Do you have a signature scent? I remember having this conversation while visiting our good friends in Chicago a couple years ago. Kim wears Clinique Happy–which couldn’t be more her–and I smiled remembering stealing a spritz of my mom’s when I was in high school. In between douses of Love Spell, of course…if you know, you know. It wasn’t until college that I bought my first real bottle of perfume. Vera Wang Princess. I was determined to make it my signature scent by simply wearing it every day but, the truth is, it never felt like me. I went years without wearing any perfume at all and then Chris bought me a bottle of Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Rosé. I wore it until the whole bottle was gone because I liked smelling good…but it never fit me either. Twice! over the years, my sister Victoria was staying with us and I complimented her scent–it was more masculine and earthy. Once it was Tom Ford Black Orchid and a few years later Oddity–and BOTH times, she left behind the bottle for me to finish off. And I did happily. I’m 35 years old and I don’t have a signature scent, but this is the year I’m on a mission to discover what I love and what works on me and wear it not simply because I have it, but because I want the scent to be connected to me.
When I was sharing my 2021 project perfume with our team, I was so touched by their stories of finding a fragrance that I asked them to share with all of you! And I’d love to hear if you have a signature scent in the comments below!
“My signature fragrance literally showed up at my door. A month before, I had been taken to the fragrance counter at Dillard’s by my bestie who wanted to treat me to new perfume for my 33rd birthday. I spritzed on all of my favorite commercials: Keira Knightly in Coco Mademoiselle, Liv Tyler in Givenchy Very Irresistible,Taylor Hill in Ralph Lauren Romance. (I could go on…) That day I ultimately landed on Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue. It was the peak of summer and its notes of apple, rose, jasmine, and musk felt like the perfect every day perfume. I donned it the next day, and the day after and so on but it wasn’t like a thing. I knew I was sporting a new fragrance, but let’s just say no one else noticed. Enter: Lancome La Vie est Belle. A friend showed up at my door out of the blue with a bag of lotions and perfumes from her sister who worked for Nordstrom. “One of their stores is closing. I already have so much product at my house. Take these!” Underneath a layer of Dior samples, was a full size bottle of Lancome La Vie est Belle. I sprayed it on and it felt so me. But what followed I would have never expected! My husband immediately asked what I was wearing. The next morning he asked again and his hug was even tighter. At work I was either being asked what I was wearing, or being told I smelled good! Even little David’s daycare teacher mentioned it when I signed him out. I was convinced: this is my scent. You can go looking for your scent, but just be open if it comes knocking at your door!” –Andrea Ahedo, Visual Media Producer
“I opened a Christmas gift from my husband, Tristan, and it was the cutest perfume roller set. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little scared to open it. Perfume almost feels like a first impression. It’s something I have always been so picky about. While I was opening it up, he told the story of how he went to Ulta to pick it out and was completely lost (not off to a great start haha) but oh my did he do gooood. I don’t think I could have picked a better perfume myself. It’s Carolina Herrera Good Girl. The scents have notes of tonka bean and jasmine in them. They’re feminine, but not in a fruity way. It feels like me.” –Brooke Knuth, Social Media Manager
“When it comes to my appearance I like what I wear to reflect my personality, and my signature scent is no different. I’ve never been much of a perfume-wearer, but this year I made the realization that there’s really no better compliment to receive than “you smell so nice,” and I wanted that for me. High-end fragrances are a little intimidating to me because I love to keep things minimal, simple, and if I can, as natural as possible, and I wasn’t quite ready to invest in a scent. One day while browsing the isles of Target, I came across a whole line of fragrances with essential oils (my kind of thing), which also happened to be vegan and cruelty free. Cheers to incredible ethically conscience brands. I fell in love with Good Chemistry’s eclectic branding and design, and immediately started perusing all of the yummy scents, but I knew once I got a whiff of the Queen Bee fragrance, it was made for me. The notes of black currant, peony, and amber, felt every bit of feminine, whimsical, and grounding, and we’ve been the perfect pair ever since.” –Missy Dorius, Visual Media Assistant
“As someone who owns over 50 fragrances, I don’t have a singular signature scent, I actually have a few hundred. I’m only kidding, however, I love to experiment with layering fragrances, so my signature scent is always evolving and the combinations are endless. I usually layer a simple fragrance (think Acqua Di Giò by Giorgio Armani) with a more complex one (such as Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf). You start to learn more about fragrances the more you wear them and start to understand which ones layer better, etc. I highly recommend that with any fragrance, that you “try before you buy.” One of my favorite fragrances was discovered from a Birchbox sample. I had never heard of the brand before and a full size bottle was $165. I used the sample everyday for a few weeks and knew it was an investment I wanted to make. I loved it so much, I even named my dog Odin because of it. ” –Derek Cooper, Creative Director, Propertee
“Last year, as a Valentine’s Day gift for my partner, Helen, I took her to Molly Ray Fragrance Lab in Seattle to design her own bespoke fragrance. Molly was classically trained in France and took us on an olfactory journey through top notes, heart notes, and base notes, taking in each tiny vial with our eyes closed. It was just the three of us, and before we knew what we were smelling, we were asked to write down memories, travel, people, and seasons that the different notes brought up for us. Helen wrote down “spring cleaning” next to her favorite top note — which turned out to be Bergamot! We sampled five heart notes, and she put a star next to “fancy outdoorsy date,” which turned out to be Rose. Of all of the base notes, White Musk was her favorite. She noted, “So fresh and so clean.” I was a special fan of Pink Pepper as a top note — it smelled like a winter day outdoors to me. And I loved Jasmine in the heart notes (so cozy and sexy) and Vanilla as a base note (warm, round). We talked and laughed and shared memories for almost two hours! At the end of our fragrance workshop, Molly bottled Helen’s signature scent, and recorded the recipe (in milliliters) to keep on file for refills. A year later, she might finally be ready for one! Though, maybe this year, we’ll bottle a signature scent for me, too :)” –Victoria Bradley, Brand Manager