A signature style, drink, or selfie face—everyone has a certain something that makes them unique, and that often includes a signature scent. But we all know that finding a perfume that reflects all our personality traits is hard, and finding one for others is even harder. Will my free-spirited sister like something youthful or fresh? Would my grandma wear something mysterious or timeless? These are the questions that can be too hard to answer on our own, especially when out holiday shopping.
With that in mind, we turned to influencers Monica Chang, Sabrina Johnson, and Macy’s—our go-to destination for fragrance—to help us figure out what perfume is appropriate for every personality on your gifting list, from an adventure-seeking friend to, well, yourself. Just consider it our holiday present to you.
This is perfect for people who are unapologetically themselves and love to be spontaneous, says Chang. “At first, it has a pleasant floral aroma, but then it’s musky and sultry,” she explains. The blend of luxurious blossoms and spiced notes can instantly transport you somewhere far away.
“This smells like an intoxicating field of flowers that keeps you wanting more,” Chang says. Inspired by glamorous nights of dancing, with notes of black plum nectar, heliotrope, and roasted tonka bean, it's the type of scent that's perfect for someone who can hold their own and has all the confidence in the world.
This fragrance is elegant and luxurious and makes Chang think of someone who likes to indulge. “It’s my favorite of all,” she says. “It’s sweet and subtle but has a kick at the end that grabs your attention.” Scents of rose, peach pulp, soft amber, and wood will do that to you.
It doesn’t get prettier than a flower-shaped bottle. Oh, wait… “The scent is sweet like candy but has a musky finish.” The combination of ginger flower, dulce de leche, and Haitian vetiver makes Chang think of someone incredibly chic and confident.
Sometimes you just want to live in your own peaceful, positive bubble, and this fragrance lets you do just that. “It’s like you’re in a secret garden smelling all these amazing flowers.” That’s an accurate description given that this scent has notes of bergamot, jasmine, African orange flower, freesia, orchid, rose, musk, and patchouli.
When Johnson smells this fragrance, she thinks of someone who's easygoing and young at heart. “It’s pure, effortless, youthful, and perfect for someone low-key,” she says. The scent mixes cloudberries and petals from the daisy tree and ends with delicate notes of musk and driftwood.
Sometimes, what’s available just won’t cut it, and that’s where Waft comes in. “It’s for someone who’s independent, unique, and confident,” or very hard to shop for. Basically, you get to make a custom fragrance using natural, clean ingredients, and you can personalize the bottle. Johnson’s fragrance, called Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was holiday-inspired and smelled like a romantic night: equal parts musky and mysterious.
“The scent is perfect for someone who isn’t afraid to try new things or push the boundaries. It’s a bit on the floral and airy side but has a slightly zesty smell with hints of warmth.” This includes notes of mandarin, peony, praline, apple oil, patchouli, and warm blonde wood.
Think of this fragrance as a reinvention of the floral perfume, a true statement. “It’s the perfect mix of flowers and musk and reminds me of that colleague at work who just looks and smells like they have it all figured out.” It combines lavender essence, orange blossom, and musk accord—a blend that'd pair well with someone who lives by their own rules.
Modern and edgy, this perfume is for someone who has a powerful, fierce personality. The unique blend of blackcurrant, bergamot, jasmine, bourbon vanilla, and wood essence makes Johnson think of one thing: “a person who is over the top, someone who is sweet and spicy.”
Like what you see? Shop all of these and more holiday favorites at Macy's (aka the fragrance destination).