A Guide To Finding Your Signature Fragrance
A signature fragrance is very personal; it is not just about smelling good (although that is important), and finding that elusive perfume is akin to uncovering your unique scent identity. In my latest mens style blog guide, I will offer pointers on discovering your own fragrance – continue reading to find out more.
How Fragrances Can Enhance Your Personal Style
Fragrances are often underestimated in how they can enhance our aesthetics – showcasing our inner personality and style (similar to our clothing, accessories and jewellery). Perfumes hold a special power, allowing us to tell an intimate story about ourselves and add that special final touch to any outfit.
Different flavoured scents can draw out emotions, such as boosting our confidence (if you smell good, you will feel good) or even reminding us of a bygone memory, leading us down a nostalgia trip. No matter your preference, be it a captivating, bold scent or a more subtle tone, every fragrance out there can bolster our personal style.
The Differences Between The Top, Middle And Bottom Notes
Perfumes have a depth and complexity that is often forgotten, no more apparent than when learning about the notes they contain. The majority of fragrances are created using a variety of layers (notes), and each of these is important when it comes to the final product – the different layers are:
- Top notes – after the first spray, you will encounter the lightest aroma, undoubtedly the most intense to our senses. Typically, the top notes sit proudly in the fruity, fresh and citrus category, drawing you in with that burst of excitement. However, on the flip side, they are short-lived and evaporate within the first 15 minutes of an application.
- Middle notes – the middle notes (also known as the heart notes) appear once the top notes have faded and are arguably the most important out of the three layers, giving the scent character and personality. Primarily, the middle notes boast a fruity or floral (or sometimes even spicy!) flavouring that adds a touch of overall depth. The heart notes last longer than the top notes, often for many hours after the first spray (although mileage will vary depending on the product).
- Base notes – Finally, we have the bulk of the perfume, which you would consider the foundation. The base notes offer richness to the proceedings and longevity (allowing you to still admire your favourite spray for many hours throughout the day).
Discovering Your Scent Preferences
Hunting for your unique fragrance personality can be a daunting yet exciting journey, allowing you to explore your preferences and embrace flavours that resonate most with you. Once you have decided to head down this path, consider different scents you know will bring about positive reactions and emotions (or even remind you of happy times). Another option is to look back at other perfumes and brands you previously loved as a good starting point.
Learning about fragrance families can help you on your quest, broad categories grouped together based on the notes used within their construction, including – floral, citrus, fresh, woody, oriental and gourmand families. For example, if you enjoy floral scents, then perfumes featuring rose, lily of the valley, or jasmine notes may be the most suitable, thanks to their level of elegance. Alternatively, if you want a pop of energy, explore fragrances with a kick of lemon, grapefruit or even bergamot.
How To Choose The Right Fragrance For You
There are seemingly endless fragrance options available, which can be severely overwhelming! A great way to navigate this minefield is to test different scents and use samples; these are important steps to choose a fragrance that works best with your body chemistry and style (after all, how will you pinpoint the correct scent without testing).
The art of sampling fragrances is integral in finding out how they react to your skin and the individual aroma that is produced by mixing with your body. Try not to rush this process, as it is an experience to be enjoyed at a relaxing pace. There are many different ways to test out fragrances, including visiting a perfume store or counter that allows access to testers. Alternatively, if you do not have time to visit a perfume store (or are not a fan of the overzealous staff), you can get fragrance samples delivered to your door – click here for more info.
When testing different fragrances, avoid spraying multiple products on the same strip of paper, as this can mix the scents, creating a misleading concoction of smells. The best way is to spray each chosen perfume on a different paper test strip, labelling them individually for easy reference. After the application, leave it alone for a few minutes so the odour can develop before lifting it to your nose to smell. Next, once you have narrowed down your favourites, feel free to apply them to your skin – the ingredients within the perfume mix with your body heat, causing the true smell to form (remember to leave for a few minutes once applied to allow each note to be revealed).
Finally, consider the seasons when selecting your new fragrance to ensure it fits the current climate. Light, fresh scents are the most suitable during the warmer months, whereas intense and richer perfumes should be chosen for those colder months. Even so, as with fashion and style, these rules can be broken, and your personal preference is the most important factor.
Always remember the different notes when choosing your signature scent; opt for one that evolves throughout the day into something that appeals to you on a personal level, especially as the different layers begin to materialise. Your chosen fragrance should showcase your individuality and personality, bringing out the best in you and making you happy, comfortable and confident. Try to step outside the box, trying different products and ranges you wouldn’t otherwise consider. Experimentation is key, and you can be surprised at what you may find amongst the vast array of perfumes available – your signature scent is out there, ready to be discovered.
Do you already have a favourite perfume, or are you still looking for that special scent? Feel free to report back in the comments section – I would love to read your answers.