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Bo Easter egg is too minute or complicated to withstand Taylor Swift’s fandom for long. But one question has haunted Swifties for years: What does the pop superstar actually smell like?
Let’s travel back to circa 2010, Swift’s Speak Now era. While she was being interviewed by late-night host David Letterman, he observed that she smelled like “expensive wood.” Though we don’t know exactly what scent she was sporting that night, Swift has been known to lean toward warm and spicy fragrances.
Enter Santal Blush by Tom Ford. Whispers from fans invited to Swift’s Reputation secret sessions revealed she wears the woodsy fragrance grounded in notes of sandalwood, cinnamon, and ylang-ylang. Plus, a scene from her 2020 Netflix documentary Miss Americana shows a clip of Swift backstage on the Reputation tour, in which a bottle of Santal Blush is surrounded by other tour essentials.
Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford—a sophisticated fragrance with a smoky sweet scent—also comes up in conversations about Swift’s signature smell. Others say she’s a longtime fan of Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb, which translates her penchant for warm scents into a more floral base with notes of jasmine, rose, and cattleya.
Santal Blush Eau de Parfum
Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum
Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum
But Swift’s love for richly romantic scents predates her Tom Ford fixation: She often used to wear her own fan-favorite fragrances from Elizabeth Arden. Between 2011 and 2014, the Grammy winner released five fragrances with the cosmetics company: Wonderstruck, Wonderstruck Enchanted, Taylor, Made of Starlight, and Incredible Things. Unfortunately, they have all since been discontinued, leaving fans deep-diving for dupes and scouring the internet for coveted unopened bottles, which sell for hundreds of dollars.
Wonderstruck, a magical scent for hopeless romantics sealed in an enchanting purple bottle, was Swift’s first foray into fragrance in 2011. It’s a floral scent with top notes of raspberry, blackberry, and freesia, along with base notes of peach and sandalwood. Its sister scent Wonderstruck Enchanted debuted soon after in a similarly shaped burgundy bottle, which continued the sweet and floral theme with vanilla base notes.
In a 2012 interview with MTV UK, Swift said Wonderstruck captured the exhilarating emotion of first meeting someone, while Wonderstruck Enchanted represented the feeling “after you’ve met them, after you’ve already fallen in love.” After all, the names of both fragrances were plucked from a lyric in “Enchanted,” which explores the excitement of love at first sight.
TikTok fragrance influencer Paul Fino singled out some dupes to fill the Wonderstruck-shaped hole in Swifties’ hearts: Lost in Ink by Oakcha for Wonderstruck and Night Illusion by Sunnamusk for Wonderstruck Enchanted. Titania by Fable & Canon is also a reported dupe of Wonderstruck, while Bath and Body Works’ Into the Night mirrors Wonderstruck Enchanted’s floral notes.
Moving into the Red era, in 2013 Swift debuted her third Elizabeth Arden fragrance, known simply as Taylor, which she described as sweet and sophisticated in a Q&A. Her eponymous scent mixed floral and citrus ingredients, curating a delicate balance of lychee, tangerine, and magnolia petals, with woody notes at its base. Though Swift has since promised we’ll never find another like her, Burberry for Women by Burberry comes close to matching her namesake fragrance.
Made of Starlight was released in early 2014 as a special edition of the Taylor perfume, and although it mirrored Taylor’s retro-esque packaging and many of its floral-fruity fragrance notes, it was a noticeably lighter scent, with apricot, passionfruit, and mandarin leaves. For Her by Narciso Rodriguez contains notes similar to Made of Starlight’s fresh citrusy essence (albeit without the accompanying collector’s music box).
Incredible Things—a floral and woodsy scent with base notes of creamy musk, Madagascar vanilla, and white amber—hit the shelves in 2014 during Swift’s original 1989 era. If her past fragrances represented love, Swift said in a behind-the-scenes clip, then this bold fragrance named for a “Blank Space” lyric represented life. This final perfume was a mature departure from her past scents, and if you’re looking for a similar musky floral aroma, try Dossier’s Floral Sandalwood or Fairytale from Bath and Body Works.
Burberry for Women Eau de Parfum
Women's For Her Eau de Parfum
Fine Fragrance Mist
While Swift has switched up her fragrance picks from breezy florals to vanilla musks over the years, she has consistently maintained her signature scent of success (and Santal Blush, of course). And for what it’s worth, Travis Kelce, too, smells really good.
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