Finding Your Personal Scent
Scent plays a huge part in memory–and the memories that people associate with your presence are no exception. Your personal scent can act as a traitorous sensory act that alerts others to where you were last seen, or it can simply be a subtle announcement of your arrival. Regardless of whether it works for or against you, developing a signature oud feels like a refined and quintessentially adult task.
We are all snowflakes–each person has a unique natural scent. Similar to the way that fingerprints look simultaneously the same and remarkably different from person to person, perfumes react differently to the oils in each person’s body. This is how even the most ubiquitous of scents, for example Le Labo’s Santal 33, can smell markedly different from person to person.
If you’re able to identify the smells you like the most, you’ll be better inclined to figure out which perfumes you gravitate to and why. Knowledge of the five main fragrance profiles–woody, oriental, floral, fresh, and chypre– is handy when choosing your personal scent. Overlap of fragrance profiles is where scents become the most interesting, however. Oriental floral scents, or Woody fresh scents tend to be more interesting than just a traditional floral bouquet.
While most of the fragrance groups are pretty self explanatory–woody includes natural more musky scents, oriental is spicy and oud driven, fresh includes bright scents like citrus and greenery, and floral is well...floral–the lesser known fragrance family of Chypre is based around notes of citrus, bergamot, and moss oak and gives off a full bodied yet natural and sweet aroma.
After you’ve identified your most favorite fragrance family, you can test out a few different scents that fall within your preferred family. Pay attention to the top, middle, and base notes of the scents that you’re testing. Focus on what part of the scent lingers on your skin at the end of the day; the strong base notes, the ones that will linger around you long after your initial beginning-of-the-day spritz, are the most identifiable (i.e. signature) part of the fragrance.
And while a signature is meant to last, that doesn’t mean that your choice has to be a forever coupling. Style, personality, and taste can change as often as the person they’re attributed to, so make sure that your signature scent is really embodying the person you are as well as the person you want to be.