Former bartender turned fragrance specialist Adam Vaughn stumbled into the…
QUESTION: I love fragrances. What do you wear?
BARNES: Me too, I’m obsessed. I use Creed Silver Mountain [Water] in spring and summer, and Green Irish Tweed. And [Creed] always have [its] back stories about when they made them—like it was made for Elvis Presley and Cary Grant, or something like that. They do have that smell. There’s something fabulous about them.
Q: And how long have you been wearing them?
BARNES: Ten years. Eleven years—at least.
Q: What was the first fragrance you ever wore?
BARNES: Halston Z-14.
Q: And what was it about it that you loved?
BARNES: It was never too sweet and it wasn’t overpowering. And it had that clean soapy smell, but it had pepper on top, which was masculine. I’ve always been attracted to masculine fragrances. I don’t do those airy scents. I think fragrances have gotten so cheap over the last decade.
I love fragrance. When you look back at all the old scents—going back to Cinnabar, things that Estée Lauder had originally created—it had weight to it, like all the French fragrances had. I think everything’s gotten so airy. Put a fragrance on nowadays and it’s gone in 20 minutes. You get that top note and that’s it.
Q: There is a return to some of those gorgeous, rich scents.
BARNES: That’s what Tom Ford is doing, which is amazing. That Tuscan Leather is beyond—it’s such a great thing. And that Oud Wood. Beautiful. He understood that and harnessed it.
Q: What is your most fragrant memory as a kid?
BARNES: Youth Dew; Grandma.
Q: That’s a great fragrance.
BARNES: Yup. She always used Youth Dew. And Dove; Dove soap smell.
Scott Barnes is a celebrity makeup artist. His work with Jennifer Lopez—she made his signature bronzed skin and pale-lipped look famous—helped launch Barnes’ Body Bling product, a bronzer which now enjoys cult-like popularity.