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5 tips for finding your signature scent

How to find your perfect scent

Seasonal or Signature 

In my opinion there are two types of people when it comes to perfume. Those with a signature scent, and those who change their scent according to their mood, or the seasons or just when they get bored. I think that the seasonal people may have just never been lucky enough to find their perfect fragrance. I get it, it’s really hard to do! There are just so many fragrances out there, and so many sales assistants trying to flog their brands. Perfume shopping is often up there with jeans shopping in terms of difficulty and stress.

I was lucky enough to fall in love with my perfect perfume when I was 17. That perfume was Coco Mademoiselle, and I don’t know why but it just suits me. The only problem was in the eight years i’ve been wearing it, I’ve changed a lot. The pretty pink bottle, and sweet floral smell just didn’t feel like it suited my personality anymore, even though it still smelt nice! I just wanted something to reflect 25 year old Milli not 17 year old Milli.

The last few years I’ve tried a few different perfumes from different brands, and they all seemed ok when I buy them at first but within a few weeks they just aren’t the same! I just don’t feel like me when I wear them. Personally I find perfume is so important to me for my confidence, and my style. If you get it right it reflects your whole identity, so it’s important to get right!

I’ve been searching for a replacement to Coco Mademoiselle for three years now, and I learnt a little bit in my perfume hunting time, and I’ve finally found my perfect perfume. I think it will be my signature for many years to come, so I thought I would share some words of advice.

Here are my top tips for making sure you find the perfect scent. 

  1. Don’t rush into anything – just because you like the smell in the bottle or on first spritz doesn’t mean it won’t go off in an hour or two. Always leave the scent on for at least 20 minutes but ideally an hour before you make a purchase!
  2. Just because it smells nice on someone else, or in the bottle, doesn’t mean it will smell nice on you. It is so important to try it on your skin before you buy. No impulse online purchases allowed.
  3. If you find a perfume you like, always find out what the base notes are. Chances are when you are looking in the future most scents with these notes will smell great on you.
  4. When trying different perfumes ask if the store has any coffee beans to sniff in between. It clears your scent palette so you don’t get overwhelmed and can clearly smell the difference in the fragrances.
  5. If you run out of space on your wrists you can spritz onto your lower arms, and elbows as well – it doesn’t smell any different. But make sure you don’t rub your wrists together as that can take off some of the top notes – just let the scent dry it only takes a second.

Iris Prima

About a month ago I finally had some luck! After wandering round Bluewater spritzing almost everything in John Lewis on my wrist I wandered into the newly open Penhaligons boutique. I was always attracted to Iris Prima because of its story. It was inspired by the ballet, and reflects smells that are found backstage in the theatre. As a dancer who has grown up around those smells it always appealed to me, but when I smelt it out the bottle it was really strong, and deep and just not like me at all!

Iris Prima for some reason is so much softer and lighter on my skin, and I don’t know how but it makes the smell of leather, tulle, and resin smell beautiful and it just suits me. It may smell different on you. But that’s just part of the trauma of perfume shopping.

If you are worrying about committing to a scent, Penhaligon’s also offer a fragrance library with 10 sample sizes so you can try them all out for a few days and see which one takes your fancy – a mighty fine idea if you ask me! 

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  • I am definitely a signature scent kind of gal, been wearing the same one for years and adore it. My top tips for perfume are 1) don’t smush your wrists together as it crushes the scent and 2) put some in your hair!

  • Natalia Molinero Mingorance

    these are really great tips, specially the number 2, I made that mistake a couple of times and got frustrated because I didn’t like the smell on myself lol x

  • Great tips, i am vanilla girl, and all perfumes i use have vanilla scent in it xoxo

  • Karoliina Kazi

    Wonderful tips and ideas. Im definitely a seasonal person, I love light, coconutty and fruity scents during warm months 🌴 and stronger scents during the colder months. But usually the same ones year after another 🙂

    xo Karoliina |

  • I love this post, perfume is exactly as you described like part of your identity and personal style. You have completely intrigued me with Iris Prima because I grew up dancing too, I will have to check it out!
    Lovely post and a great piece of writing.
    Just followed your social media to keep up with everything else you post!! 🙂
    L x

  • Erin Ek Rush

    I love the idea of a signature scent. I didn’t realise it was something that could be done really!

  • sarah Lea

    I agree with trying it on skin before you buy!! Really great tips! I think I need to find my signature scent now 🙂

  • Perfume you wear can really tell a lot about you, I like it when it’s barely noticeable. But it’s a great tip to find base notes of the one’s you like so you can easily choose when you are out shopping. 🙂

  • Angela Milnes

    I’ve just given all my old perfumes to sylvia to use. She is so excited and now i’m looking for a new one. Cant wait to go and smell all the new scents.

  • Madeeha

    I totally agree. I never buy perfume until I try it myself. Body chemistry play a huge role in how fragrance smells on you. Great post x

  • sauumye

    I agree!! Perfume is something that needs to be a perfect match for you!!! And finding a signature scent for yourself is rather a very difficult task.

  • This is a fascinating post. I never buy perfume without trying it on myself, but I do often stick with the same scents.

  • Michaele

    I remember that I always wanted my own parfume but I never felt like the one is mine … well… once I really liked one parfume and after months of using it people starting to be – you smell like (my name), that is so u… and every time they hugged me after a while they were like “this is how i remember you” and I liked it… and since I still like the parfume I guess it’s my own 🙂

  • I’ve only recently heard about not rubbing your wrists together but have found it has made quite a difference to the scent I’m wearing. I’m a Jean Paul Gaultier girl myself – have tried quite a few different ones over the years but keep coming back to JP!

  • I learnt lesson 2 the hard one. My friend brought a new perfume and it smelt amazing on her. I brought it for myself and it smelt horrible on my. That was a $100 down the drain and a lesson learnt

  • Fab post. I love perfumes but I don’t commit to any.

  • Jess Howliston

    Great tips! I really want to find a special signature perfume as my go to scent so may take these tips on board and head to a perfume shop to try some out! xx

  • Nayna Kanabar

    I am one of those people who stick to two or three favorites and find hard to change or try something new.

  • Beautyqueenuk

    I never ever buy a perfume from a store just because I like it, I am more likely to cover myself in it or grab a tester and then go back for it x

  • This is a great post, I don’t think I have a signature scent!

  • I don’t think I have a signature scent, may take these tips on board to find one though

  • Congrats on finding a new signature scent, I’ve not found mine yet, I seem to change fragrances throughout the season by my current favourite is the Alexander McQueen Eau De Parfum x

  • I like to change up my scents but stick to the same family of smells. I have two signature scents, Boss Orange Woman and VIP 212 (which is super sexy). If I find a scent I like now I usually spray it on me in store and on a tester paper so I can experience it for a while before I make a decision. Congrats on finding a new scent and wonderfully helpful post! X

  • Some great tips here! It can be so hard to find a signature scent, can’t it?

  • Love the coffee beans tip. I will try that.

  • ooo the coffee beans! its a first ive heard of that.

  • Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️

    So many great tips! I basically love anything with vanilla in x

  • Francesca Nelson

    These are fab tips!!! I wouldn’t have known about the coffee beans!! I must try some of these sometimes I smell something and think yeah thats the one and when I buy it I hate it!!

  • Melanie Edjourian

    I do have firm favourites but also love to mix it up depending on my mood.

  • Laura

    Thanks for sharing such great tips- I completely agree that just because something smells great on a friend doesnt mean it’ll smell the same way on yourself! xxx

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    I think my signature scent is anything with coconut – that’s all I seem to wear!