11 Australian creatives share their signature scents



Find a scent that speaks to you.

Scents are deeply personal. The same scent has the power to conjure up a million different memories for different people. Some of these are fond – a fragrance can remind us of a former lover or formative moment in our lives – while others can turn our stomachs. The cologne of choice for your toxic ex, anyone?

The hunt for a signature scent can feel nearly impossible. I mean, do we commit to one for life, or change it up each season, or switch from day to night? What if, after we finally succeed in finding our fragrance after months of laborious searching, it’s suddenly discontinued or out of stock?  

We like nosy people. Don’t be shy, head to our Beauty section for more. 

Clearly, I take finding (and keeping) a signature scent as seriously as my tax returns. If a scent is going to be associated with me for life, it better be seriously special. Feel the same? To provide you with a little inspiration, I asked 11 Australian creatives to share their signature scents.

Rachel Rutt, model and designer

I love Comme des Garcons 2 Man, but only when worn by other people. I have an amazing sense of smell, so don’t wear perfume myself. I prefer to smell the world at large.


Jameen Zalfen, co-founder and creative director of Dyspnea

I’ve always been a scent fiend. The pleasure of receiving that compliment, “Oo you smell good,” just tickles me. I also love how the same perfume can smell different on everyone. Earthy, musky, smokey scents are my usual go-to, however, recently I’ve been mixing it up for something lighter. Personally, I prefer an oil, and Ayu is divine. I mix it up between Smoking Rose and White Oudh depending on my mood or what I’m doing that day. I find smells can hold memories too. Poême by Lancôme takes me back to my childhood and my mum getting dolled up. However, not all smell memories are good – every time I catch a whiff of Le Labo Santal I’m triggered by my toxic ex and steer clear.


Charlotte Agnew, stylist and fashion editor of Russh

I feel like I’ve had signature scents for every version of myself in the phases of growing up. There was the every-flavour-of-Impulse-stage that reminds me of Saturday sport, Britney Spears Fantasy which reminds me of puberty, and Chanel Coco Mademoiselle which reminds me of Club 77. Because scent defines memory and energy so much for me, I haven’t wanted or found a scent that gives me freedom for defining those things in my every day since ‘growing up’. I mostly just really enjoy a good fabric softener and sun-dried clothing. I was recently gifted Le Labo [thé Noir] 29 (the best one) by someone very special to me, and this is something I love to wear when I want to carry their energy with me.


Rachael Sarra, designer and artist

I have two signature scents. My first is Chanel’s Chance [Eau Tendre] (the pink bottle obvs). It’s a floral/ fruity vibe and I fell in love with the description. My second is lavender oil for when I’m just straight up resisting the stress.


Wave Lachish, photographer and vintage curator


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by OLO Fragrance (@olofragrance)

My signature scent is Victory Wolf by Olo. It’s the perfect balance of smoke and wood notes [and] it settles and evolves beautifully on the skin and lingers softly for hours without ever being overpowering. I love it and wear it in the day and evening.


Emma Cutri, co-founder and designer Sister Studios

I’m not much of a perfume girl, but I am obsessed with essential oils, which I wear every day. I prefer more subtle, natural smells to artificial perfumes because I have sensitive skin. Some of my favourite combinations to roll on are lavender, patchouli, jasmine, ylang-ylang and rose. If I’m going out I always wear my Cygnet Perfumery fragrance by my talented friend Sonrine.


Ntombi Moyo, stylist and creative director

Currently wearing a lot of Chloe. I feel that it’s the right balance of strong yet feminine. I don’t get sick of it! I like to have a strong enough scent but one that doesn’t overpower. It’s a tricky balance which I feel Chloe embodies well!


Jade Sarita Arnott, designer and founder of Arnsdorf


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rasasara Skinfood (@rasasaraskinfood)

My favourite fragrance is [the] Rasasara Tridoshic perfume oil. It has a fresh, slightly citrus and woody scent and is designed to calm. It’s completely natural and is also ayurvedic. I also love the scent of their Pitta face oil, which I use. I steer away from anything with a chemical fragrance, so these edible natural products are perfect for me and smell amazing.


Indah Dwyer, freelance writer

My dresser is lined with perfumes I value like trophies. I stroll into Lore Perfumery and Le Labo often, but Comme des Garçons Wonderoud is always a staple. I sprayed it onto a friend two years ago when they wanted to feel ‘mysterious’ on a date. The scent is deep and woody, but soft. They still talk about it to this day, so there must be something to it!


Holly Ryan, jeweller and founder of Holly Ryan Jewellery

My signature scent for about a decade now is 1270 created by the Frapin family. [It is] named after the year the family established itself in the Cognac region of France and designed to celebrate the scents surrounding the creation of Cognac. It is rich, sensual and smooth. The vineyard grass, the flowers of the once-proud Folle Blanche (a grape nearly extinct from the region), the wine warehouse and rich damp earth in the cellars can all be detected in 1270. The scent defies flowery prose – it celebrates a rich history and is a distillation of gourmand pleasures that turn your skin into a sensuous feast.


Ben Ilobuchi, freelance writer 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Aesop (@aesopskincare)

I know it’s rich as someone living in Melbourne to call Aesop’s Hwyl my signature scent, but if there is any aroma people associate with me, I assume it’s this one. For most of my adult life, I had been turning to your Calvin Kleins and Versaces when it came to cologne, but recently I decided I wanted to migrate away from sprays so often associated with teenage boys, and onto something a bit more subtle. Hwyl has more of an earthen, forest-y scent compared to the ‘new car smell’ bouquet of most men’s fragrances, and only requires a small dab on the neck to do its work. Covers my awful stench perfectly, highly recommend.


Read more on how to find your signature scent here

Lazy Loading