Tune In: What Is Mindful Fragrance? OG Beauty & Style Blogger Chriselle Lim Has An Idea
Fragrance is one of my favorite beauty topics to discuss: It's the perfect mix of art, science, and personality. A category of beauty that allows folks to express and explore who they are and what they'd like to embody. It's also a deeply personal and emotional endeavor—how we respond to certain scents and notes is entirely dependent on our unique experiences and memories.
That's something Chriselle Lim has been able to capture quite spectacularly. The iconic beauty and style influencer (who founded one of the OG fashion and lifestyle blogs The Chriselle Factor) is also the co-owner and creative director of the clean fragrance brand PHLUR.
A few times over the past few years, PHLUR has gone viral thanks to a fragrance that has seemed to capture the zeitgeist in a notable way. The most memorable was Missing Person, which debuted during the pandemic—a time in which many of us were, indeed, missing people.
On today's episode of Clean Beauty School, I chat with Lim about the power of fragrance, how folks use scent nowadays, her creative process, and how beauty is a means of connection. I also get some of her top beauty recommendations because how could I not? Tune in for the full episode, but here's a snippet of our convo in the meantime.
How mindful fragrance can connect us — to ourselves and others
"I think traditionally with fragrance, it's, it has always been about this fantasy, right? It's all about being unattainable and creating this false sense of what a fantasy life could look like. I approach it as expressing something I'm currently going through—because if I'm dealing with it, someone else probably is too," she says. "The emotion of heartbreak, of missing someone, of joy, of wanting to feel sexy and attractive when you don't feel sexy and attractive and confident. These emotions are all universally shared."
Take, for example, the viral Missing Person. When it launched (alongside the brand, which underwent a relaunch), folks on TikTok were spraying it and sharing their own stories—sometimes even breaking down and crying. It became a moment of collective beauty catharsis.
"We were sharing real stories, real emotions. It wasn't just that I was sharing my emotions through a fragrance; it was that people were able to see themselves and their own stories through my emotion because these are universally shared," she says.
I think this is why the fragrance world is changing so much. In an attempt to cater to younger generations and how they consume fragrance, it's becoming less about crafting an aspirational status symbol and more about allowing yourself to embrace who you are. And in that sense, fragrance has become incredibly mindful.
Tune in to hear more of this conversation.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.