Other: How to pick a signature scent like a pro…

There is something about perfume that releases our inner animal. A desire to mark our territory and let it be known that we came, we conquered and we made our mark. A personal signature of sorts. The type of signature that speaks of personality, feels, vibes and stories untold. So the pressure to pick a scent, which is distinctly ours, is always on.  Because we all know the days of smelling like a lollipop and rocking Britney Spears were left behind in 2006. When you want to smell more ‘midnight strolls in Paris, than ‘prom night’, the right scent will make or break your Parisian girl vibes.

Now before you walk towards a beauty counter and send yourself into a daze of endless scents all merged into one big headache, we thought we would make the job easier for you. We turned to Mecca Cosmetica Fragrance Specialist, Nathan Martin, Agence de Parfum Director Nick Smart and perfumer extraordinaire Maria Christofilis to guide us through choosing a signature scent that works for you. Because we would prefer to spend our afternoons drinking coffee beans and not smelling them…

You’re welcome.

Mecca Cosmetica Fragrance Specialist, Nathan Martin

What to look for in a scent

Look for a scent that embodies your personality, or what you want to portray to others when wearing the fragrance. Wearing a fragrance after all is a way we are able to express ourselves in a non-verbal means, like changing outfits depending on the season and where we are going, we can do the same with our fragrance. Ask yourself, are you looking for something romantic, or perhaps the perfect summer day fragrance?

What not to do

 I would always stress the importance of wearing a fragrance for a day to see if it holds up to your expectations; does it offer the longevity you are after? does it develop on your skin throughout the day?. Never feel you have to commit to purchasing a fragrance on the spot straight after smelling it, spray some on and walk away. I can’t tell you how many people later regret an impulse fragrance purchase as the fragrance really wasn’t what they were after!  

What to consider

In choosing a fragrance I think is it important to consider when and where we will be wearing the fragrance; day vs evening, summer vs winter, office vs gym. Once you have established these pinpointing questions it makes it much easier to navigate towards the perfect fragrance to compliment your needs. 

A signature scent is…

 Is one that perfectly complements you. In saying that we may choose to have multiple signature scents depending on the time of year, or a signature scent for day and another for the evening. 

What is your signature scent

Again coming back to previous question I definitely have multiple signature scents depending on season, and what I want to portray in a fragrance. But in saying that Dries Van Noten- Frederic Malle is one of my favourites.. I definitely gravitate towards the heavier oriental style.  

Nick Smart, Director of Agence de Parfum

A signature scent is…

A signature scent is one people recognise you by and immediately have you in front of mind whenever they are greeted with that smell. Signature scents create a feeling of nostalgia, whether it be of a person, a moment or memory. Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta injected romance by adding “one of the most wonderful things for a man is to walk in a room and know that that woman was here because of that lingering smell.”

What to consider when choosing a signature scent?

When choosing a signature scent, do some research beforehand so you are prepared with knowledge of what types of notes you are drawn to. Identifying personality traits such as if you are warm and feminine or mysterious and impulsive are a wonderful starting point as is considering your fragrance history in terms of the types of scents you wear and when. Seek out a consultant you can trust who is highly educated in the world of fragrance and can help identify appealing perfumes for you by applying a fragrance diagnosis. At our Myer Galerie de Parfum boutiques for example, the consultants work with Fragrances of the World’s Michael Edwards’ Fragrance Wheel to deeply analyse scent patterns of the client and recommend something likely to appeal that is a little more unique and avant-garde.


Another fantastic tool to attend a fragrance master class. Galerie de Parfum routinely hold these at their Melbourne and Sydney boutiques where guests are given a brief history of particular fragrance houses and learn how to recognise and distinguish between varying scents. The master class exposes participants to a variety of scents from the finest perfume houses, helping them identify their preferences and choose their perfect fragrance.

What to look for in a scent/ What not to do?

As mentioned above, I recommend seeking out a perfumery that specializes in high-end fragrance and avoids the mainstream scents popularized by heavy marketing and advertising. Purchasing a signature scent due to popularity can result in a fragrance choice that is very common and worn by many. They are also not always the best quality despite the often prestigious brand name to which it is associated. A niche fragrance provides uniqueness and individuality as well as telling an amazing story such as with Fleurissimo, the Creed fragrance commissioned by Prince Rainier for Grace Kelly to wear on her wedding day or Lubin’s Black Jade which was originally crafted for Marie Antoinette centuries ago.

What’s your signature scent and how did you discover it?

Working exclusively in the fragrance industry, it is very difficult to identify one signature scent. There have been varying scents throughout the years, some of which are just worn for a season or others that I come back to time and time again and these all combine to create a number of signature scents I identify with. Of the classic scents, I adore Costume National Scent Intense, Lubin Idole, Floris’ Number 89 and Amouage Jubilation XXV. Of the more contemporary releases, I’ve been wearing Lubin’s Upper 10 and Creed’s Royal Oud. For the coming season, I predict Penhaligon’s new Tragedy of Lord George from their amazing Portraits Collection to be a favorite, as Atelier Cologne’s Vanille Insensee.

Maria Christofilis – perfumer 

What to look for in a scent

Initially, I think you need to identify what genre of fragrances you’re attracted to and that is a good way to start the process of what scent is one that would work for you. If you like florals, or if you like spicy orientals start there…

What not to do

Expect that a scent you love on someone is the perfect scent for you. Everyone’s pheromones are different and each scent reads differently on everyone’s body.

What to consider

It’s smart to try something and wear it a day or so and if it grows on you and you find yourself smelling your skin then you know you’ve got one that will work for you.

A signature scent is…

Something that surprisingly isn’t that common these days as it seems consumers like to mix up what they wear depending on their mood. But I love a signature scent and feel that it’s just your go to scent that you don’t even have to think about and feels like second skin.

What is your signature scent?