Not everyone has found The One. After all, finding a signature fragrance takes time. You'll most likely have graduated from your first fragrance as a teenager (Lacoste Touch of Pink was mine—anyone else?) and curated a couple of staples in your fragrance collection as your tastes developed. Most have their go-to fragrances for summer, which they'll switch up for the warmer, cosier winter scents when the time comes, and then there are those expensive perfumes that might wait their turn for special occasions and evenings. And don't forget those affordable perfumes that smell way more expensive than their price tags might suggest. But for a perfume to reach signature-fragrance status, it's a pretty big deal.
So where do you start to find your signature scent? We've done some of the groundwork for you by asking some fragrance fanatics about their forever scents—the ones that will stand the test of time and that they'll return to again and again. Some even have strangers running down the road asking them what their fragrance is. Is there a higher compliment? I think not.
Curious to find out what their picks are? Read on for beauty insiders' favourite signature scents.
"Le Labo Thé Noir 29 is the first perfume I truly fell in love with. It was the first expensive, fine fragrance I splurged on, and the place I was in when I wore it every day has special memories for me! I still wear it now, though not so often, and I think it’s the sexy musk mixed with the tea leaves and woodiness that honestly made me feel so grown-up for the first time ever, so now I wear it to remind myself I’m a bad B!"
"If I had to describe my fragrance MO, it would be 'pretty.' I tend to like light, floral, semi-sweet scents, but they have to have enough of a base to not lean too saccharine or tweeny. Byredo's perfume Young Rose is pretty much the scent I've been waiting for my entire life, and I can't stop wearing it. I love rose perfumes, and this one balances Damascus rose with spicy Sichuan pepper and headier hits of musk, ambroxan, ambrette seeds, and orris. It's floral but far from basic. People always want to know what I'm wearing when they hug me, and I can't ever really picture myself shelving it."
"When it comes to fragrances, I'm all across the board, but at the end of the day, my true love always lies in the spicier, heavier scents. Anyone who has ever met me knows my eternal love for Tom Ford's Black Orchid perfume. I can't imagine a better-smelling perfume. Orchid, black truffle and patchouli blend together to create the most hypnotic, warm perfume. I always say I don't have a signature scent, because I'm such a fragrance polygamist, but if I did have one, it would be Black Orchid."
“It’s been a long time coming, but I think I have now found my signature go-to fragrance! I received the travel-sized version of Le Labo’s AnOther 13 last year, and I have been hooked ever since. There’s something unique and unusual about this scent once spritzed onto the skin. It’s slightly musky and woody yet very fresh and super clean.”
"I've worn Diptyque's Eau des Sens for about four years now, and although I keep trying others, I always come back to it as my favourite. It's the scent I wore on my wedding day, and it works all year round, so I don't think it will ever get old for me!"
"I always come back to Le Labo's Patchouli, and I'm currently on my last few spritzes, so it's time to get that refill. It's such a pure and uncomplicated yet really rich and heady scent that conjures up a convincingly '70s mood both for the day (think a hippy jaunt down King's Road to go shopping at Biba) and for the night (the more I spray, the more it layers to make a musky, deep number for a glam dinner). I first discovered this scent when sitting next to Ophelia Lovibond at a dinner. She smelt incredible, and it matched a retro suit she was wearing, and I was sold!"
"Mine is Tom Ford Soleil Neige. Not only is it not too overpowering, but it's the perfect blend for day and night. It's fresh but also sexy… How that is possible, I'm unsure. And it works all year long. That's what makes it a forever one. It also drives men crazy (in a good way) apparently, so it's a win if that's what you're into."
"If I have to pick just one, I'll go with Jo Malone's Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense. This is a fragrance that really took me by surprise. I was expecting it to smell pretty earthy when I got it, but instead, it hits you with this beautiful sweet floral note (lavender) on top of the tonka-bean base. It's sweet, warm, and earthy all at the same time! It definitely suits my personality."
"Mine is Diptyque Benjoin Bohème. One spritz of this, and I'm transported to a vibrant Parisian cabaret club—or at least what I think one would smell like. I've never been to one, but I have watched Moulin Rouge countless times, so I think that gives me some expertise in this area. It's spicy and gender-neutral and packed with amber. (If I had to choose one topnote as my ride-or-die, amber would be it.) I come back to this fragrance in all seasons, but it always smells better after a brief flirtation with another scent I have to say. That'll be its bohemian spirit no doubt!"
"I am not exaggerating when I say that any time I wear this perfume, I get compliments on it. While I love other fragrances in my collection, such as Byredo’s Gypsy Water, I chose this as my forever perfume because it is unique and unlike any other fragrances I’ve tried. I’ve never met anyone else who wears this fragrance, and that's what I love about it. I was given a sample to try by a beauty-editor friend about five years ago, and she once saw me at an event and said, 'WHAT are you wearing? That smells amazing! Why did I give that away?!'"
"Fragrances aimed at women don't really scream my name. I love stronger scents, so I often find myself reaching for my husband's collection instead. Some of my go-tos are Penhaligon's Endymion, Creed's Original Santal and Dior's Higher. However, the one I'm always willing to top up 'for him' is Issey Miyake's L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme. They say scent has the power to unlock memories, and that's exactly what this does for me. It oddly reminds me of being a child at a family gathering where the majority of the men used it."
"Byredo is a brand I fell in love with when I first moved to London over a decade ago. I saved up what I could, took myself off to Liberty and treated myself to a bottle of, actually, I can't remember which fragrance was my first, but that was it—I was hooked for life. I've proclaimed Mojave Ghost to be my signature scent, as it's something I always receive compliments on when I wear it. And who doesn't need an ego boost from time to time?"
"Out of all of the beauty categories, fragrance was the one I was the least interested in—until I stumbled upon a bottle of Le Labo's AnOther 13 in the beauty cupboard at work. One sniff and I was in love. The perfect balance of creaminess, musk and gentle green fruity notes of pear, apple and citrus was just so captivating. To this day, I've never smelt anything like it, and it's my go-to confidence boost before heading out for the night."