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SYB Freebie: Kiehls’ Aromatic Blends Orange Blossom Collection

I’ve been a woman without a fragrance for a couple months now, which is a place I’m unused to. My scent forever was Stella by Stella McCartney, but earlier this spring I got super-dramatic about a deva breakup (surprise!) and decided the scent was too unutterably painful for me to continue wearing. The scent — with all it’s luscious memories of a love for the ages, people, FOR THE AGES — was causing me to dissolve into tears at inappropriate moments (hello, parent/teacher conference) and take to my bed, too overwrought to even find pleasure in the Housewives franchise. No, I was only interested in watching ‘The Way We Were.” Or the “La Douleur Exquise” episode of Sex & the City. With a vintage handkerchief in my ill-manicured clutches, to dab my leaky nose (which was too raw and sensitive even for those tissues with the lotion in them).

Superb, now I’m in tears. Did I forget to take my Zoloft this morning? Fuuuck. Wait, what were we talking about again?

Ah yes! The mad beauty editor’s fragrance journey. So yeah, after my mini-meltdown, I began wearing Gucci Gardenia, which was ultra-lovely, but ultimately a rebound perfume. It just reminded me that I was supposed to be getting over something (not cool…when I’m sad I must wallow). So, when I visited the Kiehls’ offices last week for the launch of their Aromatic Essences line, I was fully fragrance-free. Which changed the second I inhaled their dreeaamy new scent collection.

Each of the four scents — including Orange Flower & Lychee, Vanilla & Cedarwood, Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit, and Fig Leaf & Sage ($55, each) –was more lushly sensual and earthy-sultry then the last. How could they not be, with ingredients sourced from a Moroccan desert oasis, an Ugandan jungle, tranquil Japanese gardens and Provence’s epically romantic countryside? Plus, each lightweight scent has a corresponding Skin-Softening Body Lotion (new formula, inspired by the bestselling Creme de Corps) and Skin-Softening Body Wash. I do enjoy a fragrance you can layer.

My favorite was Orange Blossom & Lychee, a crisp, utterly feminine, totally summer-perfect scent that I’ve worn every day since. Yes! I’ve found a new signature fragrance! Because I’m so enamored, I’m giving away one Orange Blossom collection ($105 value) to one lucky SYB Babe! To enter, hit the comments section and reveal the first perfume you fell in love with. My fave story wins!

Kiehls Aromantic Blends will be available in July.

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25 Comments

  1. Angie D
    June 27, 2012 4:43 pm 

    I first fell in love with White Diamonds because of my grandmother. She wore it for years and I associate that scent with her. She bought me a perfume/dusting powder set as a debutante party present and I wore the heck out of that stuff from 2007-2009. I eventually switched but I cannot get over the scent and the memories attached to it! Heck, I might switch back to it!

  2. Patrice
    June 27, 2012 5:04 pm 

    I first fell in love with Tresor. It brings back wonderful memories and I still use it occasionally.

  3. Abbey
    June 27, 2012 5:27 pm 

    I first fell in love with Estee Lauder Private Collection

  4. lisa
    June 27, 2012 5:35 pm 

    I feel hard equally hard for Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers and Estee Lauder Beautiful in junior high. i remember wanting to smell like what i thought adulthood was: violets, lilies, roses, lilacs and lemon. Oh man, I doused myself in those scents like it was lotion. And now that I am an adult, I’m not sure what my nose was thinking.

    Luckily i grew up and moved on. I actually wore Stella for ages as well, but feel that we have been breaking up for awhile. I’ve been playing with Tocca Giulietta during the day and Gucci Guilty at night – but we have yet to commit to each other. But I’ve come to realize I like my scents like I like my lashes – approachable, clean with a hint of sex.

  5. Christie
    June 27, 2012 5:37 pm 

    I have to go old school. The very first scent I can remember becoming enamored with was my mom’s Anais Anais perfume. I, like most young girls, idolized my mom and everything she did. I wanted to dress like her, walk like her, and ultimately smell like her too. I vividly remember swiping her Anais perfume bottle and spraying myself down like my little mind was bad. After completely dousing myself I learned the valuable lesson of subtlety when it comes to fragrance. 🙂

  6. FelicityR
    June 27, 2012 5:44 pm 

    The first fragrance I fell in love with was probably Vera Wang’s Princess. It made me feel extra grown with just a hint of sweet. I’d received it as a Christmas gift from a wonderful family member, and I just felt so loved.

    Gucci Envy is a close runner up. I also received that as a Christmas gift. It was regifted to me, and typically I would’ve pitched a fit but it smelled so goooooood.

  7. June 27, 2012 6:11 pm 

    The scent that I love to this day is that of a lotion Fashion Fair used to make (I’m not sure if they still do). My mother wore it. It was her “special” lotion, and no one was allowed to wear it but her because it was expensive—a real treat for her, purchased at the Fashion Fair counter at Macy’s. I only liked it as a child because it was forbidden; you always want what you can’t have, right? Later, it just became my mother’s “scent.” And I loved it more. When she passed away 10 years ago, that smell—that lovely, earthy scent—was on everything: her clothes, her hats, her shoes, her pillow. A few times, it made me cry to smell it. Soon enough, though, it served as a lovely reminder—a reminder that my mother was here and she loved me and I loved her back.

    Years later—almost three, to be exact—I was laying in bed on Mother’s Day, waiting for my daughters and husband to call me down to a special brunch they were preparing for me, when I smelled that scent. It was so strong—so present. As if my mother was laying right there in the bed with me, my nose nuzzled on her neck. It was overwhelming. I burst into tears and said “Hello, Mommy,” and told her that I missed her and loved her and wished her a happy Mother’s Day. She was there. I know it. And I’m so grateful that she came to me through her special scent. (God, I’m crying just writing that.)

    Ironically, on that same day, a few hours after that, my father called to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day and he said he’d smelled my mother’s cooking. Plain as day. Like she was standing in the kitchen frying chicken and baking her famous macaroni and cheese. My mother’s scents were everything to us. And to this day, I still keep her jewelry in a special box that I open only on rare occasions because 10 years later it STILL smells like, you guessed it, Fashion Fair lotion. My beautiful mom.

    • Gladys
      June 28, 2012 2:32 pm 

      This is beautiful! I’m tearing up reading it.

  8. Meetra
    June 27, 2012 8:01 pm 

    For me, Tia, it was Samsara by Guerlain. I was 16 years old, making my own money as a restaurant server at the nearby Officer’s Club on base. Since I had my little p/t job, I wanted to buy my own clothes, shoes and perfume. I wanted to buy a scent that was unique and unforgettable. This was 1992 and everyone in high school was wearing Benetton Colors or Liz Claiborne Realities.

    It was late November when I bought it and I felt drawn to it because the scent reminded me of the holidays (spicy like cinammon or cloves). Coincidently, I was also madly in love for the first time and my boyfriend would close his eyes when he sniffed my jacket or my hair (yeah, I sprayed it everywhere).

    Of course, I graduated and moved on as did he. Years later we caught up through a mutual friend. We were both married with children and one day, he asked for my mailing address. A few days later I received a package from him and when I opened it, I saw an old scarf I wore back in the day with my overcoat. It smelled just like Samsara. Apparently, I left it at his house the night we almost got caught in his room. He hid it and never gave it back. He said he used to like to snuggle with it.

    “Perfect”, I told him in a follow-up email, “thanks for sending it back since you have your wife to snuggle with.”

    I tossed the scarf, but not before giving it one last sniff.

  9. Ericka
    June 27, 2012 10:27 pm 

    My mother was an absolute fragrance junkie. All of the Elizabeth Taylor fragrances, cheap bottles of Charlie from me and my brother, Anais Anais, Youth Dew, Shalimar, you name it, she loved them all. I would love to play and sniff in her bathroom and try to mix up my own (serious butt swatting ensued when caught, have no doubt).

    When I was 6 or 7, I was sniffing my way through some samples my mother brought home and I smelled White Shoulders for the first time and I just swooned. This big powdery floral just smelled like everything wonderful and sophisticated and fancy and ladylike that I had ever imagined. I immediately doused myself and then insisted on wearing it daily for the next 3 years (though mom put the kibosh on wearing it to school quick). Oh it just made me feel like I was a gorgeous sophisticated lady (Diana Ross in Mahogany in my head). Oddly, I hate florals in my adulthood but I still fondly remember White Shoulders. Awesome bottle too, shaped like boobs, which my brother found way too hilarious. I’d dress it up in my barbie clothes given the chance (they were too small though).

  10. Dria B
    June 27, 2012 11:50 pm 

    The very first fragrance that I fell head over heels for was The Pink Panther perfume that my mother bought for me when I was about 7 or 8. It was my first fragrance that belonged to me; I didn’t have to dabble in hers or sneak a spray while she was sleeping, it was mine to spray away! I don’t think the fragrance is even produced anymore but I had about 3 bottle of the stuff before I broke into Britney Spears’ Curious perfume! 🙂

  11. Bashful Beauty
    June 28, 2012 1:23 am 

    I had smelled a lot of frangrances by the time I reached 18 but I hadn’t fell in love yet. It wasn’t until my freshman year at Morgan State that a scent had taken me over. I was a skinny, flat ironed hair girl, with corny clothes from the Midwest with no signature scent and Monique was a strong Afro wearing, effortless style senior from NY with a killer with a scent to match. I had to ask… It was Gucci Envy. Needless to say I proudly swagger jacked but she was cool with it.. In her I’ve done my cool duty for the day way. Thirteen years later I always run back to that scent when I am running back to me.

  12. Schanina
    June 28, 2012 2:49 am 

    Sooo glad you’re back blogging on here. I am so late, I know! Xoxo

  13. Leslie C.
    June 28, 2012 3:06 am 

    The first scent I loved was Love’s Baby Soft. I was so enamored with it and just knew it would attract George, my seventh grade crush,to me the way the girl in the advertisement attracted her dream guy. I didn’t get George but I loved Love’s Baby Soft for many years. It’s a classic 80’s scent and I was so excited when I discovered it recently in my local CVS!

    • Gladys
      June 28, 2012 2:43 pm 

      That’s my first love scent, too! I thought that fragrance was made for all 80s teen girls! Adored it. Hmmm…maybe I’ll go pick up a bottle for old time’s sake.

  14. Erika
    June 28, 2012 2:40 pm 

    I remember the day, many moons ago, when I walked into the Body Shop and found their Fuzzy Peach perfume oil. That stuff was my joint. Just the other day when I bumped into a ex from 15 years ago he asked if I still smell like peaches :-), it made me blush. I eventually switched, but when I saw it was being discontinued last year I bought a bottle and every now and then I have to put some on. Sweet memories

  15. Wifey622
    June 28, 2012 5:44 pm 

    Since 1997… My favorite fragrance I fell in love with has to be Ralph Lauren Polo Sport/Woman… My hubby surprised me with it again for my 40th bday this past Friday! Still to this very day I get compliments!

  16. June 28, 2012 5:54 pm 

    Man, reading these comments brought back some memories! My mommy’s scent was Rive Gauche by YSL (haven’t thought about that in years!).
    I used to haunt the fragrance counters as a youth (I mean like, I’m surprise security wasn’t called), but my love fragrance was Calyx by Prescriptives. I loved the clean, citrus/grassy scent. To this day I’m still drawn to clean scents first, then floral and woody.

  17. Kare
    June 28, 2012 8:13 pm 

    who remembers OPIUM? I do. I think the one things all these stories have in common is our mothers! Not a lot of ppl remember things from when they were 4, well I do. Thats the first time I remember my mother being sad and upset all at the same time and me being really scare for my life :). She had just purchased her favorite perfume, yes Opium. It was still in the bag laying on the couch. Thats when I decided to jump on the couch and the bag landed on the floor. Not a good ending for the perfume. The entire house smelled like Opium for weeks.

    It took her months to forgive her 4 year old btfl daughter. One day she came back whith another back and guess what was inside? Nope you guess wrong. It was Channel # 5. My first love!!!

    At 32 I still enjoy going through her perfumes just for this baby!

  18. arnisha
    June 29, 2012 7:41 pm 

    Hi Tia. My first scent I fell in love with was Poison Tendre. I loved that stuff. I thought the bottle was so pretty.

  19. Ayanna
    July 3, 2012 3:49 pm 

    The first fragrance I ever loved for myself was Ralph Lauren Safari. I was in middle school, and wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, heels, colored nail polish, or “dangly” earrings (my folks were all about keeping it on LOCK!). So my one “grown up” indulgence was perfume, and the Safari made me feel SO grownup and sophisticated, braces, glasses, naked face and flat shoes notwithstanding.

    But the fragrance that smells like love to me, in its most concentrated form, is the combo of Oil of Olay facial moisturizer, and Ponds Cream & Cocoa Butter lotion – this one/two punch is the smell of my grandma, now and forever.

  20. Cherice
    July 9, 2012 4:26 pm 

    My first fragrance love was Shalimar. My mom would wear it and I thought it was the most feminine thing I ever smelled.

  21. Nikia
    July 9, 2012 4:32 pm 

    Mine was Om by the Gap. I was in middle school and was completely ignorant to the Buddhist connection. It was purple, from the Gap (when they used to be cool), and my idol, my big cousin, had gotten a bottle for back to school. True love!

  22. July 15, 2012 12:51 pm 

    My favorite scent was a rose perfume, which I can’t stand the smell of now! I think maybe I wore it too much 😉