Beauty

How To Find Your Signature Scent, According to the Experts

Spoiler: It is all about a vibe.

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How To Find Your Signature Scent, According to the Experts

Spoiler: It is all about a vibe.

Finding a fragrance that truly embodies your essence can feel like a daunting task. Amidst a sea of heart notes, thousands of brands, and an overwhelming amount of information, it’s often hard to nail down one that feels authentically “you”. Whether you’re a novice navigating the perfumery terrain for the first time or someone seeking to expand their collection, the quest for the perfect fragrance requires intuition, exploration, and if you’re lucky, expert guidance.

That’s why we’ve turned to some of the most esteemed noses in the industry to share their detailed insights on how they select their signature scents. There’s no one better to steer you through the world of perfumery — with their wealth of experience and insider knowledge, these seasoned vets are well-equipped to guide you through the intricate landscape of fragrance. Keep reading to learn more about their tips and tricks to simplify your journey to olfactory perfection and ensure you find a scent that resonates as your favorite for years to come.

Embrace Testing

“Whether you enjoy the traditional department store experience of testing scents on strips, or you prefer a more online experience, there are so many ways to test fragrances before investing in a full size,” Keta Burke-Williams, Founder of Ourside and beauty consultant. Many brands like hers offer discovery kits, where you get a small size of their most popular fragrances to test.

Be Willing To Try on Your Skin

“Just like dating, you might have to try a few before you find one that really suits you, and that’s okay,” advises Burke-Williams. Often fragrances smell different on paper than they do on skin, so spray and let the fragrance dry down. Burke-Williams suggests giving it a minute or even 15, and then sniffing again. If you have the time, sniff it again after an hour to see if you like how the fragrance has evolved. “It can also help you estimate how good the longevity of the fragrance is,” says Burke-Williams.

Know What Concentration You’re Getting

Speaking of longevity, Ourside’s founder suggests opting for an eau de parfum if you’re looking for lasting power. “These typically have between 15-20% fragrance oils and last a good couple hours as opposed to eau de toilettes which are cheaper but typically hover in the 8-12% fragrance oil concentration.”

Consider Your Current Fragrance Collection

“If you’re looking to branch out and try something new, try looking at your own fragrance bottles, looking up the fragrance notes that they have, and find new scents using nifty tools they have online now with one or two notes in common, that way they are similar but won’t be replicas of each other,” suggests Burke-Williams. You’ll venture outside of your comfort zone a little and find a scent that’s similar.

 

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Cut out What You Don’t Like

Hone in on what kind of finish you like and what you can’t stand. Doing that will cut down a whole swath of fragrances. “Think of fragrance finding as a beautiful journey that takes time but also exploration — keep an open and curious mind and nose,” suggests Bee Shapiro, founder of Ellis Brooklyn.

Find Out What Scent Family You’re Drawn To

Finding a signature scent takes time and patience and there are a couple of different ways to go about it. “You should figure out what scent families you are naturally drawn to. Do you like warm and sweet gourmands? Or are you more of a floral person? Or maybe you like masculine-leaning scents with woodier notes,” states Pyle. The perfumer says it’s completely normal to like more than one category — for her, it all depends on the season and her mood. “Once you have it narrowed down, it will be easier to explore and edit the myriad options out there.”

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Signature Scent, Perfume, How To Pick Perfect Perfume, Expert Tips For Fragrance

Concentrate on the Mood or Vibe Instead of Notes

“I love picking fragrances based on vibes. Picking fragrances by notes can be complex as most of the fragrances we experience have a lot of notes blended into them,” informs Shapiro. “If you go based on the vibe though, it can narrow down fragrances significantly.” The perfumer tells Hypebae that fragrances can be vibrant, happy, optimistic, moody, mysterious and so much more.

Explore a Favorite Brand or Perfumer’s Signature Style

“Once you’re deep into fragrance, you’ll start to get to know brands well and you’ll find that each brand has a signature style, as does each perfumer,” recommends Carol Han Pyle, founder and CEO of Nette. For example, the perfumer that did the brand’s Pear Jam Eau de Parfum, Rodrigo Flores-Roux, is an iconic perfumer famous for developing Clinique’s Happy, known as the “king of fruit”. So, if you’re into fruit-focused fragrances, you would do well to seek out ones he’s worked on. “Whichever way you look at it, finding a signature scent is a matter of time and exploration — and it’s so fun,” says Pyle.

If you are interested in learning more about scents, why not have a read of Bella Hadid’s fragrance journey, Mona Kattan’s mission to empower others through smell or the inspo behind Kylie Jenner’s cosmic perfume?

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