How To Choose A Signature Perfume Scent In 5 Simplified Steps
Picking a perfume is personal, but that doesn't mean you have to go into the process blindly. Different scent profiles, layers of notes, and even body chemistry all play a factor in finding a truly signature fragrance, yet can be a little overwhelming to navigate with so many beautiful blends out there. Have no fear — these helpful tips will guide you through the process of finding your very own.
Set The Mood
Before you begin spritzing samplers, it's a good idea to identify what, exactly, you're looking for. Do you need a fragrance you can wear daily, to the office and out and about? Are you looking for something special for evening occasions? Or is there a specific type of scent you feel is missing from your collection? Start there.
A beautiful everyday option that starts light and crisp but finishes with a little bit of musk.
This sultry but sophisticated perfume will be your new date night go-to.
When you need a boost of confidence, spritz on a little Chanel and get ready to take on the world (i.e., that big presentation or exam).
Smell The Roses Around You
Now, it's time to narrow your scent profile down — the hard part. Begin by thinking about the everyday smells you're naturally attracted to. Perhaps it's the freshness of clean linens, or the warmth of a vanilla candle that sets you at ease. Maybe you relish in a woodsy, winter breeze or smile walking past a fragrant rose bush or jasmine plant. You might prefer a tangy, citrusy smell or dark, musty whiff. Match these predilections to the occasion you're shopping for.
Skip the sugar-coated vanilla fragrances and tap into its warmer side with compliments of rich, creamy, and slightly spicy notes.
If you're looking for something fresh, the aptly titled Sailing Day will instantly transport you to an oceanfront oasis.
For something a little bolder, this bright blend of citrus will give you a boost of energy with every spritz.
Pick Your Price Point
While it's fun to sample the most luxurious scents — that's all it needs to be! You can always ask for a sample or spritz on a decadent tester, but when it comes to seriously deciding on a signature scent, limit yourself to only trying the bottles within your budget, like these affordable favorites.
It's hard to resist sampling the delightful array of scents from Urban Outfitters, and considering the price, they never disappoint.
A best-seller that's worth the (modest) investment. Super sweet top notes finish off with richer, rosier notes that linger all day.
For the truly down to earth, this affordable woodsy scent comes to life with a hint of familiar florals.
Test With Intention
Now that you have an idea of the notes and scent profiles you're looking for, try picking out a few promising options online, or finding a store associate who can point out ideas you may have missed. Spray a few on testing papers first, so you can get a sense of the top notes — but keep in mind these can wear off in minutes. Rule out the ones you don't love. Then, spray the strongest candidates on your wrist or elbow, your naturally warm pulse points that will bring out the middle and base notes. Allow those to linger while you continue shopping, or ask for a sample to wear for a few days, to see how it blends with your body chemistry.
If spicy scents are calling you, try this bold blend of cardamom, violet, and suede.
For a fragrance that's truly sweet, pear, violet, and marshmallow are as sugary as it gets.
19-69 Chronic Eau de Parfum ($185)
Lean into woodsy notes with this luxe mix of sage, patchouli, and cashmere wood.
Trust Your Instinct
Just because everybody's already wearing the new designer fragrance you adore, doesn't mean you have to rule it out. Fragrances will appeal uniquely to your scent profile, and interact uniquely with your skin. At the same time, don't feel the need to go in the same direction (or a completely different one) based on what other people find appealing. It's your fragrance — when you finally find love at first spritz, embrace it.
Gucci Bloom Eau de Parfum ($105)
A floral favorite, Gucci Bloom bursts with notes of jasmine, rangoon creeper, and tuberose for a rich white-floral fragrance.
Fenty Eau de Parfum (Available August 10)
A new fragrance by Rihanna means we're all about to have a new favorite.
While this may be one of the most popular Jo Malone scents, the mix of aquatic sea salt and earthy sage always manages to feel fresh.
What's your go-to perfume? Follow us on Pinterest for more beauty inspo!
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Lauren is a marketing professional, writer, and the founder of The Eye & The Edit, a weekly style and shopping newsletter. She recently found a home in New York City, where she enjoys endless people-watching and outfit inspiration. There, she can usually be found shopping in Soho, digging through vintage stores in Brooklyn, or trying a new coffee shop or natural wine bar.