Valentine's Day Fragrance Picks

Valentine's Day is rolling around again, and you know what that means: fragrance for everyone -- even the dog! Here are my bright ideas for his and her scents to wear and to give to make your puffy heart-filled day as dreamily romantic as it can possibly be.
For Her:
Love, Chloé by Chloé
This incredibly beautiful perfume dwells at the intersection of innocent and intimate. Violety iris and creamy rice dawdle against a faded background of rose, sending out a hazy, languid allure. The scent becomes increasingly transfixing by the time it settles into the fadeout, a comfortingly soft but spicy musk. Love, Chloé is a poem of a perfume that's both a tender boudoir scent and a promise of future nudity.
Chloé is available from, and, starting at $77 for 1.7 oz
Black Orchid Voile de Fleur by Tom Ford
A flirty gardenia with a little grit in her glitter, this Voile de Fleur version of Black Orchid surprises by shading the bright white floral with dark plum, truffle and patchouli notes. A gorgeous, contemporary take on Fracas.
Black Orchid Voile de Fleur is available from at $62 for 3.4 oz
Traversée du Bosphore by L'Artisan Parfumeur
A playful apple, suede and Turkish Delight confection that seemingly defies the laws of fragrance physics by being sweet, dry and melty -- all at the same time. Jammy powdered sugar combines with sueded iris into a fascinatingly unpindownable -- and irresistible -- perfume.
Traversée du Bosphore is available from at $120 for 1.7 oz
Omnia by Bulgari
Omnia is an unconventional gourmand that is yummy without being sugary, sexy without being obvious. This eau de parfum whirls almond and saffron into a puffy, cozy sandalwood, studded with black pepper, clove and ginger. Whiffs of citrus and powdered cocoa lace a milky, woodsy number that's surprisingly sheer and intriguingly “mmmm!”
Omnia is available from and starting at $32 for 1.3 oz
For Him:
Santal Blush by Tom Ford
Warm, woodsy and spicy, Santal Blush tempers its initial boldness with a hint of jasmine and the lingering sensualness of sandalwood. This eau de parfum is thick and creamy in the way of Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, owing in part to benzoin's vanilla/leather niff. The longer it's on, the more magic Santal Blush works with the skin.
Santal Blush is available from at $236 for 1.7 oz
Original Vetiver by Creed
Despite the misleading name, vetiver's rooty severity is nowhere to be found in this eau de parfum. Instead, Original Vetiver opens bright and brisk with bergamot and lemon, laying back into the salubriously soapy smell of laundry. The good part happens in the drydown, where amber, musk and sandalwood beguile with their trick of making your skin seem like it just naturally smells better than everyone else's.
Original Vetiver is available from and starting at $130 for 2.5 oz
Dior Homme by Christian Dior
Dior Homme kicks off with a dry, woody iris which subtly suggests class. Vetiver adds rasp to warmed cocoa and amber, which are are joined by a background patchouli for a “come closer” drydown.
Dior Homme is available from, and, starting at $54 for 1.7 oz
White Musk for Men by Body Shop
White Musk for Men is a clean white musk that is comfortable to wear and smells sensual and fresh at the same time. A pinch of vetiver supplies a clean shaving cream sheen, and sandalwood lends a “give me more!” salty warmth. Ever so nuzzleable.
White Musk for Men is available from at $25 for 3.3 oz
For Doggie:
Brought to you by Rodrigo the Perfume Dog
Sexy Beast by Sexy Beast
A canine "pawfume" incorporating bergamot and vanilla-infused musk along with natural patchouli, mandarin and nutmeg oils. This low-alcohol fragrance is formulated specifically for a dog's sensitive sense of smell. It's unisex, which is a comfort for dogs who've had "the snip." Creator Renée Ryan based it on her favorite perfume, Flowerbomb. Smells so good, you might end up "borrowing" it from Rover.
Sexy Beast is available from Amazon at $70 for 3.4 oz
Extra Bonus Rodrigo:
Happy Valentine's Day, Fumies!


  1. Great list, Katie. I've been wondering whether I should try Omnia, and now I think I will! Hugs and kisses for Rodrigo!

    1. Hugs and kisses duly delivered.

    2. Hello, Queen Cupcake--

      I picked up a bottle of Omnia last year, and I liked it immediately. I do not like gourmand fragrances, and this one, although having similar notes (almond, saffron, some lactonic milkiness, spices) does not cross that line. It stays sheer, not cloying, but somehow delicious at the same time.

      Hope you enjoy!

  2. I love his expression when you say "....someone with brains", and Rodrigo, without missing a beat, looks into the camera. Classic.

  3. I grow these roses outside my house, the smell is unbelievable, I often think how can I make my own perfume even if it was just a "rose water" type & just one bottle a year, for personal use :)
    a very heady smell that leaves you a space cadet for a good few minutes

    1. Ohhhh, what lush looking roses. What a gift from nature that they pop out of the dirt next to your house and look and smell divine.

    2. but seriously though, how would you go about making your own perfume?
      I'm hoping if anyone knows it would be you?

    3. Perfume enjoyment is my area, rather than creation, but for an excellent overview on the creation and history of natural perfume, read Mandy Aftel's "Essence and Alchemy" (you can click on the book cover in the sidebar for more info). Not sure where to go for guidance on how to make essential oils from your own garden - can anyone chime in here?

    4. thank you Katie, will check out the book :)

  4. I was just given a fellow fumehead's cast off bottle of Voile de Fleur, and was well chuffed with what I will now gladly construe as my Valentine's Gift : - )

    Santal Blush was a disappointment to me as there simply wasn't enough blush to speak of, not when you slapped the sides of the bottle, swore at it, or conversely told it that it was the best perfume to be launched since Black Orchid.

    1. You're turning into quite the perfume bully, Vanessa!

  5. Hello pretty!!!

    Katie.. I have to share my disappointment with you... My shopping cart was full... L´Air du Desert Marocain, Series 3: Avignon and Kyoto, Tom of Finland, Like This TS, Sel de Vetiver, Paestum Rose... and when I went to checkout... Guess what? LuckyScent doesn´t send to Brazil!!!? I´ll never smell these ones??? Only in the next year when I´ll go to NY??!! OMG!!!
    And so I was born in the wrong country!!! It´s so damn warm here I can use my favorite - Coromandel - (just like you) only a few times... In this meantime I go with Fleur de Liane, Terre, Voyage, Thé Vert, Bois Farine...

    One good thing... I just received my new one Santal Massoïa Hermessence. It came from UK! So damn good! Have you tried?!

    Thanks for the Valentine´s tips... Awesome! I´ll look for the White Musk... curious about Sexy Beast!

    P.S. Rodrigo rocks!

    Kléber Franco - São Paulo - Brazil!

    1. What a crushing disappointment that LuckyScent doesn't ship to Brazil - you had some life-enhancing perfumes picked out for sure. Your nose is going to go crazy when you hit NYC and are able to smell all those and more for the first time. I've not had a chance to try Santal Massoïa yet, you're ahead of me there.

      Rodrigo is truly a special creature.

  6. Oh my god, the Rodrigo video was too adorable. My dog is cute, but Rodrigo could give him a run for his money.

    I'm curious about these Valentine's Day picks, especially Santal Blush (but for me!).

    I'm planning my next big perfume purchase (my last was Avignon, mmm) and it's a toss-up between Coromandel, Portrait of a Lady, Une Rose and (in my dreams, because it's just too expensive for how much you get) Liasons Dangereuses. I'm relishing the hunt. Can you tell you've had an impact on the perfumes I test out? Or maybe we both just have similar olfactory sensibilities, who knows. Thanks for all the work you do, love your videos!

    1. Yep, we certainly share a nostril for those opulent Queen of Sheba numbers. Not to burden your wish list, but Liaisons D is more affordable if your forgo the fancy black bottle and lacquered box and just buy the 1/2 price refills in the canister.

    2. Oh no.... I knew about the refill bottle once upon a time, and somehow let it slip my mind. Possibly subconscious self-preservation? Now that I have been reminded, however, all bets are off.

      I've been thinking a lot lately about why I'm drawn to the smells/perfumes that I am, and trying to recreate a sort of scent map of my life, to figure out where my love of certain smells comes from. Roses are obvious, as my mom wore Rive Gauche and used Rosewater and Glycerine on her face my whole life.

      The incense/spice smells I like I think stems from growing up with former hippies and a lot of travel. Patchouli, probably the same thing.

      The scent-love that I can't figure out is my love for tea/vanilla smells. On that note, L'Artisan's Tea for Two has been a perfume that comforts me like no other, but ever since reading Turin's review, I feel bad about liking it. Do you have any recommendations in the vein of Tea for Two (tea, chai, vanilla) that would avoid the dreaded "you smell like air freshener" indictment? (Apologies for the crazy long comment!)

      - Marita

  7. Hi Katie, it was great fun to watch Rodrigo pick a winner!!!! He is so sweet!!!
    Today I tried Incense Pure by SSS. I understand you are a great fan and I really did my best to like it, but although I am a great incense fan, this one is not for me. There is something about it, I really do not like but I don't know what it is. Is is the same with j'adore by Dior.
    I love it when you call us readers : fumies or fumehaeds. Hilarious!!!
    I enjoy your little films very much.
    End of march I am going on a perfume trip to Paris with a group of fumies. Visiting:Frederic Malle, Sisheido, l'artisan parfumeur, Hermes, Guerlain and Francis Kurkdjian.

    1. Perfume is like food, or music...or sex(!): were are acutely attuned to nuances that turn us on or off, and they're different for all of us. Fortunately, there are plenty of other fine incense perfumes out there to tickle your pickle.

      Your Paris plans sound so fun! I want to hit all those boutiques the next time I go - whenever that is...

    2. Hi Katie, after my trip I will certainly let you know how it was. What are other incense perfumes you like besides incense pure? Chembur (byredo) is one of my favorites.

    3. Some of my fave incense perfumes are CdG Avignon, Armani Prive Bois d'Encens, Parfumerie Generale Intrigant Patchouli (no listed incense, but it smells like nag champa to me), Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir, Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant and biehl parfumkunstwerke mb03.

  8. Perfume shopping dilemma solved. Traversee du Bosphore for moi, Dior for hubby, and Sexy Beast for my doggie. Thanks for the picks!

  9. I'M IN LOVE WITH RODRIGO!!!! <3 <3 <3

  10. Hi Katie,What do you suggest I am having a hard time. I have not found a scent I covet for about 4 years now. I keep buying getting samples and nothing is moving me. You are like my perfume shrink.

    1. Your perfume shrink needs some guidelines. What were the last couple of perfumes that did move you? Need something to go on.

  11. You're charm personified. BEST!