Craft your signature summer scent!

From a floral fragrance reminiscent of a stroll through an English garden to an ocean breeze scent evoking that swept-away-to-a-tropical-island feeling, summer is the perfect time to create a perfume that packs all your passions and personality into one little bottle.

Cassie Buell, owner of Cassie’s Fragrance Boutique & Scent Bar, located in Colonial Marketplace on Ladue Road near downtown Clayton, says when people dream up a signature summer perfume, they often opt for one of three categories: a floral fragrance, a citrus scent or a beachy smell.

To create a floral fragrance, “like you’re walking in a garden full of blooming flowers,” Buell recommends the intense, intoxicating gardenia; the tropical bloom, pikake, from the jasmine family; or the majestic magnolia. “Magnolias bloom in the summer in St. Louis and can create a moonlit stroll kind of fragrance,” she notes.

For a citrusy scent, Buell suggests tangerine and goji berry to create a “luscious, sunny scent, like you’ve just whipped up a fresh juice.” And to make a beachy, sea-spray smell, she advises thinking of sea mist, waves or “coconut and pineapple, like in a piña colada, for that tropical island scent.”

Still, others prefer natural scents of the great outdoors, Buell notes: “Green grass and sage scents have a strong, clean, refreshing smell that makes you feel awake and alert and ready for the day.”

Buell, who has been helping people follow their noses to their favorite scents since 1990, says it’s best if the wearer chooses the fragrances that go into their perfume and infuses it with their own personality. For instance, Buell explains that “if she wears a sundress, jewelry and is very feminine, she likely will wear a floral scent, while a serene minimalist may go with a sage fragrance. [For a person with] a bubbly personality – citrus scents are good for that.”

Crafting your own perfume is two gifts in one, Buell notes: “Choosing the fragrance is half the fun – the experience of smelling all the scents – and then you are taking a bottle home.”
At Cassie’s, customers choose among more than 100 fragrances, and perfume prices range from small bottles for $15 to large bottles for $40. “It’s very homemade,” Buell explains. “I take a Sharpie and write whatever name you want to call it on its label. Then, I recommend taking a picture with your phone of what you put in it.”

Groups of three to nine people can schedule an after hours Scent Event, which is $45 per person, including a medium-size perfume bottle, as well as a fragrance bath and shower gel or body lotion. Every take-home product can be created with each customer’s unique choice of scents.

“You’ll have the store to yourself,” Buell notes. “People can mix as many [scents] as they like…there are no rules. I should have named the store: ‘Perfume Anarchy.’”
Buell says her products’ affordable price points give people the freedom to try everything from new scents to wearing a combination of fragrances together to changing perfumes to suit their mood or transition from day to night.

“A night-out-to-dinner [fragrance] is different from the scent you need when you’re asking for a promotion,” she explains. “If a scent matches what you’re doing in your day, it gives you that extra bounce in your step. It only enhances your life. Everyone should enjoy it.”

Custom perfumes can represent memories, Buell notes. “Couples will make a scent to wear on their wedding day, and then wear it again on their anniversary,” she recalls. “Or I have two sisters who come in each year to create a new fragrance for every trip [to] remind them of it.”

So, whether you’re looking to make a bespoke fragrance for your summer vacation or craft your own signature scent for the season, Buell says you’re the only one who truly can concoct a perfume that is uniquely you.

“Certain scents inspire different parts of people’s brains,” she notes. “You never know what’s going to make all your little synapses light up.”

Cassie’s Fragrance Boutique & Scent Bar, 8837 Ladue Road, St. Louis, 314-454-1010,

Cassie Buell

About Me

Once a curious girl from New Orleans' North Shore, I journeyed to St. Louis in '83 for university. Post-graduation, I found my calling in fundraising and, later, the enchanting world of Makes Scents. In 2005, I took the reins, rebranding it as 'Cassie's' on my mother's advice. Now, I'm here, eager to help you embark on your own scent-filled journey!

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