Does this perfume really smell of the person you miss?

We asked everyone at Dazed’s office if the viral Tiktok perfume, Phlur’s Missing Person, really smells like someone they love – that’s what they said

Can a perfume recreate the smell of the person you miss? TikTok thinks so. Earlier this year, app users went wild over a scent they said evokes the scent of someone you love or miss. So much so that the hashtag now has over 4 million views. At the time, the perfume in question – Phlur’s Missing Person – was only available in the United States. But this week it finally arrived in the UK and we here at Dazed HQ got the chance to test it out for ourselves.

Missing Person is described by the brand’s artistic director, Chriselle Lim, as an “addictive scent – ​​like the lingering scent of your lover’s skin left on their t-shirt or pillowcase.” It’s evocative but oddly familiar. It will warm your skin and heal your soul. The perfume combines a top note of “skin musk” with bergamot, jasmine, sandalwood and neroli flower for a warm scent that is sometimes floral, sometimes musky.

The internet hype for the fragrance started when Rachel Rigler saw him again on TikTok in March, then had her boy friend also give feedback. Calling Missing Person “the most interesting perfume I’ve ever smelled in my life,” Rigler says she can’t even begin to describe the feelings it gives her. “It smells like being in love and it’s very familiar.” She then filmed her boyfriend who, upon smelling the perfume for the first time, said, “that’s weird…it smells like you…fresh out of the shower…in a bathrobe.”

Things really started when makeup artist Mikayla Nogueira bought a bottle in response to Rigler’s video and posted his own reaction to his 13.4 million followers. “It’s crazy,” she said. “I don’t know how to explain this, it smells like someone you love and miss,” she continues as she begins to cry. Five hours later, the perfume was completely sold out and had accumulated a waiting list of over 200,000 customers desperate to try it for themselves.

Since then, TikTok has been inundated with reviews for the fragrance. Hayley Pham said memories of family gatherings came back to her when she smelled it, including being hugged by her aunts and cigarette smoke. TikTok user @tik.tok.tina was brought to tears. “Why does this make me emotional?” she asks. “You know, when you cuddle someone you really love and you’re nestled against their chest and looking at them, it smells like that.”

So what’s the bureau’s verdict? My initial reaction to Missing Person was that it smelled like someone wearing strong perfume who had just smoked several cigarettes. it reminds me a lot Celine’s “Nightclubbing” and also my godmother. The perfume smelled different on almost everyone who tested it and everyone had a different reaction as well, with responses divided.

Our feature writer, Halima, said the perfume smells just like her mother. Florence, the project manager at Nowness, had a similar family response, saying it reminded her of her sister’s perfume. Others, however, were less convinced. Our editor, Dominique, thought it smelled like fresh laundry, but said it didn’t remind her of anyone, while AnOther’s social editor, George, also named linen as the scent. Sophie, director of brand partnerships, said it didn’t remind her of anyone, but it evoked the feeling of being at home – comforting, like getting a hug.


Opinion was mixed as to whether the scent was feminine or masculine. Several people described the scent as floral, with Nowness video editor Harry adding baby wipes. Baby powder was another suggestion offered. Many, however, felt it was quite a masculine scent. Culture coordinator Eddie described the scent as smelling of books but in a “sexy, masculine” way. Jess, project manager, said gasoline.

Producer Sam said it reminded him of someone he missed, as did digital director Harry, who added that the scent was musky and floral, comparing it to his grandfather’s old house. Communications Director Sophie didn’t feel anything at all (maybe she’s bored herself?)

Overall, it was a split verdict. Half of the office described the scent as smelling of cigarettes, while the other half thought it was fresh and washed out. Many felt that it evoked a particular person or memory, but just as many were a bit confused. Some thought it was very floral and feminine, while others thought it was masculine and musky.

So why is Missing Person causing so much emotion in people on and off TikTok? My best guess is that it combined the smell of cigarettes, perfume, and fresh laundry which, when mixed together, smells like the clothes someone is wearing. For people who have a loved one who smokes, a fabulous aunt who’s stocked up on Chanel No 5 and Marlborough Lights, for example, the scent will be reminiscent of someone in particular. Those who don’t might be more drawn to the smell of laundry and think about the clothes they spend the most time cuddled up in – a boyfriend or girlfriend. The only way to really know is to try it yourself.

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