Why Having a Signature Scent is a Must and How to Pick One

"A signature scent is an extremely effective way for all humans to identify ourselves within the world around us."

You know the moment, that moment when someone walks past you and you take a few deep breaths after they pass because a delightful fragrance lingers in their wake. Please tell me I’m not alone so I don’t feel creepy! Seriously though, there is something so pleasant about the right amount of a complimentary fragrance wafting in all directions just for a moment beyond someone’s passing by. It’s not too overwhelming, it doesn’t take over the entire room, and it isn’t enough to offend someone who might not prefer the scent. It’s just enough to make someone turn their head, or follow the wearer with their gaze, or perhaps stop them and exclaim, “Wow, you smell so good! What are you wearing!?” 

It’s no secret that fragrance has the power to make or break someone’s presence. It can stop a person in their tracks or repel even the most tolerant person. Scientifically, our bodies and brains are designed to react to scents. Scents evoke a visceral reaction in most of us so it’s only reasonable that we take our relationship with fragrance very seriously. 

Do you have a signature scent? If you don’t would you like to? Regardless of your answer, keep reading! I’m about to dish all the details on what a signature scent is, why I recommend that everyone choose a signature scent, the types of scents to choose from, and some ways to pick the best scent for you!

The legendary Coco Chanel once said, about fragrance, that “it is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” A signature scent is an extremely effective way for all humans to identify ourselves within the world around us. Our bodies are designed to react to smells as a survival and safety method. 

Our olfactory system is responsible for our smelling experience and this system is part of the larger limbic system, which is responsible for the emotions we feel, our survival instincts, and the creation of our memories. A properly working olfactory system protects us in many ways using our sense of smell. From preventing us from eating rancid or spoiled food to creating a solid memory connected to an enjoyable fragrance, our body and brain rely constantly on smell to help us navigate our environment. 

For this reason, a signature scent can become just as much a part of your identity as your height, style, hair color, or other identifying features. Our scent has the ability to invoke emotional reactions and improve or damage our social influence. Unfortunately, word travels fast when something or someone smells unpleasant. However, our bodies work so effortlessly that a good smell can attract, entice, and engage others without them even realizing it. 

I would venture to say that anytime we aim to make an impact, we’d like it to be unforgettable. This is why having a signature scent can help you create an in person experience that makes you unforgettable to others, fondly remembered, and warmly welcomed. The more unique your fragrance, the more personal to you others experience and memories will be!

Now that we know why we should have a signature scent, let's talk about how to find one and what your options are. This will be helpful to you whether you’re picking a signature scent for the first time, or you need to update your signature scent to something that truly represents you as best as possible! 

It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.”

-Coco Chanel

First, it is important to know the different types of fragrance available to you. Understanding the differences and the length of wear may help you choose a fragrance best suited to your lifestyle. For example, fragrance oils generally provide the longest lasting wear. This is perfect for anyone who is on the go with little downtime. I like to call it a “set it and forget it” product because there is little need for reapplication throughout the day. 

Once you decide what type of fragrance application you’re looking for, next up is deciding the scent category that is most complimentary to your physical chemistry and best represents your personality. I’ll detail the most popular scent categories to give you an idea of where to begin. 

The four main fragrance categories are Floral, Woody, Fresh, and Oriental. Each family is broken further down into sub-categories and those are broken down even further into specific fragrance notes. Some fragrance notes that you may often hear of are Musk, Smoke, Citrus, Aquatic, and Green. 

The great news is, once you know which main category you gravitate toward, you don’t need to know every single detail of sub categories and notes to begin trying fragrances. You really just need to know how they make you feel, observe how they react to your body chemistry, and take note of the reaction you get from others when wearing it. Let’s chat a bit about each category!

close up images of big, pink roses

Floral


Image of a dusky, cedar filled forest with a path winding a corner

Woody

up close photo of fresh, green grass

Fresh


smoky photo of burning incense and gold, decadent spice jars

Oriental

Floral: Floral fragrances are extremely common in both women’s and men’s fragrances. They can take a turn for the fruity as well as combine with oriental elements for a sweet and spicy sort of vibe. Our Egyptian Rose Oil, Mimose Oil, and Sakkara Oil all fall into this sweet, sophisticated, wearable category!

Woody: Woody fragrances have a much earthier vibe and lend themselves to notes such as cedar, patchouli, and moss. Think of outdoor fall smells. To lighten them up you will see them combined with citrus or floral notes, creating a more “all occasion” wearable scent. Our Egyptian Musk Oil is a great example of woody and fresh creating a lovely, comforting, every day fragrance!

Fresh: Fresh is where you most often find the citrusy, water inspired, green notes combined. Think the smell of springtime outdoors with freshly cut grass and early evening rain showers. This family is used often in men’s fragrances but I personally gravitate towards this category as well, and more recently it has expanded to use in unisex fragrances too. To make this family more complex, you may see it paired with woody or oriental scents to add depth and spice. My own signature scent, and Anuket’s flagship product, Papyrus Oil falls into this category. Our Lotus Oil does as well!

Oriental: Oriental is decadent, warm, spicy, and full of power. This family is commonly softened with floral notes, making it a delightfully alluring category often used in fragrances for statement makers.

Good manners and good cologne is what transforms the man into a gentleman.”

-Tom Ford

When choosing a personal fragrance, don’t expect to make the choice in one day. Retailers often offer sample packs or one off testers that you can use and test against your body’s chemistry. Take note of your physical reaction in the form of headaches or sinus symptoms as well. It doesn’t matter how good you smell if you feel terrible wearing it. 

A signature scent is about adding another layer to the way you show up as the absolute best version of yourself for you AND others! Once you’ve found a few that work for you, give them each a few days trial run. Pay attention to the feedback you receive. If you smell amazing, people WILL tell you. Remember, it’s science! 

While you’re experimenting be sure to check out this recent post on how to make your fragrance last longer so that you can get the most value out of whatever you choose! Our fragrance oils, especially the softer and more fresh scents, work tremendously well as a layering base with other fragrances to help create a unique signature scent that is 100% your own! 

Be sure to let us know in the comments what you come up with, and send this to a friend who needs some guidance in finding a signature scent! Another fragrance legend, Tom Ford, once said, “Good manners and good cologne is what transforms the man into a gentleman.” A signature scent is truly a part of your personal brand and identity, make sure that you’re giving the world it’s best impression of you! 

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Cheers,

Ashlee

Anuket Owner

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