I’m so *extra* with my entire beauty routine (just ask my friends that have seen my beauty cabinet) but the one thing I’ve completely skipped altogether, surprisingly, is fragrance. My first foray into fragrance came by way of Jessica Simpson’s Fancy Eau De Parfum, which was a Christmas present from an ex-boyfriend and… not exactly me. Ever since then, it’s a beauty category I’ve more or less ignored.
Then Dedcool came across my desk. Once I spritzed their Fragrance 01 Taunt ($80) onto my wrist, it was like everything around me became muted, my eyeballs turned into hearts, and my brain started buzzing with endorphins thanks to an overload of delicious smells. I was like a cat catching its first whiff of catnip. And I’ve smelled a lot of fragrances as a beauty editor—never have I had this sort of overwhelming reaction before. Now, I can’t leave the house without spritzing it on, and sticking my wrist in everyone’s face that I can to get them to smell it, too (sorry guys!!).
Taunt’s enticing concoction is made with bergamot, amber, fresh dew, and vanilla, which blend together to hit your senses like a delightful punch. Honestly, Taunt gives me a nose orgasm. I asked Dedcool founder Carina Chaz—an LA native who started the brand at age 21—how she came up with the scent, and she called it an “emulation” of her 16-year-old self breaking out of her “boyish phase.” “At that point in my life, I’d struggled feeling comfortable in my own skin, and the vanilla mixed with amber notes really helped me explore my feminine side,” she tells me, noting that Fragrance 01 Taunt is still her best-selling scent. “When creating the Dedcool concept, Fragrance 01 Taunt and Fragrance 02 were the first two to launch as I envisioned women to wear masculine scent profiles while breaking down that gender construct.”
Chaz points to Bergamot, which has traditionally been considered to have a more masculine fragrance profile, as a note she loves because of its “really beautiful citrus blend.” Also, fun fact: Bergamot has scientifically been proven to boost your mood, which may partially explain why sniffing Taunt makes me feel like I’m a dog at a bacon festival or like I’m in the presence of distinct pheromones.
Before, it was only when I caught the sexy hints from my boyfriend’s signature Le Labo Santal 26 that I got turned on by a mere scent. I love associating a person with a fragrance (when it’s good, at least, and not some wicked B.O.), so now I’m regularly spraying myself with Dedcool’s Taunt on the reg so that I can smell it on myself all day and manifest it as being the smell that reminds people of “me.” TBH, it makes me turn myself on. Consider me a perfume convert.