Is This The Scent You’ll Always Remember?

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For many of us, catching a whiff of mom’s signature fragrance instantly calls to mind a thousand little details about her persona—and possibly even our childhoods. In honor of Mother’s Day on Sunday Team Zoe staffers share the perfume their mothers wear and what special memories the scents conjure up.

The Power Of A Signature Scent

Photo: Vanessa Jackman

Jennifer Ash, Accessories Editor

"My mom wears Jean Paul Gaultier Classique. The scent brings me back to my childhood, when I'd watch her get ready for work in her chic pantsuits. She buys the lotion too and uses it right out of the shower."

Stephanie Montes, Beauty Editor

"My mom recently started wearing Gucci Guilty. I was pretty surprised when she bought it because it's spicier and a bit more intense than all her other fragrances. She describes it as the scent of men's cologne but mixed with hints of feminine florals."

Kristi Mikesky, Fashion & Beauty Editor

"My mom wears Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue. It smells light and refreshing but a bit floral too. It's an overall happy scent to match my mom’s bright personality—she’s literally always smiling and in amazing spirits, so it’s very fitting. I think I actually bought it first, and she loved it so much she started wearing it."

Tom Balamaci, General Manager

"My mom wears L’Eau d’issey by Issey Miyake. It's a floral fragrance with a serious core. The scent makes me think of the fresh, white flowers she’d put in the foyer of our house. I also always associated it with her ritual of getting ready at the last minute—we’d always be waiting in the car for her at least 15 minutes. Then she got in the car wearing the fragrance and it was time to go. She still wears it and is still always a few minutes late."

Nicky Deam, Fashion Director

"My mom wears Diorella by Dior. It smells clean, spicy and floral without hitting you over the head—which is fitting as my mum is a soft-spoken British woman. The bottle has been a constant in her dressing room for as long as I can remember. Always applied while wearing a dressing gown so it still reminds me of bedtime stories."

Courtney Ross, Executive Assistant

"My mom wears Gardenia Petale by Van Cleef & Arpels. This is the best "mom" smelling perfume; just simple, lovely and feminine. My mom has worn a version of this fragrance my whole life. She doesn't buy her own perfume because my sisters and I always buy it for her. In fact, we will be buying her a new bottle for Mother's Day this weekend."

Megan Gustashaw, Editorial Director

"My mom loves spicy, oriental fragrances and Opium is always in the rotation. When I smell this perfume today it instantly calls to mind other details about my mom's appearance like her blonde hair, sparkly jewelry and long nails."

Joey Maalouf, Beauty Guru

"My mom hates perfume, she says she's allergic. She does wear Aveda Botanial Kinetics body lotion. It smells like camomile and lavender. She's always baking something so add the smell of orange blossom sugar cookies into the mix and it smells like home."

Mel Chalian, Executive Assistant

"My mom wears Jean Paul Gaultier Classique. It's a very "lady" scent. It's for someone who is going to lunches and galas—someone with a big rolodex and lots of functions to attend. When I would smell it from her room as a child, I knew she would be in something really pretty and going somewhere fancy with my dad."