Without digging too deep into my personal life, I'm single. And have been since, well, forever. But for the first time in a long time, I'm perfectly fine with that — because honestly, I'd rather have fun dating around than to stay in a relationship that weighs me down. With my new approach to romance, I've also adapted some new practices: I text first. I wear what I feel comfortable in, instead of tugging at a too-short dress hem or stumbling around in tall heels. Some things remain the same, though — like my lineup of the best warm fragrances, kissed with notes of amber and vanilla. My tried-and-trues that linger in the air as I sidle up to the bar, project like a song during comfortable lulls in the conversation, and remain on my skin until the morning (should the date go really well). If you're in the market for a sexy new perfume, keep scrolling to see my scent secrets — and eligible bachelors, if you're reading this: I'm only one swipe away.
Alaïa Paris Eau de Parfum
I snagged this perfume at a beauty sale as an editorial assistant, promptly elbowing everyone in my path to wrap my hands around this weighty black and gold bottle, marked with indentations similar to Alaïa's laser cut design. I was immediately taken by the balance of florals (freesia and peony, to be exact) and musk, and knew that it wasn't meant for everyday use — this stuff was special. So special, in fact, that I wore it for dinner with an on-again, off-again, on-one-more-time-for-good-measure fling that complimented me on it all night long. I ended up getting rid of him, but I still keep this stuff around. While the original perfume isn't available on Alaïa's site, try the Extrait de Parfum with similar notes.
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
I gifted my best friend, Tantyona, with a healthy flanker of Flowerbomb last November — and by December, she was fresh out. "I spray it on whenever my husband is annoyed with me," she later told me of the jasmine-meets-patchouli juice. "And once it's on, he's not mad anymore!"
Libre means "free" in French, and that's exactly how I feel when I spritz this lavender, orange blossom, and musk on my pulse points before a more interactive outing — like a concert.
Byredo Slow Dance
With a name like Slow Dance, why wouldn't you want to pull someone closer while it's on? According to the brand, this fragrance is an evocation of memory and desire from a male perspective, but is one that works for everyone thanks to notes of sweet myrrh, violet, and vanilla.
Gucci Bloom Ambrosia di Fiori
I used to drench the OG Gucci Bloom from head-to-toe before summertime rooftop happy hours, hoping to reel in an unsuspecting finance bro as I breezed past to order a $6 wine. (Spoiler alert: This typically works). Now, the fun continues with the brand's latest iteration, Ambrosia di Fiori — with the same jasmine bud extract, tuberose, and rangoon creeper as before, and ambrosia for an extra hug of warmth.
Maison Margiela REPLICA Whispers In The Library
One splash of this cedarwood and tonka bean blend takes me back to the hallowed halls of Howard University, where I'd always sneak glimpses of the cute upperclassman in Founders Library.
Tom Ford Vanille Fatale
If I had a signature scent, this one would be it. I have never failed to get an "Mmmyousmellsogood" after reaching in for a hug at the start of a promising night.
Tom Ford Lost Cherry
And if I really like the guy, I'll layer on Lost Cherry underneath Vanille Fatale for a spicy-meets-sweet combination as a treat for us both.
Mugler Angel Muse
Somehow, this gourmand mix of hazelnut and whipped cream feels sweet without veering saccharine — and when I wear it, my dinner dates always extend to coffee and dessert.
By Killian Love, don’t be shy
Marshmallow notes shouldn't be sexy. But Love, don't be shy is sexy. So sexy that Rihanna herself wears it — and who wouldn't want to smell like her?