The Perfume Quest: 5 Tips to Find Your Signature Scent

Choosing a new perfume is not easy, but finding “the one” can be even more challenging. You may be one of the lucky ones who found your signature fragrance right when you started exploring the world of perfumes. Then again, you might still be on the hunt for that elusive you-in-a-bottle aroma.

A signature scent is a fragrance that truly defines you — among the many women’s perfumes out there, it embodies your personality and style, uplifts your spirit, and leaves a lasting impression on everyone around you.

How to Find Your Signature Scent

If you’re still roaming the halls of every fragrance department store in search of your signature scent, here are five tips to help you find it:

1. Play detective with your current collection.

Fragrance savant or novice, you probably already have a stash of favorite perfumes you spritz on from time to time. It might be a good idea to take a closer look at this collection because the answer to discovering your signature scent might have been under your nose all along (pun intended).

Are you partial to floral perfumes? Or, earthy, amber ones? Perhaps you’re more of a citrusy notes kind of girl.

This dive into your existing collection can be surprisingly helpful since it will either point you toward the scent you’re most drawn to or make you realize that the one you’re looking for is still out there.

2. Know your fragrance families.

A fine way to narrow down your options is to explore the major fragrance families. Every family carries a certain message and emotion and is composed of distinct notes that can be felt more or less intensely and change with time and season.

You have the:

  • Amber family (also known as oriental), characterized by warm and heavy notes, which is why it’s best suited for those cold winter months and evening wear.
  • Citrus and fruit family (fresh) which is bright and uplifting, perfect for daytime wear and the summer months.
  • Floral family, which is a tad on the feminine side and a great companion for spring.
  • Wood family, with a hint of smokiness and earthiness, a more masculine scent, and a subtle, understated choice for all seasons.

While some fragrance families may be associated with a certain gender, these are not set-in-stone rules. Don’t be afraid to experiment and break from the norm when it comes to perfumes.

3. Avoid following trends blindly.

All too often, you might find yourself buying a specific perfume solely because many of your friends are wearing it or because it’s the latest purchase on a celeb’s Instagram feed. Remember why you’re on this scent-searching mission in the first place — you want something that will speak to you and reflect your personality, not someone else’s.

Rather than let trends shoehorn you into buying a best-selling fragrance, focus on ones that align with your individual style, be that classical, subtle, bold, or anything in between. Stick to what you feel most comfortable with, even if it means going against the grain.

4. Don’t sample too many at once.

If you’ve been on this fragrance quest for a while, you might be tempted to try out as many perfumes as you can in one go, but that’s a one-way ticket to sensory overload. Instead, limit yourself to a maximum of three scents per shopping session so you can truly appreciate the individual notes of each one.

Also, avoid using sampler paper whenever possible since how the perfume smells on those little strips doesn’t necessarily determine how it will settle on your skin.

Everyone’s skin chemistry interacts differently with each perfume, so before you buy, test your top choices on different areas of your skin and let it sit for at least 24 hours. This way, you can be sure you’ve found the one that will be a staple in your beauty routine for years to come, not another dust-collecting ornament on your dressing table.

5. Consider what you want your scent to say about you.

You might not always be able to express what you’re searching for in a perfume. Still, you can look inward to your personality and lifestyle to figure out the message you want your signature scent to convey.

Are you extroverted and adventurous? Then, you might gravitate towards bold, unusual and sense-rousing perfumes. A minimalist and no-fuss type? Then, you might feel more grounded in musky, earthy scents. An ever-optimistic dreamer? Then perhaps lighter and upbeat notes are more your speed.

When you think you’ve found “the one,” ask yourself: Does this perfume truly capture my essence and communicate my story to others the way I want it to? If the answer is an emphatic “YES!” this might be it.

Find Your Scent

Finding your signature scent can be a long road with plenty of stops and wrong turns along the way, but it’s one worth taking.

You deserve a fragrance befitting the multifaceted you — one that will make you feel like your best self no matter where you go.

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