Up your scent game and empty your wallet with these 6 designer fragrances

Wake up and smell the patchouli, we’re going fragrance shopping.


Natalia Palacino Camargo

From the cologne worn by wannabe-billionaire Sternies to Timothée Chalamet’s signature scent, WSN is here to help you decide what type of fragrance you should wear. (Illustration by Natalia Palacino Camargo)

Ary Russell, Contributing Writer

If you’re like me, you absolutely dread walking into Sephora. While you might love testing out the latest eyeshadow palettes and fragrances, chances are you will face the inevitable moment where you attempt to form a coherent sentence about the exact scent you’re going for to the perfume specialist nodding along. You sound like you’ve had too much caffeine and you feel like you’re wasting their time when the store is clearly crowded. It’s embarrassing. But never fear; this guide can help you skip the awkwardness. These six designer perfumes from Sephora are an investment, so I recommend requesting free samples to test out if the scent works for your every day or special occasion activities before you commit.  

1. Good Girl by Carolina Herrera

If you’ve been longing for the chance to bring your femme fatale fantasies to life, then Good Girl by Carolina Herrera is the perfume for you. Like an actual femme fatale, this perfume draws you in with its sweet, seductive jasmine floral scent and proceeds to go in for the kill with the intoxicating smell of tonka bean and a hint of lemon. The packaging brings the whole thing together. Its tall blue stiletto heel shape demands to be the center of attention, just like you.

Get 1.7 ounces of this fragrance for $100 at Sephora.

2. Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

Who would I be if I neglected our Sternies? This woody French cologne contains notes of citrus, cedar, tonka bean and vanilla to elicit a thick, bold and clean-cut presence. Though it’s marketed as a men’s cologne, this powerful fragrance is the perfect choice for anyone on their #billionairegrindset — spritz it on yourself before you leave for your Goldman Sachs internship. It is definitely strong so there is no need to drench yourself in it. That means you can get much more use out of it, giving you a better deal for the price you pay, but you already knew that from business school, didn’t you?

Get 1.7 ounces of this fragrance for $102 at Sephora.

3. Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

Tom Ford is the king of unique, versatile fragrances — and Tobacco Vanille proves it. Admittedly, this was the first fragrance I searched for when I walked into the store because I heard a rumor that Timothée Chalamet wears this scent. I won’t lie when I tell you that it was an acquired taste. Oh, who am I kidding? I was a bit repulsed by the smell. The smokey tobacco felt too overbearing in comparison to the sweetness of the vanilla, reminiscent of the time I burned ice cream in an attempt to recreate a Buzzfeed Tasty fried ice cream recipe. But then something interesting happened. As I went on to take notes of the other perfumes, I couldn’t stop myself from coming back to that faint cigarette-and-pastries, St. Mark’s-on-a-Friday-night smell. Was it the Chalamet placebo effect or just natural adjustment? Either way, I conclude that Tobacco Vanille is a great option for people who want to evoke a gritty yet sweet aura.

Get 1.7 ounces of this fragrance for $270 at Sephora.

4. Replica “Bubble Bath” by Maison Margiela

This fragrance is amazing for people wanting to exude that natural, effortless kind of beauty. There’s no other way to describe this scent other than soapy, clean and fresh, hence the name “Bubble Bath.” This scent is created with accords, perfumery lingo for a scent developed from several ingredients, of soap bubbles, coconut milk and white musk. “Bubble Bath” is one scent in Maison Margiela’s eclectic “Replica” collection, which includes a range of super-specific scents such as “Jazz Club” and “Beach Walk” that smell exactly how they sound. 

Get one ounce of this fragrance for $76 at Sephora.

5. Sauvage by Dior

At first sniff, this cologne’s warmth and spice will overwhelm you. The citrusy bergamot and peppery nutmeg are so tantalizing and mysterious that when I smelled them I was immediately reminded of the brooding CEO love interests of the Wattpad stories I used to read in middle school. This is another strong scent that doesn’t require too much product to make an impact. It’s a special gift for someone who is approaching maturity and put-togetherness — or at least trying to.

Get two ounces of this fragrance for $105 at Sephora.

6. CANDY Eau de Parfum by Prada

Candy lovers are in luck with this tooth-rotting perfume by Prada. The fragrance’s caramel base is the source of its namesake sugary sweet smell. It’s also layered with musk, giving the scent an added complexity and sensuality. This is a fantastic everyday fragrance built for the girl next door. It has an intoxicating and playful sweetness that makes you feel like you strolled out of Dylan’s Candy Bar with a big plastic bag of sweets by the ounce every time you wear it.

Get 1.7 ounces of this fragrance for $96 at Sephora. 

With these six versatile options to choose from, hopefully the process of finding the right fragrance through all the confusing descriptions, fancy bottles and coffee bean palette cleansers will become a little less intimidating. March to the back of that Sephora with confidence!

Contact Ary Russell at [email protected].