The flowers are starting to push themselves up through the dirt, migratory birds are starting to chirp again, farmer's markets are just around the corner, and everything smells so fresh and new. Fragrances filled with floral and fruity notes are the favorites for the season, but what about those of us who aren't really into smelling like a rose garden or a tropical cocktail? If you're looking for the perfect signature scent for spring, I got you: Smoky fragrances are trending. Can you wear a smoky fragrance for spring? I don't just think you can, I think you should.
Smoky scents are actually brilliant for spring, both layered over something more traditionally springy or on their own. Everyone's finally ready to spend the increasing amount of daylight hours exploring outdoors, whether in the city or in the actual forest. Here's the thing: Flowers start out with dirt and muck before they create a pleasing bouquet, and earthy smells are more representative of what's actually happening this time of year as opposed to what we think nature's up to. Smoky scents are evocative of days at a cabin near the lake when everything's starting to melt but you still need a few logs on the fire to warm you up after a day of hiking among the sap-y trees and fresh air. See? Smoky is that perfect place between late winter and real spring.
The trick to making it extra-wearable for spring is picking smoky scents that are more complex and have aspects of a more traditional fragrance that you might favor to make it smell like "you." I'm a big fan of rich, slightly sweet scents like tobacco, so choosing a scent that contains these notes is going to make this scent more "me." I tried a bunch of scents and got the opinion of actual people in my life to let you know how these scents went over when you wear them IRL.
Osmia Organics Couro
Couro Natural Perfume, $150, Osmia Organics
Meaning leather in Portuguese, Couro was ironically one of this vegan's favorites. It's an earthy scent that's centered around the agarwood oil that's one of the most expensive perfume oils in the world, also known as oud. Osmia's oud is sourced sustainably in India and has a lovely woody and warm scent. Accented with that tobacco I love so much and a hint of Bulgarian rose, it plays on the feminine side of unisex.A patient at the health clinic I work at said: "Mmmm. You smell so nice today! Sorry if it's weird that I'm sniffing you." This scent was really subtle to wear and really layer-able to add more strength, which is perfect because I am not into overpowering fragrance.
Captain Blankenship Wolf Moon
Captain Blankenship Wolf Moon Roller, $80, Captain Blankenship
This was the scent that I would totally wear as my new daily fragrance for spring. This is a more complex fragrance that wears easily and lightly, but has me sniffing my own wrists all night long. The smokiness hits you first, but the floral tuberose and sweet honey hit you immediately after, making this scent flirty and femme — like the kind of babe who hangs out in the woods in a moto jacket and a foraged flower crown.
My boyfriend: "You smell like a sex panther." I think... he liked it? This scent is definitely sexy without being overly musky or floral and it's perfect for date night or going out.
Osmia Organics Juniper Fire
This scent is as fresh and warm as spring itself with a hint of woodsiness that's pure Colorado — where these scents are made! With prominent vanilla notes, this is the perfect "gateway" smoky fragrance for those of you who are curious, but unsure. The notes of sandalwood, juniper, and cedar add woodsy, mountainous tones. This is the most conventional scent, which makes it perfect for everyday wearing.A co-worker: "Who smells good right now? Seriously, this smell is amazing. What perfume are you wearing, tell me right now." This is definitely a magnetic scent that will draw people in instead of repulsing them by overpowering.
Juniper Ridge Cascade Glacier
Cascade Glacier Cabin Spray, $40, Juniper Ridge
This is the most forward smoky scent of them all. It's technically a room spray and not marketed as a personal fragrance. While I wouldn't wear most home fragrances because they're so overpowering and filled with chemicals, I do totally wear this when I'm looking for something super woodsy. Wild-foraged on the trails of the Pacific Northwest, I adore the mossy scent that this exudes and the other botanical elements that make this really unique.My boyfriend: "What? Why do you smell like a bonfire?" This scent is strong, so it's perfect for spritzing a few times and walking through for a more subtle wear. I spray it on my favorite denim jacket to make me feel woodsy when I haven't been out of town in weeks.
Osmia Organics Cedar Smoke
This scent makes me want to curl up in my favorite sweater: It's warm and familiar, while its complex notes still make it interesting and unconventional. White cedar hits your nose first and is warmed up by frankincense and tuberose with fir giving it a super forest-y finish. This scent reminds me of digging up soil to plant seeds on a really warm day when the cedar in my backyard is super fragrant. I know, what is my life? A Nancy Meyers movie?A customer at a clothing store: "Ooh, what perfume are you wearing? It smells good and a little weird. In a good way." This unique fragrance is perfect for day to day wear when you want to mix things up and ditch your routine.
Images: Author's Own; Courtesy Brands