My Signature Scent Is $96 But Smells More Expensive Than Ones That Cost Hundreds


Welcome to Deep Reviewsyour one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. The Who What Wear staffers you already know and trust will research, test, and review the market's most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which formulas (of the hundreds up for consideration) are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations.


(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

The majority of our Deep Reviews will feature our editors' honest, ultra-hot takes on entire product categories or multiple products from a particular beauty brand, but every so often, we'll sprinkle in a special single-product format called Honestly, I Love It. As the name suggests, these reviews will hone in on one standout beauty formula our editors quite literally can't shut up about. This time around, I'm highlighting Phlur's Missing Person Eau de Parfum ($96), a beautifully crafted and underrated fragrance.

I've been a beauty editor, and beauty writer before that, for five years. In that time, I've had the opportunity to spritz and sniff countless perfumes. I'm talking about everything from highly recognizable designer concoctions to small-batch indie creations. As such, I've collected a wide variety of perfumed bottles that sit in stately rows near my bedside. At one point, my fragrance collection numbered close to 50, but these days, I've dwindled it down to a less excessive—though far from meager—25. 

While I love perfume, I also have a discerning nose. I'm no longer interested in fragrances that veer on the overpowering or saccharine-sweet side. Nor am I interested in fragrances that don't fit my everyday life. I've been searching far and wide for a scent that I look forward to wearing every day without inevitably growing tired of it. I guess you could say that I've been looking for a signature scent. Well, I think I finally found it in a low-key yet incredibly alluring perfume called Missing Person


(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

As with all perfumes, the magic is in the expertly crafted combination of top, heart, and base notes. In this case, the top notes are skin musk, bergamot nectar, and sheer jasmine. The heart notes are fresh cyclamen (a flowering plant with small, sweetly scented blooms), neroli blossom, and orange flower. Finally, the base notes are sandalwood Australia oil, blonde wood, and white musk. 

Together, these notes intermingle in—what I experience to be—a universally flattering scent that's both warm and sheer. It's one of those perfumes that, when I wear it, people compliment me by saying, "You smell so good." They don't automatically comment on the perfume itself or ask which fragrance I'm wearing. It's just a simple, declarative statement; they take notice via their olfactory sense when I walk into the room. It's everything I've ever wanted from a fragrance. It doesn't mask me in a powerful scent or even reveal itself to be a fragrance at all. It just lingers, softly and sweetly scenting my skin all day long. As its product description so aptly puts it, "If nude were a perfume, this would be it." 


(Image credit: Chriselle Lim/PHLUR)

Stylist and digital creator Chriselle Lim is the owner and creative director of Phlur. As she states on the brand's website, "to me, fragrance and fashion have always been connected. Fragrance is an extension of style. It allows us to narrate a mood, elevate a vibe, and it can help us express who we are… or who we want to be. Fragrance helps us communicate. It tells stories." 

As someone who's thoroughly obsessed with Missing Person, I wanted to know what the story was behind the fragrance. "When we were formulating Missing Person, I knew what I wanted it to feel like, the emotions I wanted it to evoke. But I couldn't necessarily put my finger on what those fragrance notes were," Lim says. "I wanted it to smell like familiarity and longing. The brilliant Constance Georges-Picot was able to put my feelings and my story into the beautiful fragrance that is now Missing Person. Combining warm skin musks with fresh and light florals really brought together all of the notes that I didn't even know I was describing at the time."

That explains why the fragrance makes me feel like myself, but better. The familiarity is there in the warm musk notes. The longing is there in the ephemeral quality of light florals. When I spritz it on my wrists and neck each morning, I feel comforted, connected, and, well, like myself… but better. It is and will continue to be my signature scent. 

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Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.