Lauren Servideo is a NYC-based comedian whose body of work is all on Instagram for your immediate viewing pleasure. You may have already experienced one of the incredible characters she’s developed on the platform over the years. These include but are not limited to an LA vampire now living on the East Coast called Anubis, the beloved and brazen Victoria from Pittsburgh, and most recently Chick Clint Eastwood. Personas are not easy to create, but she does so effortlessly. I knew someone with that many identities may also love playing around with the transformative powers of perfume. Especially because she just made a guest appearance in a new promotional video for the scent Claudia by Lou Dallas. Lauren discusses all the fragrances that have entered her very own “Lauren Servideo” persona over the years, and what her new ones would wear IRL.
Let’s take it back to the beginning—tell me about the start of your fragrant journey. What was the first perfume you remember smelling or forming a memory around?
Oh gee, probably Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan. This was my mom’s signature scent, but my Nanny (dad’s mom) always smelled like Aqua Net, Winston Cigarettes and Wintergreen Tic Tacs. I also remember my cousin Andrea, who is two years older than me, wearing Heaven by Gap when she turned 13. I remember thinking how fucking mature she was for wearing that.
What was the fragrance that defined you in middle school, high school, and early adulthood? Bottle acquisition stories are encouraged!
My mom got me on the Bath and Body Works Cucumber Melon lotion early—probably 5th grade, when she also got me shaving my legs. I remember taking her Jovan “White Musk” to school one day and spraying it all over me, in a very disgusting and adolescent way, and my sixth grade boyfriend loudly complaining that someone in the classroom smelled like shit. Oops! In high school, I read a LOT of Teen Vogue and Vera Wang’s Princess was all the mother-fucking rage at the time. That and Miss Dior “Cherie,” both which I babysat my ASS off for to buy from the Macy’s fragrance counter. Both fragrances also had these…rings? They came on the nozzle of the bottle and I definitely made a necklace out of both (Vera’s was a crown and Dior’s was a bow). I’m trying to jog my memory on what I wore in early adulthood, early 20s. My friend Maddie of Women’s History Museum kept Comme des Garcons’ Sequoia on her dresser and whenever I would visit her apartment I would spray some on me. It reminds me of being young, spry, and having my whole life ahead of me, lol.
Do you feel like your fragrance personality aligns with your own? If not, what do you want your fragrance to say about you?
That’s a good question. I wear an assload of different scents. Chypre, gourmand, and musky are probably top three. I don’t like to be pigeonholed or nailed down in any one way. You just never know what to expect!
Do you have any favorite notes or notes you’ve come to love over the years?
Freaking BANANA and it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to find in any well-crafted perfumes these days! I went on a manhunt for it this summer. This was the summer that I realized I love gourmand scents perhaps more than I love woody ones at this point. My go-to for the last ten years has been woody or musky. Labdanum as a base note is so powerful. It’s like the fragrance equivalent of Angelica’s mom from Rugrats, a powerful woman who puts her work ahead of her family kind of scent. It’s truly nuts and I love it.
What would some of your different characters wear? I imagine Anubis vs. Victoria vs. Brandy Melville Employee all have distinct perfume choices up their sleeves!
Anubis would probably wear something from Trudon, because she’s 400 years old and they’re, like, the oldest fragrance house in the world. They began in the 1600s or something like that. She would also wear Claudia by Lou Dallas/Wyrd. Victoria would wear Glow by J.Lo because it’s like the scent of someone who hit their peak in 2006? It smells fucking amazing so I hope nobody takes offense to that. I have been wanting to get my hands on Miami Glow. Brandy Melville Employee is something soapy or powdery for sure…Glossier You, maybe? My friend Sasha is also a *huge* fragrance head (if you’re reading this, hi Sasha!!!) and we both agree that You is honest to goodness a very lovely and timeless scent.
If you could scent any movie (ie. what fragrance would define the mood of the narrative, characters, etc.) what would you choose and how would it smell?
Hmmmm, maybe Baccarat Rouge 540 for that Willy Wonka prequel that is coming out next year? I heard Timothée Chalamet is going to play Willy Wonka? Everything online will tell you that this is a woody scent when it actually smells like burnt sugar and root beer. In that same vein, the perfume Rihanna wears might be perfect for Willy Wonka—Killian’s Love Don’t Be Shy. OMG, imagine If Rihanna played Willy Wonka!?!
What’s in your current collection?
My friend Alex of Burnin for You has never made a scent I didn’t love and obsess over. My boyfriend’s step-mom gave me Casablanca by Calypso on our last day in Miami (where he is from) and I wear it when I need a pick-me-up. It is meant to smell like the beach, but not in a sunscreen-y way. That being said I do LOVE sunscreen-y fragrances like Bobbi Brown “Beach.” I have Byredo’s Velvet Haze—I got this one after I hugged my friend Petra and her scent took me by such surprise that I almost keeled over. Like musk on steroids. I adore CO Bigelow’s Musk Oil that Liv Tyler mentioned in her Into the Gloss profile a gazillion years ago. It is $15 and I wear it almost every day. I also love Halston by Halston, which you recommended to me, because I feel like Bianca Jagger/Studio 54 realness, etc etc.
What’s on your wishlist?
1.) Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet: Wood Coffee, which I read about once. They haven’t made it in years but I check eBay every now and again for a bottle to pop up. It could honestly smell like shit, I really don’t know, but I have created this mythology around it that now I have to have it.
2.) Paloma Picasso for Women! Soooo sexy
3.) L’Artisan Parfumeur Bana Banana EDP. This is the best banana fragrance I have found! It is $180, so majorly out of my price range, but maybe one day.
Check our more of Lauren’s work here.
Interview and all visuals by Elizabeth Renstrom.