“Perfume follows you; it chases you and lingers behind you. It’s a reference mark. Perfume makes silence talk.” – Sonia Rykiel
Yes, a signature fragrance is a deeply personal preference. From reinforcing the memories of the past to symbolising a moment of change, from uplifting and inspiring confidence and to keeping you grounded, the right scent speaks to what you like and who you are. And as you embark on the journey of life, your ideal scent changes to fit your new aspirations, resolutions, and values – after all, a signature fragrance conveys your present-day journey while lingering in the background as the ‘scented soundtrack’ to your life.
Like, my fragrance style is soft, subtle, yet powerful i.e., intense white floral fragrances with a distinctive woody note. And the fragrance that best captures the current phase of my life is Gabrielle Chanel Essence. In life and work alike, I prefer to hold attention with grace, warmth, and some nostalgic charm. And with a heartful blend of sweetness, elegance, radiance, and freshness – courtesy of tuberose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, and orange blossom – balanced by the warmth, vibrancy, and allure of classic notes of musk, vanilla, and sandalwood, Gabrielle Chanel Essence truly mirrors my aesthetic in and with its scent. Also, since the fragrance is inspired by the woman she was before Coco Chanel – Gabrielle Chanel, the fragrance fits rather perfectly with this transition phase of my life where I learn and evolve into the person I want to be.
So, a signature fragrance does not have to shout; rather it taps into your energy and flaunts how you feel. And in the spirit of honouring the journey of life, we decided to reach out to some of the most vivacious women to discover the fragrance they associate with their life’s story right now. Find their fabulous choices of ‘scented soundtrack’ to their lives below.
Aparrna Gupta, Beauty Editor & Creative Director
“My fragrance style is lively rose fragrances with generous hints of spice and wood – romantic yet grounded, seductive but not sweet. It is very difficult to pick one fragrance that’s my life track because I am always layering my fragrances, so my life track is perhaps remixed at the moment. But what’s constant – it’s a hint of refreshing and sharp pepper (like wit) with the heart of rose (romance) on a bed of woods (commitment, stability) – in a fragrance that pulls me. And the fragrances that I would currently recommend would be Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oudh, Ajmal Rosewood, and Coco de Mer Zonm Seychelles.”
(L-R) Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oudh Rs.15,550, Coco de Mer Zonm Seychelles Rs.12,500, Ajmal Rosewood, Rs.12,500
Anjan Sachar, Beauty Editor, Curator, & Founder – The Red Lipstick Club
“My fragrance of the moment has to be Elite Knight, a unisex scent by Oud Elite that I discovered on a trip to Dubai last year. No matter the time of day, I am always looking for a perfume blend that makes me feel powerful and sexy. And the confidence that wearing a fragrance with woody and amber notes exudes is unparalleled, and this one nails it down perfectly. I’m at a point in my career where I’m branching out, discovering avenues that complement my love for writing and curation along with my beauty expertise, which is in equal parts daunting and exciting. I need to feel my best every time I walk out the door, and that’s exactly what Elite Knight does for me. Plus, it’s been a conversation starter on more occasions than I can count which is always a good sign.”
Elite Knight by Oud Elite, Rs.10,800
Anuja Deora Sanctis, Founder – Filter Coffee Co.
“Fragrances are very important to me, and I believe are a reflection of my personality, experiences, and values. My fragrance style keeps evolving with my own personal growth and travel. Niche brands like Diptyque, MFK, Byredo, Le Labo, Goutal, and Roja Perfumes are my style. They are age-old brands with authentic (non-synthetic) fragrances that are in tune with the authenticity I carry myself with. They offer unique and uncommon scent profiles that are not found in mainstream perfumes. And most of them are handcrafted in small batches with ingredients often sourced from essential oils and extracts of flowers, fruits, spices, and other botanicals which are sustainably sourced. I prefer products derived from nature as they are more organic and eco-friendly.
Le Labo’s Santal 33 best captures the current phase of my life. Santal 33 refers to the fact that the fragrance is centred around notes of sandalwood, which are warm, soothing, and woody aromas. This combined with hints of spices and leather makes it a sensual, sophisticated, and addictive perfume. The brand prides itself on its small-batch production, handcrafted approach, minimalist aesthetics, and attention to detail, which appeals to those who appreciate the luxury, artistry, and craftsmanship of perfumery.”
Le Labo Santal 33, Rs.19,928
Chaur Gaur, Founder & Editor – Runway Square
“I always thought of myself as a woman who enjoys fresh, fruity-floral notes. That was till I was gifted the Gucci Floral 1966 limited edition fragrance about a decade ago. It’s a darker, deeper floral scent that is laced with bourbon pepper, bergamot, vetiver and musk. Honestly, it changed my life and in some manner the perception of myself as I was introduced to it during one of the biggest personal moments of my life. It was a part of that transition. It’s strong and sensual, and there’s never been a time that I’ve worn it and not been complimented. I honestly believe it is my lucky fragrance. I wear it to all important meetings. And I also love Jo Malone’s Lime Basil and Mandarin. I know everyone who’s a fan of Jo Malone fragrances loves Wood Sage & Sea Salt or English Pear & Freesia and often finds my favourite one a little too strong. But it reacts so beautifully with my skin. Sometimes I have worn it to Jo Malone events, and when people ask me what I’m wearing and show them the fragrance, they don’t believe it’s the same fragrance. And that’s the beauty of perfumes. It’s not just about the composition, it’s also about your own chemistry with it.”
(L-R) Gucci Flora 1966, Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandrin Rs.10,800
Sakshi Kabra, Content Creator & Founder – Sunday Forever
“I prefer amber and musk notes in my scents. And the fragrance that best suits my life’s story right now would be Memo Paris French Leather. After becoming a mum, I have multi-tasking max. So, I like using things I can take from day to night, and this is the perfect scent for that. And well, even super long-lasting! It does not fade and is extremely versatile. I can wear it at a wedding or a lunch with my friends and even love to carry it for my travels.”
Memo Paris French Leather, Rs.20,542
Angela Cecilia, VP Marketing – KULT APP
“My fragrance style is a blend of fun & serious. I like my top notes to be floral that resonate joy, and I like my undertones to be super intense to reflect the passion I have for anything and everything I do i.e., dark fragrant notes like patchouli, oud etc. And that’s why my go-to fragrance is Givenchy I’Interdit. It is the only perfume that truly represents ME.
My current life story is about building two things. First, my kid, no matter how difficult my day has been, I still need to be fun and foolish around him and build each minute with happiness. And the second thing I’m building is my workplace – Kult app as I’m intensely passionate about my work in the beauty sector.
These two facets truly represent who I am, and I see Givenchy I’interdit emulate my current life a lot.”
Givenchy L’Interdit, Rs.12,750
Karishma is a science nerd turned fashion and beauty writer who loves talking about trends as much as eating desserts. Gucci, salted caramel ice-cream, jewels, and Simba (her dog) make up four chambers of her heart. Like Karishma’s story? Drop her a line in the comments section below.