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Chriselle Lim on the Healing Power of Fragrance

Chriselle Lim felt she needed a life makeover when her 15-year marriage to husband Allen Chen ended. So she began cleansing everything. In this new chapter, she wanted to be deliberate about how her environment looked and, more importantly, how it smelled. Lim tells Glamour, “Fragrance was part of my recovery process.” “I was so depressed that I’d spray something and literally visualize myself in the future and how I wanted to be.”

Lim didn’t realize it at the time, but her rekindled passion for fragrance would influence a project after her business partner Ben Bennett approached her to help relaunch the clean fragrance brand Phlur. “I was thinking, ‘This is just wonderful because I am crazy with fragrance,'” she adds, “and it was a transitional project for me because I got separated from my spouse.”

Missing Person, Phlur’s debut fragrance release, is directly inspired by Lim‘s experience following her separation. The name alludes to the idea of missing and yearning for someone. “Waking up to an empty bed after being in a relationship for 15 years and feeling that void was the strangest and hardest thing for me after my split,” she adds. “I’d spritz this, and it’d nearly bring warmth to my body and skin.”

Sandalwood Australia oil, blonde wood, and white musk in the base notes suggest pleasant skin-to-skin contact, while neroli blossom, orange flower, and sheer jasmine in the top and heart notes keep it fresh and clean. “If naked was a perfume, it would be Missing Person,” she says. “The perfumer with whom we collaborated refers to it as warm skin coming out of a bath.” It’s like a second skin; the longer you wear it, the less you see it.”

Lim understands the importance of fragrance more than anyone else. “Depending on how you feel, the fragrance is like an extension of style,” she explains. “You’ll put on [one smell] if you want to feel sexy.” You’ll put on [another perfume] if you wish to feel meditative. “I’m big about fragrance layering.”

Lim answers Glamour’s Big Beauty Questions about her beauty philosophy, her favorite method to unwind, and why she wants to return to the #nofilter existence. Chriselle Lim: I’m trying to remember what I recently saw on TikTok. I first tried the powder before the foundation [trend]. It is effective. I’m not crazy about it, but it works. I also appreciate excellent, glossy skin. I’ve never used Vaseline on my skin [skin slugging]. But I simply keep hydrated. If I’m not filming, I always use a moisturizer or a spray every hour to keep my skin hydrated throughout the day.

Fake eyelashes, for example, work really well. I provide eyelash extensions. Because of them, I haven’t worn mascara. Oh, and brow. I still draw my brows in for shoots, but I don’t have to do them every day. I’m not required to do my lashes. I also have my eyeliner tattooed, so I don’t need to apply it.

Even though I’ve mentioned it many times before, I believe the entire 10-step skin-care program is bunk. But now that I’ve reduced it to three steps, my skin is just as good. I prefer my hair to be short and abundant. I have really thick hair, so I have to sleep on it shortly after I take a shower or it will become puffy. But I enjoy it better the next day. So, one day after taking a shower.

France, most likely. Paris. The women there are so natural and effortless. They don’t even try that hard, or it doesn’t appear as they have. It just feels incredibly cool, and you realize how much beauty there is in simply being natural. Whereas in certain areas you just want to get more stuff done, I have the opposite feeling in France. I’m like, I think I’ve got too much going on or too much stuff done.

Obviously, Missing Person, since I want to smell nice for the rest of my life. I want to smell nice when I die. That is how I would like to be remembered. I’d say a blush that can also be used as a lip and cheek color. I’m trying to think of multipurpose items so I can cheat a little bit. And, most likely, sunblock. I used tinted sunscreen to get some coverage!

First and foremost, especially because I have two younger children, they should take everything they see on social media with a grain of salt. Everything has been meticulously edited. Everything becomes content as long as you grasp that, and you don’t take it too seriously. I wish people would use more of their no-filter content so that others can see what genuine skin and true body shape look like. Everything has changed to the point that you don’t know what reality is anymore. You simply compare yourself to what you see online and strive to reach it.

You get a little avaricious. You learn how to edit and look a certain way, and you have to maintain that. You can’t just stop doing it. This is how I appear to my audience. There is some of it as well. But I think if we just decided not to use it, we could all sign a contract somewhere. We could all go back to being ourselves.

I’d be afraid to [go without a filter] since I, too, utilize filters. But I believe we can all reach a point where we feel comfortable because there was a period when we all felt comfortable not using filters. They were non-existent. We didn’t have a choice, and we were all fine with uploading that kind of information. But now I’m uneasy putting something out there that hasn’t been filtered. That is just the way people are. I wish we could all work together to make no filter normal again.

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