7 Comforting Scents

We all have our own ways of coping when we're jingle-jangled. My "bastard times" arsenal includes yoga class, a cup of Kava Kalm tea, and "Shooting Star" by The Mamas and the Papas set on repeat. Oh, and perfume. Lots of perfume. Truthfully, I'd be comforted by just about anything from my collection. (Well, maybe not Comme des Garçons 2 Man. That one's kind of annoying.) But there are a handful of smells that uplift my spirit and offer me succor. Cozy up to these nose treats and smell for yourself: Comme des Garçons Daphne Amouage Homage Attar Montale White Aoud Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Oceans of Love and Millions of Kisses bath oil from the Wanton Voluptuousness series By Kilian Back to Black And hightail it over to the following fine fume bloggers for more comfort scent tips -- for when life jabs you like a triangular piece of Toblerone impaling the roof of your mouth: All I Am A Redhead A Rose Beyond the Thames BitterGrace Notes I Smell Therefore I Am Notes from the Ledge Olfactarama Perfume in Progress Perfume Shrine Roxana's Illuminated Journal Savvy Thinker Scent Hive SmellyBlog The Non Blonde Many thanks to Ayala Sender for organizing this shindig. Fumies, what scents do you bust out to lift and separate yourself from a bad day?


  1. My comfort scents are:
    Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - La Petit Mort (soft, powdery, lovely, it's one I wear to bed a lot)
    Beyond Love By Kilian - something about that tuberose soliflore helps soothe me
    Organza Indecence - like being wrapped in cashmere, in front of an open fire, with a hot chocolate...

  2. man, am i in need of a comfort scent this morning. here are mine (at least, right now):

    Keiko Mecheri Louhkoum eau Poudree
    Sonoma Scent Studio Ambre Noir
    Liz Zorn Daybreak Violin

  3. My comfort scents are the ones that provide with the feeling that I am wearing steel armor lined with thick cashmere or eiderdown--- for when I feel I need protection and cushioning, rather than the comfort of a hug.
    Josef Statkus
    Ava Luxe Opoponax Intense
    Amouage Jubilation XXV

  4. I think my first comment got lost.
    I also find Back to Black a comfroting scent and I'm treasuring my samples of it. But I don't think they will be multiplying in a large enough quantity not to buy a bottle some time in the future...

  5. another great video... I love what you said about scents bring you back to a person or time period. I have had those moments when I flash back to a certain person in my life because of a scent..that is always so amazing. Hey, I am always tempted by some of the Kilian fragrances. Have you seen the travel spray case? of course I am sure you have! It is really beautiful. I always think it will be the way I go when I am really tempted for more than the samples. As far as comfort scents I think I go to scents with smoke. I tend to be comforted just by the want of having scent in general. does that make sense? well as always thank you for the amazing thing you do ...you are a godess....and one with an amazing sense of humor..:)

  6. Kava Kalm Tea? Presumably this contains the magical Kava Kava root? I love this stuff but unfortunately we're not allowed it in the UK anymore. Boooo!

  7. Aw,I love the endearing confessions in this video! I've totally done the ditzy "ooh, interesting! sample plz?", in fact my 15ml decant of Eau des Merveilles is entirely made up of store samples. Hey, don't look at me like that; I didn't know if I liked it for the longest time! I haven't reached the stage of sleeping with blotters though.
    I'm big on comfort scents. My favourites:
    Les Néréides Opoponax Impérial
    Ava Luxe no 23
    Diptyque Eau Lente
    Jil Sander Sun
    L'Artisan Safran Troublant

    Common theme: linear, milky, resinous thingies.

  8. Okay, you make Daphne sound ridiculous. Over the top. Whalloping.

    And wonderful. I'm going to have to find me some and give it a whirl. :)

    While I don't cuddle up with scents to sleep with at night, I've been known to huff on strips, scented scarves, and myself during the day in a way that for all intents and purposes probably suggests to anyone looking at me that I just went into another world and might not come back.

    Love that you put PW Tea Rose in there. Just commented elsewhere that Bulgari Rose Essentiale is just that kind of perfume for me--no bells and whistles, no sharp or stinky bits, no complications; just a really nicely done (I think) rose. Reliable, quietly luminescent; ready for you to appreciate it when you notice. In fact, maybe I'll pull that out...

    Interesting to note that more than one blogger in the joint team mentioned a scent that was worn by a friend. Brings a smile to my face to remember another player in the list of players whose scents can leave an imprint on us.

    Happy Equinox.

  9. Shalimar, Rochas Femme, Farnesiana, and 1740 Marquis de Sade (oddly enough) are my comfort scents.

    By the way, I love the butterfly necklace you wear in the video (actually I love all your necklaces). Where do you find them?

  10. Okay, I'm coming out of the closet here: I too have slept with a blotter or two, or, more likely, a scent on each wrist so that every time I turn over I get a new impression of one or the other.

    My comfort scents: Cartier Declaration (ALL OVER MY BODY!), Divine l'Homme de Coeur, Ormonde Jayne Zizan, Ormonde Man, Amouage Homage Attar; Amouage Jubilation XXV.

    Thanks Katie for another wonderful video.

  11. I love all of your shortlists, fumies, because I'm finding some of my favorite smells on all of them, which means I probably will find nutrition the others I'm not familiar with.

    Arachne, I'm a big ol' goon for Safran Troublant (have gone through about 5 ST samps acquired in the aforementioned ditzy fashion)and would love to have more on tap. But I can't quite justify buying a bottle, given my current perfume surplus.

    ScentSelf, I, too go into ready-for-the-shortbus self-huffing trances in public. And re Daphne: I've decided that it's "flashy and trashy". It's the fume connoisseur's version of a Paris Hilton or Britney Spears fragrance, with a whole heap of crazy stuff thrown in there willy nilly.

  12. Patty, the butterfly necklace is from Foley + Corinna in NYC, something repurposed from several old necklaces. Most of the necklaces in my videos are either $4 things from Forever 21, or they're vintage store finds, or something I designed and had a jewelry maker put together.

  13. Chris, I'm shocked that the UK would rule out kava, cuz they're completely gung-ho about over-the-counter codeine!

    Onesmalldog - interesting distinction about being comforted by the desire for scent. Is that like knowing that there is always hope for comfort? I like that.

  14. Katie,
    Thank you for contributing to the comfort scent blogging project!
    I enjoyed every moment of your video. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all your comfort scents with us :-)
    I haven't experienced most of the scents on your list (except for Tea Rose, which I will have to try again immediately!), and it's completely new to me that BPAL make bath oils!
    And if oud and saffron is the common thread, Than I'm sure I would like them when I try them! (Note to self: must try Daphhe and Amouage ASAP).

    I'm not surprised that you find oud comforting though. In my recent research into oud, for my oud blog feature (part 2 coming up very soon) I learned that in aromatherapy, oud is considered to be a purifying and balancing oil, a relaxant, rejuvenating, transformative, and even has clairvoyant and transcending actions. Not surprising than that it's been used for religious rituals for thousands of years.

    I'm not surprised that you find oud comforting... One

    P.s. My comment in earlier in the afternoon got lost somehow...

  15. Surprisingly, all my favorite perfumes are my comfort scents:

    * Chanel N°5 Eau Première
    * Indult Tihota
    * Lostmarc'h Lann-Ael

  16. Katie,

    first time commenting, but I want you to know I enjoy your videos a LOT, you do something original and very cute! (definitely not cutesy)

    Talk about irony: IFRA went crazy about citrus oils "harming" skin when in perfumes, when it's abundant in cleansing and skincare preparations. I genuinely think it would be a Sisyphean task to implement those regulations to everything...

    Daphne of course had been married to Greek tycoon Niarchos; have you heard of his a-m-a-z-i-n-g art collection? It should serve as a terrific inspiration for a fragrance, if one was so inclined...She went for old glamour rendered the Donna Summer way! (70s vibe)

    At the risk of repeating myself Black to Black is clearly misnamed: What's "black" about this gluttony indulgence? :-)

    Thanks for participating with us and hope to keep in touch!

  17. Ayala - I really enjoyed the theme, thanks for instigating the fun. Your essays on individual ingredients are an invaluable resource for me, and I'm eagerly awaiting your next article on oud. Fascinating that our instincts seem to bear out the research - ie me being drawn to oud in a quest for grounding and balance.

    Anya, I'm comforted just reading your list!

    PerfumeShrine - your essays on ingredients and aroma chemicals are another essential resource for me. Thank you for making chemistry so accessible - and enjoyable.

    Oh, what a great take on Daphne: Donna Summer disco glamour! That fits with my thinking of it as "flashy trashy".

    The IFRA rulings are beyond arbitrary, and it's beyond maddening.

    And yes indeedy, calling the confectionary delight that is Back to Black such a "Smell the Glove" name is cognitive dissonance to the max.

  18. I watched your video the other day, can't believe I forgot to comment! I wanted to say that I love your "off the cuff" reviews! I really enjoy your smelling the scent and then riffing on it, especially the Daphne.

    Thanks for a terrific video/review :-)


  19. Thanks, Trish. I'm getting a lot of great feedback on my stream-of-consciousness approach...may incorporate more of that into my regular review vids.

  20. Tea Rose is a great one I hadn't thought of but yes i do wear that when I am needing a virtual hug- I did try to think of a rose but there were too many!

  21. Rose - when it comes to sublime rose perfumes, there is a cavalcade of delights. It was only in recent years that I uncovered my true nature as a rose lover, and I'm making up for lost time, judging from the number of rose-based fumes in my collection.

  22. @Anya
    i am fascinated by the luckyscent description of lann-ael. does it really smell like buckwheat, milk, and apples? have you tried the shower gel too? i am ravenous (ravenous!) to try this scent but have no funds for perfume as a jobless college student...

    @Katie my comfort scents are givenchy Amarige and an oleander frag from a bermudan perfumery, because they are my mother's signature scents, and i love my mommy. =)

  23. oh, and i forgot to say, Katie, i am in awe of you because you got a comment from ayala! i have long admired her line from afar (on fragrantica.com) and regarded her as a sort of goddess. i fancy her combinations of unexpected notes. and also those awesome bottles. they are so gorgeous. (*drool*)

  24. xaryax - your mommy obviously raised you right to treasure her memory with fragrance. Your interest in Lann-Ael is fitting, given your self-description as a ravenous unemployed college student, because that perfume can prosaically be described as smelling like...cereal. And you know how you college kids are about your 3 square cereal meals a day! (I like Life and Lucky Charms, myself.)

    Ooh yeah, Alaya is a bit goddess-like, what with her command of nature's scented bounty. I learn a lot from her.

  25. i am eating cereal right now. *laughs at self*

  26. Talking of honey, what did you think of TF Tobacco Vanille compared to B2B?

    Love your blog and videos- I'm addicted!!

    Oh just call me Lily btw it's easier. ;p

  27. Lily, there is no comparison between the split-level ordinariness of TF Tobacco Vanille and B2B's pretty little castle filled with hidden doorways and surprise rooms and cozy corners.

    TV is flat, thick, sweet, unchanging -- "fine if you like that kind of thing". B2B is nimble and nuanced, a complex blend of ingredients that miraculously don't mash together.

    Broadly, B2B is more powdery (sort of smoke, sort of confectionery sugar), and TV is more syrupy.

  28. Wow you just helped me understand their differences perfectly. I want your nose!! lol

    Thanks Katie :)

  29. Well, you can't have it, Lily. My face would look funny. Funnier.

  30. Hi Katie,

    The idea of comforting scent can be very subjective, but my favorite comforting scent is L'Artisan Bois Farine. I guess it's because it reminds me of peanut butter (though no one else notices the peanut butter accord except me!)



  31. Sabrina, Bois Farine sounds fascinating - just read the users' reviews on LuckyScent, where everyone mentions peanut butter. I must try this (and stay away from the squirrel who appears at my kitchen door every time I spread peanut butter on hot toast!).

  32. I guess I need to return to the perfume blogs:) Anyway, when I meant "no one else notices", I mean the people who are around me, when I wear it. I usually get comments such as "what a lovely woody/milky scent you are wearing today" or "sweetheart, you smell like old money", but no one ever told me "have you been eating peanut butter?"



  33. Sabrina, I suspected that's what you meant. And who hangs out with a bunch of perfume hounds on a regular basis, anyway? I love the "old money" comment. Looking forward to sticking my nose in Bois Farine.

  34. Definitely, not me! But life would be much more interesting if my close friends were perfume hounds... at least I wouldn't have to breathe thick clouds of fragrances I dislike (and seem to haunt me all year long).

    But, anyway, I was very naughty today and made my own thick cloud of Annick Goutal's Vanille Exquise (it's more a bubble than a cloud, actually) and life is good again!!!

  35. Ah yes, a protective bubble of evil spirit-warding vanilla heaven.

  36. I'm new to your blog and I absolutely love watching your reviews.
    This one was particularly fun because scents for me are all about comfort. I was thrilled to see that you included your facial cleanser in your list. I actually have several beauty products that I inhale or use when I'm in need.

    Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel is so soothing. My daughter likes to apply it to her face and nothing is better than kissing her on the cheek when she has it on.

    Smith's rosebud salve reminds me of a vinyl baby doll head and brings me back to the comfort of childhood.

    Fekkai Glossing Shampoo has such a green, cleansing scent. It clears my mind instantly.

    I own a little jar of creosote salve that I found at a farmer's market in Tucson, AZ. It smells like the Sonoran Desert after a Monsoon. It's rain, earth, rocks and ozone....heaven. I rub it on my wrists before going to bed.

    My favorite comfort perfume & oil: Tokyo Milk Honey and the Moon & Ambre Solace Essence.

    BTW - The bath oil you mentioned sounds wonderful! I'd love to try it.

  37. Becky -- welcome aboard! I love how specific your list is. I didn't know about Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel - now I want to track it down.

    Since you like that creosote salve, I wonder if you'd go for the smell of Tauer Perfumes Lonestar Memories and L'Air du Desert Marocain, as well as Le Labo Patchouli 24?

  38. I'm going to have to buy a sample of L'Air du Desert Marocain A.S.A.P.
    My sister and I have been searching for a resiny, dry, desert scent and after viewing your review and reading comments on Lucky Scent I think we may have a winner.

    Thank you Katie!!

  39. Osmanthe Yunnan
    Osmanthus Different Company
    CDG White

    from Cybele

  40. and Huile Prodigieuse by Nuxe

  41. Cybele - mmmmmmmmmmmm...those are wonderful choices. I'm feeling rather soothed just thinking of all the soft peachy goodness.

  42. D&G 18 La Lune
    Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur
    Hermés Un Jardin en Méditerranée
    and Clinique Aromatics Elixir (my mother signature scent)

  43. Those are all fine selections, Anna. Not everyone would be comforted by Aromatics Elixir, it being so full and mossy/woodsy, but I do love it myself. (I wear the lotion.)

    1. STELLA ROSE ABSOLUTE:I will always own this one, when I found her it was very emotional, its exactly what I've always wanted in a Rose fragrance, it was like Eureka! at last I've found you, you gorgeous creation you!

      JLo Glow : its just a fresh out the shower yummy

      Mariah Carey "M": Good enough to eat..burnt marshmellow goodness..(I would neva wear this in public though)its a Guilty pleasure

      Michael kors "island palm beach": Here's another one I'll always own, its spicy orange juice...from the GODS!

      Sunshine cuties G: best coconut ever

      harajuku lovers "wicked style love": grape candy

      Elizabeth W "tuberose":fell in love with white florals cuz of this one

    2. You smell good enough to eat through the computer screen, caliking, although I think I'll need to go on a detox diet after the grape candy/coconut/marshmallow Halloween bag binge! I'm very fond of that Stella Rose Absolute myself. You've just reminded me to see if it's still on the counter at Harrods, if it's been phased out to the hinterlands of the Internet.