Find the Perfect Scent

Discover a new favorite fragrance by following the personal style guide found in Harper's Bazaar fashion magazine. With over 30 perfumes featured, you're bound to find a new fave!

Excerpts from a fragrance editorial, Find the Perfect Scent, in Harper's Bazaar Magazine, November 2016 issue.

How to Find the Perfect Scent based on Your Style

"Discover your new favorites with our personal style guide." -- Read more @

Ladylike & Feminine

Big white floral perfumes are making a comeback this season, the perfect accompaniment to the sophisticated, refined elegance we saw on the runways. This new crop, however, isn't like the aggressive boutiques of the '80s. "What you want is to smell like flowers, not mixed with too many different notes," explains perfumer David Seth Molts of D.S. & Durga. Look for creamy tuberose, velvety ylang-ylang, or heady gardenia, combined with warming elements, such as powder, cedar, or sandalwood, which help the fragrance settle on your skin and last all day.

Tom Ford Orchid Soleil

Tom Ford
Orchid Soleil

Eau de Parfum, $120
Tuberose, spider lily, orchid
Donna Karen Cashmere Aura

Donna Karen
Cashmere Aura

Eau de Parfum, $112
Ylang-ylang, acacia, blond woods
Narciso Rodriguez Narciso Poudree

Narciso Rodriguez
Narciso Poudree

Eau de Parfum, $114
Jasmine, rose, powdery musk
Bottega Veneta Eau Sensuelle

Bottega Veneta
Eau Sensuelle

Eau de Parfum, $120
Gardenia, jasmine, leather
Prada La Femme Prada

La Femme Prada

Eau de Parfum, $130
Frangipani, ylang-ylang, tuberose
Alexander McQueen McQueen Eau de Parfum

Alexander McQueen

Eau de Parfum, $115
Jasmine, tuberose, ylang-ylang
Luxe & Lavish

When you're a "more is more" kind of woman, the type who doesn't shy away from exotic materials, plush textures, and a dramatic palette (or an intense smokey eye), you need a perfume to match - something sumptuous and enveloping. Scout out tempting blends of warm vanilla, molten cocoa, milky jasmine, aromatic patchouli, and honeyed wood that have an edible quality. "The idea of wearing a fragrance that smells like a dessert may not be attractive to most people," says Moltz. "But these are rich, complex, and a little over-the-top."

For a lighter yet equally appetizing take, go for scents that also contain zesty fruits - think grapefruit, peach, and mandarin. "You want to be consumed by these," he says. "They are approachable but high-brow."

Thierry Mugler Angel Muse

Thierry Mugler
Angel Muse

Eau de Parfum, $95
Hazelnut cream, patchouli, grapefruit
Givenchy Dahlia Divin Le Nectar

Dahlia Divin Le Nectar

Eau de Parfum, $94
Sandalwood, tonka bean, jasmine
Viktor & Rolf Bonbon Couture

Viktor & Rolf
Bonbon Couture

Eau de Parfum, $135
Caramel, jasmine, peach, mandarin
Marc Jacobs Decadence One Eight K

Marc Jacobs
Decadence One Eight K

Eau de Parfum, $127
Jasmine, papyrus wood, saffron
D.S. & Durga Radio Bombay

D.S. & Durga
Radio Bombay

Eau de Parfum, $175
Cedar, balsam, coconut, sandalwood
Lancome Lavandes Trianon

Lavandes Trianon

Eau de Parfum, $185
Vanilla, lavender, creme brulee
Modern & Chic

Women who appreciate menswear details married with unexpected proportions and strong silhouettes should explore fragrances in what perfumer Ilias Ermenidis calls the "blurred lines" category. "I could wear them, my wife could wear them - they are more rogue and abstract," he says. They're fresh and clean yet not overly masculine as in a sporty cologne. And they typically share lush ingredients; orange blossom, violet leaf, and lily appear frequently. But it's the addition of more unusual essences - edamame, ambergris, basil, blueberry - that makes them interesting and a bit chameleon-like. "You can get the impression of something oceanic, citrusy, or herbal," adds Moltz.

Chantecaille Le Wild

Le Wild

Eau de Parfum, $175
Lily, gardenia leaf, ambergris
Jo Malone Basil and Neroli

Jo Malone London
Basil & Neroli

Cologne, $130
Neroli, basil, musk, vetiver
Chanel No. 5 L'Eau

No. 5 L'Eau

Eau de Parfum, $132
Musk, neroli, rose, lemon
Balenciaga B. Balenciaga Intense

B. Balenciaga Intense

Eau de Parfum, $110
Blueberry, edamame, mahogany
Gucci Bamboo Eau de Toilette


Eau de Toilette, $82
Mandarin, lily, sandalwood
Eric Buterbaugh Thorns Rose

Eric Buterbaugh
Thorns Rose

Eau de Parfum, $295
Ambergris, pepper, vanilla orchid

Boho & Flirty

If your taste runs toward rock 'n' roll cool but with a girly edge, we suggest trying a sugary scent that has a bit of a bite. "These fragrances are playful and juicy," says Ermenidis. "I call them prismatic fruits - they're like a kaleidoscope." Go for luscious, tangy notes (raspberry, apricot, pear) mixed with soft florals (rose, peony, or freesia). If you want a more powerful scent, try one laced with white musk or cashmeran, a woody synthetic. For a creamier result, be on the lookout for ingredients not typically found in your garden, like almond milk and bio vanillin - a high-tech take on natural vanilla. Tip: Don't be quick to dismiss a perfume described as "sweet" before you smell it, advises Moltz. "It's not a great way to describe something." he says. "Sweet scents just need to be balanced. It's all about the proportions."

Coach Eau de Parfum

Eau de Parfum

Eau de Parfum, $95
Raspberry, pear, rose, musk
Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris

Yves Saint Laurent
Mon Paris

Eau de Parfum, $92
Pear, raspberry, peony, musk
Jimmy Choo Illicit Flower

Jimmy Choo
Illicit Flower

Eau de Parfum, $98
Apricot, freesia, cashmeran
Dior Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming

Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming

Eau de Parfum, $94
Raspberry, rose, peony, musk
Michael Kors Wonderlust

Michael Kors

Eau de Parfum, $88
Bergamot, dianthus, cashmeran
Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge Gloss

Estee Lauder
Modern Muse Le Rouge Gloss

Eau de Parfum, $85
Black cherry, rose, saffron

Sexy & Glam

There are two ways to make an unforgettable entrance: wearing something that shows a strategic amount of skin, and leaving a trail of highly seductive perfume in your wake. Choosing the first option is up to you but for the second you'll want to focus on a few key notes: amber, saffron and incense or oud. "Amber is the new black," says Ermenidis. "There's this sexuality in the glow of amber; it's gilded." We love it blended with spicy cinnamon or earthy nutmeg. Saffron, which has a smokey, leathery quality, appears in many of fall's sultriest perfumes, as do both oud and incense. "Incense will always be cool - it's instantly recognizable," Moltz says. "You could just wear it on your skin with nothing else."

Bond No. 9 Dubai Amber

Bond No. 9
Dubai Amber

Eau de Parfum, $550
Saffron, guaiac wood, amber
Giorgio Armani Si Intense

Giorgio Armani
Si Intense

Eau de Parfum, $96
Freesia, rose, neroli, ambroxan
Ralph Lauren Collection Oud

Ralph Lauren

Eau de Parfum, $240
Incense, guaiac wood, cedar
Maison Margiela Replica Across Sands

Maison Margiela
Replica Across Sands

Eau de Parfum, $180
Oud, cinnamon, osmanthus
Phuong Dang The Calling

Phuong Dang
The Calling

Extrait de Parfum, $360
Cumin, saffron, guaiac wood
Ex Nihilo Amber Sky

Ex Nihilo
Amber Sky

Eau de Parfum, $370
Nutmeg, coriander, amber

("Beauty Bazaar: Find the Perfect Scent." Harper's Bazaar Nov. 2016: 212-216)

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