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How 6 super chic women use scent to tap into their authentic self


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Scent is our most powerful sense, so it’s no surprise that we have such a strong connection to fragrance. From certain notes that evoke a childhood memory to a classic perfume that reminds you of your friend who’s rocked it for ages, it can play a major role in anyone’s beauty routine.

It’s also why so many women have a ritual when it comes to applying their signature scent (and why our mothers taught us about pulse points ages ago).

“Scent is a private choice and experience, but creates stories for those around us as well,” says Lianna Sugarman, founder and CEO of juice brand Lulitonix (and scent enthusiast). “It has the power to transport us to memories and moments that came before, awakening recollections of what and who we were, or remind of us a part of ourselves we forgot.”

Donna Karan’s new scent Cashmere Aura is packed with a blend of floral, citrus, and musky notes that can bring out confidence, calmness, and even your sultry side, making it a powerful sensory tool to add to your arsenal.

In that spirit, we teamed up to tap cool-girl influencers—from boutique jewelry shops to yoga studios for the downtown crowd—for inspiration on how to create a scent-based ritual.

Keep reading for serious inspo on how to use scent to deepen your sense of self.

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lulitonix
Photo: Lianna Sugarman

Lianna Sugarman, founder and CEO of Lulitonix

“For me, scent is more a private ritual than a desire to ‘smell’ a certain way. Sometimes it’s a journey back, anchoring snapshots of my life. Whether a tart citrus reminding me of my mother, so young and beautiful, getting ready as I watched and admired her, or notes of Freesia and rose which evoke my early 20s, of dark, sexy, cocktail-gilded nights where everything was exciting and possibilities seemed endless. Perfume has the power to harness those moments—it can calm me, ground me, inspire me, and remind me of what it feels like to be the most ‘me.'”

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sky ting
Photo: Tutti Del Monte

Chloe Kernaghan and Krissy Jones, co-founders of Sky Ting Yoga

“I always associate scent, especially perfume, with seduction. Scent also holds memory for people, so it’s a very powerful tool when used well. I always find it interesting when I’m able to identify someone by their scent before I even see them. When I remember, I’ll put some on before I leave the house in the morning, and I’ll reapply after teaching a class. I really try and find one that works well with my personal scent. I’m more attracted to woodsy and musky notes, and occasionally something with citrus.” —Kernaghan

“I like to use scent to my advantage. I know when to smell like a flower, when to smell earthly, when to smell musky, depending on my situation.” —Jones

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Photo: Catbird

Rony Vardi, founder of Catbird

“I love the mutability of scent. How it changes throughout the day, how it differs from person to person, how what you love in a fragrance changes as you get older—it all adds to the depth and complexity of scents. Sometimes, I put the teeniest, tiniest bit on right before I go to bed.”

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katherine greiner
Photo: Evan Gunville

Katherine Greiner, founder of KGBody

“When it comes to perfume, I’m not someone who wears it everyday so it is definitely a special occasion when I do wear it. As such, I always put it on the same way. I believe in the power of pulse points so this is wear I focus.”

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Photo: Georgina Berbari
Photo: Georgina Berbari

Georgina Berbari, yoga instructor and healthy food guru

“I always apply perfume before I leave the house, because I really love smelling fresh and flirty and unique. I apply it by spraying it onto my wrists, rubbing them together, and then rubbing the remaining scent from my wrists onto my neck and behind my ears. When I was younger, my mom told me that the scent lasts the longest and circulates the most throughout your body if you rub it on your neck, so perfume has kind of a sentimental feeling to me because it reminds me of my mom!”

To perfect your personal perfume ritual, check out Donna Karan’s Cashmere Aura at macys.com.

Top Photo: Stocksy/ Kayla Snell