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Although there are classic scents that we’ll always have a place on our vanities for (Chanel No. 5 forever), we’re all for adding a newbie to our fragrance collections, especially if said perfume is one that not everybody and their mother (and grandmother, and aunt, and sister, and best friend) is also wearing. Whether bold or subtle, a scent is an aromatic expression of individuality, and it’s often nice to wear one that isn’t being produced en masse or touted by a pop star; it just feels a bit more special. With this in mind, we rounded up five independent fragrance brands currently on our must-try list. Keep reading, and they’ll likely land on yours, too.
D.S. & Druga
Named for its two Brooklyn-based founders, this small-batch perfumery draws inspiration from herbal wisdom and native medicine, producing scents that harken distinct North American and Northern European aromas.
Must-Try Scent: Silent Grove ($125, dsanddurga.com)—a fresh and floral mix that includes Mexican lime, rose otto, and dew-on-grass.
Hi Wildflower Botanica
Drawn to nature’s free-spirited wildflowers, novelist Tanwi Nandini Islam tells stories through scents with this eco-friendly range.
Must-Try Scent: Night Blossom Rollerball ($59, hiwildflower.com)—a combination of jasmine, champaca, and white ginger lily described by Islam as “sensual, meditative and alluring.”
With studies in France’s perfume capital, Grasse, under her belt, it’s no surprise that founder Anne McClain has made this one of the most popular indie perfumeries of the moment.
Must-Try Scent: Kept ($95, mcmfragrances.com)—romance meets rock n’ roll via red rose, black tea, leather, and clove.
Michael Coyle launched this San Francisco-based brand three years ago, drawing upon his experiences living in Bangkok, the French Alps, Hong Kong, London, and New York to whip up an eclectic range of scents evocative of various global destinations.
Must-Try Scent: Aldwych ($90, mikmoi.com)—green carnation, lavender, and aged patchouli with a kick of absinthe.
Plant wisdom, lunar cycles and ayurvedic practices are among Laura Huth‘s inspirations when creating fragrances for her Rootfoot range, all of which are made from organic oils and intended to make the wearer not only smell good, but feel good, too.
Must-Try Scent: Spirit Animal, Mountain Lion ($26, rootfoot.com)—a blend of black pepper, vanilla bourbon, and sandalwood meant to channel your headstrong, assertive side.
More from Daily Makeover: 5 Floral Perfumes Better Than a Bouquet