Fragrance is such a magical thing. It can instantaneously carry you away to a different time. Every time I smell the scent I wore in high school, I feel like I'm walking through those hallways worrying about prom or biology class. I can point out different eras in my life with just one whiff. I asked my lovely co-workers here at Byrdie HQ to recount the perfumes that do the same for them. From first dates and best friends to college parties and road trips, these are the scents that give us all the feels.
"I rarely wear this fragrance anymore, but can't seem to let it go. It's in-your-face, brazen, and unapologetically seductive; no wonder I wore it every night in the beginning of a relationship. One whiff of it and I'm transported back to dark, sweaty L.A. nightclubs and the dizzying rush of falling in love." — Faith Xue, editorial director
"Our brain's power to locate a memory as soon as a scent enters the nose is one of the most fascinating innate physiological abilities. Even if we haven't thought about an event or person in ages, somehow our senses are able to transport us to exact moment we last smelled it/them. For me, Anais Anais always brings me back to my childhood and being snuggled up to my mom. It's a bit powdery and floral—definitely not a scent I'd wear today, but as a kid, I'd steal a few spritzes from her vanity so I could be more like my mom (that and her lipsticks and powder—and the entire contents of her makeup bag). Sorry, Mom! I did it with love." — Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
"My roommate freshman year of college wore this scent, and it always reminded me of her. Weirdly enough, I got gifted this perfume senior year and adopted it as my own signature scent. One whiff of the fresh, fruity-tinged perfume brings me back to the night I came back from a date with my college boyfriend and (tipsily) dropped my precious new fragrance on the floor of my bathroom, shattering it everywhere. I was heartbroken, but my bathroom smelled fragrant for weeks. The next day, said boyfriend surprised me with a brand-new Miss Dior in an even larger size; he was sweet, just like this scent." — Faith Xue, editorial director
"My best friend in high school wore Miss Dior, which I thought was so elegant and grown-up. While the only fragrances I'd ever worn were Bath & Body Works body splash (my mom hated perfume, so I couldn't even steal anything better from her), my BFF had this beautiful pink bottle of designer fragrance on her vanity. Sometimes I'd steal a splash and feel so guilty because it seemed just that fancy. As an adult, I don't often interact with people who wear Miss Dior, but if I caught one whiff of that citrusy, fruity scent, I'd instantly be 17 again, in my best friend's little red room, trying on outfits and listening to Paramore." — Amanda Montell, associate features editor
"I was at my friend's house when a huge high school crush of mine texted me to hang out. I freaked—borrowed her clothes, makeup, and, as I ran out the door, spritzed myself with a perfume she had laying on her vanity. I didn't even look at the label. After we drove around for hours in his car (I know, high school), he texted me about how good I smelled. I practically melted, and I asked my dad to drive me to a department store to pick up a bottle of my own. This scent—bergamot, peony, and sandalwood—will always remind me of that giddy time in my life." — Hallie Gould, senior editor
"Just the other day, I went to Barneys and smelled all the Byredo fragrances, because why not? And while exploring the many perfumes that Byredo has to offer, I came upon the scent, Inflorescence, a beautiful floral fragrance with notes of lily of the valley and fresh jasmine. At first sniff, I was instantly transported to springtime in Seattle—the heady floral fragrance smelled just like the wildflowers that bloomed outside my childhood bedroom every May." — Katharine McEntee, editorial assistant
"I was immediately taken with this one—it was my first-ever signature scent. I got it as a present for my 13th birthday and thought it smelled like freedom. I wore it from that time all the way through college, so it reminds me of so many different things. When I smell it, I'm instantly transported to the first live music I saw without my parents, the day I got my license, and getting ready for parties in college." — Hallie Gould, senior editor