You probably have an abstract idea of what your signature scent should be like already. However, what if we told you that your nose can distinguish between 3 trillion different scents – would you know where to start?!
If you are going to find your perfect scent, first you need to know what you’re buying. Scents are constructed on a ‘pyramid’ that is split into three. The top notes are the clean, citrusy, and fruity smells and they are most apparent when you first spray on the fragrance. They are also the ones that disappear the fastest. In terms of their molecular structure, top notes are made up of the smallest molecules, which makes them evaporate the fastest. In the middle are the heart notes and these are generally green, herbal, floral, or spicy smells that will become apparent as the top notes start to fade. They last longer than the top notes and are the most dominant part of the scent you’ll buy. Lastly, there are the base notes and these are the underlying smells that form the foundation of the olfactory narrative. They’re vanillas, chocolates, woods, and musks, think earthy smells that are made up of the largest molecules in the scent and last for the longest.
Once you understand a perfumes composition, it is time to start trying perfumes. But, note that your nose is limited in the number of scents it can process in a short period of time so really, you can only try 5-10 before it’s overwhelmed and everything starts smelling the same. Our suggestion is to start with some of the most notable perfume houses and niche fragrance brands to ensure you explore the very best the perfume world has to offer. A favourite for the region this season is Parfums de Marly – it is a French perfume house that continues to be applauded amongst many fragrance connoisseurs in the region, in part credited to the quality of the brand’s products, but also due to its sophisticated range of regionally focused fragrances within the collection. Each scent conjures up a dreamlike state with its “signature” fragrances, strong composition and concepts that are short, striking, direct and clear.
When you have explored and sprayed on the cards 5-10 scents, pick the two you like the most and spray these on your skin, one on each wrist. Now leave the shop and go about your day. This is where the pyramid we were talking about earlier comes into play. As the day goes on, the two scents you’ve picked will develop. They might come into their own and evolve into something far better and more interesting than you tried at first in the shop. They might become flat and boring within 15 minutes. You won’t know until you’ve tried them for yourself.
Now rinse and repeat. Keep doing this until you find a scent you really love. You might get lucky and find it on the first try. It might take a couple of goes. Either way, enjoy smelling great for a few weeks. Once you’ve found the scent you believe to be your signature it’s time to choose which version of that scent you want. We recommend, Eau de parfums, they are always a great choice and have staying power so your signature scent is with you all day long!