March 15, 2022

Finding »the« perfect fragrance is a very hard and personal thing. Much like finding »the one« – our other half – to be spending the rest of our life with. And just like not every person is made for everyone, a fragrance that works wonders for someone else, may not work for you. So, how do you find your signature scent? In a department store full of classy and sparkling bottles, tempting you to try them out, how do you know what to sniff out and what to buy? Although it may be tempting to choose a perfume simply by its looks and price, below we offer you a simple guide to narrow the choice down.

Perfume shopping (photo: Pexels)

What is the first thing I should know when buying »the one«? 

When searching for a signature scent, we would recommend thinking about three things:

“3 crucial Q’s: What is my style?, What is my favourite scent?, What is the occasion?”

  1. What is your everyday aesthetic? 

Are you sophisticated, bold, modern, boho, glam for example?

2. What kind of smells are you drawn to in everyday life? 

Do you love flowers, citrus, sweets, vanilla, musk, wood?

3. Think about the purpose of the fragrance.

Is it for every day, for evenings out, for special occasions, for work?

Take these three pieces of information to a fragrance expert in a perfume store, and they will be able to give recommendations based on this profile, or you can check out our »Choose your perfect »second skin« fragrance« blog, to help you identify which scents might suit you best.

Narrow it down.


“Focus on the one group, type or style of fragrance you’re attracted to and discover the scent options it offers.”

Once you’ve figured out which notes (floral, oriental, woody, or citrus) you like best and what occasion you want to wear it for, you can start exploring fragrances in your category. You’ll often find that you’re naturally drawn towards bottles of perfume from your preferred scent-family. For instance, lots of woody fragrances are in dark, moody-looking bottles that won’t appeal to someone who likes sophisticated, floral fragrances. Trust your eye and see where it takes you.  

Choose a concentration.

Perfume– above 20% concentration, lasts 12h; Eau de parfum– 15- 20% concentration, lasts around 6h; Eau de toilette– concentration from 5 to 15%, lasts up to 4h;  Eau de cologne– below 5% concentration, only lasts about two hours.

Fragrances come in four different levels of concentration. As the concentration gets higher, the price and the perfume longetivity usually get higher as well.

  1. The highest concentration is simply called perfume or parfum. This level usually will last all day with just one application to the wrists or pulse points. 
  2. The next lower level is eau de parfum, which typically can last about six hours after application. 
  3. The third level is called eau de toilette and is usually fairly affordable and easy to find in retail stores. It typically requires more than one application throughout the day to get it to last. 
  4. The fourth and lowest fragrance concentration is eau de cologne, which only lasts about two hours.

Perfume samples (photo: Unsplash)

Explore the samples.

Before you decide to purchase any fragrance, you should definitely do a few simple tests to make sure that it is something you will really want to wear and that you will love. Once you have sniffed a few different scents, choose three that you like most. Using the sample cards that are on display in the store, spray a small amount onto each tab. Ensuring to keep them separated at all times. Over the next few hours, smell each sample from time to time. You’ll see how to the fragrance develops and how it fades over time.

Test the fragrance out.

Never commit to purchasing a perfume unless you’ve worn it for at least eight hours. Only try two fragrances at a time, spray one on each wrist and periodically smell them throughout the day to see how they settle on your skin and how the notes wear out by the end of the day. Then, you should have a fairly solid preference of which one to choose.

Live with it!

If you’re quite sure you’ve got a winner, do one last skin test. Return to the mall and spritz »the fragrance« on your pulse points – the neck, the wrists, the inner elbows. Wait a minimum of 30 minutes after spraying it on (run some errands during this time), before taking a final, definitive sniff. In this time, the top notes will evaporate, and the rest of the notes will mix with your skin oils and natural scent, giving you a better idea of how it’ll live on your skin.

If you still love it by the end of all that, then congrats! You finally found »the one« or, at the very least, a new perfume you like enough to wear on some occasions. May you two live happily ever after.