How To Find Your Signature Scent
Four ways to unlock your own fragrance magic
We’ve all known someone with a signature scent – that fragrance that still reminds you of her years later when you notice it in passing in the department store or on an item of clothing. But how can you find yours? Luckily, the answer is simpler than you think!
First, please yourself…
That means choose a scent that you like. Not just when you spray it, but hours later, when the notes have deepened and it’s settled into your skin. This may sound silly – of course I need to like a fragrance in order to wear it! – but trends have a way creeping in-between buyers and reason. Don’t let them! No matter how hot, or of-the-moment a particular perfume may be, if you don’t like it right away or after four hours later, once it has fully expressed itself – don’t buy it!
Next, before you shop…
Arm yourself with an understanding of what type of scent you’re actually smelling. Clean, fresh scents (like those that smell like crisp laundry) actually fall into the musky category. Fragrances described as woody can evoke anything from a creamy, nutty praline ice cream to sandalwood incense or that old standby, patchouli. Floral fragrances encompass all flowers, but not fresh, grassy scents, which fall into the green category. Meanwhile, citrus includes lemon, lime and even orange zest, reminding the wearer of a day at the spa and so-called Orientals combine spicy and sweet, often with a hint of powder.
With that in mind, remember…
Never try more than three scents at a time. Everyone’s nose has limits – no matter how many coffee beans you smell between fragrances! In fact, the coffee beans themselves are just one more strong scent invading your nasal passages and causing confusion as you try to process. In order to get a clean and accurate take on any fragrance, limit yourself to three scents in any one trip. Between fragrances, inhale the skin at the crook of your elbow. Your own scent will reset the ph in your nose and allow you to better interpret the next fragrance.
And finally, get samples!
You’ll want to wear the scent for at least four hours (potentially on more than one occasion), before you know if it’s for you. Believe it or not, something that appeals to you on the initial inhale may cause a headache a few hours later or fade with time into something you hardly recognize. Scents evolve on the wearer over the course of a few hours and not until you’ve found a scent that makes you as happy mid-afternoon as it does on a first spritz will you know you’ve found it.
In the meantime, however, count yourself lucky. Finding your signature scent is half the fun. Like life, it’s a journey, not a destination!