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“Scent is very important. Strong fragrances suit some men, while citrus types suit others. I like my men to smell fresh and woody, but also like a man.”
– Donatella Versace
Much like pictures, fragrances have the ability to relay messages to people without having to say a single word.
Scents are a lot like fingerprints that leave an imprint on your smell receptors and your memory.
That’s why picking a signature scent is one of the life goals you need to cross off your list.
You may be wondering how in the world that qualifies as a “life goal”.
Well for starters, finding your signature scent is not an easy task. It’s no herculean feat, but it’s definitely not easy.
It’s a lot like dating when you think about it. You have to kiss a lot of frogs until you find your prince or princess.
A deeper understanding of signature scents, and some trial and error can help shorten the process of finding the scent equivalent of your soulmate.
To be honest?
This is subject to interpretation.
It can be:
In other words: You in liquid form, housed in a pretty glass bottle.
It can also be the scent that people associate with you whenever they happen to comes across it.
Which brings us to the next topic…
So there are three broad categories of fragrances based on the concentration content of the scent.
(For the sake of knowledge, we will include two subcategories most articles fail to mention.)
It’s pronounced “fresh” (that’s Merriam-Webster verified). These fragrances are much like Eau de Cologne. They differ in that they have the lowest scent concentration, amounting to a 1-3% oil to alcohol ratio; with the rest of its composition being water. These scents can last for as long as 2 hours.
Eau de cologne (EDC)
These fragrances have a similarly low scent concentration to Eau Fraiche, with an oil to alcohol ratio of 2-4%, lasting up to 2 hours. Because the scent concentration is lower, you need to apply more of the fragrance for the scent to be appreciated. This also accounts for the bigger packaging that they come in, and their inexpensive price tags.
Eau de toilette (EDT)
Boasting a higher scent concentration (as much as 5-15% perfume oil), Eau de Toilette is one of the most popular types of fragrances. It gives the wearer between 2 to 3 hours (depending on the concentration), and is a great choice for daywear.
Eau de parfum (EDP)
Considered your everyday fragrance, Eau de Parfum is one of the most common types of fragrances available. These scents are formulated with a scent concentration of 15-20%, and they last up to 5 hours. Despite a high alcohol concentration, this formula has been found to be suitable for people with sensitive skin.
Otherwise known as extrait de parfum, this fragrance type has the highest scent concentration (coming in at 20-30%). Because of its purity, they come with a longer scent life (about 6-8 hours) and a heavier price tag.
Have you ever read a perfume description?
Those things are pure works of art. They put into words what your brain cannot describe, but in reality? You can’t smell what you’re buying from a description! (Thank goodness for testers right?) When the time comes and you’ve decided to look for your signature scent, follow these steps to guide you in your decision making.
Figure out what you’re going to use it for
Why are you buying this scent? Is it for work? Are you planning on seducing anyone with it? Or are you buying it because you’ve formed an intimate bond through your sense of smell? When buying a fragrance, it is important to take into consideration what it’s for, and when you’re going to use it. Just one whiff can bring up the happiest of times, or send you spiraling down a stress loop. If you have a stressful job, you may want to have a different scent for that (perhaps one that calms you down at work).
Decide what feeling you’re going for
Scents play an important role in your emotions, just as much as your memory. If you associate your signature scent with happiness and confidence, not only will you exude happiness and confidence, others will associate happiness and confidence with you.
Test the fragrance on test paper
Grab a test paper and spray some on it to get an idea of what the fragrance smells like in its pure form.
Test the fragrance on your skin
Spray some on your skin to see how well it mixes with your body composition.
- Give it 5 to 10 minutes for the top notes to evaporate.
- Once base notes have stuck to your skin, you can decide whether the scent compliments your own.
Other things to keep in mind...
Don’t buy a fragrance just because you like the way it smells on somebody else.
Our bodies produce our own unique Eau de Parfum because we have different body compositions. Like fingerprints, no two fragrances are alike. When buying perfume, it’s about how well the fragrance interacts with your own scent.
Stick to the original.
Don’t cheat yourself by buying imitation or fake fragrances. If you wanted to throw away money, you’re better off donating it to a good cause! Research has proven that fragrances (specifically, their ingredients) are absorbed by the skin and enter the bloodstream. When your health is involved, it’s better to err on the side of caution and buy products which have been thoroughly assessed for quality.
All in All…
There are a plethora of fragrances out there, and some people spend a lot of time and money going through a number of trial and errors just trying to find the right one.
Earlier we mentioned that “no two scents are the same“. We also want to emphasize that fragrances aren’t meant to mask your natural scent.
They’re meant to blend with your natural scent to enhance it.
(Note: You can read more about the anatomy of fragrance, how fragrances work, and how to use them correctly here!)
The point of choosing a signature scent is that it speaks to you, and for you.
Being able to relay to the rest of the world how awesome you are without using your words?
Now that’s an investment worth paying for!
This article was brought to you by
FREY is men’s fashion brand made up of environmentally conscious idealists who specialize in making clothing care products aimed at:
Preserving your clothing.
Preserving the environment
Feel free to check out the entire clothing care line here.
Save your clothing, save the Earth, and smell good while doing it.
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