Finding a new fragrance is a little like finding a new partner because let's face it: Fragrances are an intimate thing. It lingers on your skin day in and day out and often seeps into your mind. Perfumes can also become intrinsically linked with memories (both good and bad). For example, I can no longer smell Hugo Man by Hugo Boss because it reminds me of an awful ex-boyfriend.
The whole concept of buying a new fragrance for your wedding day means whenever you smell that fragrance (or something similar), you'll be whisked back to the best day of your life. Katherine Frizoni, the skincare research and development manager for Dove, explained to the Telegraph, "The olfactory bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system, which is really closely associated with memory.”
With all this in mind, I had editors and other staffers from Byrdie and Who What Wear (our sister site) test out—or, speed date, if you will—fragrances that I had crudely disguised with gaffer tape. Why? Well, because we are so often swung by clever marketing and pretty packaging that sometimes our opinions of products are skewed. For this experiment, I asked for each person's initial feedback and then asked again an hour later, once the scent had dried down and set. Keep scrolling to see what they had to say about these seven fragrances.
First impressions: "This smells like something my mum would wear. I like that it's slightly sweet and sophisticated. I'd wear it to a work function." — Maria Bissendorf, integrated marketing manager
After an hour: "It definitely hangs around, which isn't a bad thing. It reminds me of the colour purple."
The verdict: "It's a little too dark for me."
First impressions: "It's nice, but a bit mature. It has a fruitiness that I like, but I prefer fragrances that are more citrusy. It's actually a bit weird." — Melissa Barnes, client services and marketing manager
After an hour: "It's better now—a bit more floral, but still quite mature. It's definitely a daytime scent."
The verdict: "Maria and I have swapped our perfumes!"
First impressions: "It's quite young. I'd only wear this in summer, perhaps to a party. It's a bit fruity and a little musky, perhaps? Every time I smell it, it smells different!" — Davina Collas, merchandising manager
The verdict: "I can't believe this is a D&G perfume. Such a coincidence! I wouldn't mind wearing it again, but I still love the original."
First impressions: "I quite like it. It's got a slight antique French apothecary smell. A little medicinal. It's definitely an everyday scent." — Hannah McGhee, senior director
After an hour: "It's subtle and I'm used to much stronger scents. It doesn't last too long, so I think I would need a repeat spray. A good desk scent. I like the leathery scent, but it needs more leather for me."
The verdict: "It's going to live on my desk."
First impressions: "It's sweet and sour, spicy and warm. It's very different, like something a cool girl would already be wearing. It's not overwhelming me with feelings, though!" — Isabel Mundigo-Moore, associate social editor, Who What Wear
After an hour: "The scent stayed, but the sweetness went to my head."
The verdict: "It's too sweet for me."
First impressions: "It smells like a newborn baby: powdery. I quite like it. It's certainly sweet and feminine. I tend to go for heavier fragrances. It smells premium and not seasonal, so you could wear it all year round." — Luisa Orlandi, marketing and partnerships manager
After an hour: "It's still powdery and softly sweet."
The verdict: "I do like it for every day, but for me, I do like a heavier, more heady scent."
First impressions: "It smells like baby soap. Oh, wait—it's changing. It smells like washing powder. I like it, but I wouldn't wear it. It's definitely a daytime fragrance. It's not Byredo, but it's not Victoria's Secret!" — Emma Spedding, deputy editor, Who What Wear
After an hour: "It would be a good Christmas present for someone you don't know too well."
The verdict: "I like it, but I don't love it."