What is it about a scent that can take you back to a certain place in time, or remind you of a person or memory? My father gave me my first fragrance, purchased on one of his endless business trips about a lifetime ago, and I still remember my excitement over the Carolina Herrera 212 On Ice. There have been many iterations released since, in the cutest ice-themed packaging, but none of them were quite like the original. I held onto the packaging for sentimental reasons, and as it turns out you can still smell the fragrance.

Since that first perfume, I have become a bit of a collector, so I’m sharing my 5 go-to fragrances today! I wear these year-round, but have become aware of my own seasonal preferences, so I classified each based on what season and time of day they relate to most (in my opinion) in addition to the notes and my thoughts or experiences. I hope you find this helpful, in case you’re looking for, as an example, a new summer or day fragrance.

Before we even get to the perfumes, I want to share some wisdom from my momma. She taught me early on the importance of subtlety, and using a light hand with perfume. Always remember that with most fragrances a little goes a long way, and it’s much easier to add a little, impossible to take away. Now that our ground rules are established, let’s talk perfume!


JO MALONE Mimosa & Cardamom | mimosa, cardamom, sandalwood, heliotrope, Damask rose

SEASON: Spring and Summer


Mimosa & Cardamom was my first step into the world of Jo Malone, and it’s tied as my most worn fragrance. The sandalwood gives a particularly warm tone, while still being, at its core, a beautiful floral scent. I reach for Mimosa & Cardamom the most in the Spring and Summer months, but it could easily be worn year-round. If you’re interested in experimenting with scents, try out Jo Malone’s Fragrance Combining tool. Simply choose your favorite scent, and the tool provides ‘fresher’ or ‘warmer’ options to create a custom fragrance! The ‘warmer’ suggestion for Mimosa & Cardamom is Wood Sage & Sea Salt, which happens to be my mother’s favorite Jo Malone scent, so I already know I would like that combination. The ‘fresher’ suggestion is English Pear & Freesia, which I will be sniffing out on my next shopping trip anywhere that carries the line.

B. BALENCIAGA | lily of the valley, violet green leaves, iris, cashmeran woods

SEASON: Fall and Winter

DAYTIME or NIGHTTIME: any time of day

B. Balenciaga is sadly no longer available most places, but if you can find it, and enjoy what I can only refer to as a ‘zingy’ fragrance, snap it up. Despite having the musky note of cashmeran, which is what prompted the Fall and Winter classification, it is very green and lively, making it the perfect all-day fragrance. Without fail, I am complimented whenever I wear B., probably because there’s really nothing like it (at least, nothing that I have found, and believe me – I have looked).

NEST Indigo | Moroccan tea, bergamot, Kashmir wood, wild fig, black cardamom

SEASON: year-round


Nest Indigo ties with Jo Malone’s Mimosa & Cardamom for my most worn fragrance. Indigo also happens to be the only perfume I have repurchased, because I consider this my signature scent. It is my favorite. It’s perfect any time of year, and while I think it’s best worn at nighttime, I happily wear it all day. While every fragrance is unique in its own way, Indigo is incomparable and while taste changes over time, I’ll be shocked if I ever find one that I like more. The next time you find yourself in a store that carries the Nest fragrances, try out Indigo. It’s magic.

PROENZA SCHOULER Arizona | orris, white cactus flower, jasmine, orange flower, solar accord, musk, cashmeran 

SEASON: Spring and Summer

DAYTIME or NIGHTTIME: any time of day

When you think of Arizona, you think Grand Canyon. Desert. Tell me I’m wrong. Well, Arizona the scent is everything you’d expect if you turned the desert into a casual but glamorous fragrance. It’s very clearly feminine, but it’s not your typical sweet, flowery scent. The solar notes, musk and cashmeran give Arizona a very romantic, velvety undertone great for nighttime, while the florals and citrus add green and freshness, making it great for daytime. Basically, it covers all the bases!

BYREDO Gypsy Water | pine needle, sandalwood, amber, citrus

SEASON: year-round

DAYTIME or NIGHTTIME: any time of day

Byredo’s fragrance collection has by far the coolest names, and one of the most unique lineups I have ever seen. Gypsy Water is one of many scents I love of theirs. Byredo compares the notes and scent to nomadism, evoking images of a frolic through some mystical forrest wearing Etro-esque patchwork dresses, and I’m here for it. Gypsy Water is warm, vibrant and intriguing. If you like this one, but need a bit more bite to your scent, Mojave Ghost is also beautiful and makes a great year-round fragrance.

My go-to fragrances, and the one that started the obsession.

Elle’s May issue included an article, written by Jennifer Goldstein, about perfumers starting to use artificial intelligence. Have you heard about this before, or have I just been living under a rock??

Fragrances are such a personal thing, so I suggest smelling any of the ones I mentioned before purchasing, even if you’re sold on my (somewhat bizarre, sorry about that) descriptions. What are your go-to scents?

Credit for fragrance stock photos at top: Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom, B. Balenciaga, Nest Indigo, Proenza Schouler Arizona, Byredo Gypsy Water

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