I Found My Signature Scent – Here’s How You Can Find Yours

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Image Source: Getty

The moment I turned 25, I instantly wanted to find my signature scent. Is this what growing up feels like? I’ve always been fascinated by women who are known for their scent. Think Rihanna, who reportedly always smells expensive, sexy and addictively sweet, and swears by Fenty Eau De Parfum (£115). To me, having a signature scent signifies a woman who is put together – and I’ve always strived to be that woman too.

So, I went to the Experimental Perfume Club (EPC) in London to blend my very own personalised signature scent. The EPC is aiming to demystify the art of fragrance creation. A lot of bespoke experiences can cost hundreds of pounds, but the Experimental Perfume Club has changed this. It’s an open perfumery where you can visit and take beginner’s classes in bespoke perfumery at more affordable rates (£150). This was a unique experience and I learnt a lot of tips that might also help you on your quest to finding your signature scent.

What is a Signature Scent?

A signature scent is a perfume you wear every day. It becomes such an integral part of your day-to-day routine that leaving the house without it gives off that same irritating feeling as forgetting your house keys. People around you will also start to link you to your aroma.

How to Find Your Signature Scent Blend

Step 1: Think About the Scents You Already Like

First of all, consider the type of scent you’ve gravitated towards before. I’ve always enjoyed floral scents, think Chanel No5, but recently I’ve felt a shift in my taste in scents and I’ve also been drawn to richer scents like ouds. Have these in mind, but it’s important not to go into this experience close-minded – allow yourself to be open to other scents and fragrances.

I also learnt about the lasting power of each perfume type. Eau de cologne lasts up to two hours. Eau de toilette lasts roughly three hours. Eau de parfum, which the EPC says is the standard strength of perfumes, lasts between five to eight hours. Finally, there’s pure parfum, which can last up to 24 hours.

Step 2: Top, Middle and Base Scents

Smell the different fragrances from each base – top, middle and bottom – and choose one stand-out scent from each category. I learnt that all scent blends carry three distinct notes. They are categorised into the top (also known as the hook) which tend to be lighter scents, middle (sometimes called the heart,) and base notes, the lingering depth of the perfume, which tends to be the richer, nutty, and woody scents. This is known as the “olfactory trifecta”.

Each base has a distinct job but they all work together to create a complete fragrance or perfume. The top notes are the most fleeting in a scent and disappear quickly, it always makes the first impression. The middle and the base notes then work together to deepen the top note, creating a multidimensional of aroma and then leave the lasting impression on your senses.

Image Source: Aaliyah Harry

Top tip: Start by testing the lighter scents or top base first, as they typically have a cleaner and fresher aroma and won’t overload your senses, leaving room for the deeper scents later.


Step 3: Experiment

After choosing the three scents that spoke to me the most, we tried different variations of the three in one fragrance. At this point it was becoming a bit of a sensory overload, so I sniffed some coffee beans to allow my sense of smell to neutralise between each sample. I then chose my top four blends out of those mixtures and sprayed them on each hand. Again, start by testing the lighter scents first, like jasmine and rose blends, and work your way down to the mixture of wood and nutty scents.

Image Source: Aaliyah Harry

Step 4: Go Outside

This is the most important tip. Get some fresh air while the scents are still lingering on your skin. We briefly walked out into the streets of London and allowed the scents to settle on my skin in a different environment. This is where you really find what works for you. After a while, I sniffed the final four blended scents on each hand and the scent that lingered on my skin the most was the blend of Rose Rhubarb (mid) and Amber Iris (base).

When you’re thinking of a buying a signature scent, it’s vey easy to smell it in the shop and purchase immediately. I would really recommend walking out of the shop and even testing it out for a full day before actually purchasing it. It’s important to find the right scent for you and not every scent will be long lasting on your skin, but the one that is, is the fragrance for you.

Image Source: Aaliyah Harry

Step 5: Blend

We then mixed the Rose Rhubarb and Amber Iris scents in a bottle to create my signature scent: Eau De Aaliyah. I learnt that you can have a blend of two scents and layer perfume to find your signature scent.The amazing thing with the Experimental Perfume Club is that you can refill your customised scent whenever you need to. They often change the in-store scents each season, but if you create a bespoke scent with them, you can refill that scent forever.

Image Source: Aaliyah Harry

Walking away from the experience, I was surprised at my signature blend. I originally thought I would gravitate more towards lighter scents but instead I walked away with a mixture. This just proved to me how important it is to experiment but also that you really need to pay attention to what works and lingers on your skin, not just what scent you enjoy.

Aaliyah Harry (she/her) is the associate editor at POPSUGAR UK. She writes extensively across lifestyle, culture and beauty. Aaliyah also has a deep passion for telling stories and giving voice to the voiceless. Previously, she has contributed to Refinery29, Grazia UK and The Voice Newspaper.

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