How To Navigate Finding Your Signature Scent, According To Australian Perfumers

I have a question for you thinking to the perfume you spritzed on yourself this morning, how and when did you come to realise that particular scent was your ‘signature’? For me, on this particular morning, it was SŚAINT ‘Modus Vivendi’, a rich and dark scent I like to turn to on days I need an extra kick. As we know, fragrance is an incredibly personal, and often, regularly evolving journey. Which means, finding a signature scent is a winding path that can take months or even years to uncover. Or, if you’re like me, can alternate day by day. 

So, what does it really take to find that everyday scent? We asked SŚAINT Creative Directors Ciara Mahoney and Elle Wallace for their expertise to help narrow it down

What a signature scent looks like to one person may completely differ to another, but ultimately, fragrance should be thought of as an extension of your individual and unique style.

“There are two beliefs when it comes to fragrance,” says Mahoney and Wallace. “One argues that every finished scent is unique and should remain as it was originally created, others believe in using perfume notes and blending scents to build an individualised signature scent. The result is highly personal and captures the mood or personality of an individual. There are so many brands producing beautiful fragrances at the moment, why wouldn’t you want to indulge in them all and find your own unique signature scent?!”

First step in the road to a signature scent is unpacking what notes and families you’re drawn to, the pair explain. “A scent profile categorises a fragrance into a group and different combinations. When looking at the fragrance wheel, a circular diagram representing every scent that is divided into four main olfactory families — Oriental, Woody, Fresh and Floral and then subfamilies within them. Perfumers know the relationship between each of the main families — as a starting point when curating a scent profile, it’s best to look at the neighbouring families on the fragrance wheel when coming up with a scent, as scents close by on the wheel will blend harmoniously.” 

The pair suggest testing out a brand’s ‘Discovery Set’, allowing you to explore full collections.

If you’ve ever felt an emotional response to a perfume, you’re not alone. As Mahoney and Wallace say: “Each note found in a fragrance is sure to provoke a sentimental memory, thus creating an emotion.”

Now that you’ve found your signature scent, the ‘golden rule’, according to Mahoney and Wallace, is to “spritz your perfume onto your moisturised pulse points — neck and wrists, ensuring longer lasting wear.”

Also, remember never to “just spray, don’t rub, as this adds heat and bruises the perfume, interrupting the natural course of the top, middle and base notes of the fragrance.”