It’s hard to describe just how powerful TikTok’s platform is — but the founder of clean fragrance brand Phlur and OG influencer powerhouse, Chriselle Lim, may be able to give some insight.
After a few viral videos of beauty influencers spritzing away and reviewing their experience with the scent (namely the ever-sweet and trustworthy Mikayla Nogueira), Phlur’s Missing Person Eau De Parfum sold out in what seems like an instant. What’s more? The relaunch waitlist is currently at nearly 100,000 (and counting) shoppers dying to get their hands on the memory-inducing aroma. Said to remind you of special moments with loved ones, the perfume allows for a completely individual and unique experience, all while tapping into a sentiment everyone shares universally — the feeling of missing someone you love.
Luckily enough, the Phlur team had literally one last bottle in their hands to send my way so I could dish the real tea on the sensual scent taking the fragrance world by storm.
When smelling Missing Person straight from the bottle, I wasn’t immediately overwhelmed with memories and images of loved ones. However, as soon as the formula covered my wrists and décolletage, I knew the TikTok hype was real. A true skin-scent through and through, the aroma quickly melts into your skin, softly radiating with top notes of airy musk, ultra-sheer jasmine, and a bergamot nectar that adds a comforting warmth. A heart of fresh blooms softly unfold, as creamy neroli blossom and smooth orange flower add brightness that’s reminiscent of golden hour light leaking through my windows. The signature is woody — but not overwhelmingly so — as sensual sandalwood and light blonde woods swirl around your senses. And while the scent isn’t quite as long-lasting as I’d imagine, the sweet pleasure of reapplying throughout the day totally makes up for it.
For me, I was deeply reminded of my fiancé, and somehow found myself longing for the smell of his skin just before bed, as his favorite cologne is nearly completely faded. The sensation was beautifully soothing, allowing me to find a familiar, safe space through scent.
Below, Lim shares her thoughts on the viral fragrance.
What moment or memory sparked the concept behind Missing Person? Did you have a particular person in mind when creating the scent?
Missing Person is very personal and very intimate. Finding myself alone and the end of a 15 year relationship with someone certainly played a part in the inspiration. I think I realized the scent of another person is very powerful, especially once that scent is gone.
For me that person is a lover, but I’ve heard from so many people that Missing Person makes them think about their mothers, grandmothers, fathers, siblings … it’s different for everyone. I think that’s beautiful.
How has it been witnessing your fragrance Missing Person go completely viral on TikTok?
Surreal! I was in Paris for Paris Fashion Week when it happened. My schedule is always packed during this time, running from one event to the next. My phone started blowing up and it was difficult to understand the magnitude of what was happening. It wasn’t until I got back to my hotel room that night that I realized we had completely sold out, and a waitlist of thousands was growing rapidly — which hasn’t stopped. It’s mind-blowing, and I couldn’t be more appreciative.
What is your earliest memory of fragrance? What scents or notes are most meaningful and memory-inducing to you?
I have vivid memories of hugging my grandmother. She was beautiful and always thoughtful about how she looked. She loved perfume. Especially white florals and rose fragrances. I remember thinking she was so ‘fancy.’ I have no doubt she influenced my love of fragrance.
When creating new fragrances, what is your creative process like?
There is a formal process to develop a fragrance which typically includes writing a brief of the concept, collecting inspiration imagery, choosing a fragrance house and perfumer to work with, and then participating in a series of meetings to perfect the final formula. However, truth be told, some of our fragrances have been inspired by simple conversations between me and a perfumer. Perfumers are true artists and everyone’s approach is different. It’s always fascinating and exciting.
Can you tell me a bit about your new fragrances, Lost Cause and Phloria, launching on March 15? What inspired the unique scents?
I am a big believer in the idea that fragrance can tell a narrative. I think about Phlur fragrances like they are chapters in my story. Last year was incredibly challenging for me. My marriage ended and I’m going through all of the emotions of mourning the loss of that relationship, feeling uncertain about the future, and exploring who I am today. While these fragrances are very personal to me, I believe these feelings are universal.
Lost Cause is very much about finding myself, allowing myself to explore, to be happy, and to be vulnerable. Phloria is a beautiful escape, because sometimes we all need that.
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