It is very important to know that I am a serious perfume/fragrance collector. I hoard fragrance. For me, there is no such thing as one signature scent. A handful that should evoke memories of you when smelled by an ex? Sure! But under no circumstance should you be able to pick out one scent. With that being said, if all of this talk of signature scents sends your brain into a frenzy and makes you feel totally overwhelmed and confused, I can help you.
Here’s why I don’t believe in the concept of a ‘signature’ scent…
First up is the small issue of occasion. Personally, I find it incredibly ignorant and somewhat rude to wear power perfumes in every day situations. For example, No. 5 to the dentist or Opium to the office. Power perfumes are strong, overwhelming scents. The kind to leave your bedsheets smelling in the morning. To suggest that you could have a signature scent that works for every single occasion is quite frankly, wrong.
Then, we come to the issue of messaging. It is key to remember that fragrance has a way of making other people feel a certain way, just as much as it does you. If I am going out on a date, I think about my perfume before I think of my outfit. If I want to give off flirty, girly vibes, I’ll opt for a sweet or floral scent. If, however, I’m feeling exceptionally badass, I’ll pick up a men’s cologne and throw on a blazer. Similarly, if I’m feeling a little whimsical, I want my perfume to mirror that too, so I’ll go for a light floral. In these circumstances, signature scent crusaders are deemed to be suggesting that they mainly want to give off one message to the people around them.
Last, and by no means least, is the elephant in the room any time I hear someone mention ‘signature scent’. It’s the small issue of seasons. If someone were to ask me my signature scent, I’d feel inclined to mention Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess. But the chances of me picking up that bottle of summery nectar at any point from September-May are absolutely nil. Of course, I am not denying that there are fragrances that work all year round, I simply believe that each and every one should be assigned a season and to ignore that should be deemed gross negligence.
So with that, I would like to introduce you to the concept of a seasonal fragrance wardrobe. A selection of four fragrances that you can pick and choose from, all season round. Every season, I stick to four staple scents: The Seasonal Must-Have, The Easy Everyday-er, The Enticer and The Power Scent. These four bases cover every circumstance you could potentially find yourself in. (Side note that I don’t include handbag minis in here. They just have to smell half decent in order to cover up the stench of tube sweat, lunch and any alcohol). So, to discover how you can build your own perfume wardrobe, I thought I’d highlight my summer selections below…
The Seasonal Must-Have
This summer, my Seasonal Must-Have is Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Passiflora. It’s light, zesty, fruity and seriously invigorating with notes of Ylang-Ylang and Passion fruit. It’s the sort of perfume that oozes the emotion of long, hot summer days. The key to the Seasonal Must-Have, is that it should embrace everything about the season you’re in. For example, Passiflora will be my holiday scent this year, for sure. In the winter, I might opt for a berry or wood based scent and choose to wear that on super crisp winter walk or even Christmas Day… you catching my flow?
The Easy Everyday-er
Next up in my Summer Wardrobe is Maison Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning. Not only is the bottle for this one total Instagram goals, it smells absolutely DIVINE. It’s light, breezy and totally unimposing. It smells exactly how you want your Sunday Morning to be. Easy and carefree yet totally sophisticated. With notes of lily of the valley and patchouli, it’s floral but reminiscent of freshly washed linen. For me, this is a total summer smell that instantly lifts my mood. And that is exactly what you want from your Easy Everyday-er – something that lifts your mood, is easy to wear and doesn’t offend.
OK, here’s the one for date night. Oh, and drinks with the girls. And also that evening work do you have in your diary. Essentially, this one is a little fancier than normal. It can be as heavy as you want it to be but should absolutely be heavier than the Everyday-er. My current Enticer comes in the form of Chloé Nomade – a heady blend of oak moss, cherry plum and freesia. It’s girly but with a bit of a bad-ass twist. It’s certainly not sweet but not spicy either. Some might say it’s too strong for the day time, but I’m not entirely convinced. It’s noticeable, sure, but still non-invasive. And that my friends, is the key to your Enticer. It should raise an eyebrow or two, but should do little else more.
The Power Scent
OK, it’s time to bring in the big guns. The Power Scent should be reserved for special occasions. You know, when you have to go somewhere a little fancy with big, important people. Or, hell, just whenever you want to feel like a badass boss woman and fancy getting whatever you want. My summer Power Scent rarely changes: Acqua Di Parma Colonia Essenza. Woody, citrusy and a little musky, Essenza is moreish in a way that can’t fully be described. Typically a male cologne (although technically unisex), I have been the topic of many conversations in lifts that I’ve pretended not to hear whilst wearing it. Granted, the Power Scent isn’t designed for enclosed spaces. It is, however, designed to leave a trail of heady hysteria wherever it goes. This is the one to cherish. The one that could most easily be defined a ‘signature’ without being so. The leader of the pack if you will.
So, there you have it. Your no-fuss guide on how to create your capsule fragrance wardrobe. Any Qs or tips, you know where to leave them!