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The $28 Perfume That Kickstarted My Obsession With Fragrance

Black and white photo of Sammi Jefcoate in a black sparkly dress and leather beret outlined in lavendar on a background...Illustration by Channing Smith

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Welcome to The Sniff Test, a column about everything that smells good. For each edition, we speak to interesting people about what they — and their spaces — smell like. This time, Tiktok's sartorial superstar Sammi Jefcoate shares the best-smelling beauty products in the converted barn in the English countryside she calls home, plus the root of her love for citrus scents.

Sammi Jefcoate is absolutely a luxury fashion girl. She just may not look like what typically comes to mind when you think of one. Sure, the tall, slim, and beautiful part is there. But she's a little less clean-cut country club and a little more bougie biker. Not that her over 1.7 million TikTok followers care. In fact, it's her unique approach to getting dressed that has them flocking to her account daily — and in turn, flocking over to high-end stores looking to buy what she wore.

I speak with Jefcoate over Zoom one Tuesday morning in mid-May. Well, it's morning where I am in New York City.  In Surrey, England, where she lives, the afternoon is about halfway done. She's long since outfitted herself for the day in a neon pink oversized shirt dress, lent some structure with a black leather harness, and posted it to social media.

And yes, when you're on TikTok, it helps to be working with a closet full of high-end designer clothes — one located in a converted 17th-century barn with soaring, sloping ceilings and exposed wooden beams, no less. But the way she puts herself together is the real magic. On one day, she'll layer two neon bralettes under a cropped Fendi sweater and pair them with tailored trousers that have the pattern of the knit shorts she wore underneath peeking just above the band. The next day, she's strapped a leather harness over an embroidered jewel-tone green minidress with romantic, billowing peasant sleeves. 

The harness is a signature flourish Jefcoate adds to several of her outfits. She wears it with so many of them, sales associates in stores like Miu Miu tell her they have customers asking for it. The Italian fashion house (or any one of the luxury labels she often pairs the accessory with) may not carry them, but Jefcoate does at the online storefront for her brand, Ardeo. Or at least she does when they're in stock — they typically sell out in a flash. 

Sammi Jefcoate wearing a prada ba top under a fendi cardigan with a straw hat. She's sitting at a table smilingAnton Jefcoate

Pricey as it can get, Jefcoate is keen on getting a good cost per wear from her luxury wardrobe and keeps her favorite pieces in heavy rotation. She does the same with her perfumes, which she routinely layers in her "let's get dressed" videos. In the winter, she's drawn to rich gourmands sweet with notes of vanilla and amber. Once the weather gets warmer, she breaks out the citruses. This is true not just for the perfumes she chooses, but, as I discover while we chat, for pretty much anything she likes that happens to be scented. 

And that citrus fixation could be more than a personal quirk for Jefcoate — it just might be in her blood. In the middle of our conversation, she has a memory of visiting the Italian side of her family and hugging one of her relatives. "My nonna had passed away at this point and [my aunt] stepped back," she says. "And she went, 'Sammi, you smell like your grandmother! Are you wearing 4711? That's what she used to wear.'" She was indeed wearing the scent and had purchased it without knowing it was a favorite of her grandmother's. 

bottle of 4711 fragrance next to its box on a white background

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Muelhens 4711 Eau De Cologne Spray, Fragrance


"It was an absolute fluke that I bought it — I got it because of price, not the smell," she explains. "That was probably my first ever entrance into fragrance. I love what scents can do for memory. A certain smell can take you back to a certain place so quickly."

Ahead, Jefcoate shares the scents that transport her to the south coast of Spain, the ones that feel like a warm hug, and the candle that will always remind her of home.

Body Washes and Lotions

I have some key everyday favorite body washes and then I have my indulgent side. There are bath products I can't say I use every day, but I would love to. One of my absolute favorites is the Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Body Wash It's just one of those smells you feel cocooned in. And I love almond; I'm really drawn to it. This is especially lovely in the winter. It feels like a hug in a bath or a shower — the whole room smells of it. I also love the Ambre Vanillé Honey Bath. It comes with a little honey dipper and makes for the most opulent, delightful time. Plus it's a real skin-softening, relaxing situation. I don't always buy it, but when I do, I'm like, "why didn't I replace this sooner?"

Jar of Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Honey Bath with a honey spool propped up against it on a white background

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Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Honey Bath

$60Jar of Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Honey Bath with a honey spool propped up next to it on a white background

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Laura Mercier Ambre Vanillé Honey Bath

$60Image may contain: Bottle, Shaker, and Lotion

Fresh Sugar Lemon Bath & Shower Gel

$25Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub on white background

Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub


In terms of more awakening scents, I really like the Fresh Sugar Lemon Bath & Shower Gel in the morning. I love citrus, it really ignites your senses. I also like the Frank Body Coffee Scrub in the morning. It's a messy beast — like grinding coffee beans while you're in the shower — but it's absolutely lovely. One of my absolute hero products is the Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish. Oh my God, the smell. [ed note: sweet and lemony.] It's one of the few scrubs that doesn't dry me out and it's an absolute joy to use. I get through it quickly, though — I almost use it too much but it's just so great! I also really love rose scents. The Aesop A Rose by Any Other Name Body Cleanser is another one I enjoy. It's just such a great brand for looking after your skin whilst also smelling great.

Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish on white background

Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish

$67brown bottle of aesop a rose by any other name body wash on a white background

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Aesop A Rose by Any Other Name Body Cleanser


Moisturizer is one of my favorite categories. I am all about hydration, I love the feeling of it. I moisturize in the morning and evening, throughout the day — really, whenever I can. The Aesop Resurrection Hand Balm is the best thing ever. It absorbs so quickly but feels like it's actually done something. I always have it sitting on my desk. It's got a woody, citrusy scent that feels genderless. Anyone can use it and have a great experience.

On my body, I love the Ren Moroccan Rose Oil. When my skin is damp and I get out of the bath, I love putting this on. It really, really sinks into the skin. I wear a lot of jewelry that I don't take off, and I don't worry about all my rings getting moisture trapped in them when I use an oil. Laura Mercier's Almond Coconut Moisturizer is one of those where the scent really lingers. I'll be walking around the house and Anton, my husband, will be like, "You smell good. What are you wearing?" It's just the moisturizer that's floating around into the ether.

aluminum tube of aesop resurrection balm on a white background

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Aesop Resurrection Hand Balm

$30bottle of ren skincare moroccan rose oil on a white background

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Ren Skincare Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil

$68jar of laura mercier almond coconut body cream on a white background

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Soufflé Body Crème


In terms of scent, hair is the category I neglect the most. [Fragrance is] less front of mind and more about my hair needs [when I'm picking hair products]. But with the Briogeo Mango + Cherry shampoo and conditioner — it's a smell thing for me. It does what it says on the bottle, but it is just a really great-smelling product. Hair oils, again, are less of a scent preference. I use the Olaplex oil on my dehydrated hair but the Gisou oil, that one is more in the sensory realm. [Editor's note: The Gisou oil has a honey-gourmand scent with a touch of floral]. Olaplex is better for my actual color-treated hair, but the Gisou I love to use on my scalp. 

Briogeo Superfoods Mango + Cherry Balancing Shampoo + Conditioner Duo set in front of its box on a white background

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Briogeo Superfoods Mango + Cherry Balancing Shampoo + Conditioner Duo

$49Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil on white background

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Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil

$28Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil on white background

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Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil


I think it's probably a growing up in England thing, but I'm really affected by the weather. I talk about it on TikTok so much without even really knowing I'm doing it. I'll say, "It's a gloomy day or it's a sunny day," because it's so all over the place here. You never know what you're going to get. 

In winter, I'm of course more drawn to cozier scents. I have the same pattern with body wash and moisturizer as I do with perfume: I love cocooning, honeyed, rich sweet smells in the winter, but as soon as the sun's out and it's a bit warmer, I'm like "give me citrus, give me all the lighter notes."

I have some serious favorite perfumes, and I like to layer. People ask me so much online, "How do you know what to layer?" I don't know what the fuck I'm doing. I just know what smells good to me. I'm not a perfumer. I can imagine that someone in Paris is saying in horror, "Oh, what is she doing?" when I layer certain scents. All I know is, I mean, without sounding like an absolute wanker, I get told I smell good. I suppose that's helpful feedback from real-life situations. 

There's too many good scents out there for me to wear just one. It's such a bonus to be able to buy lovely perfumes. In terms of brands, Diptyque, Le Labo, Byredo, Dior, and Tom Ford are absolute heroes for me. 

Bottle of Diptyque Eau des Sens eau de toilette on a white background

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Diptyque Eau des Sens Eau de Toilette

$150bottle of byredo sundazed perfume on a gray background

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Byredo Sundazed Eau de Parfum

$196Bottle of Le Labo Another 13 fragrance on a gray background

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Le Labo Another 13 Eau de Parfum


Diptyque is probably number one because their scents really last. My favorite from them is Eau des Sens, which is a very citrus fragrance. At this time of year (spring), I want to wear it with everything. I'll mix it with other citruses, florals, or musky scents. It's not one I would wear in the wintertime unless I'm suddenly on the south coast of Spain or something. Byredo Sundazed is probably my favorite fragrance that they do because of how citrusy it is. [Editor's note: That's thanks to the mandarin, lemon, and neroli.] 

Le Labo Another13 (ambroxan, moss, jasmine, and ambrette seeds) is another one I wear all the time. I like that it's so genderless — anyone could wear it. It's a very woody scent, very alluring. When I spray it, I'm just like "Oh, I want to smell it again." I wear it with a lot of things, it mixes really well with my other scents. 

In the winter, Dior's Vanilla Diorama is a very lovely, cozy, warm scent. I wear that with things like Margiela By the Fireplace, they marry really nicely together. A real one I should shout out is the Tom Ford Tubérose Nue — very musky, but it's got florals and rose that feel very rich when you put it on. 

bottle of Dior Vanilla Diorama perfume on a gray background

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Dior Vanilla Diorama Eau de Parfum

$125Bottle of maison margiela by the fireplace eau de toilette on a white background

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Maison Margiela Replica by the Fireplace

$135Tom Ford Tubéreuse Nue Eau de Parfum bottle

Tom Ford Tubéreuse Nue Eau de Parfum

$368Little black compact of diptyque eau rose solid perfume with a pink rose on the front on a white background

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Diptyque Eau Rose Solid Perfume


I have to mention the Diptyque Eau Rose solid refillable perfume. I love their little solid perfumes for carrying around during the day. This isn't me personally, but I know some people may feel a bit paranoid spraying themselves on a train if they're about to go meet someone. It's quite a nice, subtle thing to be able to get out your solid perfume and just put that on. Quite calming.

One final one, the Christian Louboutin Loubiprince, which I really like for the evening, is quite a romantic scent. Very musky and again, quite indulgent [Editor's note: The brand mentions a blend of amber, tonka bean, and sandalwood]. I feel like a lot of the perfumes I go for now are quite like that.

Home Fragrance

I'm really big on aromatherapy in the evening. I think my husband thinks I'm an absolute wanker, but I really get a sense of relaxation from it. He needs to put on a car show to relax. Give me a calming tea and light a candle — instantly, my body relaxes. It's more than just aesthetics, it's genuinely part of my relaxation and how I wind down for the evening. The Therapie Restore Aura Spray (sweet basil, wild rose, rosemary, and white sage) is very calming when you need a moment and quite nice to spray around your room before bed.

Black bottle of Therapie Restore Aura Spray on a light beige marble background

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Therapie Restore Aura Spray

$44True grace portobello oud cangle in a dark green jar next to its box all on a white background

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True Grace Portobello Oud Candle

$56True Grace Orangery Candle on a gray background

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True Grace Orangery Candle

$66True Grace Moroccan Rose candle next to its box on a white background

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True Grace Moroccan Rose Candle


For candles and diffusers, my number one is an English brand called True Grace. As far as I'm aware, they a very small and independent — I don't see them get a lot of press coverage or anything. I've tried to even remember how on earth I found them. They have these two scents called Portobello Oud (patchouli, sandalwood, ginger, and leather) and Orangery (orange blossom, geranium, petitgrain, rose, and amber). Both are those kinds of smells that I just want everywhere! They last long and fill the entire space; they don't feel like you're just burning money away. I use Portobello Oud so much around my house, at this point, it smells like home to me.  Moroccan Rose is another of my True Grace favorites. 

Similar to how I layer fragrances, I layer scents around my home. We now live in quite a larger home than we used to, so I  have different scents depending on the time of year and the room you're in. The bathroom, I try to keep it more fresh and citrusy. In the main hangout space, it's far more cozy with rose and that sort of thing. 

Earl of East Smoke & Musk candle in a translucsent brown jar on a white background. The brand name is written in minimal white lettering on the jar.

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Earl of East Smoke & Musk Candle

$80Replica Jazz Club Candle. It's in a white jar with a white label

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Maison Margiela Jazz Club Candle

$65Maison Margiela Replica By The Fireplace Candle in a white jar on a white background

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Maison Margiela By The Fireplace Scented Candle


In terms of other brands, Earl of East's Smoke & Musk candle is a really beautiful woody scent, really, really lovely in the evening. Quite more of an autumnal one as well, especially when you combine it with Replica Jazz Club and By the Fireplace. In cooler months, they're just such cozy, huggable, fragrances to have in the house. 

Diptyque ambre candle on a white background

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Diptyque Ambre Candle 300g

$100The Diptyque Jumbo Tubéréuse candle in a dark red ceramic vessel on a white background

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Diptyque Tubéreuse Candle 1.5kg

$355Diptyque jumbo baies candle in a black ceramic container on a white background

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Diptyque Baies Candle 1.5kg


Diptyque, their candles are just the best. I love that you can buy those massive ones; It feels horrible when you check out and you see the price, but then they last. They last. Ambre, Tubéreuse, and Baies — those are my favorites. — As told to Jihan Forbes

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