It doesn't help that a) I'm a beauty editor and am lucky enough to be sent amazing perfumes to try out and b) I know what I like, so simply reading a description on a website can prompt me to drop money on something I've never smelled. This USUALLY works out, especially in the case of Sweet Anthem Handmade Perfumes.
I found Sweet Anthem, a Seattle-based indie perfume shop, on Etsy one night (probably pretty late), browsing for D.I.Y. perfume. For $28, you can pick three notes (the base, the heart, and the head, if you want to get technical) and they'll brew up a custom formula just for you, a bespoke perfume, in a beautiful, apothecary-style bottle.
Plus, the options are kind of endless. There's something for everyone. With notes ranging from "cashmere" to "dirt" to "brown sugar" to "breeze," you're going to end up with something that is uniquely you. You know, a signature scent. You can also throw in additional notes for an extra charge. Just browse the shop to figure out what you want and chat with the owner through Etsy to make sure you get exactly what you want.
Now, if you're like me and maybe not ready to commit to a signature scent, there are the sample sizes. For $5, you can order a sample version of any of their pre-made scents in a solid or liquid format. I picked the solid format, since the tiny size and inability to spill seemed convenient for me, someone who likes to toss perfume in their bag whenever they're headed out for the night.
My three picks were:
- Emily, (hey Emily, there's a perfume named after you!) with notes of almond, coconut, honey, milk, oatmeal and sandalwood, it is milky sweet with a bit of spice. You know, like a delicious bowl of hot oatmeal on a cold Winter day. I realize that might not be appealing to some people, but to me, it smells awesome.
- Juliet, with notes of clove (one of my all-time favourites), jasmine sambac (another favourite!), mango, pink pepper and tobacco. This one is spicier than Emily (the perfume, not the lady), and slightly less sweet. It smells like a hot Summer night where you're surrounded by fruit trees and maybe someone's smoking a pipe in the distance. I'm getting really imaginative here ... this one is my favourite, by the way.
- Tara, with notes of black tea, damascus rose (y'all know how much I love rose), red currant, thyme and saffron. This one is super-feminine but still has that spice to it that I like. I wore it last night and my boyfriend said I smelled nice, so that's always good.
So, to sum it up, if you're a signature scent kinda lady (or fella, you can totally make a masculine scent out of the variety of notes available) go for the custom blend at a reasonably priced $28 (for 3 notes, extra notes vary in price, see Etsy home page). If you're finicky and mood-swingy with your scent choices, order up a few samples (in liquid or solid formats) for just $5 each.
Let's have a perfume discussion. Are you one of those people who can't stand heavy perfume on the subway? Some people wear some seriously rank stuff, but I do appreciate when someone passes me by and they smell nice. I almost feel the need to compliment them, but I'd feel kinda creepy. What do you think?
I talk about perfume on Twitter sometimes, among other things: @hannahejo