When it comes to fragrances, I want to smell like I’m on vacation.
Let me explain: maybe it’s asking for a lot but with just one spritz, I want to be transported to a tropical white sand beach.
In the past, as much as I searched, I never quite nailed that feeling so I resorted to keeping things very basic. In the sixth grade, I wore Vanilla by The Body Shop every day. By eighth grade, I’d upgraded to CK One (ah, the 90s).
And beyond that, I’d pick up something here and there every few years. If I was in a perfume shop with friends, I’d grab a few tester vials but never committed — nothing ever really felt like my “signature scent,” the one that I couldn’t live without.
I just resigned myself to thinking that as much as I loved beauty products, I just wasn’t a fragrance kind of girl. My beachy fantasy would have to stay just that — a fantasy.
That just changed, though.
As I was wandering through downtown Portland with my dad over the weekend, I spotted a (new to me) store: Alder & Co. As I walked in, I was met with the most intriguing mix of housewares, flowers, stationery and beauty products (trust me, it all somehow works in this setting).
Lined up in the corner was Coqui Coqui, a line perfumes from Tulum in the Yucuatan Peninsula. I was intrigued because I’d never seen the line in person before — and that simple labeling with the palm trees? Beautiful. The perfumes are hand-blended in Valladolid, one of the first colonial towns in the Americas and are used at a handful of spas throughout Mexico.
I picked them up one by one and landed on the last bottle: Coco Coco. That was it. Totally it. Eureka! I bought it on the spot. If there ever was a beach-perfect scent, it’s this. It’s like lathering up in Hawaiian Tropic but not gross and greasy — it’s coconuty but cleaner, simpler and very luxurious.
So, my scent search is officially over. I’ve met my match!
But while we’re on the subject of scents, I have one more thing to share with you: Love + Salt Hair Mist. Once again, it smells like the beach. For ladies like me who don’t wash their hair every single day, this spray is wonderful. It gives your hair that clean, fresh smell with hints of pink salt and coconut oil. With just two spritzes in your tresses, this will also have you feeling like you’re on vacation (and who doesn’t want that?)
Full disclosure: I designed this packaging for Branch client Olivine without ever sniffing the fragrance but my gut told me it needed to be unfussy, golden and beachy. And unlike most hair products which are in plastic bottles, this is housed in glass. It’s pretty enough to leave out on your dresser or vanity! Get yours at Anthropologie — or, try out the tester size.
So, that’s my scent story! It took me until I was 32 to find that special fragrance but I am so glad it finally happened.
I’d love to hear: Do you have a signature scent? How did you discover it? And, how did you know it was the one?