I have no apologies about being a Glossier You stan. Glossier You and I first met at The Wing — remember The Wing? — back when Glossier products were the caveat to membership into this, in retrospect, kind of weird, cult-like workspace. It was my special treat for going in to work there, and when they announced they were pivoting from Glossier to Chanel (not a bad thing), I, uh, may have made a bottle of Glossier You disappear into my bag before they were all gone.
Don’t come for me; I know I’m not the only person with an artefact from that era of time they “lifted.” But what I loved about Glossier You was that it made me feel like myself at a time when I was looking to figure out who I was in every sense of the word. My relationship with Glossier You has outlasted some of my relationships with people from that coworking space.
I mostly loved one thing about Glossier You (not to mention a handful of other products, like Milky Jelly Cleanser or Invisible Shield Sunscreen, both of which I still use): It made me feel like I could actually be a Glossier Girl. Remember Glossier Girls? The minimalist, millennial-pink, dewy-skinned aesthetic of the late 2010s; the ones who led the pack in “no-makeup makeup”. Granted, they were usually white, thin and looked nothing like me in the slightest. But wearing Glossier You suited me and it allowed me to carve out my own space in the much-revered aesthetic. It’s stayed with me even as that aesthetic concept has fallen to the wayside.
The brand describes You Eau de Parfum as “sparkling top notes of peppercorns, white florals, with a warm, slightly-sweet centre.” This eau de parfum “melts into your skin for a scent impact that is uniquely you. Soft, warm, and familiar.” That scent flexibility, and the fact it seemed to sink into my skin in a way other fragrances I tried did not, felt like it was working with me, not for me. I’d never experienced a fragrance like that in my life, and it was pivotal in my love for fragrance, which endures to this day. Glossier explained to me that because You’s formula is entirely composed of base notes, it’s actually designed to feel like it’s adapting to the wearer. It makes sense, then, that one bottle of Glossier You is sold every 40 seconds around the world.
However, last year, rumours swirled that Glossier You had undergone a reformulation and that things had changed in the scent. TikTok went wild, and I had to put on my best Harriet The Spy puffy yellow jacket to investigate. I compared my original “loaner” Glossier You from 2019 against the new formulations to see if Glossier You was still Glossier Me.
What’s Happening With Glossier You?
In 2022, Glossier confirmed that the Original Glossier You formula had changed. We reached out to Glossier for more clarity, and the brand told R29: “The formula for Glossier You has been modified slightly to comply with regulatory updates, which are commonplace within the fragrance industry. In the case of YOU, we partnered with the same perfumers who originally created the scent to remove an ingredient in compliance with EU regulations, while reworking the fragrance to maintain the scent.”
A Reddit thread speculates that the formula change involved the removal of butylphenyl methylpropional, commonly known as lilial, a synthetic fragrance ingredient that gave You the strong projection and longevity it was known for. However, lilial was banned in the European Union and the United Kingdom in 2022, and then in California in 2023 due to concerns of it causing increased skin sensitivity, allergic reactions, and “endocrine-disrupting properties.” Considering the apprehension surrounding products that contain lilial (which also affected Olaplex), the removal of the ingredient was welcome news to many. But fans of Glossier You were not happy about this — some reported a heavy alcohol-forward scent that didn’t lend the staying power of the OG.
One Reddit user explains: “From what I understand, it’s a longevity/potency issue with the new formula. Scent is the same. I never purchased it until after the reformulation. Love the scent but I was surprised at how quickly it wore off.” People also noted that the reformulation increased the wood and pepper notes and decreased the floral ones — lilial is a synthetic lily of the valley. Not everyone is upset about the changes, but the ones who are will certainly let you know they’re not cool with them.
How I Ranked The Glossier You Formulas
With this in mind, I was determined to break down the difference between each Glossier You formula. This depended on two main points: sillage, or how far the scent throws once applied, and longevity (how long the scent lasts.) Of course, there’s an arbitrary standard of my personal opinion that’s coming into play here — very important.
Glossier You OG
My thoughts: Yes, I still have the same bottle from 2019. No shame in my game — I’m a proud fragrance hoarder. I also need to note that I never had a full bottle of Glossier You, and my 2019 version still is going strong. While my editor rightfully thought it would be expired by now, I don’t think it has. Smelling this brought me back to four years ago; the time before lockdown. But it also reminded me of the stress of that time in my life, the constant worry. I do notice that the floral note is stronger there, but it does last… forever. I wore this on a night out when I was doing a ton of walking, and when I went to hang my coat later on, the scent lingered and lasted until the next day. It also remained on my sheets despite my taking a shower. The sillage isn’t as long — likely because it’s over four years old — but this baby lasted. I’ll likely be buried with her.
Overall: 4 out of 5 Glossier Mes
My thoughts: I will give Glossier You Solid one incredible credit: You will never, ever run out of this. The solid formula is almost like a balm due to the alcohol-free, anhydrous (or water-free) wax base, and it’s so viscous you won't make a dent. This one wasn’t my favorite. I wish it was in a solid moisturizer form like Kate McLeod’s Body Stone so that I could wear it as a body lotion. My main issue is that it doesn’t last! I held my arm up to my friend an hour after application and she asked, “You’re wearing perfume?” While we love Glossier You for being a “skin scent”, I still expect my perfume to enhance me, not just… disappear. But I do have to say that the throw on this scent was intense. I had it in my bag and you could smell it everywhere. If I ever get to the bottom of this, however, I’m going to use the gorgeous packaging as a little container. I love that.
Overall: 2.5 out of 5 Glossier Mes
My thoughts: The Glossier You Rollerball is a sleeper hit. Like, wow. I don’t understand how this is so much better than the solid, but the Glossier You rollerball screams. For me, the rollerball is the closest to the original formulation of all the ones I tried here, and it smells completely different from the solid. This one feels like the most concentrated of the bunch, which you’d never expect from a rollerball. It may be me, but I’ve always felt that rollerballs were kind of the last of the dregs in the vessel after they refill the spray bottles. I’m probably wrong about this, and watch me write a whole story about it next month — that’s why I was wondering about the difference between perfume formulations, too. But the rollerball formula is the exact example of leaving a scent in your wake. Wearing this, I felt like little scent wiggles were following me everywhere I went, which is fun for a Saturday at the farmer’s market. This is the rollerball that made me rethink rollerballs. Oh, and for those who hate rollerballs out of concern that they’re going to leak everywhere, this one has been in my bag for a week and the cap hasn’t fallen off, nor has a drop dripped out.
Overall: 4.75 out of 5 Glossier Mes
My thoughts: I was the most nervous about this because it was the first time I was trying the reformulated Glossier You. And yes, I agree with the Reddit dissenters — it’s not the same. It’s the same in scent, I promise, but that removed synthetic note was why it lasted so long in the OG formula. It's... nice that this one smells a little different. Glossier You has always been lauded as a unisex fragrance, but the reformulation really leans a bit more masculine; it’s harder on the woody and musky notes. However, I still feel that the iris notes come through strong and beautiful and they do add the touch of femininity that this fragrance is famous for. On me, it doesn’t last as long. It’s not as delicate as the solid, but if you’re used to the original, just know that it's there for a good time, not a long time. Actually, this Glossier You feels like a more grown up Glossier You — the notes are a bit bigger and stronger, occupying a bit more space. It’s really indicative of the new era of Glossier. Think: innovations in foundation and concealer shade expansion. It’s the new Glossier Girl.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 Glossier Mes
My thoughts: As Senior Vice President of the Glossier You Expert Panel, a panel I made up myself for this story, I was thrilled by the idea of a bigger Glossier You. There are only a few things I want bigger than what they already are, and the world already has too many things, but this one was an absolute yes in my world. And you know what? It’s fine! It’s literally just a bigger version of the Eau de Parfum. I do think it’s a little less concentrated because the first few spritzes weren’t quite as fragrant as the others, but that’s just in comparison to its counterparts. If you’re a Glossier You lover and are eyeing this, I don’t think it’s a bad choice.
Overall: 3 out of 5 Glossier Mes
Shockingly, the smallest player has the biggest voice. Glossier You Rollerball is the Kristin Chenoweth of Glossier Yous. Regardless of how you feel about the reformulation, though, I think it is representative of Glossier’s evolution as a brand, and for the evolution of its fans, too.
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