Do you remember a woman in your life with whom you can associate a certain scent? I can. One of my primary school teachers had a specific perfume she always wore to class. Although I don’t remember now what it smelt like, I can tell you it certainly wasn’t musky or citrusy. If you put a bottle of Dior’s Poison in front of my nose, I might tell you it’s pretty close.
So how do you go about choosing the scent that should be your signature scent? It’s pretty straightforward.
1. It’s a scent you like.
It’s no secret that you perfume should be something you personally like. Even though you will become immune to it after a while (i.e. those around you will be able to smell it but you can’t), it’s good to know that at least you would like the way you smell. You don’t have to decide on just one scent; I have several which I like and that’s perfectly fine. Each scent will give you a different image in mind, so take note of what each reminds you of.
2. It makes you feel confident.
I have a few scents, each one for different purposes and suits my different moods. For example, I wear Kenzo’s L’Elixir to bed and Dior’s Blooming Bouquet when I feel like I want to be on my first date. For times when I need to be 100% on top and smell like success (basically every time I have to work), I wear Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle.
Scents affect your mood and attitude towards things, and you need to be able to identify which scents make you feel a certain way. Start with confidence.
3. Don’t stick to just one signature scent.
Life is varied and filled with so many different experiences, in which you have to play different roles. You can be a teenaged summer loving babe one day (Marc Jacobs Mod Noir!) and a stylish mother-of-two in the same week. The ways these two personas smell, to me, have very different characteristics.
If you associate fruity scents with summer, pick that as your beach fragrance. If you have a scent that you associate with relaxing, rainy weather and you need to feel equally relaxed during a stressful period, you can choose to wear that too.
4. Know what you don’t like.
This means if you hate smelling like a guy fresh out of the gym shower, find out what causes that scent and stay away from fragrances that contain it. I generally am not drawn to minty scents on myself and very much prefer it on others. Take up a fragrance profiling class if you have the time – it’s fun!
5. Stay away from overwhelming scents.
The last thing you need is to smell like 1000 roses to the person sitting beside you, even if that same person likes roses. There’s nothing more off-putting than an overtly strong fragrance because you can’t be sure what other people like (or not), and you’re also invading their personal space with your smell (read: rude). And in the unfortunate case where someone doesn’t like your scent, they’ll want to avoid you.
Perfumes are a personal extension of who you are and should only be evident to those physically close to you. How close is close? In my opinion, nothing more than 1m from where you are.