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February 10, 2022 6 min read

Looking for a signature fragrance but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place.

A signature scent is something that over time people will identify as your own unique musk. It helps to create a memory of you in their mind and makes them remember you the next time you meet.

If you already have a fragrance that people associate you with, that’s your perfect perfume. Otherwise, you might need to find one. However, shopping for a signature scent can be tricky. That’s because your favourite fragrance needs to complement your personality, mood, and essence.

Also, there are a lot of fragrances in the market with wonderful smells- so settling for the first scent you find would be a waste. But don’t worry! The steps below will help you find a particular perfume that stands out, turns heads, and leave lasting impressions.

Know Your Body Chemistry

In the fragrance world, there’s no one size fits all kind of deal. What smells heavenly on your friend might smell odd on you. Why is that? The answer to this question lies in your unique body chemistry.

Your unique body chemistry and its processes affect how a perfume smells on you. To pick the right scent, you need a clear understanding of how your body works. 

The oils, heat, and bacteria on your skin affect how fragrances diffuse and last on your skin. Plus, how top notes, middle notes, and base notes emanate from the perfume once spritzed on your skin.

Oily skin traps aromatic molecules, reducing their evaporation rates, thus allowing them to last longer. The oil will mix with the fragrance, resulting in a distinct aroma. Keep in mind their certain factors that affect the smell of your body oils, including your diet, stress levels, and lifestyle. Individuals who maintain a healthy lifestyle will definitely smell good after wearing perfume, and vice versa.

On dry skin, a new fragrance evaporates faster. So individuals with dry skin might have to use a moisturiser before wearing a new perfume. Moisture helps to trap scents. As a result, they can linger around for long.

A person’s skin PH might also influence the staying power of a fragrance. To leverage the power of your new scent, your skin needs to have a balanced PH (not too acidic or basic).

Study Fragrance Top Notes, Middle Notes & Bottom Notes

We can classify fragrance notes into three categories: Top, middle, and base notes. The tops notes pack a punch but evaporate faster to make way for the other notes. A middle note or heart note usually consists of florals, and they balance the scent. Lastly, base notes tend to linger for longer and are prominent.

When shopping for new fragrances, pay attention to what notes smell lovely on your skin. This way, you can narrow down your fragrance preference. Floral fragrances tend to dissipate quickly compared to musk or woody scents because they mainly comprise lighter top notes.

Identify Perfume Type

Consider the fragrance family you enjoy. Fragrances come in four scent categories, however, most usually feature a mixture of scents. If you’re yet to figure out what scent you love, worry not: you will discover your favourite aromas at the perfume shop. Below, we’ve provided you with a list of common scent classes:

Floral/ Sweet Scents

These scents encompass everything from white florals (ylang-ylang, tulips, calla lilies, etc) to lavender, orange blossoms, jasmine, carnations, roses. A floral scent often exudes sweet aromas that appeal to most women.

Fruity/ Citrus Scents

These fragrances often smell like citrus fruits, including lemon, orange, lime, and grapefruit. Sometimes they include fruits like apple, peach, or apricot. Fruity fragrances deliver a sense of freshness and are often refreshing.

Spicy/Oriental Scents

Such fragrances often comprise different spice like vanilla and cinnamon. Also, they usually have a complex, musky smell.

Woody/ Chypre Scents

If you love the smell of earth and wood in the morning, you’ll love these scents. They often consist of patchouli, cedarwood, sandalwood, and bergamot.

Green Scents

Created using lively and fresh notes that leave a chalky aftertaste of fresh-cut green leaves, grass, stems, etc. Often associated with a winter or spring morning.

Seek Help from Friends or Family Members

After knowing the basics of perfume types and notes, consult your good-smelling friends or family members. And ask them several simple questions about the perfume they wear, like what brand they like and why.

Answers to the question can help you narrow down your options. Some will tell you they tried several brands, but they finally settled for their current scents because of one reason or another. Others might direct you to a particular fashion store with knowledgeable salespeople ready to help you try distinct perfumes.

Sometimes, your friend can help you find a scent without having to step into a beauty store. And don’t fear to rock someone else favourite fragrance, unless you work or see him every day.

Find The Best Stores

Before heading out, research and select stores with an excellent reputation and knowledgeable employees. Another thing, make sure you can afford to shop at the destination you’ve selected.

Famous departmental stores usually have a huge assortment of quality products, but they sell them at a huge price tag. Small boutiques are a good stop, but their collection is limited. But you will enjoy personalised customer service. We recommend you visit shops that sell fragrances exclusively.

Keep Your Motives In Mind

During your search, consider your end goal with a signature fragrance. Do you want something that will complement your personality? Or a scent that will leave your loved one, work colleagues, friends, and family members impressed?

Either way, your selection should suit whatever you’re putting out there. More importantly, search for a fragrance that won’t overwhelm the surrounding individuals. On that note, find musk and rose perfumes for dinner dates since they’re romantic and ooze sex appeal. But for work, consider buying woody and aquatic perfumes.

Try Only 3 Scents

If you’re shopping for perfume for the first time, don’t try everything in the perfume shop. Stick to three scents, so you can easily differentiate the perfume and appreciate the complexity of each fragrance. Also, the three scents will not overload your sense of smell.

Start by sniffing the bottle first to get an idea of whether you like the scent before spritzing it on yourself. Next, spray the perfume on a blotter paper and allow it to set in for about 10 seconds. From there, smell the sheet of paper and if you like the scent, mark the paper and place it in your bag.

Alternatively, you can have more fun tasting fragrances by spraying small amounts on the crook of your elbow or wrists. Wait for like 10 seconds for the scent to diffuse, and inhale gently. Compare the smell of the perfume with that on the blotter paper since aromatic molecules usually mix with the oil on the skin, resulting in distinct smells.

Every time you test a fragrance, recalibrate your nose by smelling a neutral scent from your shirt or body. Therefore, the smell of the last perfume won’t interfere with the next fresh scent you want to test.

Test Lighter Perfume Smells First

But how do you identify lighter scents? Well, lighter scents usually have an aquatic or musky aroma, while heavier scents feel woody and spicy. Normally, you will discover light Muskier scents in hand wash and laundry detergents. Aquatic perfumes have fresh smells, like Acqua di Gio.

Don’t Wear Fragrance When Going for Shopping

You might get tempted to wear a body spray to cover the odour of sweat while shopping, but that’s not a good idea. Scented lotions, body sprays, and scented deodorants can interfere with the scent of the perfume you’re testing. You’re better off using unscented body products.

Ask For Samples of Particular Perfume

After identifying the perfumes that might meet your needs, consider asking the salesperson for samples. Samples present you with an opportunity to further test the fragrance. At home, match each perfume sample side by side to narrow down your options until you find the perfect bottle of fragrance.

Alternatively, you can buy a sampler set from beauty stores like Ulta and Sephora. Sampler sets feature travel-sized bottles of distinct fragrances from creamy floral to woody perfumes. Test each scent over a course of a week or more. Eventually, you will find a perfume of your choice and you can proceed to buy a regular size bottle of it.

Consider the Price of Your Signature Fragrance

The price of perfumes vary depending on several factors. For example, fragrances made from natural ingredients tend to cost more than synthetic perfumes. Also, cheaper fragrances feature stronger top notes that dissipate quickly. Others have a metallic-like smell. However, expensive variants come with complex heart and base notes and usually linger around for longer periods.

Before shopping, ensure you have set aside a budget and understand all the factors you need to consider to find the perfect scent.

Final Thoughts

While finding a signature cologne or Eau de parfum might seem like a tedious process, it’s definitely worth it. Be patient since the task involves lots of trials and errors. If you are a person who enjoys smelling nice, try to have fun during the search. Don’t be quick to select a scent just because many people love it.

Smell each sample and enjoy it until you find the right one for you. Remember, you might end up sticking with that fragrance for many years, or maybe the rest of your life. Also, if you’re going to pay more than £100 for a fragrance, you better make sure it’s a winner.