Worth It: A Fragrance That Smells Just Right

Illustration for article titled Worth It: A Fragrance That Smells Just Right

Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn't get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that's how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our daily recommendation of random things that we've actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we'd actually tell our friends about. And now we're telling you.


I have a weird relationship with perfume. There are times when I avoid it, and there are times when I wear it every day. When other folks are doused in it, I feel offended, but when I am dressing up or just want to feel "finished" and confident, I can't leave the house without it. But I don't like anything heavy, or strong — just a lightly sweet, fresh scent, like maybe I was lolling around naked in a field of jasmine before getting on the subway.

I think I first got into fragrance in junior high school, when my preppy friends were into Giorgio Of Beverly Hills, an aggressively floral fragrance I associate with the '80s and Dynasty. Later, in high school, I experimented with unisex or men's scents: Egoiste, CK One. I also had that teen-friendly one, Exclamation! I don't know much about the formulas — woodsy, floral, citrusy, whatever — I only know my tastes vary. I have, in the past, been obsessed with Acqua Di Gio, L'Eau d'Issey, J'Adore Dior and Tommy Girl, but I never quite got into some of the more popular scents, like Obsession (there was a time in the '90s when everyone in New York smelled like Obsession — you could not get away from it) or Chanel No. 5, which smells like old people.

All of this is to say that the "notes" and the formula may change — many of the scents I prefer have nothing in common — but I know what I like, and I like what smells good on me. Not heavy, not pungent, just me, but sweeter, fresher (sometimes boozier? Like I've had a cocktail?). Right now, I love Very Hollywood by Michael Kors. It smells like the boudoir of an actress from the '50s, or a classy hotel bathroom. Something good, clean, sweetly sexy, not cheap. Yes, part of this is the great packaging: Retro and pink and girly without being twee or cloying, the bottle — inspired by olde-tymey flashbulbs — is the kind that you want to display. People who know stuff about perfume call it "bright, fruity, sparkly and pink," which pretty much describes what I'd be looking for in a fragrance, anyway. It also has hints of pink champagne and berries, aka what I would like to order from room service at this imaginary classy hotel in which I am staying (in my mind).

This fragrance has its critics — some call it generic and bland, but I think that fits with my current feelings about wearing perfume — you don't want it to be overpowering. You don't want it to be that noticeable, even. It's just supposed to be like you slept on a bed of gardenia petals, bathed in Perrier-Jouët and rubbed mandarin orange peels under your arms before you got dressed. And Very Hollywood delivers that feeling, therefore I think it's worth it.

Very Hollywood by Michael Kors, $45 for 1 oz., Sephora.

Worth It only features things we paid for ourselves and actually like. Don't send us stuff.



This one's my favorite!! (Right now.) I also dig Paris and Chanel Gardenia, which is a very expensive habit since they only sell it in certain boutiques and dark corners of the Internet.

I'm pretty much anything gardenia-scented's bitch.