Culture Desk Faves: Signature Scents

The Culture Desk dish on their beloved perfumes.

Multi colored perfume bottles line a windowsill. The WSN Culture desk is here to discuss some of their favorite perfumes. (Staff Photo by Bella Gil)

If you asked someone, “What perfume are you wearing right now?” most people would be able to answer in a heartbeat.The Culture Desk dishes below on what scent defines them (at the time):

Fragonard Frivole Parfum

Tatiana Velasco, Deputy Culture Editor

L’odeur évoque la mémoire. This means “smell evokes memory.” When I studied abroad in Paris last summer, I toured the Musée du Parfum Fragonard. During the tour, I learned how perfumes were made as well as when and how one should wear them. But one fact I learned that stuck with me most is that smell is the sense most strongly connected to memories and emotions. At the end of the tour, I picked up a bottle of Frivole, which is now my favorite perfume. It has top notes of green mandarine, bergamot orange and lemon, heart notes of jasmine, lily of the valley and peony and base notes of patchouli, iris and musk. It’s a bright, daytime perfume. I wore it every day thereafter. So now, when I spray some on, I think of the many hot midsummer days I spent at one of the cafes along the Seine, lounging in those typical wooden bistro chairs facing out to the river as I study my French books and sip a double espresso. 

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Gucci Bloom

Divya Nelakonda, Beauty & Style Editor

I think sometime around my junior year of high school I developed a strong desire to smell good at all times. I had just received a perfume sampler set for Christmas, and constantly had a rollerball and breath mints in my bag. Though come to think of it, this obsession was not unfounded; my middle school mall trips were dominated by lengthy visits to Bath & Body Works where my nose had to scan every limited edition seasonal scent before I left the store. Somehow I ended up at my favorite fragrance today, Gucci Bloom. It’s mature without being overly musky, a flower without being too powdery. It is the perfect combination of richness and freshness. My one confession: I don’t actually own a bottle of this fragrance, and have been subsisting off of free samples from Sephora for over a year. 

Laura Mercier Body Butter

Lauren Gruber, Dining Editor

This might sound weird, but lately I have been using body lotion as perfume. But this isn’t just your average Bath and Body Works lotion. Laura Mercier’s Body Butter is luscious and intensely perfumed, making it perfect for swiping on my wrists and behind my ears for a scent just as strong as perfume. My signature scent is the ambre vanillé, a rich, sensual blend of subtly sweet vanilla and woodsy amber musk. Even better, when I want to wear a body lotion, it won’t clash with the scent of my perfume. 

Still Searching

Bella Gil, Culture Editor

Some of my favorite memories include my sister and I playing with our grandmother’s perfume tray in her room, smelling each and every one of them and marveling at the different shapes of the bottles and spicy scents. Because of this, my grandmother gifted me perfume every year for Christmas or my birthday, and one of her favorite ones to give me was Juicy Couture’s Viva La Juicy. Viva La Juicy was my signature scent through middle school and a little bit of high school (along with the Justin Bieber perfume or One Direction perfume). When I got older, I realized I wanted something different, a little more mature, and since then, I’ve bounced around, testing scent after scent, still not holding on to one as much as I did Viva La Juicy. Gucci Guilty Eau de Toilette held top spot for me for a while, but since running out, I’ve jumped to Dior’s Poison Girl and Lancome’s Idole, but I still haven’t found one that makes me want to repurchase when empty. I hope one day to have a collection as extensive as my grandmother’s; until then I’m just going to eenie-meenie-minie-moe pick a scent from my developing perfume tray.  (Pro tip: Sephora has a perfume sale every year around the beginning of the year, also the only time I shop for perfume!) 

Email the Culture Desk at [email protected]

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