Although not many people our age wear perfume every day or seem to be that interested in the fragrance industry even when it comes to fashion. Maybe that has to do with people knowing that many perfumes are made for a very cheap price and more than not, just are cash crops for luxury conglomerates. Perfume in general comes off as an item that is only for the wealthy; we know that Chanel No. 5 is about the fifth most expensive liquid to exist right now. Perfume makes up the base of many luxury brands’ way to turn a profit. All that mess makes it seem like a scheme that we just don’t want to approach.
After reading The Secret of Scent by Luca Turin, I learned a great deal about how the industry of perfume has found exceptional ways to recreate scents synthetically and match different emotions and colors to scents. I do not believe that many people think about how they want to smell like. Am I wrong for thinking that? Maybe you just want to smell “clean” or “fresh,” maybe you just rely on the scent in your body soap or a perfume that your grandma bought you and that makes you feel confident about yourself and that is good enough. Great, love that. I’m proud of you, but scent goes a long way when we are talking about first impressions and what assumptions you might want people to have about your character. What environments are you going to be in today? School? Coffee shop? Indoors? The Club? Your choice obviously, but different perfumes are made for different temperatures, different times of the year, separate occasions. If you wear a light aquatic fragrance in the winter when temperatures are freezing, no one is going to be able to smell you outside, let alone under all your layers when you are inside; it’s a bit pointless.
When people I know wear a perfume, I am always interested in why they chose that scent and what sort of vibe they want to give off when they wear it. Usually, the reason is because it makes them feel hot/sexy/pretty. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that people often wear perfume and fashionable clothes because it makes them feel good. Our generation has become enthralled with how we present and express ourselves through our fashion, and that is easier for the eye to interpret social codes through attire than many other things. I want people to do the same with how they smell.
The largest pushes in the fragrance market that I have seen over the years is from the YouTube community. Many on the internet might be familiar with Jeremy Fragrance, on YouTube or Tok-Tok but he was really one of the first people to show the range of perfumes where no matter the price point, one could access perfume of all different kinds. No longer were perfumes something you had to go to a Sephora or Macy’s to smell, just watch a Jeremy Fragrance video. There has even been the popularization of Scentbird, the perfume subscription service where, all things considered, you can get niche and/or designer fragrances for a cheap price. These types of people and companies have revolutionized the perfume industry and I always see Scentbird as a sponsor of many of my favorite youtubers.
Now whether you want to smell like fresh spring season cut grass energy, some gas and lumber from Home Depot, a field of flowers from the south of France, or like a girl boss, I have a few recommendations for unique and affordable perfumes.
Eau de Hongrie EDT by Fragonard, with gentle top notes of melon bergamot and lavender, an inviting sweetness from white floral notes and ambery-masculine base notes from cedar and labdanum. A fairly masculine, professional perfume.
L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme by Issey Miyake, My favorite spring/summer fragrance, has a non-gendered scent profile with Yuzu citrus and fresh herbs from the garden mixed with subtle eastern spices like nutmeg and saffron that seduce the nose. Very fresh and unique.
Calvin Klein Women Eau de Toilette, by Calvin Klein, is a classic young feminine smelling fragrance that uses pink pepper and a mix of peony, rose and orange blossom then sweet base notes like ambroxan and incense to really seduce you in a powerfully mature yet young way.
The One, by Dolce and Gabbana, is the most expensive perfume on this list but deserves to be mentioned. With and uomo and suave feel, it is for sure masculine, but I believe it smells sexy on anyone. It is the combination of ginger, cardamom, coriander, basil, tobacco, and orange blossom that bring a gorgeous pride out of the person who wears it.