Note is a rather befitting word for the layers of scents in a fragrance. A blend works much like a symphony, the head, heart, and base notes working together harmoniously (and in some cases, clashing intentionally) in minor and major keys, evoking emotions and telling a story. The wearer acts as the conductor, artfully selecting the scent that speaks to their current mood, to the mood they wish to feel. In fact, scientifically speaking, certain scents are proven to make individuals feel more confident, especially if it triggers a memory, which our olfactory system can do better than even images can. In a sense, a fragrance alone is a power suit—trousers and jackets, be damned.
We at Byrdie HQ have our own individual power fragrances (mine is Byredo Unnamed for its sultry top notes of gin and pink pepper and brawny base of fir and oakmoss), so we thought we'd pose the question to the members of our secret Facebook group, The British Beauty Line (want to join? DM us at @byrdiebeauty.uk, and we'll send you an invitation): Which fragrance makes you feel powerful, strong, and confident? Answers, below.
"I wore this perfume during my time on The Apprentice. I kicked arse in the boardroom!!" – Claire
"I feel so strong and confident wearing Pomegranate Noir!" – Anna
"Amouage interlude ???????? its strong, sexy and bold! I love the smokiness" – Helene
"I am currently loving Narciso Rodriguez for Her. It makes me feel powerful sexy and ready to take on the world."– Larissa
"I adore the blend of jasmine, tuberose absolute and lily in this warm and sunny fragrance. It smells like holidays all year round, which always makes me feel confident and at my very best." – Chloe
"It solicits all of the compliments, and the first time I wore was the day I got promoted. All of the strong, powerful vibes." — Emily
"I love Ambre from L'Occitane– it is a perfect Autumnal winter fragrance. Everytime I wear it I feel as if I'm wrapped up in cashmere."– Rebecca
"It reminds me of my grandma who always wore Chanel No. 5, and she was the very definition of a lady. When I wear Mademoiselle, it makes me feel elegant, poised and feminine, just like my Grandma!" — Maddy
"When I wear Coco Mademoiselle I feel like the best-dressed woman in the room." – Polly
"It is deep, passionate and resonating. It makes me feel like nothing can stop me. My mum wore it as I was growing up, and anytime I smell it, I think of memories with her, and watching her kick ass in a male-dominated career. She's my muse, and anytime I wear that scent, I feel like I am channelling her strength, her wit and her inner girl boss." — Emily
"The leather makes me feel like I've got it covered, while the floral notes soften the edge." — Brett
"It's sexy and feminine but still elegant." — Kelsey
"YSL Black Opium makes me feel strong & confident. I wear it if I need to feel like a boss." – Isabel
"It isn't too feminine or masculine; it goes with every mood I'm in and is season-less. It makes me feel like I can take over the world and smell really good doing so." — Jordan
"The top notes are feminine and floral but the base notes are warm and spicy and sexy. It lasts on my skin for hours and I feel like it's a memorable fragrance." — Carla
"This always makes me feel prettier, because when you smell pretty, you look pretty. It gives me that little boost of confidence!" — Lisa
"There's still something about wearing a men's cologne instead that's more daring and bold, unexpected, and unique." — Jesse
"It makes you feel five centimeters taller and invincible." — Annika
"A radiant, buttery white floral blend that is both intoxicating and inviting. I feel like an Old Hollywood femme fatale when I wear this masterpiece of a fragrance." — Laura
"Tom Ford Velvet Orchid was my first fragrance as an adult. It made me feel sensual and warm. I wore it through some very hard times and it always picked me up and inspired me just by the smell." — Hailey
"I fell in love with it immediately and bought it without realizing it was a man's fragrance. It is seductive and intoxicating and I feel like an absolute badass when I wear it." — Paige
"I love anything that smells like an English wood, so naturally Jo Malone's English Oak and Hazelnut suits me perfectly. It's earthy but still fresh so it doesn't overpower you, I always bring it out in winter time as it reminds me of Christmas." – Alyss
"Chanel Nº5 makes me feel important and powerful, I wear it for important interviews or meetings" – Kitty
"I know it's probably not very feminist of me to say, but when it comes to feeling powerful I definitely find myself drawn to more conventionally masculine scents like this Tom Ford Ombre Leather. It's smoky (without leaving you smelling like a barbecue, which some can) and has a sultry leathery aroma (hence the name). Mingled into this concoction is patchouli that gives it a slight retro feel and white moss which lifts the scent and makes it more elegant that many heavy leather scents out there. This also contains amber, which I tend to see is in a lot of perfumes I like. When you're searching for a new scent it's always worth checking the notes of the perfumes you've liked before as you're likely to spot a pattern."– Amy
Quotes have been edited for content.
Want to join in the conversation? Come join our Facebook group, The British Beauty Line.