How to Choose a Signature Perfume 2: Planning a Perfume that Fits

How to Choose a Signature Perfume 2: Planning a Perfume that Fits
Dressing table with silver backed brushes, perfume bottle and nylons draped over a picture frame framing the words "Prestige Full Fashioned Hosiery" (Signature Perfume 2)
Dressing table with perfume bottle, photo by Jack Cato (1889 – 1971) via State Library Victoria

Like the other aspects of your wardrobe, you need to think about how your signature perfume is going to fit your life before you go to the store.

Plan a Stylish and Appropriate Perfume.

Let’s go through the Signature Wardrobe process to see how that works.

Budget

Perfumes come at a range of price points and you will save yourself time by focusing on one.The less expensive the perfume, the more people will be wearing it. Cheaper perfumes may also be mown down under the barrage of soaps, shampoos and skin lotions you use every day. Not to mention the perfumed clothes detergents, fabric softeners and ironing aids you apply to your clothing.

The less expensive the perfume, the more people will be wearing it. Cheaper perfumes may also be mown down under the barrage of soaps, shampoos and skin lotions you use every day. Not to mention the perfumed clothes detergents, fabric softeners and ironing aids you apply to your clothing.

Depending on the perfume you choose, you can layer it with soaps and lotions in the same line which will help with the competition a little, but you might also want to consider finding unscented personal and clothing care products. These are often labelled “sensitive” and may cost extra. But there isn’t much point buying and wearing expensive fragrances with all that competition is there?

Appropriateness

If you have ever worked in an office, walked past another person, or caught any form of public transport you will be aware that there are some fragrances that are better in some places and at some times than others. Some perfumes that are excellent in Winter are overpowering in Summer, while some light Summer fragrances are barely noticeable in winter. You need to consider when and where you will be wearing the perfume, and who you will be with when you do.

Style

Your signature perfume defines you as thoroughly as the clothes you wear (which is why you should choose your own and not borrow someone else’s).

If you are a conservative dresser you might prefer a classic fragrance, or if you are bang up to date and on trend, something a little more modern. The romantic might like something floral, while someone sexier might prefer an oriental. A sporty outdoor person might select something green and fresh while a bookish indoors type might prefer something in a leather or fougère.

If you’re not sure you can take a personality test to try and narrow it down. But do try before you buy – I have never had a quiz perfume recommendation that I have liked let alone worn.

While we are talking about signature perfumes, don’t feel that you need to lock yourself in to one that lasts your whole life. Your girl about town night club perfume might not be right for you as the mother of two in the school drop off lane. Or as happened to me, it might go out of production – l’orrore! (it was an Italian perfume).

Needs

Then you need to decide how many signature perfumes you want.

As I mentioned last time, I prefer to wear one perfume all the time. And I want it to be something uncommon so that people who smell it will think of me. And that rarity means that it will cost more, but as there will only be one, I don’t mind spending more on it.

Katy, on the other hand, has half a dozen (conservative estimate) cheaper perfumes. Each of them has particular outfit, destination and mood matches. Or to put that another way, her work perfume goes with her work clothes, jewellery and shoes. She only wears her home perfume at home with her working around the house clothes. The same for her girlfriend perfume and her husband perfume. Another Katy smells in colour, so she has “yellow” perfumes for her yellow outfits, and “green” for green.

What about an Oriental Eau de Parfum?

Orientals are very popular fragrances, they feel exotic by comparison to our everyday lives. You can buy them very cheaply (e.g. you can pick up Tabu by Dana quite at your local pharmacy), or middle of the range (Opium by Yves Saint Laurent) or for a bit more (Joy by Jean Patou). Many of these perfumes come with additional products so you can layer them to cover the other aromas you might use.

Oriental EdPs can also be quite long lasting so you probably won’t need to refresh it during the day. However, they can feel rather like a punch to the face for passersby and stifling in close quarters. Especially in warmer weather.

There is not much chance that this perfume will be ignored, so this is not the kind of perfume you want to wear if you don’t want to be noticed. I think the best place for this perfume is an intimate dinner, with someone you’d like to get to know better.

What about a Fresh Eau de Toilette?

Similarly, Fresh perfumes range from cheap (e.g. Body Shop’s Zestini), through mid-range (Paco by Paco Rabanne) to expensive (Riveria Dream by Ralph Lauren). And some of them you will be able to layer with additional products.

As this is an EdT, it might last half a day, so you may want to strengthen it’s staying power as well as compete with those other things you use. And probably give yourself a quick spray here and there during the day.

Many people will interpret the aroma as soap or fresh air, so you don’t need to worry too much about upsetting others. It will be lovely in summer but may disappear during winter. This would be a good choice for those who don’t want to stand out or just don’t want their perfume to be the thing people remember them for. It would be a good all rounder.

Next Step

Now you know what perfume is, and you’ve planned a perfume that fits, next time we’ll test some out.

For reference, here’s the full Choosing a Signature Perfume Suite

1: What is Perfume?

2: Planning a Perfume that Fits

3: Trying Perfume Out


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