"5 Scents I've Used and Loved..." by Cosmo Editor Nandini Bhalla

Because the proof is in the (sweet smelling) pudding.

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  • I'm a fragrance junkie. So much so, that I actually collect EMPTY bottles of the scents I've loved. So recently, while moving homes, and discovering over 100 old, empty, chipped perfume bottles, I realised it was time to stop being such a hoarder. But I also realised this was a great opportunity for documentation. So here are six scents I've spritzed and soaked myself in and absolutely adored...with photographs of their all-used-up casing. All of these have been replenished at least twice, which is proof that they were worthy purchases in the first place...

    1. Lancome Poeme, INR 6,500 for 100ml (@amazon.in)

    How many bottles of Lancome Poeme have I consumed in the last decade? Over 100, I'd say, and I'm being conservative here. I was introduced to my first bottle by my grandmother...I was 5, and she was a fan. When I was old enough to afford my own fragrances, Poeme became my 'signature scent', the one people recognised me by (once, a friend knew I had entered a party just by the fragrance). I adore the sweet-sexy notes in this scent, equal parts girly and grownup. It's strong, it's powerful, it's not the kind of scent you wear if you want to blend in (it's also not the ideal scent for daywear, but I wear it anyway). But what I love most about Poeme is how long it lasts. Fragrances that fade away within a few hours annoy me. Not Poeme though...it lasts for hours, sometimes even until the next day! Plus, I always get compliments when I wear it. This one time, in Paris, a stranger ran across the escalator to ask me what perfume I was wearing. Needless to say, I'll always have a bottle around.

  • 2. Thierry Mugler Alien, INR 7,930 (@amazon.in)

    Thierry Mugler's Alien couldn't have been named better...it really does have an out-of-this-world feel to it. A little bit floral, a little bit woody, and a LOT of bit sexy, this is the kind of scent you'd wear to date night. Or sedition night. Or any night when you want a guy to notice you. When I spritz on this warm, ethereal scent, I can't stop sniffing my wrists. Does that sound weird? But it's true...Alien is the kind of original, intoxicating fragrance that is truly rare to find. Do I suggest it find a place in your drawer? Oh, definitely.

  • 3. Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, INR 8,900 aaprox. (@amazon.in)

    The bottle pretty much says it...the shape of a curvy, sensuous woman, signifying pleasure and desire. This is a sweet, distinctly sexy scent, but there's more to it...Classique makes you FEEL different. More feminine, more luxurious, more confident. I haven't met a single person who hasn't fallen in love with this scent...which is why it's a great one to try at least once in your life.

  • 4. Dior J'Adore, INR 9,000 approx. (@amazon.in)

    There used to be a time when I used to wear J'Adore. A LOT. And then, after going through a few dozen bottles of this classic fragrance from the House of Dior, I stopped. No reason, really, I just expanded my scent universe and this one got left behind. Then, recently, I was gifted a bottle on my birthday, and I remembered why I loved J'Adore so much...it's glamorous, it's feminine, and it has amazing lasting power. Turns out, it's also a great crowd pleaser. Recently, I wore it to a party, and seven (SEVEN!) people asked me about it. It's safe to say I'm going welcome this old favourite back into my life.

  • 5. Issey Miyake L'Eau De Issey, INR 6,400 for 100ml

    This fragrance always makes me nostalgic. I wore a lot of it in college, and it always reminds me of the people and situations I knew back then. But L'Eau De Issey is one of those timeless scents that is beautifully versatile...I wear it in the day and don't find it overpowering, and wear it at night and find it powerful enough. It's undeniably sexy, but in a light, girl way, and it's also sophisticated, but in a fresh, easy-going way. I usually wear it on days when I need a mood boost...and it does the job within seconds!

  • 6. Elie Saab EDP, INR 6,700

    Funny story about this fragrance: I bought it for a friend as a present. Then, a few days later, when I bumped into her, I became obsessed with the scent she was wearing. Turns out, it was Elie Saab, and thanks to all the compliments she received, it soon became her signature scent.

    What makes this fume so special is that it hits your nose in the most unexpected way. The first whiff is sharp, not sweet or overtly flowery. Then, over a few minutes, the scent turns into something more pretty...think honey laced with hazy florals and a touch of spice. The end result is something edgy yet soft...the perfect way to say you're elegant but still up for some fun.