For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in woody fragrances. Like a real LA woman, I was indebted to Le Labo Santal 33 ($ 192) for years and has only changed marginally to experiment with similarly spicy scents adorned with notes of sandalwood, bergamot, vetiver, and other downright hearty flavors. Scents classified as sweet or gourmet – the chic name for perfumes that smell almost edible with notes of honey, caramel, vanilla and the like – just never called me. (A brief stint in middle school with one of Paris Hilton’s body sprays was the first and last time I focused on something that made me smell like I was dipped in sugar.) Too unsophisticated, I scoffed at my Le Labo-scented one High horse. But that changed when I finally got my hands on a bottle of Rihanna’s favorite perfume, Kilian’s Love. Do not be shy ($ 240).
It was only recently that I began to think seriously about getting involved in sweet perfumes, but rather in a long-term love affair with Frédéric Malle Portrait of a lady ($ 255) and a more recent date with Tom Ford Bitter peach ($ 350) made me think that maybe, just maybe, I am into warmer, more syrupy notes than I would imagine. Then a TikTok viral video reminded me that my Queen Rihanna is widely known as one of the best smelling people in Hollywood and that her signature scent is key to that reputation. The candied notes of orange blossom, vanilla and marshmallow that I would normally have turned my nose up at were suddenly so intriguing to me. It’s not that I’m naive enough to believe that a price tag is always an accurate indicator of quality, but at $ 240 for a single bottle, I suspected this fragrance would be something special. Spoiler alert: it is.