davidoff cool water - signature scent

Thank you for stopping by and welcome to the best ultimate guide about how to find your signature scent.

The purpose of this article is to teach you step-by-step the easiest and the best ways you can find your personal scent without headache-inducing dry information.

Here are the things you will learn:

  • What is a signature scent?
  • Perfume basics
  • 12 step perfume guide
  • How to effectively use S.P.A. Signature Factor Guide
  • 4 perfume recommendations to try out

While this is a process should take some time, it doesn’t mean that it has to be complicated or daunting. Perfume is a personal thing that we enjoy and it often boosts our confidence and mood.

After you read Scent Grail’s guide to finding your perfect scent that fits your personal style, not only that the power of the signature can make you the best version of yourself, you’ll also leave unforgettable and lasting memories with people you love.

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What Is A Signature Scent?

A signature perfume is one scent by which other people recognize you. Not only this, but a signature is also a scent that works best with you and your body chemistry.

This perfume boost your mood, makes your day better, and occasionally garners you a compliment or two.

Furthermore, it can also help define who you are as an individual, project your personality, and reflect your perfume taste.

The Perfume Basics

In this chapter, you will learn perfume essentials, such as:

  1. What are perfume notes and accords?
  2. Difference between the perfume strengths and concentrations
  3. Different fragrance families

Before you start your quest to finding your signature, it’s quite important to learn the basics so that you arrive prepared and knowledgeable.

Notes and accords

Simply explained, notes and perfume indigents, and accords are “fantasy” note made from several other notes to get one distinct accord(note) that couldn’t be recreated otherwise.

Such accords are leather, amber, and marine notes, while notes can be bergamot, rose, and vanilla. But, while it may sound as simple as this, there are some other things to consider as well.

Smelly alcohol-water known as perfumes are made from multiple notes and accords which are made from a mixture of natural and aroma-chemical indigents to form a general scent profile.

These notes and accords are separated in three different classes known as perfume pyramid:

  • Top Notes
  • Middle Notes
  • Base Notes

Each of the separate pyramid stages is carefully created by perfumes to evaporate accordingly.

For example, top notes such as citruses evaporate faster than for instance, Sandalwood and Agarwood found in the middle or base stage of the perfume.

In modern perfumery, accords are a vital part of creating a harmonious blend of two or more notes into a distinctive smell.

While this process is more complex than it may sound, it’s always good to know how are your perfume composed and when can you expect more natural indigents rather than synthetics.

So, to conclude the fragrance term referred to as “notes” and “accords” are often used as marketing to explain approximately what consumers may expect when smelling a particular perfume.

Fragrance Strengths & Perfume Concentrations

Had you ever been to a perfume store and saw that your next potential purchase comes in various perfume concentration? Well, you are not alone.

If that wasn’t confusing enough, sometimes perfumes that come in Eau de Parfum concentration smell completely different than it’s Eau de Toilette counterpart.

Fear not, since learning the difference between these strengths and concentrations can make your buying experience a couple of times better.

Both terms refer to raw material oil concentration which affects perfume longevity and projection. While EDP may have more perfume oils than EDT, it is not uncommon to find that EDT projects better than EDP.

This is because perfume performs better when less perfume oil is diluted in alcohol within the fragrance bottle.

These are the most commonly used fragrance concentrations:

  • Eau Fraiche 1-3%
  • After Shave/Mist/Splash 1-3%
  • Eau de Cologne 2-4%
  • Eau de Toilette 5-15%
  • Eau de Parfum 15-20%
  • Pure Parfum/Extrait de Parfum 20-40%

Now, you may ask yourself, do the different strengths actually matter. Well, that depends on a couple of factors such as how strong you want your perfume to perform, your lifestyle, hobbies, among others.

That’s why I recommend further reading of these informative articles to expand your knowledge:

Fragrance Families

The world of fragrance is divided into families, also classified as fragrance combinations which consist of major groups and are based upon similarities and differences in their scent profile.

Before 2010. and the newest version of the fragrance chart, Fougere fragrance group had its separate place in the fragrance chart wheel.

Since 2010. Fougere/Aromatics group had been added between citrus and dry woods.

Main fragrance groups:

FRESH – citrus, fruity, green, water
WOODY – woods, mossy woods, dry woods, aromatic
ORIENTAL – soft oriental, oriental, woody oriental
FLORAL – floral, soft floral, floral oriental

This is where the Fragrance wheel comes to a place that is used as a classification tool in oenology and perfumery.

Scent Grail Fragrance Wheel

The fragrance wheel is a great tool to determine what kind of scents you may like. As you can see, colors blend into each other, and opposite colors clash.

The main groups of Oriental, Floral, Woody, and Fresh and also divided into sub-groups and it is a great place to start for perfume beginners.

Keep in mind these categories next time you search for a next perfume purchase.

How To Find Your Signature Scent

Finding your signature scent will take time, and this is an important thing to remember. Keep in mind to take this journey as light-hearted as possible.

Just like everything in life, perfume is a personal choice, and not liking something straight away doesn’t mean you won’t like it the next time you sample it.

This and many other secrets are revealed as you read the following 12 steps ultimate guide on your hero’s journey to finding your perfect scent.

Step 1: Take it easy

Assuming that you are gonna follow the previous chapters before your perfume journey begins, let me tell you to take a deep breath and take it easy.

Not only that it could be a potentially expensive hobby with a couple of “love at the first sight” that will grow sour after a while, that’s why it is good not to take things too seriously.

Life is a journey that we live day by day, and so it is this perfume game. Alright, here are the questions that you should ask yourself before you start:

  1. What are you hoping to find or achieve with your signature perfume?
  2. How much money are you willing to spend on your signature?
  3. How will my perfume affect other people?

Let me give you further info about the second and third questions. Since you are going to use your personal scent daily, you’ll get through a bottle much faster than you would normally do with a fragrance you occasionally wear.

Some fragrances are cheap, while others are expensive. Each of these could be your signature, so think about how much are you willing to pay two or three times a year.

Depending on your lifestyle and hobbies which will get a separate chapter in this article, you’ll also have to keep in mind do your strong perfumes affect positively or negatively colleagues, friends, and family.

Step 2: Start with smells you already know

Another great way to begin is to start smelling everything around you. From food, spices, flowers, even taking a hike or walk through the forest to smell the air and earth.

Everything matters so do letting your olfactive senses going wild. This way, if you think about it, you’ll know a basic idea about what kind of fragrance to look for.

If for example, you are a gardener and love the smell of Iris, Lavender, and Rose, you’ll do research on that find of perfumes.

So, before stepping into a perfume store, write down a list of stuff that you love to smell. You will thank yourself later.

PRO TIP: If you already own perfumes, remind yourself of the best ones. It will save you time and act as a great starting point.

Step 3: Consider your hobbies and lifestyle

Your hobbies directly relate to step number 2. Hobbies and interests such as gardening and cooking can be used as a point of direction what kind of fragrances you may like.

Just don’t limit yourself to the hobbies, since you may want to smell completely different than you would while occupying your time with personal interests.

While smelling like flowers and cinnamon may work in the garden and kitchen or romantic date nights, figuring out how your signature will work with your lifestyle is another pair of shoes.

Working in the office? Though luck. Rarely anyone will stand One Million by Paco Rabanne while sitting next to you. Fresher and lighter scents work best in the office.

On the other hand, working outside and constantly moving will give you a chance to wear anything you like without fearing about will someone complain about your perfume.

We all know that one person in the office which is suffocating everyone else with their strong perfume known as a “cologne guy“, and we don’t want to be remembered that way.

Choose smart and let a fragrance discover you rather than announce you.

Step 4: Do your research before purchasing and testing

Research, research, and research before going to a perfume shop. Being well prepared is already a half-won battle.

Now that you know what kind of scents you like in daily life, it’s time to start doing research online. I recommending checking out Scent Grail’s Holy Grail Scents, Reviews, and Perfume lists to check out my perfume suggestions.

If you are a fan of reading, I have also compiled a huge list containing the best perfume books on the market today.

Brands such as Christian Dior, Tom Ford, and Guerlain offer on their websites helpful insights about their products which you can also check out.

Step 5: Arrive at the store without wearing a perfume

Before arriving at the perfume store, don’t wear any perfume or fragrant deodorants that day. This way, your nose palate will be fresh without odors.

PRO TIP: Avoid wearing clothes from the day before in case you wore a fragrance product day prior. Mixing two or more perfumes will just confuse you which is which scent.

Step 6: Try out only a couple of perfumes per visit

Versace pour homme - signature scent

Our nose is a powerful tool that contains olfactory sensory neurons that helps us in a remarkable way.

Without the olfactory sensory neurons, common scents such as lemons or cacao would be hard to distinguish. And without smell, our food would taste bland or have almost zero flavors.

When it comes to perfumes, getting lost in the perfume shop, smelling dozens of scents will positively cause nose blindness and leave you confused.

I find that testing the perfume in the morning helps even more since our nose is not yet saturated with other scents, and we are still fresh.

That’s why our research before visiting a store plays a huge role. After you have selected anywhere from two up to four fragrances that felt great to you while reading about them, it is time to test.

Which brings us to the next chapter about how to test a perfume the proper way.

Step 7: Test on skin

Did you know that the top notes that you smell on the test strip are the ones that make you buy a fragrance?

Well, it is not unusual that these notes are the most intense and most pleasing. As you have guessed, that is not an accident, and beauty brands pump in a lot of money to make you do a snap decision.

Unfortunately, most of these snap decisions end up being failed purchase. That is why you are going to approach testing a perfume differently, no matter what the sales assistant tells you.

After you have done your research online and found up to four fragrances you wish to test, you are going to spray each of them on the test strips first and let them dry down for a minute or two.

Make sure to write down on the strips which fragrance is which. After the perfume settles down, sniff them again and decide which two are worth spraying on each wrist.

Since every person’s skin is slightly different, so will each perfume react differently on you. And that’s about it. Leave the shop and let the perfume develop.

PRO TIP: Some stores may offer to give you samples of fragrance you liked, that’s why it’s good to know that you can ask politely for a small sample.

Step 8: Skip the coffee beans

Coffee beans and perfume testing come hand in hand, right? Well, that may not be entirely true. If you have smelled a couple of perfumes and started to notice “nose blindness” I would recommend skipping those nice looking coffee beans all around the perfume department.

Unfortunately, you will not reset your nose palate by sniffing coffee since you are just replacing one heavy scent with another.

What I would recommend is to either smell the unscented part of your skin(like elbows) or your clothing to reset your palate between sampling sessions.

Step 9: Wait for the dry down

After you have chosen a couple of fragrances that you initially liked on the strip and sprayed them on your skin, it’s time to see how they develop.

Each perfume develops differently throughout the day, and after a couple of hours, you will see how a particular fragrance works with you.

Everything we have learned earlier about fragrance notes, fragrance families, and perfume concentrations will come in handy now.

Some fragrances may end up dull, while some other that may seem strange, may develop wonderfully. Either way, you have sampled the potential purchase the correct way.

Step 10: Temperature affects perfume performance

During your hunt to finding the perfect signature scent, you will find out that some fragrances work better during the colder seasons, and some work better when it’s hot.

This is why it’s important to know about your future signature scent perfume. If you are using a heavier perfume during the winter, it will work great.

But, if you decide to use it during the summer, it may come differently, and potentially bother other people. Also, keep in mind that during the heat, the perfumes will evaporate faster due to the combination of pulse, sweat, and hot skin surface.

Step 11: Test perfumes multiple times

Always give a second chance to everything. Especially with perfumes. As already mentioned, it should take time and many testings until you found your “the one”.

If you get lucky to find a store that will give you small samples, test that fragrance on multiple occasions until the last drop.

In case you aren’t that lucky to get a small sample, it’s good to know that the fragrance discounters offer such products for cheap.

Step 12: Wear what you like and not what others want

The road to glory ain’t the fast one but will get you to the finish. Many testings, bumpy roads, and experiences will get you there 100%, but let me give you one final piece of advice.

Ultimately, it comes to what you like. Your signature is a reflection of your personality and a picture of you that you send out to the world.

Thus, always wear what you like and not what other want.

Use S.P.A. Signature Factor Guide

Signature Factor Guide has been created as an insightful tool to help you find your perfect perfume. S.P.A. stands for Scent, Performance, and Accessibility.

By answering the 10 simple questions, this guide helps you decide if a particular fragrance is worth checking out. The best things about this tool are that is easy to use, relevant, and free.

Check out the S.P.A. Signature Factor Guide and download it for now.

4 Signature Scent Recommendations

As a bonus feature, I have decided to include four fragrances which I believe are worth checking out. Each of these could be easily worn by a man or a woman, and fit into any situation.

They are also a great starting point, and beloved within the fragrance community. Feel free to check them out.

Escentric Molecules Molecule 01

Why choose Molecule 01: Perfumer Geza Schoen has created a fragrance worth the title “the easiest scent to pull off – anytime and anywhere”.

Iso E Super is a molecule that hovers above the skin to create an indefinable aroma around you. Many characterize this molecule as having a velvety and dry cedarwood note.

Molecule 01 is mild, pleasant, and long-lasting. It is ideal for those who want to stand out without being pushy.

  • Fragrance Type: Woody Musk
  • Perfumer: Geza Schoen
  • Perfume Concentration: Edt
  • Release Date: 2006
  • Age group: 18+
  • Main Notes:  Iso E Super
  • Longevity and Projection: 8 – 10 hours with moderate projection
  • Seasons: Any season
  • Occasions: Any occasion
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume

Why choose Not A Perfume: this fragrance is based upon a single molecule called Cetalox.

While usually it is used as a base note, here, Cetalox acts the main role. This perfume is warm salty, sweet, and ambery, and also comforting.

Don’t get shocked if you cannot smell anything after 10 minutes, since everyone else around you will. Not A Perfume smells similar to Escentric Molecules 02.

  • Fragrance Type: Amber Musk
  • Perfumer: n/a
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 2010
  • Age group: 25+
  • Main Notes: Ambroxan, and Cetalox
  • Longevity and Projection: 4 – 6 hours with moderate projection
  • Seasons: Any Season
  • Occasions: Any Occasion
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 9/10

Montblanc Explorer

Why choose Explorer: This perfume smells natural, lasts a long time, and fits into any situation and season.

Many have described it as the best Creed Aventus/Dior Sauvage inspired by fragrance, and they aren’t wrong.

The best part about this perfume is that it never pushes too much and lasts over 20 hours on the skin.

The scent profile is fruity, spicy, and ambery.

Check out the Montblanc Explorer review.

  • Fragrance Type: Fruity Aromatic
  • Perfumer: Jórdi Fernandez, Antoine Maisondieu and Olivier Pescheux
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 2019
  • Age group: 18+
  • Main Notes: Bergamot, Pink Pepper, and Ambroxan
  • Longevity and Projection: 20 – 24 hours of longevity with average sillage
  • Seasons: Any season
  • Occasions: Any season
  • Uniqueness: 3/5
  • Value for money: 10/10

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540

Why choose Baccarat Rouge 540: Do you want to wear something floral, spicy with touches of sweet amber?

In that case, Baccarat Rouge might be just the thing for you. You may get it straight away, or it may take a while, but one thing’s for sure, once you get it, it will become your best daily scent.

BR 540 is slowly becoming the most popular fragrance in the world within the fragrance community, still, I believe that you’ll stand out from the rest.

  • Fragrance Type: Spicy Floral
  • Perfumer: Francis Kurkdijan
  • Perfume Concentration: Edp
  • Release Date: 2015
  • Age group: 18+
  • Main notes: Ambroxan, Saffron, and Fir Resin
  • Longevity and Projection: 8 – 10 hours with great projection
  • Seasons: Any season
  • Occasions: Business, Leisure, and Romantic
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 9/10


Chanel Coco Noir - signature scent

And that’s about it. The goal of this article was to show you more than just typical and general “how-to” information. Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.

Do let me know what you thought about this guide, and in case you have successfully found out your signature scent by following tips found here, let me know your signature in the comment section below.

Until the next time, stay safe and be good!

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– Marin Kristic

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