I Wore Rihanna’s Favorite Perfume for a Week, and My Life Will Never Be the Same

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been into woody fragrances. Like a true L.A. woman, I was committed to Le Labo’s Santal 33 (£220) for years and have only veered ever so slightly to experiment with similarly spicy scents laced with notes of sandalwood, bergamot, vetiver, and other decidedly savoury aromas. Fragrances categorised as sweet or gourmand—the fancy name given to perfumes that smell almost edible with notes of honey, caramel, vanilla, and the like—just never called to me. (A brief stint with one of Paris Hilton’s body sprays back in middle school was the first and last time I gravitated toward something that made me smell like I was dipped in sugar.) Too unsophisticated, I scoffed from atop my Le Labo–scented high horse. But that all changed when I finally got my hands on a bottle of Rihanna’s favorite perfume, Kilian’s Love, Don’t Be Shy (£205). (Or, at least, it was her favorite perfume before she launched her very own scent back in 2021.)

It wasn’t until very recently that I started seriously considering leaning into sweet perfumes, but a years-long love affair with Frédéric Malle’s Portrait of a Lady (£190) and a more recent rendezvous with Tom Ford’s Bitter Peach (£280) got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, I’m more into warmer, more syrupy notes than I’d let myself believe. Then, a viral TikTok video reminded me that my queen Rihanna is widely known as one of the best-smelling humans in Hollywood and that her signature scent is the key to this reputation. The candied notes of orange blossom, vanilla, and marshmallow I would have normally turned up my nose at were suddenly so intriguing to me. It’s not that I’m naïve enough to believe that a price tag is always an accurate indicator of quality, but at £205 for a single bottle, I had a hunch that this fragrance would be something special. Spoiler alert: It is.

So, in conclusion, I’m into sweet perfumes now. They’re so fun and so extra and give a big middle finger to subtle skin scents, which is an energy I can really get down with right now. There’s still a time and a place for my woody faves in my scent wardrobe, but for the purposes of lifting my mood and raising my confidence with a single spritz, I definitely won’t hesitate to reach for those warm, gourmand scents. If you want to be like me and Rihanna, I’d recommend Love, Don’t Be Shy. If you’re shopping for other options, keep scrolling for more sweet perfumes to try.

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I Wore Rihanna’s Favorite Perfume for a Week, and My Life Will Never Be the Same

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