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How To Find Your Perfect Fragrance Match

Need to find the perfect Christmas gift? (Or a fragrance for someone hankering to steal yours?)

Sherine Youssef

I read about Francis Kurkdjian’s APOM before I ever sniffed it, and was immediately intrigued by the story. As a Lebanese-Australian, I had never heard of a fragrance that was inspired by Lebanon. And when I finally got my hands on a bottle, well, I was giddy. It’s gorgeous 

 The scent itself is lush and heady, and pays homage to “the beauty and sensuality of Mediterranean women and men, a special and unique blend of orange flower and cedar wood,” explains Kurkdijan of APOM, which stands for A Part Of Me. “APOM is a tribute to my Middle Eastern roots, and trips to Lebanon I started more than 15 years ago.”  

These days it’s my special-occasion fragrance and whenever I wear it, I get compliments. So, I wasn’t surprised when a friend wanted the details of the perfume I was wearing.  

But I was irked when she bought it for her mother-in-law. 

Don’t misunderstand me, the mother-in-law is lovely, but I was annoyed (and yes, ok, slightly irrational) because she has at least 30 years on me and because I didn’t want to share my special scent.


I was annoyed because I didn’t want to share my special scent.

But then I realised this might be karma: around 15 years ago, I “stole” my co-worker’s scent, Narciso Rodriguez For Her. I was working at a fashion magazine with an extremely cool and up-and-coming stylist named Stevie Dance (now a New York-based stylist and designer). She, too, wore a sublime perfume: For Her.  

So of course, I promptly bought it; fell for its white floral and powdery musk charm; and am still loyal to it to this day, switching between that, APOM, and a handful of others. (It so happens that Kurkdjian is the nose behind For Her, and he describes it to me as “a timeless classic in its form and feeling, a quintessence of femininity.” Heaven.) 

Maybe you, like me, have a favourite scent – and when friends ask after it, you’d like to steer them towards fragrances that are comparable to yours. Or maybe you’re in the market for a Christmas gift for your mother or sister, and want to find a fragrance that’s similar to her current perfume.   

I asked Clayton Ilolahia, who works on evaluations at fragrance experts Fragrances of the World, to suggest a few fragrances that might appeal to fans of some much-loved bestsellers. 

 If you love Chanel No 5  

You might also like classic soft florals like Hermes Caléche, Giorgio Armani Sí Passione, Trudon Bruma . 

If you love Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia  

You might also like Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia 2020, Kenzo World, Annick Goutal Petite Chérie, which are classified as florals with fresh and fruity notes.

Heremes Caleche and Chane No. 5
Kenzo World and Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia
Maison Crivelli Papyrus Moléculaire and Le Labo Santal

If you love Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium  

You might also like Viktor & Rolf Bonbon, Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Ribelle Fashion Edition 2020, Elie Saab Girl of Now Forever, all modern orientals with gourmand accents.  

Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Ribelle and Yves Saint Laurent Opium

If you love Marc Jacobs Daisy  

You might also like other floral scents with sparkling citrus accents, like Aerin Fleur de Peony, Tiffany & Co Tiffany & Love For Her, Calvin Klein Eternity Summer 2020.

If you love Dior J’Adore  

You might also like Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Azur, Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Daze, Carven Dans Ma Bulle de Fleurs, which are also florals with a fresh citrus twist. 

Marc Jacobs Daisy and Tiffany & Co Tiffany & Love For Her
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Azur and Dio J'Adore

And going forward, I’ll be taking Ilolahia’s advice and directing friends who love my APOM to the sunny floral oriental and white flower accents of Yves Saint Laurent Capeline, Trudon Elae, or Carner Barcelona Sweet William instead. And if they want elegant, mossy woods modernised with fresh notes, I’ll guide them toward Tom Ford Private Blend Rose Prick, Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Intensément, or Bottega Veneta Illusione, and ask that they please leave For Her for me. And Stevie.  


Photography: Georgina Egan

Styling: Jack Milenkovic 



BY Sherine Youssef

Sherine is a beauty editor from Sydney. Don't even think about stealing her signature fragrance.

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