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Signature scent

How must one find her signature scent? Is a signature scent a scent for all seasons or a scent for each season?
#havemany #still searching

Re: Signature scent



The idea of a signature scent, that single scent you want everyone to associate you with, has been falling out of favour and fragrance houses are now promoting the idea of a fragrance wardrobe where you wear what suits your personal mood. This is in part, a cultural change in the way we think about fragrance. In the past, the thinking and advertising was dominated by the idea of using fragrance as a part of attracting and seducing others. Now, there's less emphasis on that and there are scents that are more about conveying a landscape or certain areas, maybe memories or concepts and so on.


But if you want to hunt for that signature scent, I say go for it! Wear what pleases you, for the reasons you want 🙂


I definitely second the recommendations by @SportyGirly125 and @heartsmyface. It's a good idea to become at least a little familiar with different fragrance genres to see what suits you. We have some newer genres being developed in niche like the smoky genre but generally, they are as listed by @heartsmyface. There's also the ambers, which were referred to as "orientals" in the past. Aquatics are another one that really took off in the 90s. Greens were big in the 70s and are kind of making a comeback. The genres are also not really as distinct as in other art forms. Fruity-florals continue to dominate the market and are kind of a cross between gourmand and floral. If you do an image search for fragrance wheel, you'll see they're all different 😛 But to keep it simple, I'd start with


  • fresh
  • floral
  • woody
  • leather
  • amber
  • gourmand

and try to get to know at least one representative of each genre if not 2-3. If you don't want to do a deep dive, you can stick with contemporary fragrances and Sephora has conveniently categorized its fragrances by genre 🙂


I would personally recommend, if one wishes to explore fragrance at a deeper level, to start chronologically. Begin with the classics first, which will introduce you to older styles like the chypre, a genre that is sort of making a comeback at the luxury tier. There are some great books out there to help you get a lay of the land like Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez's Guides, Roja Dove has a great one though I've forgotten the title, NEZ published one called 111 scents to smell before you die. These books can help you identify the Western "perfume canon" if you will and in learning these classics, you not only understand where your own preferences lie but you will understand how to situate contemporary perfumes, know which fragrances they're referencing and the context they exist in. For example, when you smell Malle's Noir Epices and recognize this as a part of the oriental genre, you understand how daring it is, because it strips out all the plush vanilla and opulence associated with the genre and offers a very severe interpretation instead.


I'd also recommend smelling essential oils and raw ingredients to train your nose. Sometimes I look back on the notes and impressions I had when I was just getting into perfume and it's a little hilarious, like my brain was really confused and I would find things similar when they had hardly a passing resemblance!


It takes a lot of time to discover and develop your taste in any art form and perfume is no different. Of course, if all of this sounds daunting, you absolutely do not have to do any of this to enjoy and appreciate perfumes!!! I just write this here because it's what I found most fruitful for myself, personally ❤️


Whatever you do, enjoy the fragrant journey 🙂

Re: Signature scent

Thanks so much for you in depth response. I will definitely take your advice and start reading  more into and start with classics.

Re: Signature scent

@Bostondalgal - @pocketvenus mentioned keeping a journal.  I keep a spreadsheet of all the perfumes I've tried, whether I like them or not, if I want to get a travel or full size, and a list of all the scent notes.  This allows me to see a pattern for what notes I like, don't like, and even helps me track down migraine triggers so that I CAN wear perfume.


I don't have a signature scent.  I like wearing whatever scent I'm in the mood for on that particular day.  I have more fun sampling than always wearing the same thing. 😁

Re: Signature scent

@Titian06 That is real dedication, so organized, I love it!!! <333

Re: Signature scent

@Bostondalgal Feel free to ask any questions you might have here 🙂 I just remembered another good "lay of the land" book, it's called The Perfume Companion by Sarah McCartney and Samantha Scriven 🌻

Re: Signature scent

@pocketvenus  I would absolutely LOVE doing nose training as my scent descriptions are… questionable and always linked to some subconscious memory.  Which works for me but it would be great to actually make sense to other people.  
I’m glad you shared your input on this cause you’re our community fragrance guru. 

Re: Signature scent

@heartsmyface Ooo, yes, training the nose is so much fun!! 👃 There's this common belief that humans are not good at smelling, especially in comparison to other animals like dogs, but it's actually quite strong and can be strengthened with practice 🙂


I started off just smelling things, all kinds of things repeatedly. Just one ingredient over and over until it became really familiar.


Some people recommend keeping a journal with notes and I found this really helpful. So a fresh cut lemon becomes really complex. You might catch some pine in there, or it reminds you of a sound, or it evokes a certain emotion, and so on. Metaphors are great!


Another thing that really helped me was I would go to a store like Saje to smell different blends of essential oils and see if I couldn't identify just one ingredient. Just one. It's not as easy as it sounds. At first, I'd smell something and the best I could do is "floral". But it gets easier with repeated exposure 🙂

Re: Signature scent

@Bostondalgal   I think generally people fall into scent categories like  sweet gourmond, musky, fresh, citrus,  and floral.  

I personally like smelling like desserts the most followed by citrus and florals and tend not to enjoy musky scents too much.  
I think you just KNOW when you find your scent cause it smells so good to you that you can’t stop breathing it in and being delighted throughout the day.   There are no real rules except you have to be in love.  



Re: Signature scent

Ugh well I guess I haven’t found my queen yet ☹️

Re: Signature scent

@Bostondalgal @It really depends what scents you are drawn to and how they wear on you. A sampler set to test out perfumes would help or requesting samples in store. 

Re: Signature scent

I thought as much and have been doing all of this I guess I just have haven’t found  it yet

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