Favorite Fragrances

It started with Love’s Baby Soft in my pre-teen years. I didn’t wear it much, but I liked having the bottle on my dresser. Then CK One came out in 1994, and that is when I started wearing perfume regularly. I liked that it was androgynous, but then it was followed by some questionable fragrances in my later teens and early twenties from Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, and Gap. (I remember really liking one simply called “Grass.” What?)

It took a lot of experimenting over the years, but I know what I like now. Amber and sandalwood are favorites. I also like patchoulli and oud, though I didn’t think I did for a long time. And then on another note, I like rose.

Favorite Fragrances #makingitlovely

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle was one that I wore a lot until a few years ago, but Stella, by Stella McCartney edged it out of my rotation. I also love Prada’s Amber scent, though it’s pretty heavy and reserved for fall and winter, only on occasion. With spring arriving, I’ll be back to L’Eau de Chloé, and I might add Elizabeth and James’ Nirvana Black to my small collection. (I’d been using a tester since I had included it in my last style post, but I’m not sure I like the vanilla in there.)

Sometimes I delve into the perfume blogs and forums, and it’s intriguing, but they speak another language. The Perfect Scent by Chandler Burr was fascinating. I’m certain that there are some amazing fragrances out there that I’m missing, because I don’t know which avenues to explore (and testing them out in the store always feels overwhelming to me). Do you have any favorites that you’d recommend?

140 Responses to “Favorite Fragrances”

  1. cindyetta March 11, 2014 at 5:32 am #

    I’m super sensitive to florals, so I wear scents by Comptoir Sud Pacifique. My favorite is vanille abricot.

  2. Grace March 11, 2014 at 5:41 am #

    I really love Acqua Di Parma fragrances. Especially Iris Nobile edp, Magnolia Nobile edp, and the classic Colonia Assoluta edc. All gorgeous!

  3. Marie March 11, 2014 at 6:49 am #

    I´m 23 and I don´t get why (at least it seems like) I am the only one wearing perfume. None of my friends is wearing a scent, although I love the fact of having a signature scent. So many people asked me about my scent and I like being recognized for it. I already had a few different perfumes, starting with Cool Water, some cheap Bruno Banani scent, to CK In2U (loved that one, but I feel like it´s not fitting anymore)to Lolita Lempicka (that´s the perfume I got most commented on and loads of people told me it fits perfectly). But sometimes you just get bored so I changed to YSL – Manifesto L’elixir and it seems like everybody likes something about this perfume. When you first apply it, it smells pretty floury, but later you´ll get a warm vanilla, heliotrope, musky scent…. I simply am in love… some people compared it to Alien but I haven´t tried this one yet.

    Different but related topic: So few of my male friends are wearing perfume.. I definitely recommend perfume for everybody and especially a nice fragrant on a guy (not the I-took-a-bath-in-perfume-one)… indispensable!

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

      I love the idea of having a signature scent too, but I haven’t found one that is absolutely perfect enough to be it. I would like to, but I’m a slow experimenter. I find one that I like every few years and add it to the mix. Stella is a strong contender for me, but I feel like there’s probably something out there I’d like even more.

  4. Jill March 11, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    Your list matches mine pretty well, from Love’s Baby Soft to patchouli and sandalwood and even Grass! I had forgotten about Grass! In high school, I wore sandalwood beads and patchouli oil almost every day. Gah. After college, I stopped wearing perfume for several years, but my dad (of all people!) bought me perfume for Christmas two years ago and I wear it everyday–Flowerbomb by Victor & Rolf. It is light and has a hint of rose and patchouli. I love it.

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

      Someone else recommended that one too! I’m going to look for it.

    • Kim // Yellow Brick Home March 13, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      I was going to recommend this one as well! Based on what you like, this seems to hit the nail on the head.

  5. Lindsay March 11, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    I’m into Toyko Milk’s frangrance line. Right now I’m wearing No. 79. It is very floral and gingery. When I first smelled it I couldn’t decided if I liked it or not.

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

      I’ll have to look into the line. A lot of people have commented that they’re wearing different variations from it.

  6. Lisa March 11, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    I like fruity and soft florals, and especially love Clinique Happy and all of it’s versions. It’s uplifting and well, happy, without overwhelming or offending. I also enjoy clean scents. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the perfect one.

  7. Kelsey March 11, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    I have always worn Tom Ford’s Black Orchid and if they ever got rid of it I might cry, I absolutely love it. It’s floral and citrus, but it still has a darkness and depth to it with the sandalwood, patchouli, and vanilla. Plus I love the art-deco bottle it comes in.

  8. Elena March 11, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    I love Daisy by Marc Jacobs. That’s what I’m wearing right now until I run out and then I’ll find another scent. Before that was Romance by Ralph Lauren. Love them both.

  9. Stephanie March 11, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    I will have to check out those perfumes… your past loves were all my favorites too, so we must have similar taste in scents! I’m sure if I sniffed CKOne it would take me right back to my sophomore year of high school and my first job working at a movie theater.

    I also loved Gap Grass… so much so that when I spotted it at the Gap outlet last summer I had to buy a bottle. It’s really fresh and clean and yes, smells like a freshly cut lawn. It’s been a good antidote to this terrible winter.

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

      Wow, they had a bottle for sale? I would flip! I want to smell it again!

  10. Jules March 11, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    So crazy! My post tomorrow is about finally finding my “signature” scent. I figured I deserved to write about something fun and pretty for a change. (You already know what it is because I wrote about it on FB right before Valentine’s day.)

    Funny that L’Eau de Chloé has been my preferred scent the last year or so–I, too, am drawn to rose–because as far as least favorite scents go, amber and sandalwood top my hate list. Layer it with fruit to create that warm/fruity/sugar cookie scent and I’m dead. Anything by Hanae Mori should be taken off the market. Since they’ve had some of the top performing perfumes since the mid 90s, I know I’m pretty much alone on this.

    Amber Romance by Victoria’s Secret makes good gnat repellant. Just saying.

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

      Loved your post, and of course you deserved to write about something light. I don’t like fruity or food-based scents either (in perfume or candles, gag), but beyond that we are fragrance opposites. I should go check out Amber Romance, ha!

  11. shanley March 11, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    though it has the WORST bottle that makes it look like a teenaged girl’s dream, angel eau de toilette by thierry mugler smells amazing -definitely down the line of patchouli, vanilla, cedar, sandalwood, the things you seem to be drawn towards too.

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

      Oof, that is a bad bottle. I have seen it listed on ‘best of’ lists consistently over the years though. Vanilla’s not something I’m drawn to (I tolerate it, but don’t look for it), but I’m curious about it now.

  12. Amanda Risius March 11, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect perfume for years! It’s quite the struggle. I have DKNY Be Delicious, but I find it being too sweet at times. I need a few other options to rotate as well. I’m not sure what undertones I like even!

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

      I figured it out by searching all of the perfumes I’ve liked (whether I ended up buying them or not), and then noting what they had in common. Patchouli gets such a bad rap as the butt of hippie jokes, but when I paid attention, I found that it’s in a bunch of fragrances I like!

      • Emily March 19, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

        I’m searching the (fairly mainstream) couple of perfumes I wear, trying to find a description of their notes (is that even the right term?) Not having much luck.

        Any tips on where to find ingredients/descriptions of perfumes?

        FWIW, I seem to be drawn to water-based perfumes and candles. I LOVED Gap Heaven forever and now wear Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue and Burberry Brit. Considering adding CK One Summer to the mix.

      • Making it Lovely March 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

        Sephora and other sites usually list the notes in the description. Burberry Brit, for example: “Notes:
        Italian Lime, Icy Pear, Green Almond, White Peony, Sugared Almonds, Amber, Mahogany, Vanilla, Tonka Bean.”

  13. Giulia March 11, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    we have a no-scent policy at work since there are 3 people that have extreme allergies to perfumes. Because of that I stopped wearing perfume all together. I don’t really miss it. I used to wear Aqua di Gio, Issey Myaki and Burberry – I like the fresh clean scents.

  14. Amy J. March 11, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Along the same lines as personal fragrance, check out this line of candles for some great home fragrance!


    Many of the scents lean towards the masculine side and are DIVINE.

  15. Lisa March 11, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    I love vanilla and cannot stand the smell of patchouli. Lately I’ve been wearing Jennifer Aniston. It’s very light and smells like summertime at the beach.

  16. Wendy March 11, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Have you tried any Atelier Cologne? The Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolue is great! If you are a fan of spicy rose scents it might be worth a sniff.
    You can find it at Neiman Marcus and Sephora for sure…not sure where else they carry it. Sephora has a travel size set right now w/ the vanilla, orange and the rose if you don’t want to invest a lot of money up front.
    FYI, it was also recommended to layer the rose sent with their orange sanquine and that is equally nice!

    • Kat March 12, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

      I was also going to suggest Atelier Cologne! Rose, orange, and vanilla scents are not as sweet as you would think. I love my Tocca Meet the Girls travel set. I just started getting back into perfumes again after a long frangrace free phase. I was talking with a lady in Sephora and she suggested that you can have a morning and evening scent to go with your mood changes.

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      I’m going to look for it, thanks!

  17. Noelle March 11, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    I am so sensitive to perfumes that there are very few I can wear without getting a headache. On a recent trip to Paris I was hoping to come back with a new perfume that was oh so “French”. I discovered Chloe and I absolutely love it. It smells like a garden of roses. It also lasts for hours and hours unlike a lot of my other fragrances. Fun post, thanks for sharing :)

  18. heidi March 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    We were fragrance twins back in the day (LBS CK1). I used to wear Lovely, SJP until i found Chanel Gardenia. I cant shake that I like a bit of floral in my perfume.

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      I haven’t tried Gardenia, but I like Lovely. My sister wore it for a long time, and my mom did briefly too.

  19. Clever Girl Reviews March 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    I could honestly talk about perfume all day long. Seriously. I have tons of ones I love and a lot more I can recommend to you! Check out my blog too, I’ve got many perfume posts and one devoted to rose scents. I’m pretty in sync with Mr. Burr. Give Balenciaga’s new Florabotanica a try! I also need Nirvana Black!

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

      I tried to look, but only saw the most recent post. Is there a search bar on the site that I’m overlooking?

  20. Chelsea March 11, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    TokyoMilk’s Dead Sexy is my go to scent! I, too, love amber and sandalwood – I have a gazillion candles scattered throughout my house carrying that name!

  21. michelle March 11, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    OMG! Grass!! Ha! I have a half-used bottle of that still that I am hoarding for a “special” occasion! I still really like it – but I’m with you, it seems like it was from such an “era” of my life. Thanks for the rundown!

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

      I’m so curious about whether I would still like it or not. I’m guessing yes, but it’s been so long! I don’t think I’d want to wear it, but I’d love to come across a bottle just to smell it again.

  22. Sarah @ 702 Park Project March 11, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    The new Tory Burch is super awesome, plus it’s the cutest bottle ever. My favorite “classic” scent is Oscar by Oscar de la Renta.

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

      Tuberose is usually a deal breaker for me, but I do love that bottle!

  23. Kate March 11, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    I totally had CK One and I remember liking “Grass” too!! Classic! :P

  24. merlin513 March 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    Just about anything from Black Phoenix Alchemy lab…tho those are actually essential oil blends and not ‘perfume’ like what one buys from the store.

  25. Jo March 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Bulgari Rose. I think you’d like it, based on what you wrote. It’s a favorite of mine.

    Hermes Un Hardin sur le nil, is another great one.

  26. Jo March 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Jardin, not Hardin!

    (Silly auto correct)

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

      That Hermes one was mentioned a lot in Burr’s book as a fantastic perfume.

  27. Ashley March 11, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    I looooooooooooved Grass from the Gap. I had an old bottle with a smidgen left that I held onto for years. I think I finally threw it away when I got married and we moved to a new place.

  28. Antonella March 12, 2014 at 8:17 am #

    In my twenties my favourite scents were Cheap and chic by Moschino and Sunflower by Elisabeth Harden. Now I wear Opium by Yves Saint Laurent or Coco by Chanel (not Coco Mademoiselle :-), but they are decidedly wintery. Currently looking for a spring/summer perfume, something with ylang ylang or tiarè I guess… the summer version of opulence in my opinion
    hugs from Milan

  29. Teri March 12, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    I recommend Shalimar Initial. It is a man magnet. Nothing like the original, it is soft and feminine but really sophisticated and unique. I get stopped everywhere I go.

  30. DDU March 12, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    Vetiver by Guerlain is a men’s cologne, but I wear it all the time. Citrusy but not too sharp, crisp without being bossy. Best wishes!

  31. Julie March 12, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    I wear “Cleopatra” by Tocca on the regular…

    One of my all-time favorite scents, though, is Narciso Rodriguez for Her.

    I’m lusting after Elizabeth and James’ Nirvana White at the moment…

  32. Kristen March 12, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    I love this post and I had to laugh when I read it and then saw Jules’ the next day – great minds. I love cb i hate perfume. He has some fantastic scents and small tester-type bottles are available for about $13. My favorite is In The Library. I’m not usually a smoky perfume kind of person, but there is something about this smell…plus he had me at library. :)

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

      Jules’ post was so great! And The Library — has a nice ring to it.

  33. Sarah W March 12, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    CK One and Grass take me right back to high school! I didn’t wear Grass, but I totally remember it. I wore Heaven, (also from Gap), for the longest time. I also had a perfume from Roots (the clothing company) that I wore in high school and loved! In college, I wore Chanel Allure. It was my dream perfume at the time. I may still have a bottle kicking around. I should pull it out and see if I still like it. More recently, my Mother-in-law got me Chanel No 5, but I’m not sold. Oh to go back and smell those old scents again!

  34. Heidi March 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

    Lily Lambert #11. I hate feeling like everybody can smell me when I wear perfume, but this is light and subtle.

  35. melanie March 14, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    Florabotanica’s been mentioned, but if you like rose you should also check out Rosabotanica – I wore Stella for years, but I’ve switched to Rosabotanica. It’s rose, but with an edge. Love it.

  36. Wrenaria March 14, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    I don’t wear perfume often, but I use of bit of Marc Jacobs Lola occasionally and recall liking Daisy as well. I’m not to great at hunting down scents I like (overwhelming options) but I tend to lean towards earthy florals as my preference.

  37. Careen March 25, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    My newest, special occasion scent is Hermes Jour d’Hermes. I also like Chanel Chance. I am in love with Houbigant Quelques Fleurs Parfum but it is so expensive. I would like to find it cheaper online and then maybe I’ll treat myself.

  38. Carmen Kaiser March 27, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    Great recommendations Nicole! I have tried just one or two out of these, but will want to check others too.

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