Collecting perfumes is beautiful and fun. I challenge you to disagree. The first time I heard the expression “fragrance closet” my heart jumped with joy: there was a semi-rational reason for my eternal collection of samples! The idea is that a different scent will work for a different occasion, or a different season, for your mood, or the place where you are. These memories will be related to this fragrance, just like the photos you snapped with your smartphone. My perfume collection includes a lot of pieces I can’t really get rid of exactly because of that: they aren’t just a scent anymore, they are more than that, they are part of a voyage, of a tale. Have you ever asked yourself what happens when you are the memory brought along by a scent? A while ago, I was dating a guy who made me think of this. He said the way I kept switching perfume was confusing for him, because he would have liked to have memories of me with the perfume I was wearing the first time we met. I thought he was a cross between a madman and a nuisance, to be honest. But then again, he was right. The way we remember an experience is not only connected to things or locations, a large part of our memories is made of the people who shared those experiences with us.
The perfume everyone will remember you for is very poetically called your “signature scent”. It is literally your scent signature, the fragrance that leaves a mark: this is also an interesting idea, of course. The one thing we have to clarify, then, is how to pick it. It’s not easy, that is for sure. You can’t be stubborn and just think you can solve the issue by a quick dash at the perfume store – even if you went to the best one in the world, its stock still wouldn’t be enough. It’s not an impossible mission either, though, and in the next few paragraphs, I will try to guide you and help you choose your signature scent. These tips are for those of us, like me, who struggle to choose the same perfume every day. If you have been wearing the same fragrance since junior high, just jump to the last paragraph: I have something for you, too.
Try them all. Go to the store and smell everything you can handle before your nose loses its ability to distinguish smells. At that point, get out of the store, have a coffee – coffee smell reactivates the nostrils’ receptors – and go back to your search. Don’t be ashamed to ask for samples: since you are considering a long-term relationship, the least you can do is have all the information you need before you make a decision. One important note: it would be hazardous for me to tell you what sort of olfactory note you should go for, I am not enough of an expert. There is good news, though: there are lots of online tests that can help you learn what ingredients would work best for you, based on your taste and personality. Another rookie-proof tactic is asking the sales assistant to let you try a best-selling fragrance from each category: this will help you understand what you like and what you don’t very quickly.
Listening to your friends is essential. They always know how to keep you away from bad guys, they can help you choose the right person who won’t make you suffer. Similarly, also ask someone you trust to judge the results of the olfactory tests you are running: you might not notice that a fragrance really doesn’t work for you until someone else tells you about it. In the same way, your favorite scent might not be appreciated by those around you, and there is nothing worse than being associated to an unpleasant scent. A bit of constructive feedback is definitely what you will need to give you some pointers for your search.
Or in this case, by its bottle. If you can, try to find a perfume store that will let you do a “blind test”, trying out fragrances without knowing anything about the bottle it comes from – this is how you will know that it’s the scent that matters to you, and not the label. Once, when I played this game, I discovered I have the same taste in perfume as an Arab sheikh’s, actually. What you discover might be astonishing.
Of course, later on you will understand that love wasn’t so great after all, or that the time to break up had come for you two. What I want to say here is that, even if I fervently believe in “happily ever after” I don’t think that there is such a thing with perfume. If you worry about changing your mind in a month or a year, stop worrying. What matters is that it is good as long as it lasts, and that you can feel one with your temporary soulmate.
If you want your signature scent to benefit from the novelty factor, have a look at the gallery. We collected a few fragrances you can try right now to be one step ahead of everyone else, and have an unmistakable scent!