How to Find Your Signature Scent Based on Which One You'd Want to Date

how to choose a signature scenthow to choose a signature scent

I once heard a dating expert say, “A dating profile isn’t meant to attract the widest pool of people – this is dating, not a general election. Your dating profile is about attracting your person, not every person.”

This is exactly how you should approach choosing a signature scent.

It’s about finding your scent. Not your mum’s scent. Not your best friend’s scent. Not Britney Spears’ scent (remember when we all reeked of Fantasy?!).

The only problem is, shopping for fragrance can be bloody confusing. So, I’ve done the hard work for you.

Keep scrolling for a simple guide to choosing your signature scent. P.S. This took hours of research, and I still feel like there’s so much to learn about fragrance!

Eau De What? The Difference Between EDP and EDT.

Fun fragrance fact: The world’s first “nose” was a woman named Tapputi in 12th century BC. She was mentioned in the original Instagram Story (i.e. a stone-carved tablet) as a royal perfumer who distilled flowers and oils into fragrances. If she was dating in the modern era, she'd definitely be on Bumble.

Back to the different types of perfumes. You may notice fragrances are either labelled EDP, EDT or EDC. This tells you how much concentration of pure perfume essence is in the bottle.

  • Eau de Parfum (EDP) is stronger and contains 10-20 per cent essence.

  • Eau de Toilette (EDT) is lighter, containing 4-15 per cent essence.

  • Eau de Cologne (EDC) is weaker still, containing around 2-5 per cent pure perfume essence.

Learn more about fragrances in this episode of the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast below...

What Are Head, Heart and Base Notes?

Now you know the difference between EDP, EDT and EDC fragrances, here's how interpret fragrance notes.

The three types of fragrance notes are:

  • Head notes (or top notes) - Like a fragrance’s dating profile. These small molecular notes will be your first impression of the fragrance because they're the first thing you smell. They evaporate quickly, so only last around five to 15 minutes.

  • Heart notes (or middle notes) - Like the first date. In my opinion, this is the make or break date. Mum always says, “Hannah, give him a go! It takes a long time to get to know someone.” But for me, I know on the first date if we’re going to see each other again. These notes make up 40-80 per cent of the final fragrance, so they're a pretty important predictor of whether this is the scent for you.

  • Base notes - Like the first sleepover; they’re going to create a lasting impression. They work with the heart notes to create the full body of the perfume’s scent. They’re richer, sink into the skin and their scent can last longer than six hours. (That's some sleepover.)

You can find out more about fragrances and who they suit in this fragrance YouTube video below!

What Are The Fragrance Families?

The next step is figuring out which fragrance family you're after.

As fragrance taxonomist and founder of Fragrances of the World Michael Edwards told us on the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast, fragrances can be grouped into the following categories:

  • Fresh: These usually smell clean (and fresh, duh). Many EDCs fall into this family. These fragrances will be zesty and energising with citrus notes, they might transport you to a beach holiday with water notes, and green notes might even smell like a walk in a freshly-cut meadow.

  • Floral: If you’re a floral person, you know you’re a floral person. Floral is one of the most popular fragrance families. Think: Roses, jasmine and gardenia. 

  • Oriental: Think incenses, spices, resins and musks. Orientals have a grown-up, evening vibe.

  • Woody: These notes come from wood materials such as trees, resins, roots, moss and leaves. Think cedarwood, vetiver, patchouli and sandalwood.

Within those four main families, there are 14 sub-groups to help identify a fragrance. For example, 'Floral Oriental' sits between floral and oriental on the wheel.

So, that is a lot of info. If you're still confused and struggling to understand what this all means, fear not. Below, I've translated four of my favourite signature scents into a format (almost) all of us can understand. Online dating profiles.

Date 1: Cire Trudon Medie EDP 100ml.

Dating bio: Loves the great outdoors; Meditates every day; Definitely a morning person.

First date: Rock climbing.

Notes to make you swipe right:

  • Head: Grapefruit, mandarin, angelica roots.

  • Heart: Sambac jasmine, French cypress, pepperwood.

  • Base: Texan cedar, frankincense, akigalawood.

My verdict:

Cire Trudon Medie EDP 100ml has citrus notes and a spicy base with traces of amber and leather. When you first spritz this fragrance, you might not think much of it. But wait. It takes time to develop, and once it does... Phwoar, so sexy and intoxicating. I couldn’t stop smelling my wrist. Guess mum was right.

Cire Trudon Medie EDP 100mlCire Trudon Medie EDP 100ml

Date 2: Narciso Rodriguez for Her Fleur Musc EDP 50ml.

Dating bio: Will never forget your anniversary; Loves to slow dance to Al Green; Infectious laugh.

First date: A picnic at Moonlight cinemas. 

Notes to make you swipe right:

  • Head: Pink peppercorn.

  • Heart: Rose, peony and musk.

  • Base: Patchouli, amber and violet.

My verdict:

narciso rodriguez for her Fleur Musc EDP 50ml has heart notes of rose, peony and musk. It’s like pure joy in a bottle! Everyone comments on this one when I wear it.

Narciso Rodriguez for Her Fleur Musc EDP 50mlNarciso Rodriguez for Her Fleur Musc EDP 50ml

Date 3: BDK Gris Charnel EDP 100ml.

Dating bio: Spontaneous and a little mysterious; Loves to travel to exotic destinations; Adventurous foodie.

First date: Five course meal with matched wines.

Notes to make you swipe right:

  • Head: Fig, black tea, cardamom essence.

  • Heart: Iris absolute, bourbon vetiver.

  • Base: Indian sandalwood, tonka bean absolute.

My verdict:

BDK Gris Charnel EDP 100ml blends fruits, spices and smoke. It’s a spicy oriental fragrance for both men and women. It’s exotic, but not overpowering. Definitely gives off dimly-lit dinner vibes.

BDK Gris Charnel EDP 100mlBDK Gris Charnel EDP 100ml

Date 4: L'Artisan Parfumeur Histoire D'Orangers EDP 100ml.

Dating bio: Intense eye contact; Antique collector; Knows where to get the best Negroni.

First date: Cocktail bar then tapas.

Notes to make you swipe right:

  • Head: Neroli and white tea.

  • Heart: Musk and orange blossom.

  • Base: Ambroxan and tonka.

My verdict:

Inspired by Morocco, L'Artisan Parfumeur Histoire D'Orangers EDP 100ml opens with neroli and white tea before leaving orange blossom and musk to linger. According to Wikipedia, orange blossom is meant to be an aphrodisiac... which totally makes sense. This fragrance is more sensual than sexy.

L'Artisan Parfumeur Histoire D'Orangers EDP 100mlL'Artisan Parfumeur Histoire D'Orangers EDP 100ml

Finally, remember you don’t have to be monogamous with your fragrances… it’s 2021, people! I personally have a fragrance for every mood.

And because the goal here is to spritz your new scent for the first time and completely fall in love with it, don’t forget about our Scent Room Promise that lets you go on a first date with your scent of choice, no strings attached.

How? Every full-size Scent Room fragrance comes with a sample vial, so you can try before settling down. If it’s not The One, you can send back the full-size bottle for free. If only dating was that easy...

    Join Now >
    Filled with the usual things we know you'll love, and surprises you might not expect, it's real rewards, really simple.