Beauty 

The Best Scents for Every Post-Lockdown Social Situation, According to Emma Vernon

The matchmaker and host of ‘Perfume Room’ drops her picks for a first date, a summer cookout and more.

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Emma Vernon is a multi-hyphenate in the best sense of the term. The TikTok-famous matchmaker and comedian recently added another entry to her lengthy resume: perfume podcaster.

Perfume Room, which officially launched in May, sees (or rather, hears) Vernon share her extensive knowledge of scent via educational yet humorous segments — i.e. Scent of the Day and What’s That Smell? — and interviews with fragrance connoisseurs (notable guests include Carina Chaz of DedCool and Fur founders Laura Schubert and Lillian Tung).

Vernon, who names Atelier Cologne’s Trefle Pur and Montale Paris’ So Iris among her favorite scents at the moment, has appreciated fragrance for as long as she can remember. “As a four-year-old, I was always sneaking over to my grandmother’s dressing table so I could smell — AKA spill — all of her perfume bottles and samples,” she recalls. “On trips to the mall or a department store, I’d head straight to the beauty department and smell every single fragrance. My body said The Children’s Place but my heart said Victoria’s Secret Pear Glacé,” she jokes. After years spent sniffing fragrance samples, reading up on the olfactive arts and taking courses on perfume, Vernon — a self-described “fraghead” — is able to recall scents by memory.

As we begin to emerge from the depths of the pandemic, the expert believes many have reevaluated their relationship to scent and smell. “Smell is our most powerful sense, capable of evoking emotions and memories in a way our other senses cannot,” Vernon explains. “Fragrance provided an escape — memories of our favorite people, places, times, meals, people, weather — during a time when we couldn’t go anywhere. Because [COVID-19] has taken or altered so many people’s sense of smell, I think those of us who have it or regained it have a newfound appreciation for how special it is to not only be able to smell, but also to be able to smell something good.”

As social gatherings become more commonplace, HYPEBAE consulted with Vernon on the best fragrances to wear to a first date, your first day back at the office and other post-lockdown outings. Keep reading for the expert’s recommendations.

First date

“Go with something irresistible that you can’t quite put your finger on — a je ne sais quoi vibe. I’d pick something with medium projection. Nothing too heady or loud, but still bold and editorialized.”

  • Diptyque Orphéon: “Fresh skin scent; great projection and sillage and an amazing sultry jasmine dry down.”
  • Atelier Cologne Silver Iris: ”Sweet, not cloying, sensual, sophisticated and comforting. And since apparently we’re all really just dating our parents anyway, this smell will remind them of their mother’s makeup bag — but like, in a cool way.”
  • Le Labo Bergamote 22: “A perfect fragrance — opens fresh, dries down fire-y and warm with a smell that is equal parts sweet, fresh and electrifying.”

Night on the town

“Go for something with strong projection to stand out in the crowd.”

  • Penhaligon’s Cairo: “Leave a trail for your suitors to follow – sweet, woody, oud perfection.”
  • Kierin NYC Nitro Noir: “For the mysterious type — it’s like old library books and warm berries.”
  • Kilian Angels’ Share: “Seduce them with the most edible, yet not-at-all nauseating gourmand ever. Smells like snickerdoodles fresh out of the oven in the least Bath & Body Works way possible.”

Dinner with the parents

“Depends on your objective.”

  • Maison Francis Kurkdjian Amyris Femme: “For the oldest child who wants their fragrance to convey that everything is perfect. Smells like if Princess Peach had a fragrance.”
  • Atelier Cologne Café Tubérosa: “For the middle child who needs attention — but the good kind — and seeks to stand out from the crowd.”
  • Masque Milano Lost Alice: “For the youngest, whose wit and charm can get them out of anything. Go with this ever-whimsical, sweet and likeable choice.”

First day back at the office

“Something easy to wear, distinct, and for you.”

  • Atelier Cologne Iris Rebelle: “A stately, elegant iris with a comforting, unique chalkiness. Fresh, soft and easy to wear, but takes no bullshit.”
  • Altaia Yu Son: “A soothing, for-you skin scent with calming notes of tea and citrus to help you keep the mask on when the mask’s off.”

Summer cookout

“Something soft, fun and complimentary to the aroma of ketchup.”

  • Thin Wild Mercury Laurel Canyon, 1966: “This scent smells like a fresh summer day at a house party with faint smells of fine cannabis wafting in the distance.”
  • Nemat Amber: “A soft, subtle skin scent that smells like you, but better.”
  • Le Labo Jasmin 17: “A gorgeous orange blossom and jasmine combo that smells like happiness.”
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Image Credit
@sophieweek, Omkar Jadhav/Unsplash
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