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A Guide To Finding Your Signature Scent

by Jason Feldman on March 03, 2021
A Guide To Finding Your Signature Scent

A signature scent is an incredible thing. You walk into a room, and before your friends and family have even turned around, they know you're there. A signature scent is an extension of the self that can linger pleasantly in a room long after you've left, like a fragrant calling card.
No other sense is quite as powerful at evoking memories as smell. So who wouldn't want a signature scent?

Finding Your Signature Scent Takes Work
However, finding your signature bottle takes a bit of work. You can read all the artfully constructed descriptions extolling the joys of some hot new perfume or fragrance you want, but nothing beats getting out there and smelling them yourself.
If you want to find your signature scent, you need to trust your nose. You don't have to become an expert on fragrances, perfumes or floral top notes to find a bottle you like. You just need to try some scents.

1. Try As Many Different Scents As Possible
When you begin your journey of scent discovery, you might not be sure of what you are looking for. So cast a wide net. But remember, because this can be overwhelming for your nose, if you take a trip to a perfumer or a department store, limit yourself to trying at most three to four fragrances at a time.

2.At First, Tread Lightly
As you try out various perfumes and fragrances, you should begin with lighter scents first. Start with fragrances with fresh marine or musk notes.
Additionally, take advantage of samples if possible. Finding your signature scent by buying bottle after bottle of perfume could leave you struggling to pay your rent.

3. Find the Smells That Keep You Coming Back For More
If you have a few samples, but you keep returning to one of them, this is a good sign. Request a fragrance sample and spray it on your skin. Your body chemistry can alter the smell of a fragrance, so try it on and check back on it every 20mins to 1hr. If you still like it, put it on your list.

4. Your Signature Scent Is About You
Don't lose sight of the fact that your scent is about finding your fragrance. If everyone is raving about some new super-sophisticated scent that you don't like, don't sweat it. You're just getting started on your journey; there's plenty of time to get into that stuff later.

5. Spin The Fragrance Wheel
One of the best ways to understand what you are smelling is to familiarize yourself with the fragrance wheel.
Fragrance Wheel Categories
The fragrance wheel splits each type of scent into one of four categories:
● Floral notes
● Oriental notes
● Fresh notes
● Woody notes

Then, inside each of these categories, there are additional sub-categories.

Fragrance Wheel Sub-Categories

Floral fragrances are, as their name suggests, primarily derived from flowers. They make for bright, sweet, feminine scents.
Their sub-categories are Floral, Fruity and Soft Floral.
Notable scents: Fruits, berries, jasmine, roses, lilies and other freshly cut flowers.

Fresh fragrances are typically found in more male fragrances, with clean, bright scents like herbs, citrus and the sea.
Their categories are Citrus, Fruity, Green and Water.
Notable scents: Lime, bergamot, lemon, galbanum, aquatic and marine notes.

Woody fragrances are very warm and deep, like the smell of incense.
The Woody sub-categories are Woods, Mossy Woods, Dry Woods and Aromatic.
Notable scents: Lavender, aromatic herbs, amber, vetiver, patchouli, oakmoss, dry woods, leather and sandalwood

Oriental scents are frequently described as seductive and exotic. They are characterized by deep, rich herbs and spices like anise or myrrh.
The Oriental scent sub-categories are Soft Oriental, Floral Oriental and Soft Oriental.
Notable scents: Amber, incense, sweet spices, orange blossom, vanilla, and oriental resins and oils.

How To Use The Fragrance Wheel To Find Your Signature Scent
Have a look through the list. Identify the fragrances, sub-categories or individual scents that you like. While there is a level of subjectivity to smell, certain fragrances evoke particular profiles, moods, or characteristics. Don't become too rigid in your thinking; while Floral and Fresh scents might be typically feminine or masculine in theory, finding your signature scent is more about the composition that individual notes.

6. Use The Right "Palette-Cleanser."
If you are trying fragrances at a department store, there will surely be a salesperson offering you a few coffee beans as a palette cleanser. Don't bother; coffee is just another strong smell. Smell your own arm instead; it works far better.

7. Consider The Entire Profile Of A Scent
Each fragrance or perfume contains a collection of notes that appear over the life-cycle of the scent.
Top notes — or opening or headnotes — are the initial smell of the fragrance.

Middle notes are the smell of the scent when the top notes have faded. These are frequently referred to as the heart notes because they typically make up most of the fragrance.

Base notes appear once the top notes have evaporated. They combine with the middle notes to make the final, lasting impression of the scent.
Remember that each scent has a life-cycle of around four hours. Before committing to your signature scent, make sure you like each part of the smell.

8. Why Is Eau De Toilette So Expensive?
While we aren't advocating the need to delve too deeply into the fragrance industry's finances, it's worth understanding why certain scents and manufactures prices are so variable. This can be for several different reasons.

The Concentration Of Essential Fragrance Compounds
The cost of different fragrances will depend on the percentage of essential fragrance compounds. Below, you can find the typical concentrations for various bottles.
Eau de toilette: up to 15%
Eau de parfum: around 10%
Eau de cologne: around 7%
Aftershave: 2-3%

Quality Of Materials And Craft
Extensive research and development teams, long-standing expertise and experience, and the ability to source the best raw materials and compounds are but a few of the reasons why high-end perfume houses charge high prices.
Additionally, this artistry usually presents itself in the overall impression of the perfume. Cheaper scents tend to have initially pleasant top notes that fade away quickly. While more expensive perfumes have a strong heart that tends to last longer.

Of course, another thing you are paying for when you buy a fragrance is nationwide advertising campaigns across print media, television and the internet. These campaigns help to create a certain feel about a product's desirability and exclusiveness. But finding your signature scent doesn't have to come at an excessive price. Impressions are a popular way to get the smell and feel of premium-priced scents at a fraction of the cost.


by Donna on April 18, 2023

Hello I am trying to find a similar fragrance to my old favorites “Venezia” by Laura Biogotti.

by Robert Pough on October 07, 2021

Perfumes are one of my favorite things. I enjoy how they evoke memories from various periods of my life. I try to buy new perfumes whenever I move somewhere new or go on a lengthy journey. I always prefer Signature Perfume .


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