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#AskThePros: How Do I Choose My Prose Fragrance?

March 18, 2021

8 Min read

Welcome back to #AskThePros, where The Pros—your support team of custom formula and hair experts—break down our biggest customer questions. This month, we’re decoding the Prose fragrance portfolio.

During the consultation, we recommend a few well-liked fragrances that we think will be right up your alley. With that said, you’re always welcome to select any fragrance and to switch things up with every order. So, how to choose out of our nine exclusive options?

While we’re all about cutting-edge research and scientific rigor, fragrances can be a subjective, deeply personal experience. With that in mind, we decided to go all-in with a decidedly unscientific approach. We asked The Pros (along with a few honorary members) to sniff all of our fragrances and jot down their thoughts. The result? An unfiltered collection of opinions, memories, and musings which we hope can guide you towards your next choice. So if you’ve been dying to know which Prose fragrance is deemed the “most masculine” or evokes “sophistication and mischief,” then look no further.

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Fête (limited edition!): Spiced + Fruity (Apple, Spiced Pear, Cinnamon)

apples, cinnamon, and pear

To me, this smells like: 

  • A warm house full of baked goods on a snow-strewn winter’s day; in other words, the spirit of winter in a bottle
  • A cozy day in front of the fireplace sipping tea (or warm mulled wine if that’s your thing!) and reading a good book—not a screen in sight


Who would love Fête

  • Anyone craving warmth and comfort, and those who lean toward rich, indulgent, and distinct scents

What would a Fête mood board look like? 

  • Freshly cut apples and juicy pears piled on the countertop
  • A group of friends laughing together at a small dinner party
  • Luxurious blankets and stockings over the fireplace, with a snowy scene outside


Subtle, strong, or somewhere in-between?

Leans toward strong but not at all overpowering.

Fragrance fun fact: As with every limited-edition fragrance, Prose subscribers got exclusive access to sniff-test a few options and pick their favorite. Fête won by a huge margin—potentially the largest we’ve ever seen!

Will you be switching your scent over to Fête?

44 Vote
Gonna stick with what I have!
26 Vote

Arcadia: Citrusy + Woody (Grapefruit, Wild Basil, Mint, Cedar)

grapefruit, lemon, and mint in water

To me, this smells like: 

  • Fresh, crisp & invigorating! Like jumping into a mountain stream
  • This is what the “NYC Cool Girl” archetype would smell like—subtle, complex, and masculine
  • That fall morning, 6am smell when you first step outside and there’s still dew on the grass


Who would love Arcadia? 

  • The early bird who likes to start each day with a morning walk (or maybe just wants to feel like it in the shower)
  • Hikers, gardeners, anyone who leans towards herbal and earthy scents
  • Someone interested in aromatherapy—this scent definitely invigorates and uplifts


What would an Arcadia mood board look like? 

  • A walk through the trees in early autumn or a stroll through a sun-filled orchard
  • A bright and immaculate hotel shower—Arcadia is soothing but also perks you up, just like the feeling of a long, hot shower


Subtle, strong, or somewhere in-between? 

Somewhere in between, just enough to make you feel energized but can also relax into that state.

Signature: Floral + Powdery (Violet Leaf, Peony, White Amber)

What The Pros Have to Say:

To me, this smells like:

  • A powdered bubble bath.
  • Very floral, musky, mature.
  • Traditional weddings.
  • Floral arrangements.
  • What I imagine an ancien régime facial powder would smell like. (Saved you a Google search: “ancien régime” refers to French society between the 15th and 18th centuries.)


Who would love Signature?

  • Someone who wants you to know they’ve arrived when they walk into a room—it’s a statement.
  • Someone who likes bold jewelry, strong perfumes, big hats, and high tea.
  • Someone who enjoys antique hunting, and perhaps a good Charlotte Brontë novel.
  • What would a Signature mood board look like?
  • A string of pearls or vintage Chanel.
  • The Plaza Hotel tea room.
  • Dried flowers.
  • A velvet armchair.
  • An antique boudoir.
  • An array of glass bottles containing perfumes, serums and creams.


Subtle, strong, or somewhere in-between?

Strong—demands attention but gets more subtle with time.

Botanica: Herbal + Aromatic (Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary)

What The Pros Have to Say:

To me, this smells like:

  • Mint.
  • A eucalyptus steam room.
  • An oil diffuser at a spa or yoga studio.
  • This furniture store my parents used to go to in India, called Good Earth.
  • The eucalyptus sprigs from the place settings at my wedding.


Who would love Botanica?

  • Anyone who loves incense, sages, and mint.
  • Someone who meditates.
  • Someone who needs extra stress relief in the shower without the price tag of a spa appointment.
  • Someone who’d prefer something fresh and less in-your-face—the most masculine of our offerings.
  • What would a Botanica mood board look like?
  • A spa.
  • Plant roots and little buds.
  • Crystals.
  • Incense in an empty yoga studio.
  • Tapestries.
  • Someone doing yoga in Washington Square Park.


Subtle, strong, or somewhere in-between?

Strong in this sample, but in my experience, very subtle in use.

Fragrance fun fact: In addition to being one of our 100% natural options, Botanica seems to break gender barriers more than any other Prose fragrance—it’s one of the most popular choices for male Prose employees.

Perle: Powdery + Musky (Musk, Gardenia, Sandalwood)

What The Pros Have to Say:

To me, this smells like:

  • Musk, spice, flowers.
  • An old dresser containing your grandmother’s timeless pieces.
  • Smells like baby powder got an upgrade.
  • Fresh lilies, but also smells warm and cozy like freshly washed laundry.
  • It reminds me of a men’s cologne, but packaged in a femme bottle. 


Who would love Perle?

  • A very diverse crowd.
  • Someone looking for a traditional fragrance, who loves warmer, powdery, and light floral scents that aren’t too sharp.
  • Anyone who wants a little comfort.
  • What would a Perle mood board look like?
  • A mussed up comforter and rumpled sheets.
  • Dreamy, wispy clouds.
  • Cashmere and silk.
  • The sun rising through sheer white curtains.
  • Large, fluffy white flowers like peonies, magnolias, or chrysanthemums.
  • Perle is a Sunday morning sleeping in, where you can luxuriate in a day dream.


Subtle, strong, or somewhere in-between?

Subtle, but lovely.

Corsica: Fresh + Aquatic (Anjou Pear, Peony, Cedar Wood)

What The Pros Have to Say:

To me, this smells like:

  • Walking along the beach on a spring morning, wearing freshly laundered linens.
  • Seafoam.
  • A nautical living room at a house in the Cape.
  • Sweet, sparkling wine.


Who would love Corsica?

  • Someone who likes their makeup and fashion to seem effortless and natural.
  • Beach goers.
  • Someone who wants a more gender neutral and universal fragrance—it’s not too floral, not too sweet, not too femme.
  • Mermaids.


What would a Corsica mood board look like?

  • Flutes of Prosecco overlooking an ocean view terrace.
  • Wet pavement after a heavy spring shower.
  • A Montauk dive bar.
  • Bright blue ocean scattered with white sailboats.
  • The entirety of the film Mamma Mia.


Subtle, strong, or somewhere in-between?

Somewhere in between, almost perfect.

Fragrance fun fact: Thanks to incredible feedback from customers who didn’t want to part with Corsica, this limited-edition summer fragrance entered our permanent collection.

Prelude: Floral + Fresh (Rose, Geranium, Blue Iris)

What The Pros Have to Say:

To me, this smells like:

  • A freshly arranged bouquet of roses.
  • An artisan soap bar, with a hint of sweetness like a jam.
  • If our Corsica and Ispahan fragrances had a garden rendezvous.


Who would love Prelude?

  • Anyone who likes a fresh, feminine fragrance that treads lightly between floral and semi-sweet.
  • For the customer who’s graceful and polished—think Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.


What would a Prelude mood board look like?

  • Rose petals blowing in the wind.
  • Dancing ballerinas.
  • A picnic in a meadow of wildflowers, baby’s breath, and falling cherry blossoms.
  • Crystals sparkling in the sunlight.
  • A flute of rosé.
  • Essie’s classic Ballet Slippers nail polish (a subtle pale pink).


Subtle, strong, or somewhere in-between?

Somewhere in between, but it has staying power (which is lovely!).

Fragrance fun fact: Looking to refresh your Zoom meetings? You can download our Prelude Zoom background here; the gorgeous floral design also works as the perfect background or lockscreen for your phone.

Oasis: Floral + Summery (Jasmine, Amber, White Peach)

What The Pros Have to Say:

To me, this smells like: 

  • Relaxing with jasmine in your hair, while taking a bite of fruit by a warm ocean.
  • Lime zest.
  • It’s a bit similar to Corsica, but more fresh.
  • A sweet, soothing summer breeze.


Who would love Oasis? 

  • Anyone who likes warm scents, but wants to stay floral.
  • Anyone who wants to feel luscious and overflowing with daydream-inducing flavor.
  • For the customer who wants to be transported somewhere tropical with a cold drink in hand, soaking up the sun.


What would an Oasis mood board look like? 

  • Submerging in fresh clean water, and the relief of wet skin on a hot day.
  • Full, bursting citrus and blooming jasmine.
  • Long desert shadows and newly discovered artifacts.
  • The Coachella ferris wheel at sunset; A summer afternoon sky dotted with kites and bubbles.


Subtle, strong, or somewhere in-between?

All signs point to “somewhere in-between” for Oasis: Strong floral notes at first, fading into soft warm sandalwood; I really like this scent for the sense of balance; If someone walked by after wash day, you’d get a whiff of the lime zest and fruitiness and say, “I want my hair to smell like this.”


No fragrance notes here, but as a friendly reminder, our fragrance-free products are just that: free of fragrance, and free of any chemical masking agents that are sometimes used to create a “fragrance-free” product. If you opt for fragrance-free formulas and catch a whiff of something, rest assured you’re just picking up on your natural active ingredients. And for those with a sensitive scalp, our chemists always recommend going fragrance-free.


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Custom formula and hair experts who are here to share their knowledge, tips and tricks throughout your Prose journey. #AskThePros your questions at

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  1. IT would be amazing to have the scents as either an oil or parfum to compliment the hair care products.

  2. I really appreciated all the descriptions. But the only two scents ThAt fit for me
    Are rose and peony. I dont like sweet smelling fragrance. If the rose is natural, not a perfumed rose, i would love that.
    I would also like the most natural ingredients used if possible. I remember there were rAtIngs, i believe with one being the purest and there were some 4’s. Preferably only 1’s for me. I’ve never colored my hair. Its Silver with natural blinde highlights that deepen in the summer sun. I dont wear makeup. I design gardens so im outdoors alot and i swim in the salty waters of puget sound every day. I am 61. My hair is lOng and sometimes feels thin and limp. Like it needs nourishment. I eat beautiful healthy organic food so its not about nutrItion.

    1. Hey Ashley! Oasis is a permanent fragrance in our collection ❤️

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  3. Is frItissime still available? Almost alm the options are floral or fresh… wheres the warm sweet fragrance option??

    1. Hi Kelsey! We totally understand and are sorry to hear you’re not loving our fragrance options. If you prefer a warm scent, we think you’ll love Perle which is a musky/powdery fragrance ❤️

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  4. I dont how to choose – none sound quite fitting for me. What would you recommend for someone who prefers cItrus scents?

    1. Hi Lauren, if you like citrus scents, we recommend Corsica which is a fresh & aquatic scent 💙

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  5. Is there a way to get test samples of the scents? Scent is so important and I hate to waste product if I don’t end up liking the scent.

    1. Hi Janet, we don’t offer a way to sample scents at this time but that is a great suggestion! We will be sure to share this idea with our team 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

    1. Hi Nicollee, we don’t offer a way to sample scents at this time but that is a great suggestion! We will be sure to share this idea with our team 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  6. I have previously Used fragrance free because i’m prone to headaches. Do the fragrances lInger? Smelling nice in use is good, but if i can smell it on me all day, it will give me a mIgraine. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Amy! If you are prone to fragrance-induced headaches, we recommend opting out of fragrance for your Prose products just to be safe ❤️

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  7. None of these sound appealing or like me at all. You got rid of my fragrance fruitissime that had become my signatUre. The only fragrance that i can now choose is Botanica because it doesnt have flowery smells In it. I get headaches and sinus pain with flowery smells. Great, botanica is described as the most manly scent 🙁. I really like your products but this may be my last order if i Am stuck with Botanica or fragrance free. What about all your clients that can’t tolerate or don’t like flowery or super strOng smells??!

    1. Hi Angelene, We truly can’t apologize enough for the disappointment this has caused! We know it’s hard to let go of a fragrance that you loved, but please rest assured that our team is hard at work on some new fragrances that will be in similar olfactory territories. Thank you for your feedback, we will be sharing it with our team ❤️

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

    1. Hey Jessica! Unfortunately, Ispahan has been retired from our fragrance portfolio. We don’t have any plans to bring it back at the moment but we will definitely let our team know you’re interested.

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

    1. Hey Rino! We don’t have any plans to bring Ispahan back at the moment but we appreciate your feedback and will definitely let our team know you’re interested.

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  8. I just placed my order about an hour ago before seeing this. However, after reading them all, I think I picked the right one for me. If not, I can change it next time. I chose Prelude, and it sounds wonderful to me.

    1. There’s always a chance in the future that we’ll bring back retired scents! Stay tuned ❤️

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  9. What happens if I ordered and really don’t like the smell of the shampoo and conditioner? They’re too strong-smelling for my liking and trigger headaches. Can I send them back for a refund or replacement? Thanks!

    1. Hi there, yes you can! We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee within 30 days of delivery. If you’re not happy with your products or their scent, you can receive a full refund or exchange them for updated formulas.

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  10. Where is the Ispahan fragrance? Is it still available? I can only find mentions of it on your website but it seems I cannot order it? It’s the one I’m most excited to try 🙂

    1. Unfortunately, Isaphan was discontinued from our fragrance portfolio but we are excited to continuously bring our customers fresh scents that they love. Make sure to tune into our Instagram page for the latest updates on our scent range!

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  11. This was very helpful in picking a new scent since my usual wasn’t an option when I ordered this time.

    And while I am excited to try the Corsica, I am curious if the Elixir scent will be coming back? I love the notes of vanilla 😍

    1. Hi Alexis, while we don’t have plans to bring back Elixir at this time, we will definitely share your feedback with our team!

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  12. Please bring back Ispahan! I have tried Perle (fully hate; husband says it smells like “lavender and Ajax” and he’s not wrong); Corsica (too perfume-y); and Prelude (best of the three but still perfume-y and boring). After years of being loyal to Prose and singing your praises to everyone I can (strangers and friends alike), I may have to abandon you because you got rid of a perfectly lovely fragrance. Please don’t do me like that, Prose.

    1. Hi Mary, We truly can’t apologize enough for the disappointment this has caused! We know it’s hard to let go of a fragrance that you loved, but please rest assured that our team is hard at work on some new fragrances that will be in similar olfactory territories. In the meantime, we are sharing your feedback with our team ❤️

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  13. My favorite fragrance is Arcadia. I am disappointed it’s no longer one of the scents. Please bring it back!

    1. Hi Taci, stay tuned. Arcadia may be making a comeback sooner than you think! 👀

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  14. I can’t find the fragrance Elixir. Can you tell me what that is? May I suggest you print the fragrance choice on the label

    1. Hi Nancy, unfortunately Elixir has been retired from our fragrance portfolio. We truly can’t apologize enough for the disappointment this has caused! We know it’s hard to let go of a fragrance that you loved, but please rest assured that our team is hard at work on some new fragrances that will be in similar olfactory territories.

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  15. This is SO helpful. If y’all could provide a somewhat obvious link to” Fragrance “ in the website we could become not only fascinated and delighted and make good choices, but olfactorily much better educated!! Thank you.

    1. Hi Susan! Thank you for your suggestion. We will share it with our team 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  16. I am super sensitive to scents (they can trigger migraines), but I do love a nice fragrance in my hair products. Would you consider offering some way to sample Prose fragrances?

    1. Hi Maria, that is a great suggestion! We will share your feedback with our team. In the meantime, we do offer an option for fragrance-free products & the opportunity to exchange your products for new formulas within 30 days of delivery if you are not happy with them.

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  17. I really wish you had a fruity scent that didn’t have strong floral or woody notes. I suffer from migraines so anything with floral notes, lavender, sandlewood, amber give me migraines. I ordered Corsica since it didn’t mention any wood notes but reading this it has cedar wood so it might be a trigger. Fingers crossed it is not an issue!

    1. Hi Danelle, thank you for the feedback. We will be sharing this with our team! You also always have the option to make your products fragrance-free if you wish 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  18. Is there any way to get a lesser strength fragrance? I like a bit of fragrance but have found 2 so far to be overpowering. And the fragrance free is great, but would love an in between…

    1. Hi Jennifer, we don’t offer the option of toned down scents at this moment but it’s a great suggestion! We are sharing this feedback with our team.

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

    1. Hi Linda! Make sure to stay tuned to our Instagram page (@prose) as we will be making our fall fragrance announcement very soon 👀

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  19. I thought oasis sounded really nice but found it to be too strong. I think the floral scent came out heavier than the other scents and a bit too chemical fake smelling. I do have a very sensitive nose and for those who like a stronger scent may like it, but it was not for me.

  20. Hello,
    If I order and do not like the scent I chose, can I return for a full exchange or refund?
    I am interested in the Botanica, but it might be too eucalyptus for me. I love hair lavender, mint, and rosemary though. Thanks for your assistance.

    1. Hi Yvonne, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee within 30 days of delivery. This means that if you’re not happy with your products, you can receive a full refund or updated products with a new formula and/or fragrance 😊

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  21. I’m back for my second order. I loved Prelude! I was thinking of trying another scent but I like Prelude so much, I’m not ready to give it up yet! I keep hearing great things about Perle…maybe next time. I love that Prose puts so much effort into the scent. I always smell things before I buy them and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Thank you , Prose!

    1. Hi there, thank you so much for the love! We’re happy to hear you’re loving your Prose scents ❤️

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  22. I purchased the hair oil years ago that came with your standard fragrance and I love the fragrance. Do you know what this would be???

    1. Hi there! We do have a fragrance called “Signature” but our Hair Oil is scented by the essential oils that are present in your formula so it differs for each person 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  23. Arcadia, Arcadia, Arcadia!!!! Please include this in your permanent collection so we can enjoy it year round!!!
    Please please please make fragrances available for purchase as oil or body/hair fragrance! I don’t think I am alone in suggesting this. Your scents have become our signatures and it is disheartening when they are not available. Thank you for amazing products! I have never liked my hair more than I do now that I use Prose. It is a game changer for me. I still REALLY want options to purchase fragrance though! This would be the cherry on top of an amazing line of products.

    1. We are SO glad that you are loving your Prose products and scents. We will let our team know that you are interested in seeing Arcadia stay year-round and that you want us to come out with body products. Thanks for the great suggestions 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  24. It would be so helpful if you had scent samples. It’s just so hard to imagine what they smell like from the descriptions, and I’ve been disappointed with a few of them.

    1. Hi there, thanks so much for your suggestion! We will share it with our team.

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

    1. Hi there, thanks so much for your interest! We will share this feedback with our team for future fragrance launches 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

    1. Hi there, we don’t offer a fragrance like that at the moment but we will let our team know you’re interested!

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  25. I would purchase prose year round if I could just have Arcadia as my scent!! It is my absolute favorite and it just makes me feel so fresh and clean, hopefully one day it’ll be permanent 🤞

    1. We’re so happy to hear you love Arcadia! We will be sure to share your suggestion with our team 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

    1. We love that idea Ellen! We will share your suggestion with our team 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

    1. Hi there! Meleni was a limited edition scent for the summertime but we will be sure to let our team know you’re interested in seeing it come back 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  26. I would like to cancel any future shipments of the conditioner or pre-shampoo. My hair is reacting beautifully with just the shampoo. I think maybe it’s to fine and limp for the conditioner. Thank you for your response.

    1. Hi Joyce, we’re sorry to hear this but glad you’re liking the shampoo! Please send us an email at & we’d be happy to cancel your other subscriptions 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager