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. Erin March 10, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    About 10 years ago I discovered Elizabeth W.’s Vetiver. Bliss ensued. I do tend to only wear it in the winter/fall, but it is nice all year. Spicy and patchouli-ish, but not too sweet or thick.

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

      I looked it up and it sounds interesting. Thanks!

  2. Robin-Lynn March 10, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Marc Jacobs daisy. Always my go-to. Stella is my ” let’s change it up today” scent.

    That said, I also have some awful choices from my youth. Anyone remember Fetish? Gap heaven? Yeesh!

    • Megan March 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

      Gap Heaven was my favorite in junior high school! There was another Gap one I also loved, maybe it was called Dream?

  3. Tiffany Riley March 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    I find it impossible to test fragrances in store because the scents just fight each other, so occasionally I’ll ask someone what they’re wearing…in a non-creepy sort of way! Stella is a hot favourite, although Givenchy’s Amarige gives me butterflies-I chose that as my wedding scent and every now and then a little spritz brings it all back. I used to love wearing Kenzo when I was younger, but I grew out of that because it started to smell like Parma Violets!

  4. Megan March 10, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    I love all of the Tocca scents.

  5. Katia March 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    I like anything from loocitane specially rose. I liked because it is less commercial, and few people wear it.

  6. Kristin March 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    It sounds like you know notes you like and you might be a great candidate to branch out into the niche and more independent lines. I would recommend a sample order from a place like Luckscent.com. They have a sections where you can search fragrances by note and you might find some new loves-at least you’ll have fun sniffing! Sandalwood, patch, and rose are some of my favorite notes-I won’t embarrass myself by telling you how many perfumes I own! :) Also, a couple of great perfume blogs to check out are Now Smell This, Bois de Jasmin, and Fragrantica. BTW, I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m really enjoying it-another kindred spirit in the blogosphere!

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

      Thank you for the blog recommendations! I’d stumbled upon two of them before, but Bois de Jasmin is new to me. And did you mean luckyscent, with a y?

  7. Ali Burtt March 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    Fresh makes a lovely one note rose. I wear it in the summer when I’ll be outside. Otherwise, I only wear Marc Jacobs and I’m useless at describing why I love it. It just smells right on me in a way almost nothing else ever has.

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

      Someone else recommended Marc Jacobs Daisy, but I don’t like any of the scents on me. Too flowery, maybe? I like rose, but it has to be cut with something.

  8. Emily March 10, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    I’d highly recommend Commodity Goods…Especially if you hate trying it on in store. Their whole philosophy is that scents may smell good in the store or on a sample card, but they might not smell good on you…they have many scents and send you 10 in the mail, like a try on kit. you have 10 days to pick your favorite, and they credit the cost of the try on pack to your first full purchase. They’re scents are simply named but very complex…My favorites are mimosa and moss. I wear one or the other everyday!!

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

      After a quick glance, I think Gold sounds like something I’d like (along with a few others). I’m going to order the sample scents, thanks!

  9. jane March 10, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    Comme de Garcons are really interesting.
    I find them a nice break from standard brands.
    and the packaging is beautiful as well.
    I especially love their solid perfume.
    So great to use when traveling.

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

      I’ve seen a few brands with solid perfume options. Such a smart idea.

  10. Emily March 10, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    I highly recommend checking out Commodity Goods. They’re whole philosophy is based on trying their scents on your person in your own home so you can spend some more time with each scent. They have 10 to choose from, and in your sample kit, you receive all 10 with 10 days to figure out what you like. Then they deduct the price of the try on kit from your first full purchase. The scents are simply named but complex…I had a hard time narrowing it down! In the end there are a few stand outs that smell great on you. Definitely give them a shot!!

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

      Someone else recommended them too, and I’m going to order the kit. I love the concept, and a couple of the scents sound really appealing.

  11. jane March 10, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    I should add that I too loved that “grass” sent from Gap, and CK one.
    Ha! the good old days…..

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

      I wish it were still around, just so I could see what it smelled like. But I do remember that it did distinctly smell like a fresh-cut lawn.

  12. cherneeshouse March 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    I wear Child – it is sold only at boutiques – luckily my BFF shop sells it – smells wonderful!

  13. Kelli W. March 10, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

    Right now I am super in love with the Conservatories collection by Royal Apothic (you can buy it at Anthropologie). They’re all beautiful floral scents (and the bottles are gorgeous). Since you like rose, you may enjoy their English Rose. Anthro sells them in little purse-sized bottles, so they’re perfect for experimenting!

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

      I’ll take a look next time I’m out that way, thanks!

  14. christine March 10, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    It is nice to try different fragrances to see what is ones favorite
    Thanks for sharing all the kinds you have.

  15. Sarah March 10, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    I still wear Gap’s Dream! I can’t help it.

    I love all the Tokyo Milk and Tokyo Milk Darks. Currently in roatation: Let them Eat Cake, Gin and Rosewater and Arsenic.

  16. Tracy March 10, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    I’m loving a scent called Vesper (?) by mikmoi – his fragrances are all very unisex, but I liked the earthiness of this one. Perfumes change so much on my skin, I have to try one several times before I can commit to buying one.

  17. J.lee March 10, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    My very first was Petite Nate, so peachy. Then Electric Youth by Debbie Gibson. lol Eventually dated a boy who wore Tommy Boy (not the movie) so I wore Tommy Girl. Rough track record but I started wearing Issei Miyaki in college.

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

      Ah, I had Petite Naté too! I forgot about that one. There was even a song. “For bath time, for fun time! Just for you, it’s a dream come true…” And I never had Electric Youth, but my friend wore it. A LOT of it. She really liked it, I guess. ;)

  18. TammyLee March 10, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    Kate Spade -Twirl. Even the box it comes in is lovely.

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      I had a sample of that one when it first came out. I didn’t love it on me, but the packaging is so nice for that one. (Isn’t it funny how the presentation sways us on a fragrance?)

  19. Sabrina March 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    Gap’s Grass was my signature scent in my early 20’s!!! I’m not sure what I was thinking?! No wonder I was always single! ha!
    I do love Stella and Angel by Thierry Mugler. Way more grown up, and way less “grassy”.

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      Right? Why did so many of us want to smell like a lawn?

  20. jbhat March 10, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    Fragrance is such a personal thing, isn’t it? I have a few favorites.

    Jo Malone Wild Fig and Cassis….I can’t remember exactly. I currently wear this and enjoy it, but it doesn’t stay on. You have to layer it with the lotion.

    I used to love Michael Kors, the one called plain old Michael Kors. I had the Leg Gleamer (!). It smelled amazing.

    I still really like the Hanae Morie Butterfly Eau de Toilette. I may have even loved that one. I went through the bottle really fast, but received no compliments on it, ever, so I didn’t buy any more when it ran out.

    Fragrances that evoke time and place memories for me: Poison, Calyx (omg, I am 19 again!), my mom’s Opium and Obsession…and ugh, my own Giorgio in high school, which I hated even at the time.

    My all time favorite perfume, EVER, hands down: Mackie, by Bob Mackie. I wish they still made it. I loved it. I was loved IN it. Its my early and mid-twenties fragrance. I have a bottle that a friend found recently at a Ross or TJ Maxx….I don’t wear it, because again…time and place. But I sniff it from time to time.

    jbhat

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      Our memories are pretty closely linked to scent. My mom wore Giorgio for a little while when it first came out, which was odd because she has never been much of a perfume-wearer. My grandmother though, her mom, always wore something. I don’t know what the name of hers was, but I remember the scent.

  21. Monica March 10, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    almost anything by Jo Malone. And I’ll second Tokyo Milk dark–I got a sample of the “Crushed” hand lotion and love it. It’s a really nice green scent.

  22. Erin Q. March 10, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    I wear Olo’s Victory Wolf layered on top of their Foret. I love http://olofragrance.com. You can buy a sample pack before you buy a big one to see what you like. Some of their fragrances have notes you like, Nicole.

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      I like the idea of layering to get a personal mix. I’ll look into the sample pack.

  23. KB March 10, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    The variety of perfume available is overwhelming! I, too, used to wear Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. I now wear Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One!

  24. LauraJane March 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    I’m a stickler for “clean” scents. So I use Philosophy “Grace” and LaCoste Pour Femme.

    I tried the Chloe Rose and thought I liked it, but it gave me headaches when I wore the sample. boo hiss.

  25. Annie March 10, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    I loved Grass! I don’t know if I still would if I smelled it now but I do tend to still like “green” smells. A couple of years ago I wore Burberry Summer, then moved on to Clinique Happy In Bloom (a bit harder to find than regular Happy). There’s a citrus perfume I like from Bath and Body Works (I was surprised I liked it) because it’s so light and fresh smelling. My mom always wore some kind of musky vanilla perfume and once in a while I catch a whiff of it and am transported back to being 8 years old and sitting next to her in church.

  26. Amanda Schaumburger March 10, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    Tocca Stella has been my year round for some time. The first time I’ve actually ever FINISHED a bottle of perfume. Most recently I was enamored by a magazine page of Michael Kors Glam Jasmine (only at Macy’s). Might have to bite the bullet on that one for a new summer fragrance. I’ve always loved Burberry Brit for the fall and winter as well.

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

      I like Burberry Brit too, but I’ve not gone so far as to buy a bottle. I’ll have to look for the others and give them a try.

  27. Erica March 10, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

    This is fun! I’ve been engaged with fragrances lately as well, and I think it’s really lovely to have certain “eras” of fragrance in your life. I was seeking something this winter that would become synonymous with warmth, and home, and sweetness, and found Fresh’s Brown Sugar, which is less sugary on my skin, simmering down to a nice cypress. In the past, springtime has meant Chanel 5 eau premiere. This is a nice, light grown-up floral that doesn’t have the full-on weight of the classic Chanel 5. Friends love the Jo Malone fragrances and they are worth checking out — I tried earl grey lavender once, it just didn’t work on me, it became a kersplat of bergamot. If you are feeling adventurous and want to try lots of little samples, luckyscent.com is a fun place to dabble. Cheers!

  28. Ashley March 10, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    I recently “bought” a tiny bottle of Tory Burch from Sephora using my Beauty Points and it is so lovely! I’ll definitely be buying a larger bottle. It kind of reminds me of a grown up version of Clinique Happy (which I wore all through my teen years and into college). I also love Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede.

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

      Wait, can you just pick something out with your points? I’ve been accumulating them and have never actually used them, because I’m not usually interested in the samples they’re offering, so I keep saving ‘em up.

      • Ashley March 13, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

        You can only pick from their offers, unfortunately. I’ve been doing the same thing and last week, they finally came out with a few things I was interested in. They still have the Tory Burch available for 250 points. They had a lot of other fragrances to choose from as of last week, but I guess they’re rotating offers again.

  29. kate March 10, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    I used to like miss dior. But now I buy everything unscented. Scents give me a headache! I went through chemo and have had a super heightened sense of smell ever since. I can smell dust on furniture from several rooms away- it’s a bi**h:).

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

      I never realized that was a side effect. Sorry you have to experience that (on top of having gone through chemo).

  30. Lyn March 10, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    Loved Grass back in the day… Love Stella now but I’m really hooked on Child.

  31. Lea March 10, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    what is rstyle? i see it in the links but don’t want to click without knowing what it is.

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      They’re affiliate links (in this case to Sephora and Nordstrom). I use affiliate links when they are available for something I was planning to post anyway.

  32. Kristina March 10, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

    I love a lot of the Diptyque fragrances, but Philosykos is my favourite-favourite — fig leaves, chlorophyll, coconutty notes. It’s somehow both fruity and sophisticated.

    I also really like notes of amber and anise.

  33. Susan March 10, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    I loved Grass too! A really enjoyable book is Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. They review tons of perfumes; short, irreverant, funny. I actually stole my husband’s Burt’s Bees Bay Rum this winter and got tons of complements! So warm and spicy. Not sure what my spring one will be, but that Commodity Goods that others mentioned looks fascinating!

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

      I’m adding that to my reading list, thank you! And I’m going to order the Commodity Goods sample kit that has been mentioned, too.

  34. Sara March 10, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

    Check out Fresh’s Cannabis Rose if you like Rose scents. I too like Grass back in the day! Now I love tea scents like Bulgari Red Tea and Jo Malone ERal Grey and Cucumber.

    • Making it Lovely March 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

      Am I going to raise some eyebrows, smelling like cannabis all day?

  35. Katie March 10, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    My favorites are Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline and Coral.

  36. Kay March 10, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    If you like patchouli, try Angel by Thierry Mugler. It is my current obsession :). Also recommend 212 by Carolyn Herrera
    I love perfume and totally feel naked without it

  37. Molly March 10, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    I love the orange blossom perfume you get in Florida – it’s a silly touristy thing, but if I’m in Florida, I get some or if I know someone going there, I ask for them to bring some back for me.
    I’m also really into Lollia’s Relax scent, which is lavender and honey scented. That’s my spring/summer perfume. In the winter I wear Lolita Lempicka which is crazy strong, but I feel like you can wear stronger scents in the winter.

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

      I usually go a little stronger in the winter too.

  38. Amanda March 10, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    gucci flora is my FAVORITE.

  39. Sarah March 10, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    My absolute, all-time favorite is Snow Drops and Crystal Flowers #3 by Trish McEvoy. I’m not sure if it’s your cup of tea based on what you’ve described, but I’ve been wearing it for nearly a decade. It’s a very light, clean, floral scent with a hint of musk and vanilla. It’s greta for spring and summertime. I sometimes mix it up and use Trish McEvoy #9 Blackberry and Vanilla Musk if I want something a little more intense.

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

      I’m not a fan of too much vanilla, but it sounds nice!

  40. Kaye McArthur March 10, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    My teen choice was Tigress by Fabrege! I did manage to graduate to L’air du Temps by Nina Ricci in my adulthood and never fail to get questioned, “Ummm, what are you wearing.” Love it!

  41. ana conceicao March 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    I work in cosmetics at Nordstrom, and from what you have described, I would suggest; Trish McEvoy number 9 andsexy 9, Tom Ford blaxk orchid, TRish Mcevoy precious oud and rose oud, chanel coco chanel noir, and also check out diptique almost everything by them is awesome! Good luck!

  42. Catherine March 10, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    Such a fun post. My mom is a perfume lover, and she got me hooked at a very young age. I love Stella and enjoy Chloe, too, for spring and summer. Something about it reminds me of salt water. I am excited to try Chloe’s new rose scent. I bought a rollerball of Nirvana Black after I liked the sample, but I’m not in love with it, either. One of my recent favorites is Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noire, which is a bit heavier, but really beautiful. I also like Jo Malone’s scents, but they are so light and I go through them too quickly. You might enjoy Annick Goutal. My favorite note is violet, and they have a line of single note fragrances, including Rose Splendide.

  43. Emily March 11, 2014 at 12:06 am #

    I started wearing perfume more regularly about 18 months ago, then maybe 6 months ago started developing an allergy. About 24 hours after applying (even after its been washed off at the end of the day), the area I’ve applied it to (neck, cleavage) starts to itch. I’m so disappointed.

    • Jessika March 11, 2014 at 6:03 am #

      I recommend a scent locket. You apply the scent to a piece of clean cotton or linen, place it in the locket, and your body heat warms up the perfume and throws it all day long. Also, the scent doesn’t mix with your own bodies ph/scents so it’s completely pure.

  44. Elizabeth at Violently Happy March 11, 2014 at 12:38 am #

    Hello,

    I used to be a Clinique Happy girl but then I fell in love with a bad boy…Marc Jacobs made a limited edition scent called Curacao. It has blood oranges, bitter orange brigade, lime, mandarin, violet, pear apricot, white moss, amber musk, sandalwood. http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/marc-jacobs-curacao-splash/3178933

    I’ve been wearing it everyday since 2011. http://sunkissis.blogspot.com/2011/12/i-have-lot-of-catching-up-to-do.html

    I bought it because the bottle was huge (10 oz) so I thought it would last forever. The scent isn’t overwhelming like most fragrances since it’s considered a splash. Problem is, now that it has become my signature scent, it’s nowhere to be found. I once found a bottle on Amazon for $199 but I can’t bring myself to buy it when I paid $69 for it from Sephora. Word to the wise, if buying a limited edition, stock up!

    I’m considering switching to Marc Jacobs Honey. Don’t tell anyone but my hubby still wears CK One!

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

      Ah, how sad to find a signature, only to not be able to find it anymore. (And a lot of people still wear CK One. Your hubby is not alone!)

  45. Allie March 11, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    You have taken me back to high school with this post…had to share this link with everyone…http://www.theawl.com/2013/03/what-your-gap-fragrance-said-about-you

    I was a gap heaven girl, and she pegs me, spot on, then and now! I just ordered some samples of balenciaga’s rosabotanica…it sounds like an interesting green/rose option for spring. Anyone have thoughts on it?

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

      Ha! Loved that post. “The Vibe: You understand fully that no one ever really wants to smell like grass, which is precisely why you buy it.”

  46. Karen March 11, 2014 at 1:13 am #

    I was JUST asking someone – what ever happened to those Gap scents? I liked grass but I think there was one called sky or something like that that I really liked. I wore Love’s Baby Soft then “graduated” to Crabtree and Evelyn’s Springtime. I went through an oil phase – musk, vanilla – and now I can’t wear perfumes anymore (allergies). But, my favorite scent right now is Ginger Souffle whipped body cream from Origins. It’s amazing.

    • Making it Lovely March 12, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      I’ve used that body cream before! I got it as a gift one year from one of Brandon’s sisters, I think.

  47. Jeen-Marie March 11, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    I’m surprised that no one mentioned https://www.pinrose.com.
    Two Stanford grads created a algorithm approach to finding a perfum.
    For $3, I ordered 3 ‘petals’ (wet towlet samples).
    I have to sample perfume multiple times because some REALLY change with my body chemistry.
    It doesn’t matter what I like, I have to decide if it smells good on me.
    I haven’t tried all of the samples & I’m on the fence about Pinrose fragrances but I love the concept!
    http://mobile.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-07/pinrose-tries-selling-perfume-by-algorithm-no-charlize-therons-required

  48. Andy March 11, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    I love Stella too. A perfume I have worn for years & love is Cerutti 1881. It is getting harder & header to find. It’s a very pretty perfume but with a lot of musky depth. I have actually had a man chase me down a street to ask me what perfume I was wearing! (He was cute & it wasn’t creepy at all – the memory still makes me smile).

  49. Bere March 11, 2014 at 5:05 am #

    OMG, perfumes! I think it’s really interesting (and very grownup) to know which scents you like or what better works for you. Honestly i have like 20 different perfumes right now that i use on a regular basis. Which perfume i use each day depends on the weather, what i’m wearing, what i’m doing and of course my mood. Right now i’m using Love by Chloé and some of my favorites are Miss Dior Cherie (Eau de Printemps) by Dior, Flora by Gucci, 2 by Ralph Lauren, Ange ou Démon Le Secret by Givenchy, Boss Orange by Hugo Boss… as you see it’s difficult for me to really narrow it down ;-)

  50. Jandi March 11, 2014 at 5:24 am #

    I received a sample of Lancôme’s Poem when I was 16 or 17 and I haven’t looked back since then- it is the only perfume I wear.