Growing up, I was all about fruity, fresh scents. In high school, my go-to fragrance was Ralph Lauren’s Ralph (the blue bottle) with notes of green apple, tangerine, and pink magnolia, described as “fun, colorful, and happy” on the website. In college, I was drawn to Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue, mainly because I studied in Italy and it reminded me of the cobblestone streets in Florence. It has similar top notes as Ralph: granny smith apples and Sicilian lemon, with a base of cedarwood.

When I got pregnant in 2018, my sense of smell was heightened and intensified, and I couldn’t stand the smell of most foods or perfumes. I quickly ditched any scents I had been wearing to that point. After I gave birth in 2019, I didn’t want fragrance irritating my daughter’s delicate, sensitive skin, so I skipped it. As my baby turned one in March 2020, we went into lockdown. I was home with no one to see and nowhere to go, and my shelf of scents I’d amassed as a beauty editor started collecting dust.

I’ve always been a Swiftie — I first met Taylor Swift when I was a teen magazine reporter in 2009—and recently, I read that she is best known for wearing two perfumes. The first is Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf. I’ve tried this perfume before, and I think it suits me: it’s a great daytime fragrance, a very pretty floral with notes of peony, Centifolia rose, and freesia.

“Feminine, floral, and flirtatious,” says Sue Phillips, a New York-based fragrance expert who has created scents for Tiffany and Burberry, among many others, and is the author of The Power of Perfume. “Flowers are the quintessential symbol of femininity,” adds Phillips. “This exquisite, complex floral blend embodies passion and true love, a combination of florals reflecting ALL the facets of YOU—gentle, smooth, caring, easy-going, sublimely sensual, and exotic.” Ooh la la.

This fragrance makes scents…sorry, sense…for me (I had to). I’m “girly” in all ways. I love pink, sequins, and bows, so this was a wonderful re-discovery for me.

What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with Taylor’s other reported favorite fragrance: Tom Ford’s Santal Blush.

Tom Ford Santal Blush Eau de Parfum

Santal Blush is warm, woodsy, and earthy. Described as “exotic spices enhanced with luxe ylang ylang, warm cinnamon, and sumptuous woods…earthy and woody”—this didn’t sound like anything I had worn before and not something I would be immediately drawn to.

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