Perfume Perfection

Beauty expert Abby Bliss shares our perfume obsession—and has some really neat tricks for finding a scent that’s truly perfect for you.

Scent is invisible but it has a strong sensorial pull. Here at Chantecaille, where we started as a fragrance house, our love for perfume borders on obsession. We’ve found a kindred spirit in Abby Bliss White, a YouTube beauty guru and holistic health coach who has partnered up with us for some virtual fragrance conversations that have been so much fun (you can check them out here). We also chatted with Bliss about her love of fragrance and how to dive into it yourself if you’re not quite sure where to start.

Has your love of fragrance been life-long?
Yes. I have such strong memories of growing up and being surrounded by scent—I had a very swishy grandma who really made an impact every time she walked into a room—she wore Joy, which is this intense Bulgarian rose scent. And my mom was also into fragrance; she favored a very classic, aromatic scent like a Chanel No. 5. So growing up, my sisters and I were very aware of scent and we all had our own DNA kind of fragrance code. Today, it’s absolutely an important part of my daily life.

Is it as important as a makeup or skincare routine?
Yes-it’s a rare day for me that I don’t put on perfume. I do my skincare regime, I put on makeup and I always wear fragrance. I am not dressed until I choose that finishing touch—I’ll ask myself “What do I need today? Do I need comfort? Do I need something invigorating?” I love it so much because there's such variety out there and, to me, it is that little finishing touch to start my day.

"It’s a rare day for me that I don’t put on perfume. I do my skincare regime, I put on makeup and I always wear fragrance. I am not dressed until I choose that finishing touch."

Do you have a signature scent or do you change it up?
Well, it's funny because I'm 52 and I think I've been on the hunt for my signature fragrance forever! And then I finally realized, you know, a signature fragrance for me might last a week, and then I need something else—for me, it’s really a day to day decision, sort of “what am I needing that day”? Or, sometimes doing the opposite and using specific fragrances to push me in the direction I want to go.

Are there any Chantecaille fragrances in your rotation?
Yes! Lately what I've been wearing is Vetyver. That one's been kind of invigorating and giving me this balance of comfort from the woodiness in there and then I love the bit of zing and citrus. It’s so uplifting. I also really like Kalimantan, which is perfect for cooler weather because it’s spicy and warm.

Do you lean towards a different scent experience throughout the seasons?
Yeah. In the summer when it's hot I'm looking for fragrance to cut through all that heaviness and be clean and crisp—that usually means citrusy, fresh scents, though I will sometimes go for a richer, warmer scent just because I love them so much. Then when we hit the fall and sweater weather I love to warm things up, so then I get into richer, more sensual scents. I love anything with a touch of vanilla— I'm a holistic health coach and a foodie so that sort of gourmand aspect to more intense scents really appeals to me. Once it gets cooler, it's so wonderful when you go outside and you're chilly but you can feel that kind of warmth from your perfume, I just love that.

You’ve had some wonderful YouTube Live chats about scent with our own Angela Rogers. It is tricky to talk about something when you can’t actually smell it?
It is! But we’re both so obsessed with it that we make it happen even without smell-a-vision! Ha! It’s so fun to tell the story of the scents and then get people excited to go and experience them themselves. The Chantecaille scents are so exquisite and crafted so beautifully and I always have people asking me about them.

What do you suggest as a starting point for people who aren’t sure what fragrance they like?
To start, if they aren’t really sure about what they like, I’ll usually ask them if there are any scents they know they like, rather than the typical method which is to talk about notes they might like or dislike. I tend to ask someone, “how do you want to feel today?” and let that mood, whether it’s warm or cozy or fresh and energized, guide us toward scents that will help foster that feeling. I always tell people that there’s a story that unfolds when you put on perfume: you can be unsure if you just sniff it from the bottle, but from the time you put it on, and let it unravel from the beginning, the middle and then the dry down, which is how it finishes and ultimately smells on your body.

Any suggestions on good ‘starter’ fragrances to people who are new to perfume?
If they’re just getting into fragrance, a fresh lighter floral is usually the place to start. They feel clean and fresh and not overwhelming. If someone says they have no idea what type of scent they like, I’ll actually ask someone what they use say, for a body wash or hand soap, that has a fragrance—even if you don’t think of yourself as a fragrance person, you could still have a lot of scents around you that can indicate what you like or don’t like. I also will ask a question about vacations- do they prefer the beach or the mountains? That gives me a sense of what they’re attracted to. That atmosphere is a great starting point. From Chantecaille, Vetyver is such a great starting point for someone who is just dipping their toe into wearing fragrance because it’s so sparkling and cool. Le Wild is a scent that also has a great green-ness to it so it’s a nice place to start if you are just discovering florals.

Want more fragrance inspiration? Watch Abby chat fragrance with Angela Rogers below.

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