After an evening by a campfire, I’m reluctant to wash my hair. I want the whole world to smell like a sweater borrowed from an Eagle Scout boyfriend. I am quite serious about it.
I looked years for fragrances to help me achieve this effect. When I found them, I was very excited about finally smelling like me, so I got cagey when blogger friends asked me how I was doing it. You cannot tell the Internet, I said. Because I wanted all the smokey stuff for myself! Mine! The bonfire delicious!
But that was dumb. So! If you want everything you own to smell like a Campfire Boyfriend Sweater too, these are the three things you must own. I have put in the time on this, so trust:
OLO is a Portland-based perfume line created by Heather Sielaff, who is a genius. Almost everything she makes is unique, but Victory Wolf is unlike anything else I’ve smelled. It actually makes me salivate. Taxi drivers, elevator companions, people in checkout lines, strangers stop me everywhere to ask what it is. After I’d just reapplied one day, a guy stopped in front of the patio where I was having tea and shouted, “Someone over there smells amazing!” Aw yeah.
When I first bought it, I asked the woman at the counter about it, and she was similarly agog. “I shouldn’t say this to a customer,” she said, “but when my friend tried it, he said, ‘It makes you want to eat something or f**k something.'” Whoa. And truth.
Palo Santo Wood, $10 for 10-15 sticks
A friend of mine bought this as a gift. “I feel sort of stupid giving you a stick of wood,” she said, “but it reminded me of your perfume.” Palo Santo, or holy wood, works like incense. You light it on fire and wave the smoke around to make everything smell sweet and campfire-y. Here’s a video how to, which contains some aura and healing talk, but the first 30 seconds shows you how it works to just make your house smell good. I keep mine in my bathroom in a pretty ceramic container filled with rice, so the rice definitively snuffs the embers when I’m done waving it around.
(Image via Cool Hunting, which has a more thorough explanation of Palo Santo’s history.)
Woodfire Candle by Illume, $15-$36
Ms. Chao told me about this most recent discovery. If you’re looking for something a little more dinner-party ready than waving a burning stick around, Illume’s Woodfire candle. Woof.
It apparently started as a holiday thing that then gained a cult following. This is what finally made my apartment smell like campfire full time, because the candle smells even when you’re not burning it. Plus, the votive has a pretty etched pattern on it and is nice and heavy. This is a thing for me because I plan to clean the containers out and use them as large lowball glasses for sipping bourbon around the campfire at the cabin. Full circle.
If you’re a smokey perfume person, please overcome your reluctance to share product recs in comments. Love, Maggie.