2022 has been a year that I've spent trying to rediscover - and reassert - who I am and what I am about, and a large part of that has taken place in the clothing and makeup departments.
Growing up as a secondary caregiver to my younger brother meant worrying about his needs over my own constantly, and the result was that, somewhere along the way, I sort of lost what I considered to be part of myself. The loss was gradual, but once realized, it soon became apparent how much damage had been done; I am somewhere in an identity crisis.
And so, in 2022, I began trying to rediscover what I like; what I believe in and enjoy. Updating my wardrobe led to adding to my makeup selection which led to expanding my collection of perfumes (mostly small samples as fragrances aren't cheap). Not all listed below are brand-new to me; some are older favorites that I simply enjoyed a little more this year when I took the time to "smell the roses" as the saying goes.
I rarely wore perfume my entire life until this year. I still don't wear it too often out of habit. Given how pricey many scents are, I usually opted to save them for special days; days and nights out. It's hard to want to dress well and put on makeup and scents often when you're a caregiver, especially if most of the day is spent indoors at the house. So, "out" for me could be something as trivial as going to the store. Sometimes I look like the neurotic hermit I am out in public, and sometimes I go all in - especially with intense, dark eyeliner and/or eyeshadow.
To me, the finishing touch to in-person communications is the scent of the day. I say day because, likely due to normal variations in hormones, a scent that smells so alluring one day may not the next. Moreover, I usually match the scent to the occasion or my mood as well: something elegantly floral doesn't tend to draw negative feedback from my family members (who seemingly always have something about me to nitpick), while something heavy is an excellent underscore to those days I'm feeling more... aggressive? Boss? Me? Hard to pinpoint, but the point being that I'm always wearing something different depending on the day's circumstances.
Below, I list 13 scents I loved in 2022. There is no particular order to the list; just a collection of perfumes I enjoyed most this year. Links are included with headings! Enjoy!
First on this list is Good Fortune by Viktor & Rolf. Admittedly, I was suckered into trying this scent by an ad on YouTube one day as I binge-watched this years' comfort shows, though I'm hard-pressed to say what it was that made me want to try it, as I usually don't care much for "mainstream" or "popular" scents. "Mainstream" or "popular" anything really.
I loosely think it was the fact that the scent is vegan that won me over.
I know, I know; I can practically feel the eyerolls. But hear me out; I'm neither vegan nor vegetarian. But I do think we should consume less animal products overall. Whale oil has long been used in the base of many perfumes, for example; I'm happier with a product that doesn't require the death of another creature just for a scent. Given the option... the one that doesn't harm other animals may win out.
This lovely floral comes in a pale purple hue. The full-size bottle has a purple gem as the stopper, but I opted for the gold-capped travel size to try and curb costs. Even that was a pretty penny though - and the most I've spent on one perfume in years! That said, I've found it to be worth it!
Next up is the first perfume I actually bought a bottle of for myself; Euphoria by Calvin Klein. Prior to my purchase several years back, all the perfumes I had were hand-me-downs or gifts; I had never picked one out myself.
My first introduction with the perfume was actually from a magazine insert sample!
My mother enjoys the scent too; when Estée Lauder's Pure Fragrance seemed to change their formula and the price of the true original skyrocketed, I opted to purchase my mother a bottle of Euphoria instead. My mother, unlike myself, practically douses herself in perfume for work, so a bottle of fragrance never lasts her long.
It is one of the more elegant scents I enjoy, though I have used it very sparingly. Though not as expensive as the Estée Lauder's Pure Fragrance I would buy my mother for gifts, it was still a hefty tag for someone who never dropped money on such things for herself. That said, my psychologist has suggested that I try to indulge in these types of things a little more; nothing crazy, just not restricting my use of my cosmetics and such for only "special days", especially not knowing how many I have. She simply wants me to try to enjoy more of what I already like. Why restrict myself so much?
Now, while Euphoria was the first perfume I bought a bottle of for myself, this was the one I initially wanted to buy back in my late teens. Actually, I think it was right around the time I turned 18. Unfortunately, when I decided I would buy a bottle from the local mall back then, my debit card information was stolen unbeknownst to me - probably due to my young age and inexperience with debit card information theft, as I had likely only had it for a short time! In fact, it was the two attempts I made to purchase the scent on two separate days that alerted me that the theft had occurred, as I knew I had transferred enough money to cover the cost of the bottle just before going to buy it the second time!
I can't despair too badly, despite the fact that I never got my full bottle of the perfume; I was able to buy the cheaper body spray the second time I went to the mall to try to buy the perfume, as there was enough for that, which I've used sparingly for over a decade. And because of it, I have managed to retain the remainder of a small trial-sized vial of the perfume for even longer. The sample size was part of a sample kit my mother gifted me for my 18th birthday with some 12 scents - all of which I still have.
While discontinued, it is still possible to find a bottle - partial or full - to buy. At markup, of course... Alternatively, there are sites that claim to specialize in recreating discontinued scents, so perhaps one day I may still acquire that elusive fragrance in enough volume that I don't "save" every spritz for just the right day. I mean, I've been holding back since I was 18 - 13 years ago!
Described as a fruity floral, it has a robust edge or heaviness to it that made it "feminine enough", but not so much that I'd hate it. As is common on the list so far, the fragrance has a purple tint to it.
Another certified vegan perfume, and one I am very impressed with! In fact, I loved this scent and one other from Parfums Quartana so much, I'm tempted to buy both in full sized bottles! My only regret is that I didn't get the "Magic Garden" Complete Discovery Set* to try even more of their scents, as I'm sure I'd love more of them! It's on my to-get list in the future, but first I need to spend some cash on decorating our house! *Update: I eventually did buy the discovery set, and then some....
My partner has taken notice of both Wolfsbane and the other fragrance, Hemlock, as well; more-so than any of the other perfumes mentioned so far! Which says something, because his sense of smell is very muted compared to mine, and he very rarely comments on scents I wear... But he loves to comment when I put a spray or two of these on!
Heady and warm, Wolfsbane is a present force. One or two sprays is all it takes to gain hours and hours of scent, which I can't say for most other perfumes! If it weren't for Hemlock, Wolfsbane would probably be the scent I unquestioningly adopt as "mine".
Which brings me to Hemlock itself! While it doesn't appear to be fully vegan-certified like Wolfsbane from what I'm seeing, it's close enough for me to feel good about using! Equally as effective with as few sprays as the previous entry, this is a powerful, long-lasting scent.
I have absolutely fallen in love with this perfume! Crown it "mine" and ship me a full bottle!
Like Wolfsbane, this is a heady, warm scent - and one that makes me want to cuddle and burrow into the near-tangible force that is this perfume! It's perfect for the colder autumn and winter months and I've been wearing it often since I received it. I can't get enough of it. As soon as I have the "extra" to toss at it, I'm getting me a bottle! Followed by Wolfsbane. Mercy on me if I fall in love with any of their other scents when I get to try them!* *Update: I'm in trouble. I've fallen for too many in the discovery set. S.O.S. Please send tips to help cover this delightful, but costly new habit, haha!
I have a special place in my heart for this one. My grandmother on my dad's side noticed at some point that strong scents - especially from perfumes - were setting off her asthma! I was pretty young when this happened - probably not even 10 - but she gave me some of her perfumes that she wouldn't be wearing anymore because of this. Among them was this gem.
Even then, I knew this wouldn't be something I could wear for a long time; it is among the most... "mature" scents I've come across. In fact, I gave it a smell test every year or so for decades before it smelled reasonable for me to wear. I was surprised to find that, at 27, I could now consider it as a usable choice. Still, 4 years later, I think it needs a bit more time yet before I am truly deserving of the matron-y scent. I still haven't grown into it even though I've considered myself "old enough" for its use. I look forward to the day I can finally wear it without wondering if it is too mature-smelling for me.
Still, since I turned 27, I have enjoyed it on occasion.
It's very floral and powdery and fairly strong; I can see why my grandmother had to surrender it. This would set her asthma off very badly if I were to wear it around her in close quarters!
What? "It's a men's fragrance?" So what? I grew up getting all kinds of hand-me-downs - including my dad's old shirts and jeans! I wear men's work boots because they are typically better-made than those geared towards "dainty" women! And don't get me started on the lack of proper pockets in women's clothing or the armpit area of women's t-shirts... Talk about restricted movement....
So yeah, I enjoyed this scent as well this year - especially if I wasn't feeling very feminine! It can also be handy when going out without my boyfriend; even though it's not his scent, other men can smell it on me and they think I've been snuggling with my boyfriend nearby if I smell that much like it. I'm all for getting strangers to leave me alone in public. Especially unknown men.
Any case, while I often wear it to get others to leave me be, this is also a "clean" and snuggle-worthy scent to me. I won't judge; buy it, spray some on your pillow during a rainy day (not with the bottle I have though as it does not have a sprayer - it's a dabber) and snuggle the stuffing outta it! Enjoy!
I was introduced to Jafra by one of my aunts on my mom's side. She's always spoiling me with something from the brand, and it's not unusual for me to come back from a visit to her with a small haul of products!
This is a gentle floral, and it is just lovely! It's the perfect scent for those awkward family gatherings that I try so hard to blend into at. It would also be a pleasant scent for an evening out, but is also subtle enough to be worn into, say, an office job. Pretty all-around scent, really. Highly recommend!
As I mentioned, this year really saw me looking into new makeup, clothing...etc. One way I increased my makeup and perfume collections was by trying a subscription service; IPSY. Please note, the IPSY link included is a referral link tied to my account and I may receive compensation from IPSY if requirements are met. Because why not take all the help I can get - I'm basically helping them?
Any rate... It was in one of my IPSY Glam Bags that a travel sized spray came into my possession. I instantly tried it and was not disappointed. It's not an overpowering scent; another everyday, lighter kind of scent.
Notably, this is "Not a Perfume". It actually lacks the components of a true perfume, which I thought was pretty cool!
If I recall correctly, I was introduced to this scent this year when I chose it as a free sample from a Sephora order.
It's a little heavier than the last few scents, but not overly so - it's well-balanced. It's a warm scent; has a vanilla tone. Would still be acceptable for most work environments, but also a nice scent for a date or evening out with a partner.
Now I know Tim McGraw more for his country singing than anything - I was raised on country and damn near country alone until my teen years. I uh, came into this bottle by less-than-ideal means, but I promise it's true and I did NOT steal a tester bottle. Honestly, it may have been easier for me to have just removed the sticker than write the next part, but I think the story is part of the charm.
Someone I know - I won't say who - used to work at a chain store that sells perfumes. My understanding was that when they phased out perfumes in their rotations, they were technically supposed to dispose of any unused portions of these samples.
Well, instead, I wound up with a few.
This person I know couldn't stand throwing out so much usable product, and would sneak these testers out to give to me on a rare occasion. This was one such rare occasion. Given how full the tester still is, even after I've had it for several years... I don't really blame the person. I hated having to throw out sandwiches people couldn't pay for when I worked at Subway, but I was a teenager and always watched by older workers then; I kinda had to play by corporate rules. Wasting goods never really feels good, at least to me. So I get it. It's like our own Soul 2 Soul thing! Ha!
Any case, this is another "men's" scent. Woodsy, warm. Snuggle-worthy: rainy day, tea in bed, cozied up with a warm, soft blanket and a book level snuggle-worthy. But it's not overpowering; very good for a night out or just about in public. I don't know how much influence Tim had on this fragrance, but country music might not be his only big talent!
My mother briefly turned me onto Avon in my twenties, and one product I had to try was this! I enjoyed it so much, it was one of the first times I bought both a large bottle for home use and a travel size for the purse!
Fruity and floral, this is a medium-heavy scent; it's got a little more "weight" to it than some of the others. Kinda flirty, but an all-around everyday perfume. It would be lovely for a date/night out but not out of place in an office space. It's versatile.
Another Jafra gift from my lovely aunt!
Now, this final scent is a little unusual in that it's got more of a fruity scent. Still floral as well with the violet, but this is still a fruitier scent, which is rather rare for me to enjoy!
Thank you for taking the time to check out my list of 13 perfumes I loved this year! Maybe you - or someone you know - will enjoy one!
Just remember; if you buy any and like them, I'd gladly accept a tip for the information (trust me, I don't like asking)! It takes time to put these all together, and I don't really get much in the way of compensation for my efforts typically! So feel free to toss some green my way; there's a least two scents on this list I want full bottles of, and we're in the middle of making our house feel like ours!
If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy some of my past Baker's Dozen lists! Feel free to subscribe for free if you hope to see future content from me, including other lists like these, personal stories and struggles, and a lot of short fiction stories! Below are a few Baker's Dozen lists that made it as Top Stories on Vocal.media in the past:
About the Creator
A fun spin on her last name, Baker enjoyed creating "Baker's Dozen" lists for various topics! She also wrote candidly about her mental health & a LOT of fiction. Discontinues writing on Vocal in December 2023.
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Original narrative & well developed characters