Just like the process of discovering your personal uniform, finding (and sticking to) a signature scent can be downright intimidating. So how do you figure out what works for you? Luckily, it’s not all about heading over to the perfume shop and spritzing on every single bottle on display. That will just end in a headache.
Read on to arm yourself with expert tips—and tricks—for finding your signature scent.
Figure Out Your Favorite Food
Eighty percent of your sense of taste is driven by your sense of smell— that is why when you have a cold, food doesn’t taste like anything! Your fragrance preferences are also strongly tied to the memories you attach to certain scents.
Switch It Up Occasionally
Changing what you wear throughout the year doesn’t mean you’ve lost your signature scent. It might actually be best to give that rose-scented diffuser a rest. Your body chemistry changes from time to time, causing different notes to effect the body in different ways.
Concentration Is Key
Read over that little “eau de” mention on your perfume bottles—how strong your fragrance smells differs on its fine print. There is a difference of concentration and dosage between an eau de toilette and an eau de parfum. The eau de parfum is more concentrated of the two. The olfactive structure is also modified in the eau de toilette, [traditionally] giving it a bit more freshness and lightness.”
That might be why you aren’t holding onto that scent in your eau de toilette as long throughout the day.
Personality is closely associated with fragrance choices. Just as your lipstick color can be a way to express who you are (fiery red, mysterious mauve, feminine pink), fragrance is a great way to showcase your personality and style.
But you don’t have to play it so straightforward. If you’re very shy, try to go for a sexier scent that is stronger as a way to speechlessly announce you’ve entered the room. Similarly, if you’re super social and an extrovert, a soft, subtle fragrance may nicely balance your personality.
Let It Mellow Out (And Sleep on It)
Eau de toilette fragrances develop quicker whereas eau de parfum takes time . To make sure you’re getting the true scent, you’re going to want to put it directly on your skin.
Scents Smell Different on Everyone
Think of a fragrance as the Mona Lisa,” explains Steven Claisse, Senior Perfumer and Vice President of Takasago and the creator of CLEAN Warm Cotton. “Two people can look at the same picture and one sees a wry smile while the other sees a disapproving frown—it’s all perception. How you smell something is very different then how someone else smells something. You may be sensitive to green notes that may be in a floral scent and thus pick up on those green nuances in that fragrance. Your friend, on the other hand, may smell the same fragrance and pick up more on the heady floral then the subtle green aspects that you key in on. Fragrance is truly subjective.”
Of course, this all means not to take it personally if your BFF isn’t into your Chanel No. 5. You should pick the best fragrance that speaks to, well, you.
A single note is the same smell all day long, whereas a blend changes throughout the day and is more complex. At 20, you might desire florals, while as you mature, you may opt for something deeper and muskier…your fragrance should reflect who you are, not the other way around. Choose whatever fits your fancy!”