I’ve never been a big perfume fan, mostly associating them with the chemically scent found in mall department stores that puts you in a dizzying haze. A few years ago I came across Kai, a gardenia-scented fragrance oil that’s gentle and easy to control quantity-wise, leading me to discover a few other oils that tend to be both light and non-offensive smelling.
Child, a cult favorite, has received a lot of press due to its celebrity clientele, including Jennie Garth, who proclaimed, “guys are all over you, so be prepared.” Susan D. Owens created the scent in 1988, which combines two floral essential oils, and has maintained its hand-crafted appeal ever since, even amidst its skyrocketing popularity.
In what is probably the embodiment of a natural scent, MCMC’s Maine was created to emulate a typical day in North Haven, a town in Maine’s Knox County accessible only via ferry. The scent combines Bulgarian rose, clary sage, Somalia myrrh, French seaweed, dried grass, and musk to evoke the smells of pine, air, and sea of the New England landscape.
Natural cosmetics brand Kiehl’s offers a slew of “Essence Oils,” originally providing 122 variations in their original “Kiehl Pharmacy” location, established in New York’s East Village neighborhood in 1851. Today their scents range from cucumber, to gardenia and other florals, to musks.