There’s something to be said about a cult classic, particularly in the realm of fragrances. They’re the type of scents you recognize with just a passing whiff, and they stick with you for years, regardless of whether or not you actually owned a bottle. Cult fragrances are in a different category than the ones everyone and their big sister already wear. Think about it in terms of your favorite films—where the bottles of Flowerbomb, Chloe original, and D&G Light Blue can be equated to 10 Things I Hate About You or Clueless, these err more on the side of The Craft, Tank Girl, or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. They’re an acquired taste, sure, but the ones who love them, love them hard. Here, we rounded up the 7 most-notable cult fragrances we’ve been obsessed with for years.
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If you close your eyes and inhale the gardenia and white flower blend, it’s almost as if you’ve been transported to Hawaii, that is, until teleportation becomes a real thing. Your move, scientists.
Frederic Malle Carnal Flower
File this under the sexiest scent in history. Sensual tuberose is the focal point here, while green hints of eucalyptus, airy jasmine, and gourmand coconut notes become more prominent on contact with skin.
Le Labo Santal 33
Walk into any party on New York’s Lower East Side where all the cool girls are in abundance, and you’ll notice a certain aroma of violet, iris, sandalwood, and leather wafting in the air. Those aren’t the artisan cocktails you’re smelling—it’s Le Labo’s now-infamous Santal 33 fragrance.
Old habits certainly die hard, especially in the case of this ultra-clean, unisex staple we’ve been spraying on since the grunge era.
Byredo Gypsy Water
Even if you’re not familiar with Byredo’s entire catalog, you’ve probably tried out Gypsy Water. The rich blend of incense and amber get an unexpected twist with the addition of juniper and lemon. It’s so unique, there’s no mistaking the scent for anything else.
Launched in 1990, the heady jasmine, musk, tuberose, and violet roll-on was a staple among the Hollywood crowd, and was the most-used item in our own makeup bags—next to MAC’s Spice lip liner, of course.
There are two types of people: those who didn’t even know MAC made fragrances, and those who are obsessed with Turquatic. If you fall into the latter category, that oceanic blend of lotus and Corsican blue cedar is one you know, love, and spray on religiously.