By Joyce Chua
Finding your signature scent can be just as intimidating as finding your signature look, if not more so. We may be able to live in skinny jeans every day of the week, but are we really able to commit to one scent for every outfit?
How then do you figure out what works for you? You might be glad to know that you don’t have to head to the beauty counter and spritz on every single bottle you find. Not only is that counter-productive, it will also give you a massive headache.
So before you purchase your fragrances, here are some tips for finding your signature scent:
Take Note of Your Preferences
Your sense of taste is mainly driven by your sense of smell. So the flavours you like might be a clue to what you like in a scent.
Your preferences are also strongly tied to the memories you associate with certain seasons. Seasons can evoke strong memories of scent. For instance, summer may mean to you the smell of the ocean, while spring evokes memories of grass, forests, and floral scents.
Complement Your Personality
Your personality would obviously impact your fragrance choices. Just as your lip or nail colour is an expression of yourself, fragrance is another way to highlight your style and personality.
But it doesn’t necessarily have to be so straightforward. You can use fragrance to reveal a little-known side of you. For instance, if you’re very shy, you could go for a sultrier scent to add some oomph to your look. Conversely, if you’re a social butterfly, a gentler, subtler fragrance can balance out your personality.
Decide On Your Preferred Concentration
An eau de toilette and eau de parfum differ in terms of concentration (the latter is more concentrated). The eau de toilette has a modified olfactive structure, making it fresher and lighter — which is probably why your eau de toilette isn’t lasting throughout the day like you want it to.
Wear It On
Eau de parfum fragrances develop slower than eau de toilette ones, as the top, heart, and base notes take time to reveal themselves.
Every scent has a different chemistry with your skin type, so to ensure that you’re experiencing the true scent, apply it directly on your skin.
It’s About Quality, Not Quantity
Our sense of smell can get saturated with too many scents at one go. So ideally, sample just about three different scents each time. Spritz one on your right inner wrist and another on your left inner wrist. Then leave them on and keep smelling them to see how they change over time before deciding which one you prefer.
Perfumes comprise of a mix of lighter and heavier notes. What you smell right away are the lighter notes, and after they fade you’ll smell the heavier ones. The denser scents tend to stick more.
It’s Fine to Switch It Up On Occasion
Just because you’ve found your signature scent doesn’t mean you have to stick to it all year round. It is actually ideal to switch up your fragrances throughout the year because weather can affect fragrance. Your body chemistry also changes from time to time, causing different notes to affect the body differently.
In warm weather, the heat causes scents to dissipate from the skin faster so a lighter fragrance is better as a strong one will smell overpowering.
In cold weather, your perfume may take longer to reveal all its notes as they unfold gradually, so don’t be afraid to wear a stronger scent.
Scents Are Subjective
A fragrance is like the Mona Lisa. Two people may look at the same painting but have different perceptions of it. How you smell something can differ greatly from how someone else smells it.
For instance, you may be more sensitive to notes in a floral scent and thus pick up on those nuances more, while someone else may pick up the heady floral notes more in the same fragrance.
It’s all very subjective, so pick the best fragrance that speaks best to you.
Don’t Smell Coffee Beans
Yes, morning is the best time to test fragrances because your nose is fresher.
But the coffee bean trick is a myth. Intended to re-set your nose, they actually they don’t work. Instead, walk away and breathe in a neutral environment for a few minutes before returning to test another scent.
If you’re in a heavily scented area such as a department store and can’t go outside, exhale deeply into your shirt to clear your nose of the accumulated scents.
What are some fragrance testing tricks you know? Share them in the Comments section below!