Your perfume isn’t just how you smell—it’s how you feel. Usually, it’s an accessory to how you present yourself to the world, but these days, it can serve as a source of comfort and nostalgia during days spent at home. In the upcoming weeks, we’re sharing a new version of Fragrance Wardrobe, our series in collaboration with The Fragrance Foundation that highlights the rotating perfume “wardrobes” of tastemakers through key points in their life. In this new take, we’ll be asking them to share their favorite scents through the lens of comfort and their at-home routine. Get to know them better via the scents they choose to wear during this uncertain time.
“I use fragrance as a form of self-expression, and self-expression is anything but stagnant and ordinary,” says actress Jade Pettyjohn on her fragrance philosophy. And considering her impressive resume, it’s safe to say that Pettyjohn is anything but stagnant or ordinary. At age 20, the fresh-faced starlet has already worked alongside Hollywood’s heavy-hitters like Reese Witherspoon in Little Fires Everywhere, Nicole Kidman in Destroyer, and Laura Dern in Trial by Fire. If that wasn’t already impressive enough, Pettyjohn will soon be gracing our television screens every Tuesday once her new ABC series Big Sky debuts on November 17.
Outside of her passion for acting, Pettyjohn has always had an affinity for scent, starting from picking up her first fragrance at a farmer’s market as a child. These days, fragrance has served as a source of comfort for her as she finds her footing as a young adult and navigates her busy Hollywood career. We recently caught up with the actress to discuss her favorite fragrances and she dished on the scents she associates with falling in love, her hometown of Los Angeles, and how fragrance can bring joy in this unprecedented time.
Keep scrolling to read Pettyjohn’s Fragrance Wardrobe.
How would you describe your fragrance style?
My fragrance style is best described as fluid and free. There are moments where I feel my fragrance style matches my inner femininity…something gentle and warm, like coffee beans and vanilla. And there are moments where the fragrance I wear represents strength, passion, and independence—incorporating more musky and fiery notes.
What was the first fragrance you ever bought, and why?
The first fragrance I ever bought was an essential oil blend at my local farmer’s market when I was quite young. Lavender, bergamot, and bits of Geranium made me feel mystical. I felt as though I was wrapped in magic and the mystery of an enchanted forest.
I use fragrance as a form of self-expression, and self-expression is anything but stagnant and ordinary.
Do you still wear fragrance even when you don’t leave the house?
I wear fragrance for myself. I find it fascinating how much scent expression can alter or change one’s mood. Whether I’m working on set or from home or cuddling with my pup before bed, I like to wear something to make me feel good.
Your cozy sweatsuit fragrance:
I recently bought Nuxe Paris Huile Prodigieuse Florale. It’s delicate and floral with hints of citrus. I like to spritz it on when I come back home from filming. It’s the perfect scent to cook dinner and lounge around the house in. When I wear it, I feel instantly relaxed.
The fragrance that brings you comfort and why:
The smell of a campfire and pine trees bring me an abundance of comfort. Some of my favorite moments have been playing guitar sitting around a campfire with people I love, all of us surrounded by big and beautiful trees. It’s in simple moments like this, where I have truly felt content. Whenever I smell pine or firewood, that content feeling finds its way back to me.
The fragrance you spritz to bring back good memories and why:
Tender Romance by Ralph Lauren. A friend of mine bought this fragrance for me when I was just starting to discover myself and find my place L.A, this place I grew up in, but oddly always served as a continuous mystery. I would spritz it on before heading out to a tiny concert at the Whisky or heading out to Fred 62 for breakfast at midnight. It smells warm and brings back the feeling of finding my tribe, my place, and my voice.
The fragrance you associate with falling in love and why:
Le Labo Vanille 44. I believe this is their signature scent to represent Paris. This smoky vanilla scent really is the epitome of romance. I fell in love with someone when I discovered this scent, and whenever I wear it, I’m reminded of the glow, the butterflies, and the deep indulgent romance that comes along with falling in love.
The candle you’re currently burning right now and why (include what it smells like):
Le Labo Santal 33. I love this candle so much. I want to find the perfume version of it as well. I believe it was inspired by the old Marlboro ads, the old man on his horse looking out into the desert sky. It smells smoky and leathery, with a warm spiciness to it. I can’t get enough of it.
What you smell when you want to unwind/destress:
I keep my apartment decked out with lavender and roses so that after long night shoots filming Big Sky, I come back to the smell of something peaceful.
The scent you’ll associate with this time:
Le Labo Santal 33. It’s a strong scent, and I feel that within this “Wild West” of an era, I’ve grown up. I’ve evolved and I’ve found a lot of strength. This scent feels like a beginning, which is a very fitting feeling as I enter my twenties.