it when my son was born, as I was worried it would be too strong for newborn snuggles, and I just wanted to smell like his mama. I tried to wear it again when he was around 15 months old, but it gave me the worst headache. :( So I’m looking to try something new. Thinking maybe Burberry, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

  85. Gillian says...

    I LOVE this!!!
    I rotate things out and try to always buy perfumes that remind me of vacations or of special things- Dior’s Diorissimo reminds me of my wedding, because I carried Lily of the Valley and DS and Durga’s El Cosmico, reminds me of, well Marfa, a specific Christmas memory, and Home…and my husband (it was a surprise gift from the lobby shop at the Hotel San Jose in Austin). I also keep a bottle of Love’s Baby Soft- just an easy wear.

    My everyday favorite is Coqui Coqui’s Flor de Naranjo. We stayed at the hotel in Tulum on our honeymoon and every time I wear it, it is just instant joy.

    Perfume is so fun, I still even have a tiny bottle of Ralph Lauren Blue- which was the first perfume I ever bought.

  86. Lindsay says...

    I’m LOVING a perfume that I bought on a recent trip to Paris from a cute store called Fragonard (https://www-us.fragonard.com/en/) [You can buy online and ship to the US]

    The perfume is all natural and alcohol free. I find that it lasts longer and doesn’t irritate my skin like some perfumes. The scent I have is rose and I love the subtle scent and have been wearing it all the time.

    • Paige says...

      Fun! I actually visited where they make their perfume in Grasse, France!

    • kb says...

      Yes! Fragonard’s Eau Fantasque is the only perfume I wear, and have for years. I also did a tour of their facility in Grasse.

    • Lindsay says...

      Yes! I loved the ones I tried there, wish I had bought the violet one. Next time!

  87. Megan says...

    Lately, I’ve been wearing Diptyque’s Olene. It’s a white flower scent, heavy on the jasmine. I love it!

  88. Viv says...

    My mom always wore Chanel No 5. She has been gone 11 years & her small suitcase she always travelled with still retains that smell.

    • Lisa says...

      That is lovely.

  89. I’m looking forward to try “Beach”, it seems really cool! Nice post!

  90. Brittney says...

    I purchased a special perfume to wear on my wedding day, so every time I wore it, it would remind me of that day. It’s Byredo’s Mojave Ghost. I received so many compliments by men and women alike. Also, every time I wear it, even my friends say, “You smell like your wedding!” My husband loves it as well!

  91. Sara says...

    It would have been funny to see if they could match the scents to the bottle. Having anosmia is a nerve wracking game of do I smell okay, not too bad…, not too perfumey… I usually pick out packaging that I like or that has a nice description and then let my husband pick the one that he likes the smell of the most.

  92. I love the *idea* of changing up scents, but just like with my minimal wardrobe, I like the simplicity that having a “signature scent” brings! I wear In2U (terrible name, I know) by Calvin Klein and have for years. I don’t feel (smell?) like myself without it! My husband has worn the same cologne (the good ‘ol drugstore favorite, Curve Wave) for years too. It’s so weird when he occasionally changes it up.

  93. Sarah says...

    I recently tried out a fragrance company called Phlur. They make several different scents which you can sample (and by sample, I mean a one month supply, and you can get up to three of them for $15) and then you can apply the cost of the sample to the perfume you select for a discount! I tried 6 scents and landed on two that I love. My daily driver is called Hanami. I really appreciated this approach, because the scents are complex and smell different throughout your day, and also much different than they do in the bottle or on a test strip. You can do your own at-home scent testing party!

  94. Lindsay says...

    Blech. All perfume gives me a headache. :) #teamnoscent

    • Steph says...

      Same here!

    • Brianna says...

      This. As a migraine sufferer, even though scents generally aren’t a trigger for me, I’m not willing to take the risk. My grandfather wore Polo, so I do love to catch a whiff of that now and then.

    • Lizzy says...

      Me too. And if I get caught in an elevator with someone with a strong scent, my day is wasted in bed. THANK YOU for your consideration of not wearing perfume.

    • Julia says...

      Especially with a baby and young kids I almost stopped using strong scents. Now I’ve become hypersensitive about fragrances
      and hate it if someone sits next to me in a concert/bus/movie… forcing me to breathe in her/his strong perfume (or strong deodorant or even hairspray odor).

    • Sasha says...

      It’s the chemicals. Artificial fragrance= chemicals and they are really bad for our brains. Team no fragrance here as well.

      Also I love that my husband will hug me and snug his nose into my skin and say “mmm, you smell good…” & I just smell like me. He smells so nice to me as well. I love the smell of my dogs too.

    • emmanuella says...

      Here here. Fun to read about. Not fun to smell unfortunately.

  95. Jane says...

    I don’t wear perfume most of the time, but used to experiment with various scents. I like fresh, lemony ones.

    Also, I almost stopped reading at the first brand’s description of its perfume: “Cool spices and Mediterranean sea breeze — like the hills above Odessa.” Odessa is on the Black Sea, not the Mediterranean.

    • Clare says...

      This mistake caught my attention as well!

  96. My go-to has always been Issey Miyake – my mom and I both wear it. The notes of musk, freesia, and lillies instantly bring me back to being a little girl, watching her get ready. When I put it on, it’s like I’m borrowing the best parts of her – her strength, her beauty, her generosity. I don’t see how I can ever change perfumes, putting Issey on is basically a religious experience for me every morning!

    • Lauren Friedman says...

      I also wear Issey Miyake, after loving the way it smelt on my mom.

  97. Alli says...

    Oh, this was fun! I wear Esencia De Duende Perfume by Jesus del Pozo, and have for about 12 years. I get tons of compliments whenever I wear it, and my husband says it smells “like me.” I’ve never met a single other person who wears this… anyone out there?

    • Violeta says...

      I wear Halloween by Jesus del Pozo , and same story. 9 years, tons of compliments, but I just change to CK One yesterday!
      Now I want to know how Esencia de Duende smells!

    • Lauren E. says...

      Oh my gosh, I used to wear Esencia De Duende! In college. I walked into a perfume store and said, “I need a new scent” and literally smelled dozens of perfumes before I chose it. Can’t remember why I switched, but I will never forget that pretty bottle with the white top.

  98. Trisha says...

    Currently wearing Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon! Love it! But I really want to try some of the others mentioned as well!

  99. Jennifer O. says...

    I’ve become super sensitive to scent lately, but I’d love to find something that doesn’t give me a headache. I have a couple that I loved but are now too strong for me – is there any market for/anyone who’d want half-full perfume bottles?

  100. Lisa says...

    I love love love guccis “flora” and always get tons of compliments for it. Like, the cashier at a shop, the girl who sold me coffee and my (male) boss all commented that I smell really nice, the very first time I wore it, haha. I also always wore it on dates and every damn guy said I smell nice. I had a very intense dating period for a while so it was at least 10 guys and ALL of them made a comment. I take that as a win.

  101. k says...

    Estee Lauder “white Linen”. Always!!!!
    k

  102. One of my favorites is Si. I get compliments on it when I go salsa dancing, which I love ;) It’s not in your face or too sweet or strong.

    The others are the original Touch by Burberry. Also Armani Mania.

    http://www.mangotomato.com

  103. Sarah says...

    This is so fun! I never wear perfume (all smells made me nauseous during pregnancy and now I can’t go back — plus I hated people who wore perfume on public transportation and I take the bus daily) but I loved all the feedback. Mainly, I now think your officemates are awesome. More unbiased feedback from them please!

    • Sophia F. says...

      Yes! If they’re up for it I think a yay-or-nay office opinion poll on various things could be really fun. They seem like a fantastic, funny bunch. I burst out laughing at “Smells like bar mitzvahs because it’s what everybody’s bubbes wore in 1985.”

    • Sasha says...

      Yes!! Their reactions were so funny. You should have then try out other things.

  104. i’ve been wearing santal 33 for years but recently switched over to Le Labo’s jasmine scent, it’s been a nice change for the summer from santal and makes me feel so feminine and sunshine-y!

  105. Emilie says...

    A few years ago I decided I wanted a perfume to wear to work – something professional. I smelled Chanel No. 19 in a magazine, loved it, and asked for it for my birthday. My husband went to the perfume counter to get it and told me about this encounter afterwards. “I think my wife wants Chanel No. 19,” he said. The sales rep responded immediately, “Is she a strong, powerful woman?” “Um, yes?” my husband said. “She must be. Because if it’s Chancel No. 19, it’s Chanel No. 19.” That’s how I knew it was the right scent!

  106. The last one sounds good. I love perfume and have a few favourites along with a rotating wardrobe. Elizabeth Arden green tea and cherry blossom, Coolwater sea rose, CK Eternity, YSL Mon Paris, M&S tendre cherie and my ultimate favourite, Thierry Mugler womanity

  107. Beth says...

    I’ve worm Daisy by Marc Jacobs for a number of years now, but I would love to try Mojave Ghost. My problem is I always like the smell of something spritzed into the air, but then hate the smell on me. It’s hard to try out something so pricey for just that reason. My mother has worn Eternity for like 25 years now exclusively and I love how when my sons open a gift from her, they say it smells like Nana.

  108. Meagen says...

    “If paisley could smell like something, that’s what it would smell like.” hahahahah love it!!! And that makes good sense too!

  109. shannon says...

    Last Christmas my husband and I decided to buy new perfume/cologne for one another. We both went and smelled a bunch of things for ourselves and for each other. Our tastes are really different so we both had to sign off on both of the scents. His requirement was, “if a waitress walked by our table wearing this scent, would I want to know what it was? You have to smell as good as our waitress.” Ha! I like several perfumes at Victoria’s Secret and ended up with Bombshell – he has Lacoste Essential (green).

    Does anyone else remember Freshwater Cucumber from Bath and Body Works? It was the best!!

  110. Scarlett says...

    Also, I feel like I’m the only one in the world, but I can’t stand the smell of Santal 33…

    • J says...

      I’m with you :X

    • Lauren says...

      It really is unbelievable how every store, restaurant, and basically every city block smells like it. It is everywhere and on everyone. But I don’t know, it’s grown on me.

    • Allison says...

      Comrade! I ordered a sample size because I heard everyone going on and on about it. I took one whiff and realized I can’t bear it. I don’t understand. How can everyone adore this scent? I had to scrub it off my wrists and wrap the sample bottle up in a ziplock bag. It made me physically ill to smell it. Do I have a brain tumor? How does something this awful-smelling have everyone else enraptured?

    • Jules D says...

      It smells like pickles…

  111. Tiff says...

    I settled on a “go-to” scent a few years ago, right before my first daughter was born. It’s Giulietta by Tocca. It is light and clean with just a tiny hint of sweetness/floral.

  112. Amy says...

    I just found a new scent last week, called She Found Quiet in His Wild. They sell it at Anthropologie. I’m so terrible at identifying specific smells, but the website says it smells like delicate blossoms blended with rare fruits, white cedar woods, and creamy musk. I really like it.

    • Carly says...

      @Amy My sister in law and I both wear this perfume and love it! I bought it during a sale at Anthro and loved the smell and the packaging.

  113. Only essential oils; no need to put toxins on to smell nicely. :)

    • Sasha says...

      Yes! I love sandalwood.

  114. Georgina says...

    I love Hermes Orange Vert, but it never seems to last more than a few minutes on me! It reminds me of a holiday we took to a castle near orange groves in Spain when I was a child. Now I mainly use perfume oils – I bought Le Labo Thé Noir 29 oil for my wedding day and I LOVE it, and it lasts all day – sometimes I can even smell it after I’ve showered. I’m trying to use it only on special occasions so it always reminds me of our wedding and honeymoon.

  115. Kristin says...

    I love reading the comment section but never comment myself. I have to say though that this was such a fun post.

    As I lounge with my three-month-old baby sleeping on my chest, I’m in a phase of a life where perfume isn’t necessary. Where the most pleasing thing to my sweet baby girl is simply the natural scent of her mama… :)

    • Sasha says...

      :)

  116. Karen says...

    I love articles like this… in a different life, in which I’d studied Chemistry A level, I’d have been a perfumier. Gotta love the companies’ rather wanky descriptions : what on earth is xeric? ! Reminded me of the Calvin Klein adverts in the 90s; enjoyed the way your testers brought them right down to earth : smells like gravy/ my gran’s handbag/ a coat that fell down the back of the wardrobe, etc.
    Jo – what would be your desert island perfume?

    • Erin says...

      I agree with you, Karen; I appreciated the juxtaposition of the companies’ description and the blind testers observations. It’s a nice reminder that much of the cosmetics industry and consumer culture in general is marketing. While there are makeup/cosmetics/personal care brands doing really cool work rn, I think it’s important for us all to be able to cut through the bullshit and be able to see products in a more skeptical light. As this post demonstrates, a sense of humor is super helpful with this! :)

      I’d like to read more posts like this in the future – maybe you could blind test other products with your officemates as guinea pigs!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “maybe you could blind test other products with your officemates as guinea pigs!” = haha would love to! :)

    • Jillygirl says...

      Xeric as in xeriscape…a “xeric wilderness” refers to a natural landscape, usually rather minimal, like beautiful desert brush in bloom kind of thing.

  117. Jess L. says...

    I have been wearing Reserve Skin by Clean lately, and LOVE it! The description is perfect, and if a hug had a smell, this would be it! Here’s the description on the box — Reserve Blend Skin depicts the tenderness and soft intimacy of a warm embrace—a blended combination of comforting salty sweetness.

  118. I am ever so loyal to Bodyshop’s White Musk because its cheap and lovely. I am saving money to get Pop my Stella McCartney. Its so pricey but I love it! I always spray some on me everytime I visit Boots!

  119. Melissa Rosen says...

    How did u pick this lot to sample?? Where is Gypsy Water?? Modern Classic. Amazing name, too. :)

  120. Jenny says...

    If you are concerned about hormone disrupters and toxins (you drink from a glass water bottle etc), strongly consider not wearing perfume, especially perfume containing DEP. Super-strongly consider not wearing perfume when you are pregnant because DEP is a teratogen.

  121. Kali says...

    I turned 35 and wanted to wear perfume. On a whim one day I went in search of something that would make me feel more put together, no matter the situation. Having absolutely no clue where to start I sprayed and smelled for hours. Then I searched perfume on COJ because, let’s face it, it’s a ridiculous amount of products I’ve bought based on recommendations from this here blog. Up popped Stella’s beauty uniform and Giorgio Armani’s Si. I bought it. I love it. I feel 133% better every morning after I spray it. Fancy + approachable + polished + easy.

  122. Scarlett says...

    Mine is Chanel Chance Eu Tendre. I always get so many compliments when I wear it!

  123. Liz says...

    Love Nemat’s amber oil. Also, Jo Malone’s sea salt and wood sage body cream. Those two are my go to scents. On men, I love Acqua di Parma’s original scent. And I don’t know if it was just me, but I swear every man in London smelled wonderful… just like every woman in Paris smelled divine.

    • Mel says...

      I love the smell of Jo Malone’s sea salt and wood sage! However, the perfume fades almost immediately. Sounds like I should give the body cream a try?

  124. For a decade (or longer) I wore Coco Mademoiselle. A couple of years ago after some allergy testing, it was discovered the reason for my breaks out, eczema, etc (all cause post-baby), was due to an allergy to fragrance. The first order of business was no more perfume, switching out all of my body products and ALL of my makeup (big bummer). Since then I wear some lavender and patchouli oil – and have never received so many compliments on my scent! Even strangers on the street have asked what I am wearing. I have also received what I believe may be the best compliment on a rush hour subway, “Excuse me, I don’t mean to sound weird, but your armpits smell amazing!” (from a woman, thanks to my deodorant with lavender oil)

    • Liz says...

      Would love to know the proportions of your lavender/patchouli mix. Sounds very nice. I recently fond out I’m allergic to fragrance.

  125. nicole says...

    I love Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume. It smells like everything and nothing all at once. It’s perfection!

    • Holly says...

      Yes! I love “Not a Perfume.” I’m sensitive to certain scents (migraine) and I can wear this. It’s clean and warm at the same time – my favorite!

  126. Kelsey says...

    I love perfume! I wear Clean Cashmere to work because it’s so subtle and then I’ve been on an Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon and Replica Beachwalk kick this year. Burberry Brit is my classic.

    • Jess L. says...

      I wore Burberry The Beat until I switched this January to Clean Reserve Skin! I will have to check out the others you listed b/c it sounds like we have similar taste in perfume! :)

    • Lacey says...

      I’m on the same kick, so now I must check out Clean Cashmere and Burberry Brit. Thanks for the suggestions!

  127. Colleen says...

    Sadly I don’t wear perfume anymore as I work in an office and so many people have scent sensitivities. I don’t wear it at home either as my husband’s allergies get triggered by strong scents. My two all time favorites are Perry Ellis (head and shoulders above all others ever!) and Lauren by Ralph Lauren (that lovely freesia scent!). Sigh. Those are how my young single days smelled…

    • Jen says...

      YES! Perry Ellis

  128. How fun!
    My favorite perfume is Chanel #19 which I wore in college, but sadly sadly sadly my husband is allergic to most fragrances and yes, Chanel #19. I like it tons better than Chanel #5.

    I have found a scent, though, after years of just smelling like soap, that my husband can smell and actually loves! It’s Moringa from The Body Shop and I mainly use the oil because the scent stays so long, and I can run it through my hair, too.

    • Lisa says...

      I use Moringa too!

  129. I have a Fresh brand, Brown Sugar scent roller ball and love it. I basically refuse to spend more than $25-30. I’ve been looking at some of the Nest scents and occasionally will forgo wearing a scent when I leave my house and swing by Sephora to put one on and then I have the day to decide how I feel about it!

  130. Rachel Powell says...

    I decided I wanted to be a “perfume wearing girl” several years ago, and after dragging my best friend ALL over the place in search of the perfect scent, she walked up to the counter at SAKS and said “My friend wants to smell like laundry and the outdoors. Can you please help us?” My love for Bond No.9 “The Scent of Peace” was born that day, and will remain forever, I think! The only problem is, they have a million amazing fragrances, so whenever I go to buy a new bottle, I get distracted and want to switch it up. I almost never do, though…

  131. yael steren says...

    I’m one of those people who are super sensitive to smell so it’s especially hard for me to find perfumes i love but I’m a huge fan of Joie’s perfume – Folle de joie and I also used to love Sung, by Alfred Sung but I don’t think it’s produced anymore. xx yael

  132. Currently wearing Rain and Fig perfume from Old Navy haha! Cheap and really nice :)

  133. That’s funny – I actually do wear beach perfume only in the winter to fend off seasonal affective disorder! It really helps! That and the Hawaiian themed nail salon in our neighborhood.

  134. Rosie says...

    This is too much fun – loved the format of this and think it could work for all sorts of products/reviews in the future.

    My brother gave me Le Labo’s jasmin fragrance for my wedding and now whenever I wear it, I’m instantly transported back to my honeymoon. It’s so dreamy.

  135. I used to be a huge perfume person, and I still wear a scent every day. Before, I used to have a pretty large collection and switch between them depending on mood, but as I get older I’ve found myself wanting to have just one or two scents. Right now my daily one is Narciso Rodriguez for her. I really like, but I’m trying to use it up (it’s a massive bottle). The other one I have is Bulgari Jasmin Noir. It’s spicy and floral and SO. SEXY. It’s my date night perfume. Just smelling it myself turns me on! Haha. Finally, many days I just go for good ol’ vetiver essential oil, and ironically, that’s the one that gets the most compliments from people! Plus it’s such calming smell for me (some say it helps with anxiety, and I’ve found that to be true for me), so I always carry a little bottle of it in my purse.

  136. Carly says...

    I’m into having a staple scent. I’ve been wearing amber oil (from Whole Foods) for years. It’s subtle and sexy and a little goes a long way. Joe Malone ‘sea salt and wood sage’ is amazing too. Xx

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Sea Salt and Wood Sage is one of my faves! It’s great for layering, too :)

    • Auste says...

      Yes to WF Amber oil! I don’t wear perfume anymore (stopped when I was pregnant with my first and never picked it up again), but when I want to be a little fancy I do amber oil and I love it. Maybe I’ll look into the sea salt and wood sage as well:)

  137. In high school/college my signature scent was Burberry Brit…I have since branched out to rotate through Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black and Nirvana Bourbon, but I still keep a bottle of Burberry Brit on hand and wear occasionally. I’m getting married in September and keep looking for a special new perfume to wear for the big day, but I haven’t found anything I like that much yet. I might try some of these ones though…

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Love Elizabeth & James Nirvana!

    • Caitlyn says...

      My best friend took me on a “wedding scent” shopping trip a few weeks before my wedding – it was the best day! We strolled around stores, sampling perfumes and giggling like we were in high school again. I ended up with a beautiful perfume that evokes wedding day memories every time I wear it, which is a bonus gift on top of the precious time spent with my best friend. We had cocktails after shopping, naturally.

  138. I second this (the trip-perfume combination)! I now do this on purpose: whenever we go to a new city or country, I take a new perfume or sample with me. Our trip along the Nike smelled like Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès (the boat actually had it as little soaps in the bathroom), Venice like Elie Saab, Thailand was like Eau de Siam, my Erasmus year in Milan was as sweet as C’est rien que du bonheur… It’s incredibly powerful when it comes to waking up good memories.

    • Along the Nile, of course! Ha ha ha, a Nike smell would have been different :-)))

    • Lis says...

      I’m obsessed with Un Jardin sur le Nil! Hermes makes all of my favorite perfumes but un jardin sur le nil might be the best.

  139. Melissa says...

    I’m a recent devotee to the brand For Strange Women. I can’t wear traditional perfumes, because they give me terrible headaches, but this brand creates small batch, essential-oil best blends that are more subtle. Everything I’ve tried so far smells amazing, but the one I wear most is called Evergreen Mountain.

  140. Paula says...

    Now I need to try the last and first one!! They sound so intriguing. I used to work for a small independent perfume brand in my country. The final product was great and the brand’s concept was super interesting, but my boss (the owner) was so abusive that I refuse to recommend it to anyone! I actually read every perfume article that comes my way just to check that they’re not being promoted. It hurts so much to see how people on the outside admire him when he’s such a terrible person (to work with, at least). What I really liked, however, was getting to know how the business works and trying on so many scents. My favorite one was a combination of rose with black pepper.

  141. This was hilarious and amazing and fun to read because I have a new, someone clandestine obsession with perfume. Please tell me you’ll do this perfume smell test like every season at least!

  142. TJ says...

    I love this review! I adore fragrances, and right now am wearing Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, but now I want to try the Mohave Ghost. I think I need to smell like stone fruit haha

    Side note: I tried to wear Chanel No. 5 a few different times in my life (including high school, which HA!, and it just seemed too…department storey or something.

  143. Lara says...

    Favorite review comment: “Did you dip this piece of paper in gin? Is this gin?”

    What a great approach to reviewing perfumes!! So fun, thoughtful, and relatable.

  144. I have the Mohave Ghost hair perfume and it’s really light (or bright as the sales person said) and I love it. What does that wee Greyhound smell like, tho??

  145. cooper says...

    I love fragrances, but I always panic and become totally indecisive when go into a perfume store and end up buying myself men’s cologne, because it’s easier for me to find something I like in that section! But I recently discovered a really cool perfume set from Sephora that contained 10-12 perfume samples that I could try on at home and wear for awhile before committing to a full-size bottle (the set came with a voucher for a free bottle of one of the samples). It made the experience so much more fun for me – I ended up with Burberry Black, partially because I loved how the scent lingered all day (which I never would have discovered from an in-store sniff).

  146. Cynthia says...

    You can’t judge a scent by the way it smells on one of those white strips. You have to wear it. I wear Philosophy’s Amazing Grace, and I have a sample of Santal 33 but it is too expensive for my budget. I have never liked Chanel No. 5, as it doesn’t work for me. I have a sample of Black Opium, and I was surprised at what a light scent it is. The name made me think it might be too strong for me to wear. I’ve also worn Calyx by Clinique, and I like Happy as well, but I have to be careful because it is strong. I like anything that smells like roses.

    • Alyssa says...

      Love this piece. So fun to hear what people think of different fragrances.

      I wear a lot of Amazing Grace by Philosophy. It smells sophisticated but comforting to me. I’ve gone through so many bottles. I also have a couple of their limited edition summer scents that smell like sunscreen and sunshine.

      Lately I’ve been wearing Bath and Body Work’s body spray in eucalyptus spearmint. It’s just so so fresh and relaxing. The smell of it instantly calms my anxious mind and forces me to take a deep breath. I can’t get enough of it lately. It’s just so simple.

  147. Anne says...

    I got my first real perfume this year – Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. I had been stealing spritzes in department stores for years haha. It feels lovely to start the morning with perfume, and even though I do love my Chanel, it makes me want to experiment with other perfumes too!

  148. Elizabeth says...

    Can I please have more information about this office dog? :)

    • Ashley says...

      I’m personally looking for some more information on the office hunk! Hello Mr. Sunglasses-on-my-shirt. Is he single? Hook a girl up, Jo!

    • Jacqueline Morgan says...

      Yes, my favorite part of the article is the whippet!

    • Maria says...

      Yes!!! Jo, tell us more about the whippet! I would *love* to be able to take mine to work, but I work in a hospital so that might be unrealistic… Jo, you should do a post on taking pets to the office – and pleeease interview this whippet’s owner!! :)

    • Nadine says...

      Haha! I had the same thought! That snuggle pic is so sweet

    • Wb says...

      Yes this. Love.

  149. I’m a Burberry Brit gal. Mainly, it’s because I brought it on a vacation to Amsterdam and any time I wear it, it reminds me of that perfect trip.