What is Your Signature Scent?

A man’s signature scent says a lot about him. It’s a scent which captures who they are, what they like and who they want to be. It’s not surprising that finding yours can be a long, confusing and frustrating journey. The reward, though, is the confidence that comes when you project yourself into the world through your scent.

Signature scents are so personal that its impossible for us to tell you what to pick. When you find it, the right scent will grab you and you’ll just know. What we can do is give you our top tips to help you find your signature scent and home in on your perfect fragrance.

Know Your Concentrations

Concentration is incredibly important when considering which fragrance to buy. It gives a good indication as to the longevity and silage (how far the scent will travel and how strongly it will smell). Within perfumery, different concentration levels have specific terms to easily allow people to know what percentage of a fragrance is made up of aromatic compounds. The concentrations are as follows:

As the concentration increases so, in general, does the longevity and silage. Along with the increase in concentration, comes an increase in cost, with an eau de parfum normally carrying a higher price tag than an eau de toilette.

Only Try Three Scents at a Time

The olfactory bulb (the structure which gives us our sense of smell) has limits. Testing too many scents in quick succession will overwork your sense of smell, meaning that you won’t get to accurately experience the scents. Its advised that you smell three different fragrances each visit. This restriction will allow each of them a chance to show their subtleties and depth. This can be limiting when you first start exploring and are trying to smell everything you can, but it will pay dividends. Following this rule will help you avoid a situation where you retry a fragrance and realise that your signature scent was, quite literally, under your nose the whole time.

Don’t Force It

Just because a note or fragrance is popular, it doesn’t mean you have to like it. Signature scents are an incredibly personal thing, they should resonate with you and be an extension of yourself. Don’t try to force yourself to like something that you really don’t and don’t be disheartened if you read about a scent and it doesn’t strike a chord with you when you try it.

It May Smell Good on Paper

Fragrances react with everyone’s skin in a distinctly individual way. Whilst this means that your signature scent will smell different on your skin compared to anyone else’s, it also means that some scents will smell perfect on a test strip, but not once applied to your skin. Never buy a scent without trying it on your skin. Most people apply the fragrance to their wrist. The wrist is considered a “pulse point”, where the blood vessels are closer to the surface, heating the fragrance to help it diffuse.

Wait For The Scent to Evolve

All fragrances are composed of different notes. Each note is an expression of different aromatic compounds. Each aromatic compound has a different lifespan. What this means is that your signature scent will evolve over time. Its important that, when you’re trying new scents, you keep checking in over several hours to see how it smells.

The fragrance will be a combination of top notes, middle notes and base notes, each group having different longevity. Top notes have the shortest lifespan and base notes, the longest. This means that when you first apply a fragrance, you may love its citrus notes, but they will fade quickly.

The diagram below will give an idea of what to expect from different types of notes. The longevity increases as you move down the pyramid.

Signature scents Note Pyramid

Get to Know The Family

Have you found a fragrance which is close, but not quite your signature scent? Fortunately, the fragrance wheel may be able to help. The fragrance wheel was developed to help people to group different scents based on their notes. By finding an olfactory family, or group, that you like, you can use this information to find new scents to try.

If you’re not sure which olfactory group a fragrance belongs to, we recommend using a site such as fragrantica.com. Fragrantica lists the group of each fragrance, as well as its main accords and notes. With this information you’ll be able to find similar scents to try, getting you one step closer to finding the your perfect match.

Check out our fragrances infographic to for more information in an easily digestible format.