Beauty is an extremely personal thing. Be it the kind of products that are most appropriate for your natural hair texture, the skincare best suited to your skin type or the make-up buys that compliment your skin tone most. Another very very personal beauty category? Perfume. If you need proof, look to Jorja Smith who sought to gatekeep her signature scent so intently, she even went to the length of taping up the bottle's label before presenting it to viewers in a new video for Vogue. Yes, really.
Jorja Smith's efforts to conceal the brand and the exact scent didn't go unnoticed, not least because, after pulling it out of her large blue Telfar Shopper, she holds the inconspicuous golden bottle up to the camera and says, 'You can't see the name of it and I'm not going to tell you what it's called, but it's my favourite - the smell is amazing.'
Viewers have been quick to call Jorja Smith a gatekeeper, but as a perfume obsessive myself – I can relate. When Marilyn Monroe revealed in an interview in 1952 that she wore 'five drops of Chanel No. 5' to bed and nothing else, she single-handedly sent the popularity of the classic fragrance into fever pitch. Similarly, Rihanna's signature scent has long been a thing frequently discussed amongst her own peers – rapper Lil Nas X described Rihanna as smelling 'like heaven,' while Ryan Seacrest once took to Twitter to declare to the world: 'I smell everyone on the red carpet and @rihanna was the best smelling celeb at the grammys. #nowyouknow'. The scent behind the fuss even prompted her stylist to put rumours to bed when, much to Rihanna's dismay, he confirmed Kilian Paris' Love, Don't Be Shy, £220, as her secret signature scent. One look at Rihanna's reaction caught in the background quickly reveals, like Jorja, she would've preferred to keep that one under wraps.
Why? Because perfume is very very personal. Unlike our other senses, olfactory responses are linked to the emotional receptors in our brains which trigger memories, meaning scent can lead us to a particular feeling or a moment in the past. It's also attractive, alluring and sensual in many ways, so much so, co-founder of Ostens Christopher Yu explains, 'It’s the first thing someone approaching you experiences emotionally. They may see you but once they smell you it’s almost an unconscious experience of you. When we tell someone what our fragrance is we are giving a little of ourselves away. It’s quite intimate.'
Like Jorja, I prefer my signature scent to be kept under-the-radar. While many of my favourite cult scents have grown in popularity in recent years – think Maison Francis Kurkdjian's Baccarat Rouge 540, £235, or Le Labo's Santal 33, £168 – I haven't quite enjoyed smelling like everyone else. So much so, when the words, 'you smell so good' are followed by 'is that...?,' I automatically begin to rethink my options. That being said, we see it as our journalistic responsibility to report on the world of celebrity beauty favourites and after a little digging we found the exact perfume Jorja has come to rely on: Tiziana Terenzi's Kirke Extrait de Parfum, £190.
While Jorja intended this to be her night time scent, she explains it quickly became her every day go-to and it's not hard to see why. An Italian fragrance brand that looks to Greek mythology for inspiration, this scent opens with a bouquet of fruity florals and is laced with warm sandalwood, creamy vanilla, woody patchouli, and alluring musk for an utterly sensual olfactive experience. Keen to give it a whiff? Shop the fragrance below.
Shop: Jorja Smith's Secret Signature Scent
We can see why Jorja Smith kept this one under wraps. Loaded with warm sandalwood, creamy vanilla,