Fragrance is so much more than just something that smells good. Scents are deeply personal. They can make a statement about your mood and who you are as a person. Here at SOL, we consider that start-of-the-day spritz such an important part of our identities. So, considering all it can do for us, the question becomes, how to choose the fragrance that’s perfect for you?
Step into your favorite cosmetics store, and you’ll most likely find the walls endlessly lined with fragrance bottle after fragrance bottle. We get it, finding the right scent can be overwhelming. And smelling each and every one? Well, that will quickly lead to sensory overload (and maybe even a headache, ugh). Before you start the hunt for your signature scent, peek at our cheat sheet to help narrow down the options.
1. Understand What You Like (And Don't Like)
So, you’re in that cosmetics store, and you’re wondering how to find your signature scent when every one of them smells amazing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Vogue points out that the scent experts behind the counter will be able to “guide you toward equally fresh, floral, or spicy options.” Whether one or all three of those fragrance families peaks your interest, perfumer Patricia Choux suggests to Vogue that you “smell five [perfumes] at most” – or else you risk your nose checking out of the whole experience (hello, nose blindness!). Take note of which scents get a positive reaction out of you. Are they more floral or musky? Or maybe they read citrus? Once you start to notice a pattern in the notes you gravitate towards most, you can whittle down the best fragrance for you.
2. Know What You're Smelling
We mentioned that when considering how to choose a perfume, finding the notes you love (and don’t love) is essential. But, can you actually recognize those notes? Yes, they smell delicious, but maybe your knowledge ends there. We’re here to say – unless you’re a fragrance expert – that’s totally normal. If it weren’t, then we would not have put together this handy cheat sheet on fragrance notes and their names.
- Floral: Floral can include everything from white florals like gardenia, lilies and ylang, to deeper florals like roses, violets, and peonies. Cheirsoa 68 is a lush and bright blend infused with floral notes of brazilian jasmine & pink dragonfruit.
- Citrus: This is usually a lighter scent with notes of lime, lemon and orange. Take a sniff, and you’re immediately transported to spring or summertime.
- Musk: Contrary to how it sounds, musk is actually a clean-laundry scent. The soft and sultry Cheirosa 40 has a hint of musk combined with black amber plum, crème de cassis and vanilla woods.
- Woody: This can encompass everything from a creamy nutty scent to sandalwood, to the more spicy and dank like patchouli, and even cedarwood. Our warm, irresistible SOL Cheirosa ’62 Eau de Parfum has a bottom note of sandalwood that’s creamy and long lasting.
- Aquatic: These scents are reminiscent of a fresh, clean feeling after a bubble bath or a day at the Mediterranean Sea.
- Oriental: This evokes the smell of incense. It can be slightly powdery with a hint of spice or sweetness.
- Vanilla: According to Harper’s Bazaar, this popular scent features a “warm and sweet composition [that] is instantly comforting.” And, Cheirosa 71 matches this scent profile perfectly with decadent, cozy notes of caramelized vanilla and toasted macadamia.
- Solar: One of the newer fragrance families, solar scents "evoke sun-drenched, golden days spent outside" according to Who What Wear. Beachy and nostalgic, Rio Radiance takes you back to the lingering memory of a carefree getaway with notes of leite de coco, solar tuberose, and warm sand.
One of the reasons our iconic Cheirosa 62 scent has become a global sensation is that it expertly and subtly combines many of the notes listed above into a warm, sunny fragrance you can’t help but love. At the heart of our award-winning Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, it’s an irresistible blend of pistachio, salted caramel and vanilla a.k.a the scent of pure happiness.
3. Allow The Scent to Develop
Once you find a scent in the running to be your signature, you can set aside those paper samplers. How the fragrance smells on them compared to your skin is not entirely accurate. This is because we all have unique body chemistries, which means perfumes smell differently on everyone. Allure suggests spraying the fragrance on warm spots and letting the scent evolve: “Try the hollow of the neck, behind your ears, the inner wrists…. Allow a half-hour for the fragrance to develop on your skin before you decide if it’s The One.”
4. Think About How It Makes You Feel
The scent you choose should speak to who you are. Are you playful or mysterious? Is your sense of style more maximalist, or does it lean casual? Perfumer Kilian Hennessy notes to Vogue that finding a fragrance “ultimately comes down to your personality and the mood you’re looking to access.” While it should align with your core attributes, there can be some aspiration mixed in there too. The most memorable scents have a transformational element that, according to Hennessy, “give courage, confidence, and other comfort and sense of protection.”
5. Layer Your Fragrance
Congratulations, you’ve found your new signature fragrance! Prepare for endless confidence and compliments. Now, we’re going to let you in on the secret to a longer lasting scent. Cut to bath and body fragrance. Always look to see if your scent comes in a matching body wash or cream. Layer them while in or out of the shower and follow with a spray of your fragrance. This spreads the scent over a wider range of your body. Not only will it last, you’ll heighten the fragrance giving you the full scent experience as it was intended.
6. Switch Things Up Regularly
A signature scent should be something you turn to month after month, year after year. And while it’s meant to be worn every day, it’s important to make sure you maintain a positive association with it. Once or twice a week, you can try using a different fragrance or skipping perfume altogether. Playing this little trick on your nose will ensure your favorite scent stays that way.
7. Make Use of Discovery Sets
We mentioned that spending time with a scent is super important when deciding if it’s the one for you. It can evolve and change on the skin – plus, you want to make sure it’s something you actually enjoy wearing day after day. This is when discovery sets really prove their usefulness. An array of various fragrances in one box, you can try out each scent for as long or little as you’d like. Even better, many of the best perfume for women come in a discovery set, so you can experience all of the classics and then some. Our Passport to Paradise Perfume Set includes three samples of our most popular scents, perfect for taking on your next vacation or finding the one that fits you. Because, that’s really what it’s all about, right?