We’ve all been there: You’re at a yoga class and you lean across your mat and catch a familiar whiff of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, or Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. The culprit looks up and you lock eyes with an awkward air of recognition. You’ve both fallen victim to cologne-clone syndrome, the scent equivalent to a friend wearing the same dress as you to your last birthday bash.
Okay, so it’s not quite the crime scene we’re making it out to be—and it’s a small annoyance for everyday affairs, surely. But on the day of your wedding, namely one of the biggest days of your life, you’ve already gone all out making the event a memory as special as possible; as chic and beloved as the aforementioned scents are, why not break out something a little more memorable for the occasion?
Since scent is one of the most powerful triggers to memories, it only makes sense to choose a unique fragrance that will always take you back to that special day every time you wear it.
We’ve uncovered some of our favorite niche little brands that we just had to share, all with wonderful scents, according to what category of fragrance you love. An added bonus: You can be sure that if you go with one of these choices, your new husband will be smelling that scent on only you during your first dance and throughout the rest of the night.
If you love…FLORAL scents
We love a classic rose perfume—but Kai kicks its new scent up a notch by enveloping it in the same white gardenias that made its original fragrance a cult favorite, giving it a subtle twist that your guests won’t be able to put a finger on. It comes in the form of a roll-on perfume oil—so easy to toss into your wedding kit! (Kai Rose, $48 for 1/8 oz, kaifragrance.com)
If you love…MUSKY scents
If there was ever a battle of musky fragrances, Nova would be serious competition. The brand boasts four (you read that right, four) roll-on musks: White Musk, Beige Musk, Mineral Musk, and Green Musk—so you know it's got to be doing it right. Our favorite is the White Musk, which is a creamy and powdery classic (we detect hints of coconut too!) that works with the wearer’s own body chemistry to make a truly personal scent. (Nova White Musk, $35 for 10 ml, hello-nova.com)
If you love…CLEAN scents
Fun fact: The brand’s original fragrance was designed by Annick Goutal (the sister of the founder of Bonpoint!) 30 years ago! To mark the anniversary, the company created this refreshing, subtle scent that's described as a “splash” of freshness. We love that it has hints of basil and mint. A celebration indeed! (Bonpoint L’eau Fraiche, $62 for 50 ml, bonpoint.com)
If you love…GOURMAND scents
It was love at first spray. This sleek (and super bridal, if we must say) bottle spritzes out a fragrance so complex that it takes you a moment to really detect what makes it so addicting: notes of almond and vanilla. Yum. (Alaïa Eau de Parfum Blanche, $150 for 3.3 oz, saksfifthavenue.com)
If you love…FRUITY scents
There’s something romantic about the way Carlos Huber created this citrus scent. Every Arquiste luxury fragrance is based on an olfactive experience from a time in history. L’Etrog was inspired by the days of fruitful harvest in southern Italy, giving this scent a bright (but exotic!) citrus aroma—a must-smell and a must-have. (Arquiste L’Etrog, $190 for 3.4 oz, arquiste.com)
If you love…SPICY scents
If you’re looking for one of the more alluring choices of the bunch, look no further. We would describe this scent as deep but feminine; it has notes of pepper and cinnamon, balanced out with some light florals and a powdery base. Love. (Caron Parfum Sacré, $155 for 3.4 oz, lordandtaylor.com)