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This Personalized Fragrance Brand Converted Me. I May Never Shop for Perfume at Sephora Again.

Noteworthy vs Sephora: Where to Find Your New Perfume?

Amy Sun
ByAmy SunDec 6, 2023In Partnership With Noteworthy

Our brains are hard-wired to create powerful links between scent and memory. Fragrance is almost like an extension of our individuality, or even a way for people to remember us. I go through phases of being absolutely obsessed with a certain fragrance, but whenever I enter a new season of life, I feel the urge to switch things up. With the holidays approaching, it's a great time to find a new scent!

However, it can be a hassle to find a a new scent that feels true to me. Like many, I used to go think Sephora was the only place to find a new fragrance...until my friend suggested I try Noteworthy, a personalized fragrance discovery brand.

Noteworthy is 100% online & personalized to your preferences

If you're looking for a new fragrance at Sephora, you'll probably have to sink a chunk of your day driving there, parking your car, finding someone that works there to help you, and spraying different perfumes on yourself in the crowded, bustling store.

I always found that process overwhelming. Discerning and appreciating each scent individually is a real challenge. One time, I panic-bought a perfume that ended up smelling totally different when I brought it home.

What I like about Noteworthy is that you can visit their site from the comfort of your home and take the Fragrance Finder Quiz (like a personal stylist for your nose) in a zero-pressure environment. It asks super specific questions—like whether I like the smell of Vicks VapoRub, and where I grew up—and its algorithm translates that into fragrance recommendations that truly spoke to me.

I was able to share how I feel about different scent notes like vanilla (love!) and the ocean (not a fan). Noteworthy suggested four fragrance samples for me to try, so I ordered the personalized Noteworthy Fragrance Discovery Kit ($24.99) which included:

  • n, 144 (citrus, lemon blossom, vanilla)
  • n, 290 (mandarin, peony, vanilla)
  • n, 551 (lily of the valley, amber, sandalwood)
  • n, 743 (tuberose, magnolia, musk)
  • $25 credit towards a full size bottle

All of the Noteworthy samples smelled delicious, though I wasn't wild about n,144. It was tough to choose between n,551 and n,290, but I loved n,290's sophisticated floral edge, and MULTIPLE people stopped to ask me what I was wearing when I had it on. I purchased the full size ($124) using the $25 credit! 

Noteworthy scents are unique

At Sephora, you'll find the most popular fragrances from brands like Prada, Dior, Nest, YSL, and Replica. It's true that there's something luxurious about treating yourself to a perfume from one of these recognizable designers that lure you in with their sexy marketing campaigns and flashy packaging. The downside is that a gazillion other ladies out there are wearing that perfume, so they're not unique to you at all.

Noteworthy might not have fancy perfume bottles or supermodels starring in their commercials, but their scents are totally unique. I learned that the Noteworthy founders took a scientific approach to curating specific scents after a year-long longitudinal study with over 150 men and women. Each scent is tried and tested.

Noteworthy scents actually last

It's hard to believe that some designer brands have the audacity to sell a perfume bottle for $200+, but their formulas only last a few hours!

Noteworthy only sells Eau De Parfums, which is stronger than Eau De Toilette because they have a higher concentration of perfume oil. I found that my Noteworthy perfumes lasted me about 10-12 hours—I could smell the lingering scent of Noteworthy in my clothes hamper even days later!

What Noteworthy doesn't offer

If you're devoted to renowned brands or following trends, then I can see why you'd want to find a new perfume at Sephora. Sephora also offers some sampler sets if you want to try popular fragrances outside of their store. It's like a stylish potluck—a mix of scents that might hit the mark or might not.

The scents could be fruity or spicy or fresh—you don't really know what you're going to get, but maybe you'll get lucky! I tried the Sephora Favorites Perfume Sampler, but I honestly only liked one of the perfumes, and I ended up giving away the other three.

These fragrances are popular, so if you don’t mind having the same signature scent as a ton of other people, then the Sephora Favorites is a great option for you. While Sephora’s return policy is usually quite generous, their perfume sets are final sale with no returns or exchanges.

On the other hand, Noteworthy boasts a 89% success rate on matching you with at least one scent that you love, but they offer a free refund if they don't deliver on that promise. 

I'm sticking with Noteworthy

Old me might have gravitated towards the familiar and picked Sephora, but Noteworthy’s personalization, convenience, and quality really won me over. I'd recommend trying the the Noteworthy Discovery Kit to everyone on the hunt for a new scent, and I can’t wait to rock my new n,290!