group shot fragrance images - radical rose by matiere premiere inle by memo mancera and xerjoff

A guide to finding your signature scent!

Perfume shopping and knowing where to start your fragrance journey can be a little overwhelming. Adding a global pandemic into the equation while doing this virtually doesn’t make this sensory experience any easier. That’s why learning about scent profiles can help narrow down your search.

Did you know? Fragrances can be broken down into four distinct families: Floral, Fresh, Amber and Woody.

It really does come down to personal preferences, but there’s a reason the floral scent family is one of the most common family in the world of perfumery. A floral scent is soft, timeless, and versatile enough to be worn by anyone. We’re a big believer that a good floral scent can be worn all year round, not just in the spring or warmer months. But in case you’re after something to wear in the colder seasons, here’s good news: Florals notes can also be warmed with a touch of spice or given the juiciness of fruits – and there are quite a few ‘sub-families’ in the floral family, with the two most popular are 'Floral' and 'Soft Floral'. If you’re on the hunt for a romantic and feminine fragrance, some of our current favourite picks are Rosa from Santa Maria Novella – a fragrance that’s dedicated to the delicate aroma of the cabbage rose, a flower with millions of years of history, with some fresh undertones. These flowers grow wild in the hills of Tuscany where they get their special scent. Depending on the colour the rose has varying symbolism: white roses mean ‘candour’, red roses mean ‘passion’ and yellow roses mean ‘unfaithfulness’ or ‘jealousy’. Another reminiscent of fresh-cut blooms is Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie by The House of Creed which comes with a deep story behind the creation. Undeniably classic, this is considered one of the most important creations of Henry Creed II. The fragrance was originally commissioned by Emperor Napoleon III for his wife, Empress Eugenie, who desired a fragrance of oriental charm. Just as every flower is unique, so is every floral perfume. Some are bolder and more intense, while others are more powdery, or ever-so-slightly sweet, but what they all have in common is that all floral scents are perfect for everyday wear.

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moscow mule by juliette has a gun
lifestyle image scents

Floral perfumes are really making a modern-day comeback. Like with Radical Rose - floral & flirty, Matiere Premiere takes a classic rose-based scent and ingeniously transforms into one that’s modern yet timeless. The scent bursts with bright, spicy facets of the rose that gradually open to the aromas of patchouli and pepper. Opening with fresh bergamot and mint notes that is enhanced by the subtle addition of iris and beautifully balanced by a jasmine touch, Inlé by Memo Paris paints a poetic picture of a shimmering lake and russet sky. Like a fresh bouquet in a bottle, Inlé encapsulates the beauty of floral scents into a smell that will linger on your skin all day. Spray one on and you’ll be transported to a botanical garden (or simply feel a little more sophisticated).

If you've been loving/ wearing/ collecting fragrances for a while, you might notice that some notes take longer to evaporate from the skin, but citrus materials are more volatile and tend to vanish quicker. Have you ever sprayed a perfume and fallen in love with it or turned off it instantly? When this happens, just remember to give each perfume a proper shot, because top notes are just the scents you smell when you first spray a perfume. They’re the most lightweight notes, which means they only linger for around 5 to 15 minutes before fading away. After that, it will start to slowly transition, and the other notes will take over and dominate.

So why are top notes important you ask? While they disappear quickly, they help determine whether you’re going to like a perfume. Some of the most common top notes you will find are citrusy notes, like lemon, orange zest or bergamot, soft floral notes – consisting of jasmine or rose and aromatic herbs like sage, basil, or star anise. Quick tip: If you're like us and are a fan of fresh, summer scents, our top tip is to layer them with a body lotion to make your perfume last longer!

santal austral by  matiere premiere

For us, there's nothing dreamier than feeling fresh and renewed. For refreshing moments, we often go for fresh fragrances which feature the citrus oils that lend these fragrances their distinctive, tangy aroma and the sharp scent of fresh-cut grass and violet leaves, which are perfect for warmer days. Imagine lounging in freshly laundered, 800-thread-count sheets, as you watch the first glimpse of sunshine through sheer curtains, while enjoying your favourite summer drink... With notes of lavender, thyme, pear and smoky cedarwood, trust us when we say Lavincense by Hermetica is what modern simplicity dreams are made of. If you're looking for green with a side of wood, Le Vainqueur is the scent for you.

The bright freshness of citrus, enriched with the elegance of jasmine and blended beautifully with the richness woods and leather, to make up this addictive aroma. Pure and refreshing, with both feminine and masculine flairs, that's exactly what we feel about fresh scents. Perfect for when you want to feel like giving yourself a new start and surprisingly appropriate for every occasion!

group shot aventus by creed juliette has a gun  not a perfum elixir cologne by roja lubin

There's no better way to start your ambery journey with Scent by Costume National. With emphasis on hibiscus, this is the perfect contrasted fragrance that deserves a highlight in your seasonal fragrance rotation. Tolu by Ormonde Jayne has a way of creating an impression and capturing everyone’s attention, with just a single spray. Laced with golden frankincense and amber, the scent’s core is enveloped with orange blossom and sage, while intense citrus notes consolidate the harmony. Sexy and provocative, to be worn on evenings of opulence and passion, amber scents are the exotic queens of perfumery with sensual blends of oriental resins, flowers, sweet vanilla and musk introduced by refreshing fruity top notes.

You will notice that when smelling a fragrance on skin, once the top and heart notes have completely evaporated, the bottom notes appear and linger into your skin for hours. Made up of richer and heavier scents, these notes are often activated after about 30 minutes to add more depth to the perfume. This explains why your favourite perfume is probably memorable because of the base notes - because they dry out of the skin. The most common base note perfumes include amber, musk, vanilla, vetiver, moss, patchouli or woody like sandalwood and cedarwood. There is something refreshingly authentic about a woody scent. Inspired by the seven sacred metals, Limited Edition Liquides Imaginaires is both sensual and sophisticated, with a unique blend of cedarwoods, suede leather and animal note. For both daily elegant signature and warm, smouldering evenings, new sheer and exotic wood notes give new appeal to the classic harmonies.

With Elysium, it's all in the name! Each ingredient within this scent from Roja Parfums was chosen to emulate this rare strength of character. Opening with fresh bergamot and artemisia, Elysium develops into a warm and smoky heart, then settles into vetiver, musk and leather for a mysterious finish.

Now that you have a deeper understanding of fragrance notes and the four distinct families, you can easily find which scents will appeal to you the most (and least). If there’s one key takeaway from this, keep in mind, in the fragrance world, olfactive families are a way to break down and classify how a perfume smells rather than what it contains.