Your perfume isn’t just how you smell—it’s how you feel when you get dressed in the morning, for a night out, for a boardroom meeting. It's just as much of an accessory to how you present yourself to the world as your clothing (and let's not forget its close ties to memory and emotion). With that in mind, we’ve launched Fragrance Wardrobe, a scent series in collaboration with The Fragrance Foundation that highlights the rotating perfume “wardrobes” of our favorite tastemakers through key points in their life. Get to know them better via the scents they choose to wear.
Mariama Diallo is a breathtaking beauty who has graced global campaigns from Savage Fenty to Puma. We caught up with the Guinean-American model earlier this year and she dished on all of her beauty secrets, walking us through her meticulous skincare and haircare routine. Considering her obvious beauty prowess, we had a feeling Diallo would have a perfume wardrobe worth highlighting as well—and we were correct.
Her mother’s penchant for scent led Diallo to cultivate a fondness for fragrance. “My mom never left the house without some sort of fragrance that set the mood for whatever the occasion may be,” Diallo tells us. “I believe perfumes are accessories of grown women with a certain caliber of style and grace with the intention of leaving an impression on the room—even if she has only walked through it silently." We chatted more with the model and asked her for her fragrance philosophy and rotating Fragrance Wardrobe, from the first fragrance she ever bought to her current favorite WFH scent. Keep scrolling to get to know Diallo through her favorite scents.
The first fragrance you ever bought:
“My first fragrance was Kilian Princess. I loved the message of not needing a man to be royalty that’s right on the bottle. At the beginning of my career, I was traveling through the airport where I stumbled across it and absolutely loved the smell. At the time, however, I felt too young for such a scent. When I became a bit older and knew my fragrance game was important to me, it was the first one I made sure I bought. The spicy vanilla scent is warm and really reminds you of a sexy bakery making your favorite cake.”
Do you still wear fragrance even when you don't leave the house?
"A good fragrance has the power to transcend your mood. I have always thought of my perfumes as equal to my earrings—an important accessory. Quarantine has shown me the true power my perfumes have on my mood and how I internalize what’s going on. I will wear a light scent in the house to keep my spirits boosted (like my Kilian Princess) but will wear a heavier, more profound scent, such as Flowerbomb, to feel sexy or more feminine like when my boyfriend and I have a cozy night in."
Your WFH fragrance:
"Working from home presents its own complexities and frustrations, so it is important that I have a scent that can soothe me, warm my mood, and leave me feeling overall refreshed. Valentino has a scent called Born in Roma. It has a scent that is warm and sweet with a lingering dark finish that resonates well in a room. It helps me remain alert and focused during a demanding workday."
Your cozy sweatsuit fragrance:
"Nothing has been more refreshing during quarantine than jumping in and out of cozy sweatsuits! I love a nice comfy vibe and Giorgio Armani’s Sì Passione embodies that perfectly. It reminds me of a sweet fruit salad with a very light presence. If I had to envision the place the scent took me, it would be brunch."
The fragrance that brings you comfort:
“Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris created a scent called Gentle Fluidity. It’s one of those fragrances a woman buys over and over again because she can’t get enough of smelling it. It has a strong base of nutmeg and ambery woods that make it embody a sense of home. If I close my eyes and inhale the fragrance of Gentle Fluidity, I am taken back to the living room of my grandmother’s house playing with my cousins because of how homey it is.
The fragrance you spritz to bring back good memories:
“The Princess fragrance by Kilian can take me back to so many great times. I discovered this scent early on in my career when I was traveling extensively around the world and making friends and networking along the way. When I smell Princess, I instantly remember those times and the way it felt to be green maneuvering the planet as a young woman with a dream. When I need to think back to a simpler time when the expectations were low and I was just a girl with a dream of making it, I like to let Princess take me on that journey.”
What you smell when you want to unwind/destress:
"I think that good food is always the ‘destressing unwinder’ for me! Anyone who knows me, or nearly any West African, know that spices are life! The aroma they give is truly calming and sets a tone of peace, family, and love. I love the way different ingredients combine to make a smell all their own. It reminds me of home and the love my mother showed us through her work in the kitchen.”
The scent you'll associate with this time:
“I think Gentle Fluidity will be the scent associated with this time in my life. With being home all the time, and not having a set routine, it’s been easy to fall into the laziness of the pandemic. When I spray this, I start my day in a way that still feels routine with a scent that lifts my spirits—even in solitude. In a way, it does help me move gently and fluidly through a crazy time in our world.”