7 People Asked for My Number the First Time I Wore This New Perfume Out


(Image credit: @erin_jahns)

I'm going to preface this entire article by saying I definitely don't need compliments (or strangers asking for my number) to validate my fragrance choices. If I love something, then I'm going to run with it, full stop. However, if I'm head over heels for a perfume and it causes positive pandemonium out in L.A.'s dating jungle as well? Cha-ching! Jackpot. 

I don't think my scent alone is what garnered the most aggressive number of digit requests I've ever received in one night a couple months back, but I do believe in the power of smell, and I do believe the newly launched (and currently exclusive to Violet Grey) brand Perfumehead was a key ingredient to my social sauce that night. Before going out, my best friend practically jumped on me the second she got to my apartment, shrieking, "Oh my god, what perfume are you wearing?!" (She sees and smells me all the time and has never had such a fevered reaction.) And I did score the seven number asks (and eventual three dates) plus countless compliments every night I've worn the brand since. Quite quickly, my two bottles of Perfumehead (which I layer—more on that in a second) have become my most-prized beauty possessions, and I don't think I've ever felt so passionate about a brand ever before. (As a fragrance girly, that's saying something.) But let's start from the beginning, shall we?


(Image credit: @erin_jahns)

If you're a beauty lover (and in L.A.), there's nothing quite like stepping into Violet Grey's brick-and-mortar store on Melrose Place. It's lined with mirrors, plush fabrics, black lacquer, and gold accents, and the impact upon entering the tucked-away threshold is something like how I imagine Cinderella felt upon entering Prince Charming's castle. The retailer and its iconic code of honor (aptly called the Violet Code) are known for carrying only the crème de la crème, so when I found out a new-to-market fragrance brand was launching there exclusively (first in-store and now, thankfully, on the retailer's website), I knew it had to be special. 

In a very pinch-me-wow-I-freaking-love-my-job moment, I was invited to privately meet Perfumehead's founder and CEO, Daniel Giles, to learn everything there was to know about the collection, which features seven truly magical fragrant works of art.

Just moments into our meeting, I was stunned by the thought and supreme intention that went into the brand and each scent's careful creation. Not to mention I was completely mystified as to how I could have such a guttural oh-my-effing-god reaction to each and every perfume Giles put in front of me. As a picky, jaded editor, that never happens. Never! What I couldn't get over, however, was how good Giles smelled. Almost immediately after we sat down, I asked which one he was wearing, and he revealed the ultimate plot twist: In the most magical of olfactory accidents, a member of the Violet Grey team had layered two Perfumehead scents (Canadian Tuxedo and Cosmic Cowboy), and the end result was some time of alchemic witchcraft Giles and I could not get over.

The rest is history, and I am now primally obsessed with the glittering bottles of Canadian Tuxedo and Cosmic Cowboy standing atop my vanity. Say what you want about other big players like Byredo, Le Labo, and MFK (I mean, I love them too), but Perfumehead is the newest, coolest fragrance on the block right now, and I guarantee that by reading this, you are the first in your circle to know. 


(Image credit: Courtesy of Violet Grey)

Perfumehead 101: Why It's Certifiably Majestic


(Image credit: @perfumehead_official)

There's so much to love about Perfumehead that I'm finding myself flustered, but let's start with the scents themselves, or rather, the parfum extraits—which, as I learned, is the most concentrated, luxurious form of perfume in its purest expression. At $425, each fragrance is an investment, but they present as a work of art, a form of self-expression that completely makes good on the initial sticker shock. Each perfume is hand-poured, bottled, and sealed in a traditional glass perfumer's decanter (also called a flacon), labeled by hand and then numbered and carefully packaged into the brand's signature white box that's embellished with a corresponding fragrance poem. Not to mention this isn't a perfume that you simply spritz on, no no. You'll also get a glass dabber (so glamorous) that you dip into the perfume and then apply to the inside of the elbows, base of your neck, behind your ears, and around your heart. According to Giles, applying the scent via dabber yields a more intimate, second-skin-esque performance. (Plus, it gives you more control over how and where your perfume is applied.)

The fragrances are small-batch and handcrafted from the world’s finest essential oils, natural extracts, and safe, sustainable synthetics, and they're also vegan and cruelty-free. Their longevity is remarkable; even after a night out and a shower, I'll get whiffs here and there, which I love. Each perfume in the Perfumehead "osmocosm,” or smell universe, symbolizes a specific time of day to encapsulate the various sources of unique inspiration and cultural references Giles, and his team of top perfumers, drew on while concocting his olfactory masterpieces. 

The Combo That's Become My Signature

The notes: neon galbanum, cinnamon bark, and orris butter (top); Whiskey a Go Go, angelica root, and tobacco leaf (heart); decadent amber, cacao blanc, and sexy musk (base)

I will love and wear this perfume for the rest of my life, and while I do love it all the more when it's layered with Canadian Tuxedo, it's sensational on its own as well. I love a twisty-and-turny scent (one that you can't quite figure out), and this is like a night of bad behavior that you want to relive again and again, bottled. Warm and spicy, it takes inspiration from the nightclubs of the Sunset Strip in the 1970s. "Like smoky, boozy debauchery in a bottle, this rich fragrance with notes of neon galbanum, tobacco leaf, and musk captures the sexuality and free-spirited essence of a party past midnight," the brand explains.

The notes: coriander, orange flower, bay leaf (top); cumin, patchouli, cedarwood (heart); tonka bean, Peru balsam, and cistus absolute (base)

Again, it's magic when it fizzes alongside Cosmic Cowboy, but Canadian Tuxedo riding solo is equally good. Smelling just how it sounds, it draws inspiration from denim-clad Ryan Gosling in Drive, Britney and Justin, and The Outsiders by Francis Ford Coppola. It's fresh and a tad more relaxed, although still warm, spicy and woody—just not obtrusively. Think your favorite pair of Levi's that just get better and better. Alchemic magic.

Shop the Rest of the Perfumehead Collection

6 More Perfumes I'm Absolutely Obsessed With

Up next, Gifting the Perfect Fragrance Is Practically an Art—These 25 Sets Make It Easy

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.