The aromas employed include bergamot, vetiver, jasmine, and sandalwood. This fragrance contains vanilla, neroli, musk, and moss. What brings you joy? Choosing a signature perfume is similar to picking a favorite child, especially for those who appreciate olfactory stimulation. The current trend is to acquire a fragrance collection, with scents as distinct as individual emotions.

The work may appear difficult at first, especially if you are unfamiliar with fragrance terminology. To make the process go more smoothly, we’ve enlisted the expertise of top-tier perfumers to help us decipher the jargon. Plus, from cult favorites to big-box brands, experts offer advice on how to develop a fragrance wardrobe.

  • Heretic Parfum, a brand of unique artisanal scents, is founded and perfumed by Douglas Little.
  • Linda Sivrican is a perfumer, formulator, and the founder of Capsule Parfumerie, a niche fragrance line.
  • Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s national training and events director is Joan Tanis.

What Are the Fragrance Categories?

You’ll most likely be picking between two scent categories: eau de toilette (EDT) and eau de parfum (EDP) (EDP). The difference between EDTs and EDPs lies in the material concentration levels, which will alter the fragrance’s longevity. “Because EDPs are more concentrated in raw materials, they are more intense and last longer,” Tanis explains. As a result, they are more expensive. “EDTs are less concentrated and have a shorter smell trail life,” according to Tanis, “although this might vary from skin to skin.” EDTs are often less costly than EDPs.

Consider whether you’re buying a synthetic or natural fragrance when choosing between an EDT and an EDP (note: Most big-box fragrances are synthetic, while independent lines are natural). “I would recommend an EDP for natural perfumes,” Little advises. “You’ll want a high concentration of raw components for the fragrance’s duration and sillage [the trail it leaves behind].” I prefer an EDT when using synthetic-aroma compounds. I find synthetic-aroma chemicals to be overpowering and, at times, excessive.

EDTs are significantly less concentrated, making them simpler to wear and less likely to cause headaches.”

When it comes to developing a fragrance wardrobe, Sivrican feels that having both EDP and EDT alternatives is beneficial. She also recommends assembling a collection of “colognes, parfums, facial mists, and scented hair and body oils,” according to her.

Understanding Fragrance Notes

Perfume formulators divide a fragrance into notes, which affects how you perceive the scent of a fragrance. Top, center (or heart), and base are the three notes (or dry down notes). Tanis explains further below:

  • When you smell a fragrance for the first time, it’s the top notes that you’ll notice.
  • The fragrance’s identity and strength come from the middle notes.
  • The fragrance’s depth is provided by the base notes, which ground and balance the smell.

She suggests imagining this composition as a pyramid, which is a good analogy: “An olfactory pyramid contains all of the notes in a fragrance. The pyramid is a scent formulation. The smell is made up of notes or elements that come together to form the composition.”

When choosing a fragrance, check for a description of each note to assist you figure out how to get the most out of it.

Considerations for Building Your Own Fragrance Collection

Finding your signature perfume is a very personal endeavor. Even if it requires looking inwardly and listening to your intuition, you can go about picking perfumes for your clothing in a scientific way. Little recommends starting with a scent-based self-inventory. “Ask yourself, “What is attractive to YOU?” honestly and unapologetically. Finding the scent that attracts you is so personal, subliminal, and intellectual that even the most inquisitive may struggle.”

“My advise is to stick your nose in every crevice and see what flips your switch,” Little says of finding your smell.

Second, see smell as something that “accentuates your mood,” as Little says. As a result, fragrance (and, more particularly, its main constituents) is seen as “an invisible and indispensable item of clothing.” People should think of fragrances as “personalities,” according to the perfumer. So, what’s the greatest way to decipher fragrance personalities? It all boils down to how you react to a scent. “There are some personalities who stand out, some that are disruptive, and still others that are shy and reserved,” Little continues.

Finally, consider the following factors to see if a scent appeals to you. “Snag the aroma if it generates a sensation of delight, enthusiasm, surprise, or nostalgia,” says Sivrican. “If you’ve tried it on but haven’t bought it but keep thinking about it,” she advises, “get it because it’s calling you and you’ll regret it if you don’t.”

“It can be intriguing to wear different perfumes on different places of your body,” Sivrican explains.

When it comes to layering scents, you should consider a couple of variables, and of course, your overall olfactory philosophy. One major consideration is how the fragrance line was created. For instance, Little explains that he created the Heretic Parfum line “with 100% naturally derived materials, which makes them perfect for layering.” He adds, “I built the collection so you can easily mix and match any of the fragrances to create beautiful, signature sWhen it comes to layering smells, there are a few factors to consider, including your overall olfactory philosophy. One important factor to examine is how the fragrance line was developed. Little, for example, says he created the Heretic Parfum line “with 100 percent naturally produced components, making them ideal for layering.” “I designed the collection so that you can mix and match any of the perfumes to create stunning, distinctive aromas,” he says. Because he uses only natural ingredients in his scents, they are “sheer, brilliant, and translucent,” making them ideal for layering.  Layering can also extend the life of your smell because natural (non-synthetic) chemicals do not stay as long as synthetic ones.

The fragrances of Maison Francis Kurkdjian can be layered and blended, according to Tanis “They weren’t made with this in mind. The Kurkdjian scents are intended to be worn alone.” “Fragrances should all be different, just like the stuff in your closet,” she says, advising against fragrance layering. In the end, the decision is up to the individual wearer.

Shopping Tips

When it comes to building a fragrance collection, you might want to reconsider the idea of a trademark scent. Tanis says, “Consumers have outgrown distinctive scents and prefer to wear perfumes that are suited for the time, event, or activity at hand. Modern men and women prefer an olfactory or fragrance wardrobe than a single scent.”

Sivrican recommends that you purchase a “time you travel to a new location, a new fragrance When you smell it, you’ll always recall where you were and when you were there.”

It also helps to learn the language of fragrance while shopping online, so you can decipher reviews and descriptions. “Reviews from fragrance blogs may be quite useful,” Sivrican continues, “since some of these bloggers truly understand how to explain notes.” “Another person’s perspective might sometimes assist you in making a buying decision or, at the absolute least, introduce you to something you may not have considered. If the brand allows it, taste it whenever feasible “she explains. Plus, while shopping online, you can order samples from sites like MicroPerfumes before purchasing a full-size bottle.

Final Words

The more time you spend in and around a smell, the more you realize how powerful it can be in evoking moods, memories, and contributing to your general sense of well-being. Rules can help you comprehend the chemical composition of a fragrance and the various sorts of scent categories, but once you’ve mastered the jargon, the most important thing to remember while constructing a fragrance wardrobe is to trust your instincts.

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