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We Experimented With 3 Different Perfumes, Here's The Low Down

The musings of a beauty-obsessed editor blithely trying products and (hopefully) bringing the knowledge.

I've always been a huge perfume fan. There is something so romantic about having a signature scent; how a smell can remind a special someone of you, or the ability to leave the room but still sort of… be there. Because of this, I've pretty much stuck to the same eau for my entire life. I'll dabble based on the season, or a new launch (I am a beauty girl, after all) but the flavor profiles stay the same. A bit floral, a bit spicy, and if I have my way, completely intoxicating.

I was discussing this idea with a co-worker when I realized it would be an interesting experiment to investigate the way people react to different fragrances. If they liked it on me, sure, but I was curious if anyone would notice the change unsolicited. I decided to try a very en vogue offering, Byeredo Tulipe, and took it for a test run. Afterwards, I tested the reaction to my signature scent, Dolce & Gabbana Intense, as well as my first ever fragrance, Gucci Rush. Here's what I found:

Byeredo Tulipe Eau de Parfum: This scent is described as the "anticipation of spring," with fresh green notes of Cyclamen, tulip, and freesia blended with musky Blonde Woods and earthy Vetiver. I was drawn to it because it was fresh and floral, but not too sweet. It reminded me of laundry day, or the feeling you get fresh out of the shower. When prompted, however, my co-worker explained that though she felt the smell was honeysuckle-y and matched my sunny disposition, she saw me wearing an eau that was "a little darker, something spicy." After that, no one mentioned the fragrance at all. It seemed to fade faster than I would have liked, so maybe that's the reason the compliments stopped there. It was nice, but maybe a little too nice. So, on to the next.

Gucci Rush Eau de Toilette: Gucci Rush is made up of an "addictive combination of florals and spices." Its notes include gardenia, freesia, jasmine, vanilla, and patchouli. I can attest, it's absolutely addictive. I wore this fragrance from the day it was gifted to me (my birthday in 7th grade) until I graduated from college. Even opening the package brought back a furry of memories. My first slow dance, my first kiss, the first time I drank a few too many and woke up in my roommate's clothing. It's bewildering just how much scent is tied to retrospection. I had dinner plans with my best friend from high school that night so I couldn't wait to ask her about it. Once she smelled my wrist, she too was transported back. She talked about how she loves the smell, but wouldn't wear it herself. She thought perhaps I'd outgrown it, that it was too strong for me now. Or maybe it just reminded her of my angsty Juicy Couture-wearing teenage self too much. Either way, it was incredibly fun to wear all day. But, I agree, I've moved on from who I was then, and the scent perhaps along with it.

Dolce & Gabbana Intense Eau De Parfum: I chose this scent because I felt it completely encompassed who I am. Without reading up on the notes or the ingredients, I had an idea that it was both sweet and spicy, a little good mixed with a little rebelliousness. Funnily enough, the description matches exactly that: "a strong alchemy of refined and powerfully addictive contrasts," the website reads. "The traditional and the contemporary, the passionate and the maternal, the spiritual and the sensual—this is a world where all converge with a perfect synthesis that is unmistakable." I couldn't believe how perfectly the brand's definition lined up with what I wanted.

On the third morning of this little experiment, I stepped into my elevator with a neighbor I had never seen before. "You smell good," he said, smiling. I was off to a good start already! Once I got to the office another co-worker asked me what I was wearing. Perhaps my week-long rendezvous with different perfumes made those around me notice this one more often. When asked, another friend talked about the same type of dichotomy that I mentioned before. She explained that I couldn't be pegged as one type of thing. That sometimes I was bubbly, giggly, and nice, and other times sassy (I think she substituted sassy for borderline bitchy, but I'll take it).

All in all, I this experiment showed me what I seemingly knew all along, scent matters. For now, I'm sticking with Dolce & Gabbana, but we'll see where the future takes me.

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