Moodeaux Founder Brianna Arps Says This Fragrance Is the “Scent Soundtrack” of Her Life

Brianna arps, founder of Moodeaux

Brianna Arps / Moodeaux

Brianna Arps believes fragrance is a way to "flaunt how you feel." Arps has been expressing herself through scent since childhood, and her passion for perfumes has only intensified with age. Her longtime love affair with fragrance ultimately led to the launch of her fragrance label, Moodeaux, in 2021. Arps drew upon her years of experience as a beauty enthusiast and professional—she's worked at places like Refinery 29, Elite Daily, and The Lip Bar—to craft a brand that thoughtfully filled a void in the industry. That void being the glaring lack of Black-owned, "clean" fragrance brands. 

With Moodeaux, Arps creates fragrances with plant-based ingredients that moisturize and lock scent onto your skin. She launched her brand with the now award-winning Worthy Supercharged Skin Scent and has made major moves ever since. To name a few: She became the first Black-owned fragrance brand in Credo Beauty, landed a spot in the 2023 Sephora Accelerate Program, and today she's releasing Moodeaux's second product called Worthy Eau de Parfum. 

In celebration of the new launch, we caught up with Arps and asked her to fill us in on her Fragrance Wardrobe. She discusses the fragrance philosophy that guides her personal choices and what she creates for Moodeaux. She also shares the scents that keep her grounded as she tackles her day as a busy founder. Ahead, discover all of her picks. 

How would you describe your Fragrance Wardrobe through the years? 

As I've grown, so has my fragrance wardrobe in terms of size and the types of Eau de Parfums I collect. Being someone who spent years "borrowing" perfumes from my mom and grandma, I've enjoyed experimenting with scents that speak to what I like (mainly warm florals) and who I am (anti-trends) instead. It's liberating.

How would you describe your fragrance style?

Intentional and rebellious. I stopped adhering to the whole "daytime/nighttime" fragrance thing a while back, especially once I realized how much fun it is to play "dress up" and accessorize my mood on my terms. Everything I wear nowadays falls within my one stipulation: I only spritz what makes me feel good. 

What was the first fragrance you ever bought? 

I can't remember if it was the original Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum, Ralph Wild by Ralph Lauren, or Born Wild by Ed Hardy, but those three were my firsts, no doubt. My grandparents gifted them to me. They saw how anxious I had grown to start a fragrance wardrobe of my own and finally caved during a pre-Valentine's Day shopping trip to Macy's. Visiting the perfume counter together became one of our many traditions. All three scents smell mature (almost too mature for a tween back then, according to my mom) Although Born Wild and Ralph Wild are classic fruity florals. In comparison, Juicy Couture has an element of raw earthiness, given its patchouli base note.

What is your go-to WFH scent? 

My WFH scent is just shea butter. I love the ones from Hanahana Beauty. More often than not, I try to give my nose a break when in the house.

Brianna Arps, Moodeaux founder

Brianna Arps / Moodeaux

What is the fragrance that brings you comfort?

My mom burned peppermint oil almost every day when I was little. To this day, if I smell it, I'm instantly comforted and reminded of home.

What scent makes you feel most powerful? 

Empress of Fashion by Diana Vreeland. It's hard to explain precisely why it does it for me, but I always receive compliments. Some notes include black currant, pink pepper, saffron, rose, and tonka bean. 

Is there a fragrance you spritz on to bring back good memories? 

I've lived some of my fondest memories in BonBon by Viktor & Rolf. A great friend gave it to me, but I think my bottle originally came from the beauty closet at the magazine we met at. Every time I wear that fragrance, I'm brought back to NYC's busy streets, where I roamed most of my 20s.

What do you smell when you want to unwind and destress? 

I burn a lot of incense and lavender sage bundles. Aside from easing my mind, I think they help clear away any negative energy from my space.

What's your favorite candle right now? 

Kush by Boy Smells burns on a continuum. You're immediately transported to a state of zen fueled by a herbaceous bouquet of tulip, sage, eucalyptus—and of course, cannabis leaf.

What scent will you associate with this time in your life? 

Worthy by Moodeaux, our very first fragrance, is the scented "soundtrack" of my life right now but will forever hold a special place in my heart. It was conceptualized during a personal low point and has since been dubbed a "hug in a bottle" by our community thanks to a comforting, melodic expression of citrus-floral-woodsy accords grounded in vanilla amber and musk.

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