&Follow SJoin OnSugar

I Design...


Fragrance Week: Find Your Signature Scent

Before Christmas, I wanted to change my signature scent. I went to Nordstrom and sampled several fragrances. I was eyeing Dior's Miss Dior Cherie and Marc Jacobs' Lola, but you'll be surprised what I ended up with--a $20 bottle of Wish Pink from Victoria's Secret. Sure, it was a gift, but I ended up really liking it! So naturally I was disappointed that the scent was discontinued... So, I'm back to square one--whiffing coffee beans at department stores in between sampling perfumes.

So how do you really shop for perfume? How do you know what fragrance is right for you? And should you really take your partner's preferences into consideration?

In the latest Beauty and the Budget series, I'm declaring this week Fragrance Week. So let's get down to the basics, shall we?

How do you really shop for perfume?

Bring on the coffee beans! You're going to be doing a lot of sniffing. Now, you don't actually have to bring coffee beans with you. Most department stores will have some set aside for those ready to shop. The coffee beans serve only one purpose--to reset your sense of smell between sampling perfumes. Here are three more tips to perfume shopping:

  1. Talk to a sales associate first. They're going to be the most help to you.
  2. As a general rule, don't try more than four to five perfumes at a time. Step outside to get fresh air or do some shopping in between times.
  3. Don't be scared to ask for samples! Sephora and Nordstrom are pretty generous about giving them out.


How do you know what fragrance is right for you?

This is a difficult question to answer because it involves a lot of trial and error. Here are the 5 basic types of scents:

  1. Floral: Created from flowers, such as roses, jasmine and carnations. Often floral scents are blended together, creating a floral bouquet of fragrances.
  2. Oriental: With a blend of spices, amber, balsams and resins, oriental scents are suggestive of exotic sensuality.
  3. Citrus: Derived from fruits such as lime, lemon, tangerine and mandarin, citrus fragrances are naturally refreshing and uplifting. It's best for women who don't like overpowering scents.
  4. Chypre: With hints of bergamot, oak moss, citrus, and patchoili, this woodsy scent is perfect for those who love a rich, earthy aroma.
  5. Green: With a blend of pine, juniper, leaves and herbs, this sharpy grassy note is ideal for the hippie at heart.


For more information on scents, check out The Sweetest Scents.

Do you take your partner's preferences into consideration?

Now just because your boyfriend loves a scent, doesn't mean you should wear it. Sure, it's important to pick a fragrance that your sweetie is also fond of, but you also need to find something you love, too. Ideally, you should find a fragrance that you both love, but if you're as hard-nosed (no pun intended) as me, you're ultimately going to choose the one you like. Unless your signature scent smells like pee, he's still going to love you.

Posted on March 08, 2011 at 7:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

posted by

I have been wanting to change my signature scent or at least be able to mix it up for the last couple of months. I have always LOVED Carolina Herrera 212. Thanks for the tips, maybe this week I can get some samples to try!

posted by

I love finding new fragrances to mix in with my regular scents. I currently wear this perfume my hubby got for me about a year ago called Pleasures from Estee Lauder, we both like it but I think I want to try something new. I once found a scent with subtle undernotes that reminded me of herbal tea that I liked but haven't found it since...sigh, oh well.

posted by

I usually narrow the field before shopping. I know I dislike 99 percent of florals, and any floral orientals that have jasmine, lily, or gardenia. Since I can't handle too much perfume at once, I make a list of the scents I want to try; I'm usually on the hunt for greens/citrus in the spring and amber/woods in the fall. I don't bother sniffing them on paper first, because you can't really tell how anything will smell on you just by doing that. I spray a few on, wait an hour, and then decide which one, if any, I want to buy. Sometimes it takes a few shopping sessions. Other times, I find one I love immediately, and I always ask for samples.

I've found a couple of my favorites by looking online for descriptions of scents that fit into the families I like. That's how I found my new favorite, Ormonde Jayne Tolu, and how I found my last year's spring/summer scent, Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio.

posted by

I narrow down the choices by looking at the bottle, the brand and the name of the scent, that way I can almost always guess which ones I'm gonna like. But then again I have a very limited taste in fragances, this might not work for people with not so strict preferences :P I've been wearing The Beat by Burberry, if anyone likes light and fresh fragances, try it out!

posted by

One of my best friends works at VS,and whenever I went to her house, I'd use her "love rocks"spray... she has a billion scents, but I was the only person who ever used that one. Eventually, it just seemed silly to wear my favorite scent ONLY when I was at her house... so I went and bought a bottle- it was right after Xmas, too, so it was half off! :-)

If you are already an OnSugar member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are made, please login or register for OnSugar.
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.