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How to Find Your Signature Scent

How to Find Your Signature Scent

Photographed by Auset Pope of Jessie Heilig, Lillian Johnson, Morgan Boosama, Emily Stabile, & Kristina Wise
Styled by Chevy Koski
Stylist Assist: Emily Stabile
Hair and Makeup: Que Huynh & Gelina Ly
Photography Assist: Riley Fernandes

By Elise Kobayashi

Everyone is dying to rid of their millions of perfume bottles and find one scent that describes them. Smelling a loved one’s distinct perfume and having all the associated memories is naturally the same thing we could want for ourselves. Wandering through your mother’s cabinets or even just passing by someone who smells amazing is enough to want a signature smell. Something that reminds every one of you. A sense of both remembrance and fondness is something we all yearn for. With fragrance, it’s a subtle and classy touch that adds a sense of identity.
Yet, how do we pick that signature fragrance? Fragrance commercials and advertising tend to be luxurious or overly exaggerated. An absolute model walks in slow motion out of water and picks up a bottle of perfume. How can you make the deduction that this perfume is to your liking based on that? You might even associate the seductive voices from the advertisements telling you “This is for you”. How do you know for sure? The theatrics of commercials make finding a fragrance solely for you hard to find, especially a signature one that will be specified to your aesthetic and style.
Trending most recently, are videos associating popular perfumes with their aesthetic. Because perfumes go by notes of scent, they also attract a certain person. To match a signature scent to a person, it is important to also think of their aesthetic. Everyone has a certain aesthetic, to an extent, and perfumes are not excluded. An aesthetic describes how you present yourself and your general appearance or style. Also trending, are popular aesthetics like “clean girl”, “coquette”, “gothic”, or “cottage core”. The clean girl is minimal whereas the coquette style is very hyperfeminine. The gothic style tends to have dark tones to the aesthetic but can be portrayed in many ways. “Cottage core” is very feminine, but also very outdoorsy and incorporates a lot of nature. Of course, an aesthetic can mean something different to everyone because it is personalized to you, but that is entirely the point. Finding something that is entirely fit for you.
Using the standard fragrance wheel, we can associate some of these aesthetics with specific scents. There are four sections of scents, floral, ambery, woody, and fresh. For someone with a clean girl aesthetic, they might be lured by the fresh scents. Which include green, water, citrus, or aromatic. Some perfumes that follow these scents might have names that follow the aesthetic as well like “fresh linen” or “fresh lemon”, for example purposes.
A person with a coquette type of style might be looking for a scent that heightens the femininity in their aesthetic. They would be enticed by a mix of both fresh and floral scents. Sweet smelling scents tend to match the very hyperfeminine, bows, and pink that match coquette fashion. Scents like “vanilla” or “soft floral” would pair kindly with this particular type.
For a gothic aesthetic, something warmer like a woody or ambery scent might match this person. Scents that match the darkness of this aesthetic vary from “leather”, “oakmoss”. or “musk”. Because of the dark looks and outfits in this aesthetic and the darker, muskier scents of these fragrances, they would pair the best.
Lastly, the “cottage core” would pair with nothing better than floral scents. Because of the likeness to nature in this aesthetic, floral scents would be most attractive. Anything from “floral” to “floral ambery” on the fragrance wheel would be a perfect note for someone looking for their signature scent with this particular look.
There are so many pairings of scents and notes of scent that finding your signature scent and what fits you can seem messy and complicated. You may not even have a certain aesthetic to pair it with in the first place. Most of us do not fit into a single aesthetic nor category, of course. We can only find what attracts us the most and personalizes our own character. However, navigating the fragrances you prefer and associate with you the best is the optimal way to find your very own signature scent.

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