This $70 Perfume From My Childhood Shaped My Fragrance Nose As An Adult

Courtesy of Clinique

The nostalgia of fragrance has the tendency to be more incredible than the scent itself. For instance, one of my earliest memories of scent was food cooking in my grandmother's kitchen. To this day, anything reminiscent of that aroma can stop me dead in my tracks. The same applies to the first perfume I was ever familiarized with: Clinique Happy. The grapefruit-scented perfume, birthed in 1997, was my mother's favorite as I was growing up, becoming a staple of her collection, and the first perfume she allowed me to try.

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Every now and then when she was feeling generous, she'd bend down and give me a small spritz on my wrists. However, those rare occasions proved not enough for me. When I was feeling mischievous, I'd sneak into her bathroom and spray it on myself, most times in excess, covering every part of my body. And while I'd of course get caught just about every time, as the scent lingered long enough for her to notice, I never stopped. Regardless of the consequences I knew I might face, the feeling of luxury I felt when I wore Happy was always worth it.

Fast forward more than 20 years, and Clinique Happy continues to shape my preference in perfumes today. My heaping of fragrances, that take up just about every inch of my bedroom, are overwhelmingly composed of notes reminiscent of that same fresh, citrus yet sultry blend of grapefruit and bergamot.

So ahead, check out the fragrances that I've come to love that all started with a spritz from one Clinique staple, that give grapefruit a sexy spin.

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Grapefruit-Scented Perfumes: Clinique Happy

The name is really self-explanatory. Just one whiff of this fragrant mingling of bergamot, grapefruit, and Hawaiian florals, and you'll feel transported to an island paradise. The fragrance has been particularly therapeutic these days as my once extravagant vacation plans come to a halt.

Grapefruit-Scented Perfumes: Jo Malone Grapefruit Cologne

Made with grapefruits plucked straight from Spain, rosemary, peppermint and pimento, this refreshing scent is perfect for summer date nights.

Grapefruit-Scented Perfumes: Malin + Goetz Bergamot Eau de Parfum

When I want a fragrance that has more of a musky feel, yet maintains that citrus touch, this is what I turn to. Bergamot, mint, and spices take a generally daytime note and turns it on its head. The evening feel remains refreshing while keeping that energy of nightfall.

Grapefruit-Scented Perfumes: Tom Ford Venetian Bergamot

Leave it to Tom Ford to bottle up the aura of the south of France. With citrus, florals, woods, and spices, the elegant fragrance is what I turn to when I want to channel my innermost "rich b*tch."

Grapefruit-Scented Perfumes: Chris Collins Tokyo Blue

Recently, I've become more open to incorporating traditionally masculine scents into my collection. Tokyo Blue is one of my favorites. Not the least bit overwhelming, Tokyo Blue, created by perfumer Chris Collins (one of the few Black perfumers), is the scent that I turn to in the fall and the winter. Reason being, the more pronounced aroma is the kind of fragrance you want to engulf your scarves, jackets, and sweaters.

Grapefruit-Scented Perfumes: Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit

You know that one fragrance that you just keep in your purse whenever you need a quick freshen-up? This is that. Made of Italian lemon, orange, grapefruit, and bergamot with jasmine, peach, and musk, this citrus masterpiece is lightweight and sophisticated.

Grapefruit-Scented Perfumes: Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle

I first fell in love with this Aerin blend three years ago. I decided to pop into Sephora and by chance, came across this masterpiece. With honeysuckle, sparkling grapefruit, and florals, I haven't taken a vacation without this one by my side.

Grapefruit-Scented Perfumes: Le Labo Bergamote 22

Delicate yet strong, there are few times that I get more compliments than when I wear this, the most common, "You smell like luxury." And while I'd expect nothing less from a Le Labo fragrance, I feel just as honored with every new compliment.

Grapefruit-Scented Perfumes: Vetyverio Eau De Toilette

Any opportunity to add yet another Diptyque fragrance to my collection, I take. So when I discovered this grapefruit, vetiver, and rose masterpiece, I made it mine immediately. Both fresh and smokey at the same time, it fulfills all of my fragrance needs in one spray.

Grapefruit-Scented Perfumes:Kimberly New York Indigo Love

Grown-and-sexy personified, this fragrance from Black-owned brand Kimberly New York adds a sophisticated flair to the citrus blend. The scent is easygoing while adding hints of cedarwood for a small bit of musk.