We Have All Of These Fragrances On Our Wishlists

As a beauty journalist and podcaster, there’s one fragrance question I always ask: do you believe in a signature scent?

For perfumer and ‘scentsmith’ Ainslie Walker, who also runs perfume workshops, the idea of a ‘fragrance wardrobe’ has become more attractive as she’s entered her thirties.

“It doesn’t have to be many - you could even have three ‘signature’ fragrances on rotation,” she says.

It makes sense. Finding ‘the one’ is a heavy load to place on a single perfume. And we don’t restrict ourselves to wearing the same outfit or eating the same meal everyday. 

With so many beautiful fragrances, it’s the perfect invitation to explore and play. So where to buy authentic perfumes to start building said wardrobe? Right here.

How Do I Find The Right Perfume For Me (Or Someone Else)?

Firstly, it doesn’t have to be an impossible challenge. And you can even do it online. Yes, really.

Each full size perfume you order from Adore Beauty’s selection of premium Scent Room fragrances comes with The Scent Room Promise - a small sample you can try before you open the full-size product. Spritz, sniff and if it’s to your liking, crack open the big bottle. If not, you can send the unopened fragrance back and exchange for another (just make sure it's from The Scent Room - not all fragrances at Adore sit in this category).

If you’re thinking about how to choose perfume for your age, don’t feel restricted.

“These days we have a license to break molds and stereotypes - even some of the most refined and niche fragrances could have a heavy dose of vanilla or a dash of fairy floss candy in them that would previously been thought of as “young”, but can be worn by people of all ages,” says Ainslie.

“Generally, I recommend something fresher and lighter for those getting their first perfume or teach them that just a few sprays is better than wearing too much.”

Finding The ‘Family’ You Prefer Is A Great Way To Start. 

One of my perfume bibles, Gestalten’s The Essence - Discovering the World of Scent, Perfume & Fragrance, identifies seven olfactory categories fragrance is grouped into.

  • Chypre: French for Cyprus, where many of its defining ingredients can be found. Combinations of bergamot, oakmoss and patchouli, with plenty of top citrus-y notes.

  • Floral: A bouquet for your nose, often led by rose. Can vary from innocent and sweet to more heady and sensual.

  • Citrus: Based on the traditional Italian eau de cologne, think fresh and poppy notes of fruits from lemon, orange and lime to grapefruit, bergamot and yuzu. Sunshine bottled.

  • Fougere: Another French creation, this time meaning ‘fern’. Captures the greener side of nature and can be made more aromatic or citrus-y. Sophisticated and now often regarded as unisex.

  • Woody: From cedarwood to sandalwood, woody fragrances can be dry, creamy or smokey.

  • Exotic Ambers: Rich and exotic, these are spicy and sometimes sensuous. Defining notes include frankincense and myrrh. You’ll often find it dancing with other families, like woody and floral. 

  • Gourmand: The newest of the fragrance families - a sweeter taste. Think caramel, chocolate, coffee, almond, and vanilla.

Once you know these, it’s easier to narrow down the kind of smells you like (without a panicked search of ‘what is my natural scent quiz’). 

Fragrance expert Michael Edwards says if you look up three fragrances you have loved, at least two will likely be from the same family,” explains Ainslie.

So, which family most appeals to you? Surrounds of sunshine, a lush forest, a field or flowers or a smokey room of secrets?

Here Are Four At The Top Of My Current Wishlist:

Lipstick Fever is the newest addition to Juliette Has A Gun and as we’ve come to expect from the brand, it’s intriguing. The perfume equivalent of a freshly painted bold lip for an instant confidence boost and ‘don’t-mess-with-me’ front. The kind of scent that encourages a tap on the shoulder to say ‘what are you wearing?’ Floral and fruity, discover its top notes of raspberry and violet, before developing into richer notes of patchouli, iris, vanilla and cedar. 

It’s not quite a magic carpet, but it’s close. Close your eyes, spritz it on, and be instantly transported to the colourful bustle of Marrakech. Warm and spicy, savour top notes of bergamot, cloves and cardamom, middle notes of neroli, jasmine and rose, and a lingering base of cedar and sandalwood.

Light and pleasant, perfectly evoking the free feeling of spring and summer. Young and feminine, bright fruity notes are intertwined with airy florals. Yuzu and pomegranate open to a heart of peony, lotus and magnolia, leaving behind musk, mahogany and amber. Light enough for daytime, the bottle is asking to be displayed prettily too.

Proving floral can be bold too, Libre puts a feminine twist to typically masculine notes to create something truly special. Mandarin, herbal lavender, blackcurrant, orange blossom, herbal lavender, musk, cedarwood and madagascan vanilla will have you coming back to this scent, time and time again.