We’ve all been there: You want a new fragrance, but the search proves to be too burdensome, costly, and time-consuming, so you either give up and buy yet another bottle of the same stuff you’ve worn since college (hey, no judgment), splurge on something you heard your favorite celebrity wears (and then subsequently weep because the scent just doesn’t do it for you), or buy something easy that scratches the itch for novelty, but instead of giving you that ‘wow’ factor you’re craving, it’s just… fine.
Searching for that unicorn online is even more of a challenge (for obvious reasons). But even if you do have a general idea of what kind of scents you like — let’s say floral — it’s hard to narrow down that specific kind of ‘floral’ you like. Do you like fruity florals? Powdery florals? Wait, what even are powdery florals? Enter: Sephora’s new Fragrance Guide, which takes all the annoying legwork out of finding that winning scent. Four handy features — including a personalized quiz, under $50 guide, key notes guide, and an in-store 'find similar scents' tool — are all cleverly designed to present you with the best options to suit your own unique taste (and, of course, budget).
If anyone can appreciate such a new, innovative way to explore fragrances, it’s Funmi Monet, or “your fave fragrance auntie,” as she’s affectionately known on Instagram and TikTok. The Dallas-based fragrance and beauty influencer, who you’ll definitely recognize if you’ve stumbled onto #perfumetok, regularly shares with her thousands of followers everything she knows about fragrance, like how to properly layer it, things to avoid when building a perfume collection, and how to find a fragrance without going broke.
As a licensed therapist, too, Monet is big into the emotional impact of fragrance and the personal — and transformative — powers a scent can have. “I always sit down and take the time to really enjoy a fragrance and all the nuances of it,” she tells Refinery29. “It’s like a meal at a five-star restaurant: You really want to savor each bite. I visualize each note and ask myself what it means to me. And I love that applying a fragrance makes me feel like I did something special for myself.”
Monet emphasizes that while it’s great to have that one signature scent, it’s also fun to add a few more fragrances to your collection that feel particularly suited for certain scenarios. “Do I want to start my day feeling confident and bold? Do I want something clean, fresh, and kind of classic? Am I feeling sexy today? Fragrances can definitely match or enhance your mood,” Monet says.
And that's why Sephora’s Fragrance Guide is so great, she adds. The tools help you discover certain notes (like sensual rose or earthy wood) or scent categories (fresh aquatics, cool spices) that resonate with whatever mood you’re in — or want to be in. So, whether you’re already well-versed in the olfactory world but crave a more seamless fragrance-finding process, or you’re entirely new to the game and want to build out your perfume collection and aren’t sure where to start, the guide will point you in the right direction. Read on as Monet puts the guide to the test by finding a fragrance for 12 different scenarios.