When I was younger I never bothered with perfume as I went by the rule of ‘if no one can see it, I’m not spending money on it’. This rule also covered underwear, pyjamas and ‘house clothes’ all of which consisted of anything my mum had bought me or ex-boyfriends’ t-shirts.
Now I’m a real-life grown up lady woman, I appreciate the power of a great fragrance; and I do my research. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I don’t want one of those sickly sweet scents that everyone down Topshop is wearing, there are so many lesser known perfumers that it’s possible to find a perfume as unique as you. That’s cheesy I realise, so perhaps I need to search for some eau de brie…
What’s your flavour?
I like to start with my ‘womanly essence’, or in less twatty terms, my personality. So maybe that’s where you should start. Are you sexy and sultry, youthful and girly or chic and sporty? I’m a bit sensual (ooh er) and, I like to think, strong so I favour spicy scents and hate things like roses and vanilla. If you’re a girly girl then florals might be your bag, or if you’re a cool fashionista then maybe try a more masculine scent or woody notes.
Find your tribe
If you’re a classic kinda gal then you can’t go wrong with a perfume by Chanel or Dior, a 90s aficionado might like one of Calvin Klein’s iconic scents, or Helmut Lang for that matter. Fashionistas swear by Swedish brand Byredo or the super chi chi Le Labo. If you’re an environmentalist, earthy person then Aesop do some wonderful perfumes. Identify your tribe to narrow down the brands that will suit you.
Mix it up
My go-to scent is Serge Luten’s Ambre Sultan which is a heavy, spicy fragrance that I adore – and I’ve never smelled anyone else wearing it. This suits my personality but some days I don’t want to be all hot and spicy, I want to feel light and fresh, or sophisticated and clean; on these days I switch up my perfumes. A signature doesn’t mean you have to wear it *all the time*. I also like to layer fragrances to create a totally new smell.
Dressing table appeal
Let’s be honest the look of a bottle is important too, personally I love Byredo’s minimal monochrome bottles and Loewe have just releases a perfume with a wooden lid that looks splendid. As a teen I preferred the Juicy Couture perfume’s with pink ribbons on – but whatever floats your boat.
Make it your signature
Once you find something you love then stick with it, it’ll make people think of you when they smell it or something similar. Sense of smell and memory are so closely linked that sniffing a familiar scent can take you back to a certain moment in time instantly. A tip is to find out the base note of your fave perfume and try other perfumes with the same base note, my signature scent has an amber base so i try perfumes in that family.