As a beauty writer, I get to try a *lot* of different products. I snap up shampoos and sheet masks, test tons of cleansers and serums and get to load up on all the lipsticks and lash serums that my heart desires. But one thing I never touch? Perfume. I stopped shopping around for perfume when I was a teen and discovered what would become part of my signature scent. Since then, I have rarely veered off course. My personal perfume is a natural mix of a high-end designer formula and a bevy of grooming products that combine to perfection.


So last week, when I unexpectedly found myself being followed around by the loveliest, most delicate (albeit unfamiliar) floral scent, I wondered what could be responsible. My new conditioner? I checked the label and gave it a sniff — nope, just shea butter. Detergent? Fabric softener? No luck. But it didn’t let up: A few times a day, when I was least expecting it, I’d be sweetly surprised with a subtle — but impossible to ignore — aroma. “What IS that?,” I wondered. The answer totally took me off guard. Scroll down for a list of the products that make up my go-to combo for a next-level, yet subtle, aroma — and the surprising new addition that is now my new fave.


1. Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb ($85): This is the fragrance of my youth and it will forever have a special place in my heart. A cult classic, this “floral explosion” combines jasmine sambac, centifolia rose, cattleya orchid and ballerina freesia bloom on a base of patchouli. Simply put — it’s lovely.


2. Garnier Fructis Glossing Spray ($4): I love to smell good. But I’ve never depended solely on perfume for that. My ideal aroma has always been thanks, in part, to my hair products. I’m pretty sure my fiancé fell “in like” with me because of this spray. Yes, there are about a zillion shine sprays out there… but this one might just smell the very best (sweet, fruity and fresh).


3. Sexy Hair Play Dirty Dry Wax Spray ($19): When I mix my go-to Garnier with this Sexy Hair Play Dirty Spray, magic happens. If you don’t have a short, spiky style, chances are that you have never used a spray wax before — and you think wax isn’t for you. Not the case. This light, candy-scented wax sprays on like a texturizer and allows you to muss your hair into the perfect shape and texture. Bonus: A single spritz goes a long way, so use sparingly and it lasts for-ev-er.


4. Herbivore Glowing Hydration Jasmine Body Oil ($44): Between my trusty hair products and my skincare routine, I was sure that one of my usual suspects was responsible for this sudden mysterious amazingness. The last ingredient to my custom aromatic experience is Herbivore Glowing Hydration Jasmine Body Oil, and it smells/feels absolutely incredible. This completely natural blend of oils (jasmine sambac, camellia flower and grapeseed) absorbs into skin quickly — no greasiness — and leaves a light, lovely aroma. Perfect for post-shower hydration or strictly for the scent.


5. Dove Advanced Care in Soothing Chamomile ($5): And then, one fateful morning before a workout, as I slathered my armpits with deodorant, it hit me. This was the deo I had grabbed from the beauty closet last week in a pinch. And instantly, everything made sense: This was the source of that beautiful floral blend that I had grown to love so much. My favorite new “perfume” was actually a simple deodorant.

I’m very much a product purist and an extremely loyal consumer. I’ll try anything once, of course, but rarely will it make it onto my repeat buy list. I’ve been using the same, unscented deodorant ever since that time in fifth grade when my mom told me I needed deodorant (awkward). But it was gentle on my sensitive skin and did its job, so why switch?

And yet, here I am, completely enamored with a deodorant that I never would have given the time of day if it wasn’t for the fact that a workout ran late and I had to run into the office without a shower. So I grabbed the first deodorant I saw— and the rest is history.

I have a feeling that we’ll be very, very happy together.

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