Picking a perfume is kind of like dating. Every time you come across a new scent, you hope it’s “the one;” A.K.A your "signature." However, in many cases, we find a new scent, become infatuated with it, wear it every single day and night for months, and then we go off seeking something entirely new. But, fragrance is like an art and takes time and careful selection. And, a signature scent serves as a personal scent memory to cherished friends, loved ones, etc.
So what makes a scent signature-worthy and how do you find it, you ask? Here are six simple tips on how to learn to trust your nose, follow your instincts, and commit to, and find, your signature scent.
- Start with the basics: know what you like and look for those specific notes. People tend to gravitate towards one, overarching fragrance category - floral, citrus, marine, oriental and exotic, spicy scents. When you’re shopping, stick with the “family” and experiment with different notes that fall within it to edit your search.
- Learn about the top notes, heart notes and base notes and seek out a fragrance with good sillage (the French word for perfume trail). When testing, you should apply the fragrance to one of your pulse points (i.e.: wrist) and let it develop for 30 minutes on your skin so can smell all levels of the scent - from top to dry down. What’s the long, emotional impression of the perfume? When we have a powerful emotional response to scent, our brain records the smell in our memory. You’ll want it to be a pleasant one!
- Know the difference between EDP and EDT. Ranked from the strongest, longer-lasting to the lightest and most evanescent, perfumes can be divided in Parfum, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Eau de Cologne. Parfum is the most expensive, as it is the richest in terms of fragrant oils and of concentration of costly ingredients, and an EDT is typically the more cost effective option and has a wear for up to three to five hours.
- Understand the different price points. Less expensive fragrances tend to have top notes that are initially very, very strong. More expensive fragrances have the complexity of a heart and dry down, and tend to have longer-lasting power.
- It's ok to rebound with a fragrance. Unlike rebounding in most relationships, it's ok to rebound to a fragrance. If you keep returning to a sample and liking it, something about the scent is drawing you in. If you haven't requested a sample, do. Then, apply the fragrance to your pulse points and experience how it smells with your body chemistry over time. If you continue to like it, then you may have found your "one."
- A great perfume tells a great story. From the olfactory harmony, to the composition when applied/worn on your skin, to the decorative bottle which you please on your shelf, every element should be special and unique to you. You don't need to like or wear the same fragrance as everyone else.
Once you found your one, true fragrance love, put a proverbial ring on it!