Campfire Boyfriend Sweater

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:

Victory Wolf perfume by OLO, $45

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.

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18 thoughts on “Campfire Boyfriend Sweater

  1. I’m thrilled by this list–smoky fragrance is such a delight. True story: in college, I dated a guy who lived in a yurt mostly because of how good he smelled.

    Just purchased the Victory Wolf scent (which is nearly sold out for good!), but up until now for maximum smoky deliciousness, I’ve really loved Breath of God, from LUSH. It starts off subtle but wears really, really well.


  2. I was looking to buy myself a little treat and rushed right over to the OLO site for Victory Wolf. I bought my bottle, and then navigated to her blog where I saw that the fragrance is being discontinued! Sorry to be the downer in your day, but you may want to stock up… I haven’t even received a bottle yet, and this is already my worst nightmare whenever I fall in love with a product.


  3. I am so sad! It is sold out! With a new version to come out in a few months! Here’s hoping it gets great reviews as well!


  4. Thanks for the great Victory Wolf write up! This version is sold out as of today. One of the ingredients is gone for good. I will release a new version of Victory Wolf in June. Stay tuned to my blog, I will be giving away free samples!


  5. OR you can have a chimney fire in your home when the flue is closed, and EVERYTHING YOU OWN can smell like smoke! True story. This just happened to us this week. And I’m hosting Easter dinner on Sunday.

    Sooo, yeah, the chimney fire isn’t the best idea to achieve that nice cozy smell. Even though I really do love me some campfire-smelling stuff!


  6. For those who can’t wait for Victory Wolf to come back in stock, take a look at CB I Hate Perfume. There are a couple of scents that might satisfy the campfire craving: Fire From Heaven/Smoke and Burning Leaves. My personal favorite is In the Library, which is a deep and lovely unisex sent that I find incredibly sexy.


  7. ZOMG Smells also has some good, inexpensive options here – Camping in a Vanilla Forest is a perpetual favorite. I’m very sad this is sold out, though! 😦 I’ll be following for the samples, because I’m hoping the new is as good as the old.



    These guys distill outdoors-y stuff and through magic (as far as i’m concerned) turn it into incense and cologne and sprays. I’ve tried the campfire incense and love it. I’ve heard great things about the other products as well.


  9. I was going to recommend the CB I Hate Perfume line, too. They have the smoky scents mentioned above (I particularly like Burning Leaves) but they also have scents that smell like fresh dirt, a day at the beach (including Coppertone lotion and salt), and that Library scent, which smells like books and leather chairs.


  10. OLO’s ‘Dark Wave’ is one of my favorite scents, also a little wood-y. I love that you can order small trial sizes too.


  11. I just spent an embarrassing amount of time searching to THE ENDS of the internet for a bottle of the now defunct Victory Wolf perfume. I found one. Internationally. Very excited. Stakes are high now, Maggie Mason.


  12. The Diptyque Feu du Bois (translation: wood fire) candle is sooooo good to make a house smell like the best fire is roaring in the fireplace.


  13. I visited the OLO site on your recommendation and found another fragrance that sounded equally lovely (Dark Wood). It arrived today with an added surprise: a free sample of Black Lodge.

    The little sample vial – took me back to high school, when my friends and i would spend saturday afternoons visiting every department fragrance counter in search of ‘free samples’ and saturday nights spend comparing and trading.

    Back then, you could get 1ml free…but by my sr year, the free sample was limited to a spritz on a stock paper — just not the same!


  14. I, too, was unable to order Victory Wolf from OSO before it sold out, but on Instagram found that Dovetail Chicago ( still had a few bottles left. Mine arrived today. Heavenly. My son calls it “clean smoke” and my husband calls it “girlie campfire” but to me it is like borrowing a delicious smelling man’s scarf after a beach bonfire. Muy Bueno. Thanks, man.


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