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Forget PSL’s, Here’s How To Smell Phenomenal This Fall

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

Where are all my pumpkin spiced latte girls at? I know you guys are especially excited for this season! But respectfully, for the rest of us who aren’t obsessed with PSL’s, no shade, here are some tips I’ve compiled on how to smell absolutely phenomenal this fall.

1. Base is Key

Believe it or not, the base is extremely important in determining how long your scent lasts throughout the day. As such, picking a lotion or body balm that has an undertone similar to the notes within the fragrance you choose to wear can make all the difference between smelling good for two hours versus smelling great until you put your clothes back into the closet. Personally, I’ve found body butters containing slight traces of vanilla and lotions with remnants of cocoa to work best for me in winter. However, on days I choose to wear a fragrance opposite of the typical warm fall scents, I opt in for an unscented lotion. Either way it goes though, a lotion or body balm/butter is a necessity. And there’s an automatic bonus point of being glowy/well moisturized since being ashy isn’t cute.

2. Work in Layers

Just as you would layer your sweater and jacket, so should you with your fragrance. One and done scents are nice for the quick, run out the house days, but typically layering is where the magic happens. Personally, I usually start off with a lotion or butter to add moisture to my skin. Occasionally I will apply a body oil depending on if certain areas of my body will be exposed such as my neck, chest or arms. Then I finish off first with a perfume which will ultimately be the focal point of my scent. And depending on how intense that parfum is, I will likely choose a toilette that compliments the scent. For example, a potent scent like sandalwood pairs well with a light spritz of jasmine.

3. Parfum vs Toilette vs body mist

Yes, there is a difference and figuring them out is important. Fragrances are oftentimes separated by names in accordance with how long they’re supposed to last on the body. A body mist/spray typically lasts no longer than two hours on the body. These are meant for quick refreshers. Toilette’s are a step above and can range anywhere from three and five hours. Parfums are the highest in the fragrance hierarchy and typically last eight-plus hours. It is important to note that the higher in longevity/potency, the less spritz’s needed.

4. Figure out what notes work best with your pheromones

Pheromones are the natural chemical scents our body produces on its own. Finding fragrances with notes that match these pheromones can help you figure out your staples, which will look different for everyone. Personally, my go-to’s are pink pepper, sandalwood, warm vanilla, sparkling grapefruit and most florals.

5. Personal must-haves 

Don’t know where to start? Here are some classic fall fragrances I L-O-V-E!

  • Le Labo Santal 33: notes – Australian sandalwood, cardamom, iris and violet
  • Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt: notes – ambrette seeds, sea salt and sage
  • Zara Gardenia: notes – orange blossom, coffee, peach and raspberry

Just like Kate Sharma’s seemingly irresistible lilies scent, (those that get it, get it) go out and smell phenomenal and as always stay uniquely you!

Mierra Freeman

Illinois '26

Hiya! My name is Mierra Freeman, and I am currently a sophomore studying sociology, while on the Pre-Law track. Although I want to pursue Criminal law as my career path, I have always had a passion and special place in my heart for all things beauty, self care, skincare, positivity, and fashion! I hope that together we are able to embark on this wonderful journey in the world of beauty and positivity. Never forget to stay uniquely you!!💗