PHLUR: Missing Person + Not Your Baby

by Nicole Collins

I absolutely adore beauty. I fall all the way in with love brands, brand stories, founder stories, specific products for specific reasons and with scents for the memories.

About twenty years ago I sat myself down and asked one of the most important questions of my life. What the hell am I going to do for a living? As an Aries, I knew I had to pursue a career that I was absolutely in love with because I’m either totally passionate or I don’t care at all and there is no in between.

During my soul searching I thought about the way in which I fell in love with fragrance. In college, I spent a summer in London. The original Jo Malone store was on my walking route
from home to my internship. (This was the original Jo Malone before it was acquired by Estee Lauder. The real Jo Malone.) I stopped in every single day. The shopgirl and I became friends. She told me every detail about every scent. I spritzed myself with each fragrance and wore a different one to dinner every night. By the end of the summer I had decided upon Vintage Gardenia, and I spent what felt like a lot of money at the time on this gorgeous bottle of magical perfume. I remember more about that Jo Malone store than my internship from the summer or the friends I made.

Needless to say, I chose to pursue a career in beauty because there are few things in life I am quite as passionate about.

I wore Jo Malone’s Vintage Gardenia throughout my twenties. I switched between that and the much more affordable Pacifica Gardenia solid perfume from Whole Foods because it was also
lovely and only $10. Honestly, the boys always commented on the Pacifica scent but my
favorite was the Jo Malone.

I know my love for beauty is slightly abnormal. Rather than wine or flowers, I bring people
beauty products as hostess gifts when I’m invited to dinners. I also know everyone has at least one memory that is triggered by a scent. Whether it’s the perfume your beautiful mother wore when she put you to bed as a child or the smell of grandma’s home cooked speciality, everyone has a memory attached to scent.

In our brains, scents are handled by the olfactory bulb, the structure in the front of the brain that sends information to the other areas of the body’s central command for further processing. Smells take a direct route to the limbic system, the regions of the brain related to emotion and memory, which is why you can’t remember the password you created online yesterday but you can distinctly remember what cologne your first boyfriend wore.

Perfume is the perfect gift whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else. Scent is an entire experience and can leave lasting memories making a little bottle of liquid something totally magical.

When PHLUR entered the chat with the one and only fashion mega-influencer Chriselle Lim at the helm in 2021, the fragrance world got a little gift. She’s iconically stylish, and her creative direction at the brand has been too. She has reminded us, if we ever forgot, that having one signature scent is not a jail we need to belong to. Fragrance evokes emotion, a mood. Since we have various moods and emotions, we should have various scents in our wardrobe and pull them out or mix them to match our vibe.

As such, here are two of my favorites from Phlur, which I wear alone and together depending on my vibe that day.

Missing Person was a runaway best seller right out of the gate when it launched in 2022 and hasn’t slowed down since. Lim launched it during her divorce, a lonely time. On the Well + Good beauty podcast Routine Rundown, she said “I wanted to bottle something up that felt warm, like skin-to-skin contact or that scent of your lover’s skin on a pillowcase or a T-shirt they left at your place”

It’s a delicate unisex floral musk, and it’s totally addictive. The notes, which are truly sexy on everyone, are brought to life by comforting accords of white musk, enhanced by sheer floral nuances of jasmine and glowing orange blossom and fused with a light trail of soft transparent woods. I find it sexy and moody. I’m usually wearing it at night but not always.

Not Your Baby is a unisex (though decidedly more feminine than Missing Person) spicy floral scent that works so well with Missing Person and is gorgeous all on her own too. It’s provocative, playful and undeniably sexy and intriguing. The powdery palette of mimosa and violet pass through top notes of aromatic cardamom and bergamot before diving into vanilla, tonka bean and sensual sandalwood. I’m not going to lie, I hate vanilla. It’s a polarizing scent, but I love Not Your Baby because the high quality vanilla is blended in a playfully sophisticated way that gives more powdery and sultry vibes than anything else.

Wear them together or alone or mixed with your other favorites. There are no rules anymore!!

213Deli editors are beauty experts with eons of years of experience under our belts. We’ve tried it all and keep on trying everything new that comes out in an effort to save you the headache of wasting your time and money on things that aren’t worth it. We only write about and recommend products we truly love and are pretty sure you’ll also love. All products are chosen independently by our editorial team. If you buy something we link to, 213Deli may earn a commission.