I’ve never been particularly obsessed with perfumes. Sure, I’d spritz on something every morning – usually the latest launch from a popular designer brand – but I’ve never been any good at identifying notes, never found my signature scent, and never knew which fragrance family I liked.
That was until I sniffed Glossier’s You eau de parfum when it launched in 2017 – and thus began my love of skin scents.
Skin scents mean exactly that – fragrances created to smell “like your skin but better”. They’re soft and subtle, sometimes only detectable to the wearer, and notes usually include musks and woods, along with perhaps hints of creamy vanilla, subtle florals or clean linen.
They also often smell a little different on each person – and Glossier’s You is the perfect example of this. Officially, the fragrance notes are pink pepper, ambrette seeds, ambrox and iris, but reviews range from “warm, fresh and slightly spicy” to “sweet, floral, creamy and musky”.
For me, it’s clean, cosy and comforting, like wearing your favourite hoodie or smushing your nose into your partner’s neck. I find it utterly irresistible, and it’s the perfume I reach for and rebuy the most.
Glossier You now comes in many variations, from the original 50ml eau de parfum to a pocket-friendly solid compact. If, however, you fancy trying something similar-but-different, here are six other skin scents I think you’ll love…
Commodity Milk Personal Eau De Parfum
Warm, creamy and comforting, this echoes You’s cosiness with a subtle vibe of s’mores around a campfire. Notes of marshmallow, tonka bean, amber and musk bring that vanilla-girl vibe, while mahogany and cedar wood add depth and sophistication, stopping it from being too sweet.
All of Commodity’s fragrances are available in three strengths, depending on who you want to be able to smell it on you – the entire room, a small circle, or just those getting up close and personal.
Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk Eau De Toilette
The internet likes to compare Maison Margiela’s Lazy Sunday Morning scent to Glossier’s, but I instead think this one from the MMR perfume portfolio will appeal more to true You fans.
It has the same skin-like quality to it – albeit skin that has come out from under its woolly jumper to spend a day at the beach, being spritzed with coconutty sun cream and salty sea spray. It’s You’s holiday fling, basically.
PHLUR Missing Person Eau De Parfum
This viral fragrance hit of 2022 joins Glossier’s perfume in the skin scents category: “the lingering scent of your lover’s skin” to be precise, according to the brand.
With notes of bergamot, jasmine and neroli in addition to usual musks, it’s a little more floral and traditional than You, but as it’s been bringing people to actual tears on TikTok, it’s definitely worth sniffing out.
Narciso Rodriguez For Her Eau De Parfum
The ultimate musk fragrance, this is powdery in all the right ways: grown up, velvety and sensual without being overpowering. Like Glossier You, there are warm, woody, ambery notes, but here they’re blended with rose, peach and patchouli.
It is missing the pepperiness of You and is a little more heady, but if it’s ‘nuzzly’ scents you love, this is the OG.
Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 Eau De Toilette
This cult classic is completely unique, and the original ‘just one note’ fragrance – that note being the lab-created skin scent Iso E Super.
This is like Glossier’s in that it smells different on everyone, although the general consensus is that the smell is one of dry cedarwood. For many (such as Eliza beauty editor Rebecca), it’s a ride-or-die signature scent, while others can hardly detect it at all.
If this really is too subtle for your liking, Molecule 01 now also comes in three fragrance pairings: guaiac wood, ginger and black tea.
Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume Eau De Toilette
Another single-note scent, this features an amber-like molecule called cetalox, usually used as a base note in fragrances, but here taking centre stage.
It has Glossier You’s simplicity, quirkiness and underlying muskiness, but smells much cleaner – if You is a well-worn sweatshirt, then this is fresh bed sheets. As there are no top and heart notes, it takes a while to develop fully on the skin, but if you’re after a unique skin scent, this could be it.