Your perfume isn’t just how you smell—it’s how you feel. Usually, it's an accessory to how you present yourself to the world, but these days, it can serve as a source of comfort and nostalgia during days spent at home. In the upcoming weeks, we're sharing a new version of Fragrance Wardrobe, our series in collaboration with The Fragrance Foundation that highlights the rotating perfume “wardrobes” of tastemakers through key points in their life. In this new take, we'll be asking them to share their favorite scents through the lens of comfort and their at-home routine. Get to know them better via the scents they choose to wear during this uncertain time.
Those in the beauty industry will agree: to know Dior is to know Fanny Bourdette-Donon. As Dior Beauty's International PR & Special Projects Manager, the French-born and Rwanda-raised Bourdette-Donon oversees strategy for every new Dior beauty launch, from collaborations to partnerships (which explains her best friendship with Bella Hadid, who serves as a face for the brand). Though Bourdette-Donon's day job may involve wrangling It-girls, she's also become quite a notable one herself in the process— a quick scroll through her Instagram yields plenty of beauty and style inspiration (Dior, naturally) and snaps of her travels around the world (pre-quarantine). We caught up with Dior Beauty's girl about town and asked her fragrance philosophy (hint: it's inspired by her dad) and the rotating perfumes in her French-influenced Fragrance Wardrobe. Keep scrolling to get to know Fanny Bourdette-Donon, from her "tender and powerful" signature scent to the candle she burns that brings her comfort.
How would you describe your Fragrance Wardrobe through the years?
"I am very loyal to my fragrances and a fragrance usually accompanies me through several years. I wore J'adore most of high school. My dad would buy it for me at duty-free when he had to go away on missions. I was fascinated by the gold Maasaï necklace of the amphora-shaped bottle and its captivating scent. I literally started a trend in my little high school. I remember all the girls started wearing J’adore and the blue hair mascara Dior was doing at the time.
I then wore Calvin Klein ck be most of my law school years. I will always remember buying Narciso Rodriguez for her at the airport when I moved to the States. I was so excited by this new adventure I was embarking on. I was about to start a new chapter of my life on a new continent I barely spoke the language—how fun! I wore Narciso most of my twenties."
Today, I wear Dior Homme Intense, which has kind of become my signature scent. My friends often joke that they can smell me coming. I love the sophisticated sensuality of the juice, how it's tender and powerful at the same time."
What was the first fragrance you ever bought and why?
"The first fragrance I ever bought was Fahrenheit. It was (still is) my dad's fragrance and the first real present I remember saving money for.
Growing up, the men of my life really made my fragrance education when I think about it. They would have a very simple routine but would religiously wear their signature scent every single day, no matter where we were."
Do you still wear fragrance these days even when you don't leave the house?
"I wear fragrance every day. Wearing fragrance is the final touch of my routine—I am sad and feel like I’m missing something when I don’t have fragrance on.
My absolute favorite and the one I don’t feel complete without is Dior Homme Intense. I spray it in the morning before leaving my house, after lunch, and before dinner. My other current favorite scent is Lucky from Maison Christian Dior. I love to wear it on weekends or holidays. The explosion of white flowers and freshness of this scent have a very reassuring and comforting effect on me."
Your WFH fragrance:
"I always burn a candle when I work from home. I have had an ongoing addiction for Jardin D'Orangers from Maison Christian Dior. The freshness of the citrus combined with the neroli flowers create a soft and comforting atmosphere which I found very inspiring and addictive."
Your cozy sweatsuit scent:
"My body lotion, Rose Gipsy, and the beautiful scent of my face crème, Dior Prestige. Both are made out of roses, which have calming and uplifting virtues."
The scent that brings you comfort:
"It's more of a smell, especially right now. The smell of home cooking: I love the smell of a cake fresh out of the oven, of vegetables simmering for hours over gentle heat. I love watching my mom cook, and the delicious smell which fills the house."
The fragrance you spritz to bring back good memories:
"It’s not a fragrance—it’s the smell of the shea butter-infused body lotion my mom used to apply on us when were kids. That scent always brings back so many comforting memories. The scent of Exofène powder takes me wayyy back too! I always keep both at home."
The candle you're currently burning right now and why:
"I’m currently burning Palo Santo from Extra Virgo as we speak! I find the notes of pine, bergamot, and cypress extremely relaxing and uplifting."
What you smell when you want to unwind/destress:
"The first thing I do when I get home after a long stressful day is light a candle and spray some Lavender Gypsy Mist from Jacquie Aiche, which helps me relax and disconnect. I also discovered that it helps me sleep better so I started spraying some on my linens too before going to bed."
The scent you'll associate with this time:
"The smell of fresh lilies will now forever remind me of this time. Indeed, as soon as confinement was announced, I flew to my mom’s house in the South of France, which is usually filled with fresh seasonal flowers she buys once a week at the local flower market. Since the flower market closed and we couldn’t leave the house anymore, I found a local horticulturalist who has been delivering the most exquisite fresh lilies every Saturday, which have been filling the house with the most exhilarating scent."