Do you have a signature scent?

On my grandmother's theory and a surprise discovery I made in my forties

My grandmother had a theory about perfume. (If you knew my grandmother, you wouldn’t be surprised: my grandmother had theories about a lot of things.) Every woman had a scent—the kind you could buy in a bottle—that captured her true nature. And if she was very lucky, she would find it in time.

(If this puts you in mind of Mary Poppins and the kites—from the book, not the movie: yes, me too.)

I never heard my grandmother quote Christian Dior, but she would have loved his quip: “A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.” My grandmother would have vigorously agreed: she thought one’s handwriting spoke volumes about oneself, so you can deduce what she thought about your perfume.

I was always intrigued by my grandmother’s theories, and I loved playing with her perfumes as a young girl. (How wretched I must have smelled afterwards, after spritzing them on with the heavy hand of the young! My poor mother.)

But I never took to perfume myself—at least not any one scent. For a long time I wore pleasant neutrals, or this light floral. I enjoyed exploring, yet I never found one that felt like me, one that I wanted to wear every day, for ages.

As much as I loved the idea of wearing a signature scent, my grandmother’s theory seemed more like fiction—at least for me.

But then, I found it: an unobtrusive addition to a sampler pack (I’m a sucker for a good cosmetics sampler) called Dear Polly. From the first spritz I had a thought I’d never had before: I could wear this every day. Had I not been instantly sold, the perfume’s description would soon seal the deal: TEA FOR TWO IN THE MORNING, the header read, describing it like so: The scent of black tea, brewed just how she likes it, and the crispiness of morning light, slowly easing away the night that still clings to the senses.

A bit of clever marketing? Absolutely—and one I was happy to be hooked by.

I told my husband Will I could recommend an excellent gift if he wanted an idea. Christmas came before my sampler ran out; I’ve been wearing it ever since. This bottle is going to last me years, and when it runs out, I’m buying another one.

My signature scent is unlikely to be yours, but if you’re interested: Anthropologie sells it online, or you can assemble your own three-scent sampler here. I bought (er, Will bought) mine at Liberty of London. I’ve given this Vilhelm Parfumerie Discovery Set, which includes Dear Polly (and Morning Chess, which I also quite like) to a few friends.

I wear Dear Polly 95% of the time, and finding it must have swelled my perfume confidence because not long after I met up with a friend who was wearing a subtle scent so unusual and intriguing—woodsy, smoky, not a typical women’s scent—I had to ask. She laughed and told me that she bought it for its intriguing description: it promised to convey a “sexy sense of quiet.” (Now if that doesn’t put an aspirational spin on my own true nature, I don’t know what does!)

I looked it up, and sure enough the full description reads: This is a scent of cypress smoke, snow, and a sexy sense of quiet. Resins of red cedar and labdanum spike a mix of cypress root, frankincense, clove-leaf oil, and helichrysum flower for a perfume that evokes a crackling fire, a cypress grove by the sea, and the centuries-old floorboards of an ancient European chapel.

Dear Reader, I bought it. I was surprised at the source, and made my first-ever Goop purchase to buy Edition 01 Church. I reach for it often on crisp fall days and occasionally in dreary winter weather. I have to be very, very careful putting it on—a little goes a long way and it’s easy for it to become cloying. But the teensiest spritz smells delightfully of smoke and floorboards and yes, that sexy sense of quiet.

All these years later, I wish I could share my finds with my grandmother and compare our signature scents of choice. Now that I’m grown and she’s gone, how I wish I could know what scent she chose to wear, the one she believed captured her true nature! My next best option is this: to remember her here, and to ask you about your scents of choice.

Do you have a signature scent? We’d love to hear what it’s like and how you found it in comments!


Leave A Comment
  1. Elizabeth Barnhill says:

    I love this! I always wear Chanel No. 5 and my daughter says every time she smells it, she thinks of me. Im sure that will last very lifetime as my mother always thinks of her mother when she smells Shalimar. I think it’s very important to have a signature scent!

    • Star Pedron says:

      My mom used to wear Chanel #5. It brings back good memories. So of course I headed to Chanel first My scent though, is Gabrielle, as I prefer a good floral.

    • Jane says:

      My grandmother wore Chanel no 5 too! But funnily enough, the scent I associate with her the most is just a plain tube of olay moisturiser! I sometimes buy it just to use and remember her by.

    • Nicole says:

      I LOVE perfume. I like to wear Ralph by Ralph Lauren in the summer, Chanel chance in other seasons, Thierry mugler’s angel for special nights out. And I love trying other perfumes as well! Another favorite is “Florence” from Tocca.

  2. Elaine says:

    My signature scent is Light Blue by Dolce and Gabbana. Discovered it many years ago. People compliment me on it all the time – ask me where to get it for their wives, etc. Friends also say it smells better on me than when they use it, so it might have something to do with body chemistry or maybe they are mistaken!

  3. Kellie W says:

    I used to work cosmetics and fragrances at Macy’s, so I can pick out most popular perfumes and colognes when someone walks by. The decision fatigue I felt every morning to choose one to wear was real. In the last couple of years, I have settled on two signature scents that I plan to continue wearing until I’m old and grey. Chanel Chance for spring and summer and Coco Mademoiselle for fall and winter. They are a splurge but they make me feel complete and put together every morning.

    • Ruthie says:

      A 60-something here. For 18 years I wore “Opium”. I loved its sophisticated spiciness, much softer and subtler than the heavy, brazen, copycat spicies that followed. Over time, Opium’s formula changed in a way that took the the magic out of the scent for me. Once I had my baby, I couldn’t wear it at all… (body chemistry). Since then I haven’t found a new signature scent. I’ve tried a few, and changed scents to reflect and enhance the different atmospheres and moods of the cool and warm seasons, but haven’t found anything I’ve truly loved, or that seemed to reflect / define me. I’ve liked several of the scents mentioned so far: “Chance” (esp the yellow one) and “Light Blue”; also Dior’s “J’Adore”. For several years, beginning one autumn, I wore Bulgari’s “Omnia Crystalline”, which had a warm, sparkly, fresh amber scent, with an effect similar to citrus… almost the opposite of Opium. “Issey” by Issey Miyake and the very similar “Laila” are white flower scents that instantly transport me to a happy time, and I’m thinking of getting some to use as a room scent, if nothing else. I’m in active shopping mode for The New Me, and will look into many of the mentions in this post and the replies!

    • Hildred Sullivan says:

      Oh I wear Coco Mademoiselle all the time – the only thing I have found that agrees with me – but I will have try Chanel Chance. When I was in Italy a vintner recognized Coco Mademoiselle on me! He had a good nose!

  4. Cat says:

    I have long wished for a signature scent but I don’t even know where to start in trying to find one! Sampler sets sound like a genius way to experiment, I haven’t even known where to look. Thanks for this post!

    • Dawn says:

      You can also get many “travel size” perfumes when shopping duty free at the airport. Plus, if you find one you like you know it is already approved for a carry on!

  5. Rachel says:

    I’ve worn Oscar de la Rente for forever. My mom always wore Nina Ricci and when I smell it, sometimes randomly in the grocery, I think of her. I love that and hope my kids think of me when they smell my perfume someday…..

  6. Donna says:

    I have worn China Rain for years. My sister-in-law has also worn it, that’s how I found it. I order it from Florida. I always get so many complements on how good I smell. It’s light and fresh. I love it !!!

  7. Janene says:

    I have worn “Youth Dew” by Estee Lauder for years! The website describes it as “absolutely captivating with Opulent flowers, rich spices, precious woods. They say it’s been called one of the sexiest fragrances ever created. Wow! That’s not exactly my vibe at age 63, but ok!! I don’t feel dressed without my perfume.

    • Ruth O says:

      ‘Youth Dew’ by Estee Lauder is the one that I associate with my Grandma. My Mom also would wear it. I wasn’t very fond of it when I was young, but now I like it and the memories (I am just past 60).
      My own favorites are Lancome’s Poeme (the lotion, as the spray perfume is very strong) and Tresor, which only comes in lotion and shower gel, I believe. They were gifts from my husband and still my favorites.

      • Jen says:

        My mom was a “Youth Dew” wearer as well – and the heavy scent was too much for me as a child even though I loved her dearly. I was so acutely aware of that negative feeling, that I always asked my own children if they liked the scent I was wearing.

  8. Edie says:

    The idea of a signature scent is lovely. In reality, I can’t be around most perfumes without feeling nauseous. I can handle citrus scents but that’s about it and many florals give me a migraine. So for all you perfume wearers out there, show a bit of mercy the next time you board an airplane. ; )

    • Tory says:

      I once read someone refer to someone’s nice perfume as something they only noticed when leaning in for a hug – that sounds like the right amount of scent to me! I used to have a nanny whose scent lingered in our house for the entire year she worked for us – it was a nice scent at first, but I didn’t need my entire house full of it at all times.

      • Daphne says:

        Perfume is so addicting! My mother wore Emeraude when I was little, Navy when I was a teenager, and Pleasures for a long time after that. I have too many and am trying to narrow it down just just a handful. I love Jo Malone Orange Blossom but it doesn’t stay. Unfortunately I don’t seem to like any other orange blossom scents. I also love Serge Lutens Ambre Noir; am currently wearing that for fall (or Mitsouko for dress up). It’s so hard to choose once you realize the endless variety!

    • Heather says:

      Same here – I even avoid the perfume department of stores because the smells drive me nuts. However, I love the idea of wearing a signature scent – but mine would have to be simple, like just vanilla. My mother wore perfume occasionally and kept two beautiful cut glass perfume bottles on her dresser. I adored those bottles, believing they were the utmost in elegance, and I now keep a glass bottle on my own dressing table – however, it is empty.

      • Cherie says:

        I mix my own perfume in a small glass roll on bottle. I use a carrier oil,(usually olive oil), Jasmine essential oil (15 ish drops) and bergamot essential oil (4 ish drops).

    • Sheila says:

      Thank you, Edie, for saying what I have been thinking for a long time. I can barely stand to be in a room with someone wearing perfume, and being stuck on a plane is painful. On a plane, or in a business meeting, you are often as close as leaning in for a hug. Yes please, show a little mercy 😉

  9. Fran says:

    I fell in love with the original La Prairie scent and only had a small sample and then discovered it had been discontinued. I have been searching for my signature scent ever since. I have saved to “notes” of the scent to share with perfumeries on occasions but haven’t yet found what I am looking for so far. You have inspired me to keep trying.

  10. Mary V says:

    Years ago I wore Safari by Ralph Lauren. I was complimented often. Alas, it was discontinued. And I’ve been looking for a replacement ever since. I hope to find one by following this thread.

    • Nicole says:

      I wore this for years as well. Just thinking of that chunky dark cube and how it felt in my hand has made me smile today – thanks for that memory!

    • Pam says:

      I loved Safari too but discovered it too late. I asked a friend what her scent was because I liked it so much, but couldn’t find it to purchase anywhere. Has anyone found a replacement for something similar to Safari?

    • Lisa says:

      Same! I wore Safari for years and have not been able to find the right scent since Safari’s disappearance. There seems to be nothing similar. Still searching…

  11. Marcia says:

    In 2000 I was on a birthday trip to Williamsburg, and we were staying in the Williamsburg Inn, a luxury hotel in Colonial Williamsburg. The toiletries in the rooms were from Lady Primrose’s Royal Extract collection. I loved it, and it was my signature fragrance for more than 20 years. I switched to Jo Malone’s English Pear & Freesia two years ago. With Queen Elizabeth’s death, Lady Primrose has a special offer to get a free soap of Royal Extract with an order of the fragrance. I’m tempted to go back to my longtime favorite.

  12. Elaine says:

    Inis is my go-to. Clean, light, and fresh – the perfect sunny day by the sea. I had a man follow me in a grocery store to ask what I was wearing so he could buy it for his wife, a fellow runner going in the opposite direction stopped me to ask what the fragrance was. It’s a winner! cool and clean.

  13. Lisa Toner says:

    I’ve been wearing Hot Couture by Givenchy for about 10 years, ever since my husband asked the waitress at my daughter’s hockey team dinner what she was wearing (but not in a creepy way)! Lol. He’d never said anything about anyone’s perfume before that!
    She told us what it was and I’ve been wearing it ever since. We both love it and now, so do our now-adult daughters!! ❤️

  14. Ellen says:

    Amazing Grace by Philosophy is my signature scent. I discovered it when I asked someone what they were wearing because I immediately loved it. Interestingly, I almost never use the actual perfume, although I have a bottle), but I use the body wash and lotion every day. People often comment on how much they love it.

    • Denise says:

      My dad ALWAYS smelled wonderful…like kindness and a walk in the park on a spring morning, not cologne-y, just ahhhh. He was very handsome and his scent was attractive. I thought it was just a mix of him freshly showered. He passed last year and only then did I learn that he had been wearing Amazing Grace lotion for years. LOL

      • Amy says:

        The last few years I’ve been wearing Lancôme’s La vie est belle. I adore it and get many compliments, I do try to not over do it! My mom’s signature scent was Chloe. It makes me teary thinking about it but when I lost her suddenly almost 3 years ago, I brought her bottle of Chloe home to my house and put it in my underwear drawer- occasionally I’ll take a deep inhale and am taken back immediately to her. To me, scent is beautiful. When you find the one that works for you, the one that you wear but it doesn’t wear you- that’s magic.

    • Kay says:

      I wear it too so much. My original signature scent for about twenty years was Paris but one day I had a reaction to it. Amazing Grace is the one perfume that so many people ask me about, I have been stopped by strangers several times to ask what perfume I am wearing. Just recently my 24 year old daughter came over and put her wrist in front of my nose saying, “ mummy, I smell just like you now”, she had got her very own bottle of Amazing Grace and she wears it most days.

  15. Chelle Hershberger says:

    I have so many perfumes from Indie Perfume houses sitting on my dresser. I am even in a perfume group on FB. I am drawn to really dark, moody, musky scents. A few of my all time favorites are Sweet Patchouly from Suns Eye, Bulletproof No. 45 from Tokyomilk Dark and Crows, Cats and Vampire Bats from Death and Floral. If anyone is looking for their signature scent I am more than happy to give ideas to help them on their scent journey.

    • angie says:

      I love Indie Perfumes too, including Bulletproof No. 45, too. I love Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, which seems somewhat similar to Death and Floral and have come across some great Etsy sellers too (For Strange Women, Colornoise, Red Deer Grove, etc.) A friend of mine recently told me about from Death and Floral and your post was the boost I needed to place an order. I’m trying a 3-pack of Misspent Youth (description alone sold me), Gray November, and When the Veil is Thinnest.

  16. Shannon says:

    My signature scent is Rose eu de Chloe, my husband loves it. I honestly can’t smell it on myself. My friend that worked in fragrance at Nordstrom said that is because it’s “my” scent.

    • Ute Isabell says:

      Ancient Resins by Aftelier Perfumes – it becomes part of my skin and was originally created for Leonard Cohen.

      Parure by Guerlain since the day I bought in in Maison Guerlain, Paris on our honeymoon.

      Those are my favourites but my signature scent is Mitsouko (Guerlain). It was my mother’s perfect scent, and some time after her death I felt I could make it mine.

  17. Eve says:

    In the Fall, my signature scent is Chanel eau Premiere which is a lighter version of Chanel No 5. Every time I wear it someone tells me I smell wonderful 😊. In the Spring I switch to Chanel Chance eau Fresh. Same comments!

  18. Susan Craig says:

    I avoid perfume because a couple of family members are allergic. On the rare occasions when I use some, I absolutely love it. I use whatever I have on hand – mostly sample sizes from cosmetic samples.

  19. Nancy says:

    I love this post. I have no idea why but many years ago I decided I wanted a “signature scent”…prob. read a story about someone having one. Splurged on Narcisco Rodriguez perfume many years ago & have worn it everyday since. A friend told me she was in an elevator, smelled it and looked for me…that made me smile.
    Some friends and I were discussing what we have to wear everyday…for some its earrings, others its lipstick…for me its perfume. Would love hearing what other people use/wear every day.

  20. Kimberly Fox says:

    I don’t remember what my mom’s favorite perfume was, she passed away when I was 19. But her sister, my Aunt Mary wears Design by Paul Sebastian. Every time I smell it, I think of her. I too found my scent about 5 years ago. It was a sample in a subscription box called Bikini Questa Sera by Christian Louboutin. Apparently I have expensive taste, but man I love this scent. It reminds me of spring days and honeysuckle. Come to think of it, my mom loved honeysuckle too….

  21. Ashlee says:

    This post made me feel so much love for your grandmother and my own grandmother! My sister and I were just discussing perfumes this week, she told me she keeps a “Very Sexy” from Victoria’s Secret in her makeup vanity because it reminds her of me, since that’s what I wore in high school and college (and she is several years younger than me). Which was such a sweet compliment. I still wear wear it on occasion but I’ve been recently trying to find a new scent that felt like me, I have a few samples coming in the mail!

  22. AmyK Conley says:

    I also have found my signature scent after resigning myself for decades that having a signature scent wasn’t for me! Inner Sanctum by Alkemia. It makes me feel powerful and focused.

  23. Teri Hyrkas says:

    My Aunt Lillian wore Chanel No. 5 for as long as I can remember. When I moved away from home, from the west coast to the Midwest, I had an interesting experience.
    I had only been in town for a couple of weeks when I had to return a garment to a local department store. I was on a tight schedule but I knew the entrance to the department store where I had made my purchase was on my bus route home from work, so I exited the bus downtown , ran into the store and found the nearest escalator to the second floor. As I went racing by I heard someone call my name. I was shocked because I knew no one in that city. I had only been in town a couple of weeks, for crying out loud! I stopped briefly before I got on the escalator and looked around the store. No waving hand. No familiar face. I was confused but I had an errand to complete, a bus to catch, and a full evening scheduled. I got on the escalator and ride to the second floor in order to return my item, a transaction that only took a couple of minutes. I was confident that I could get the next bus and make it home in plenty of time.
    I rode down the escalator and looked for the door to the bus stop when again I heard someone call my name. I stopped to look around once again. Now I was really curious. Who here in this big Midwestern city knew me? I didn’t care if I missed my bus, I was going to find the mystery person. I went up and down the aisles of the store but did not recognize a soul. Eventually I gave up and walked back toward the main doors of the store and toward the line of city buses waiting just outside. Then I saw what had been calling my name: It was the Chanel No. 5 perfume counter. I had made such a strong association between my Aunt Lillian and Chanel No. 5 that the fragrance had “called my name” and I responded by looking for the someone who I knew and loved.
    I have read that the sense of smell is our most powerful sense for memory triggers. After that experience, I believe that is true for me.

    • Sally says:

      I have worn Oscar de la Renta for over 40 years. I’ve tried changing to another scent, but my family revolted. It’s always my Christmas gift from my husband.

    • Dawn says:

      My aunt, who I loved deeply, wore Beautiful as well. Sadly, she passed away, but your mention of her signature perfume made me think of her today.

  24. Alice says:

    I found Obsession (Calvin Klein) at the local department store when I was 16. I have been wearing it for 30+ years and still love it. I do switch to lighter scents(typically sample size) in the summer, but always return.

  25. Terry says:

    Not to be a downer, but with asthma and allergies I always wish people would not wear scent. Just an elevator ride with someone wearing heavy scent will kick off an asthma attack for me.

    • Zoë says:

      I think people apply too much which makes an elevator ride unpleasant for some and makes others sick. If your scent can be smelled by someone not hugging you it’s probably too much. It really should be that subtle.

    • Allyson says:

      I’m in your camp, Terry. Fragrance triggers migraine headaches for me, which can last up to 5 days. Just not worth it. Places like church and airplanes are difficult to navigate. In church, I have to get up and change my seat (awkward!). On planes, I carry a mask (even pre-Covid). I can’t go into the office the day after the carpet is cleaned or painting is done. Have to wait for the fumes to dissipate.
      There are some lovely fragrances out there — they simply don’t play nicely with my brain.

    • Beth says:

      Unfortunately I can’t wear or enjoy scented anything because of the sinus problems it creates. I haven’t always been this sensitive and I’m not happy about the development—-I used to love perfume, scented candles, etc. I have a book rec if anyone is interested in learning more about the downside: The Case Against Fragrance. That sounds harsh, and I don’t mean to be, but it helped me understand some of the issues.

      • Katherine Buchanan says:

        I’m going to look up the book you mention. My sensitivity to scents has become much worse the older I get. Our neighbours use some kind of scented fabric softener or dryer sheets that are so disgusting (to me) that I have to close the windows. People really should read “Laundry Love” (mentioned on this blog–I bought it right away and love the book). The author does not comment about perfume, but he is not in favour of the laundry detergents and softeners most people use. Think really bad chemicals–why would you put them close to your body? I would LOVE and unscented world.

  26. Catherine Cook says:

    I don’t wear perfume, but my husband has a “signature scent”. He’s a Greek Orthodox priest and after services he smells like frankincense and beeswax candles. It’s pretty much my favorite.

  27. Just me, Vee says:

    I used to wear Design by Paul Sebastian until they stopped making it. Now I wear “Not a Perfume” by Juliette Has A Gun. Before I found it, I tried so many others, and I got headaches from them all. “Not a Perfume” lets me wear scent again.

  28. Barbara says:

    Musk by Alyssa Ashley became my signature scent over 30 years ago (smelled it on a coworker and had to get it) but I can’t find it in stores anymore. I buy it online but I’m not sure if it’s really the same thing or a knock-off. The bottle looks the same, but I don’t think the scent lasts long. I also don’t receive comments on my scent like so many others above . . . hmmm. Is it time to try something new? Sounds like too much of a project ATM but maybe someday.

  29. Jodi says:

    In 1990 I took my first trip to France. My husband’s French “aunt” (he was an exchange student there for a year) gave me a bottle of Amarige by Givency. It was not yet available in the US. I’ve been wearing it ever since.

  30. Yes! I love having a signature scent. I never had one until 2018, because apparently my body chemistry clashes with most perfumes. . .I’ll try just about anything, but most fragrances either gave me a headache and/or turned to smelling like bug spray on me. Ugh. Then, in 2018, I caught a waft of a scent that just lit up my brain on a new acquaintance. I finally asked her what it was, and I was introduced to Baccarat Rouge 451 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian. I ordered some samples before committing, because it’s terribly expensive, but it smelled just as good on me as it did on my friend. So now it is absolutely my signature scent; I wear it every day, and I never wear anything else. It’s a huge splurge, but a bottle lasts a long, long time. The best compliment I’ve ever gotten? A 7-year-old young friend told me that I “smelled like cake.” 🙂

  31. Suzy says:

    Sorry, another downer, but I feel like saying, What world does everybody here live in? In my state, everywhere I go, there are signs against wearing scent, at meetings and gatherings, doctor’s offices, etc, we’re always asked not to wear perfume, it seems everybody is allergic to it! Including my husband! Every time we go to a convention, concert, play, etc., even with warnings against it, there is always some woman seated near us wearing heavy perfume and it ruins the whole event for my husband. That said, years ago, I bought a vanilla perfume after touring a perfume factory in Grasse, France, and I loved it. And my mother has worn “Beautiful” by Estee Lauder for years, it’s “her” and all her clothes smell of it, even though, because she’s with us so much, she can’t wear it anymore.

    • Terry says:

      I so agree with you, Suzy! I don’t understand why people want to wear chemicals that exacerbate allergies, asthma, and often serve as migraine triggers for so many.

      In her 70s, my late mother finally stopped smoking and stopped layering on Obsession to cover the tobacco odor. One day she asked what she really smelled like— she smelled like a new winter wheat field. 😊 She was really pleased! I think I married my husband because his natural scent is butterscotch!

  32. Brenda says:

    I stumbled across Daisy by Marc Jacobs years ago and I was hooked. This line has several versions: Daisy Dream and Daisy Eau so Fresh, etc. I like most of them. I have a few other perfumes I like, especially Versace Yellow Diamonds, but I always come back to Daisy. All the bottles (I love perfume bottles too!) sit on a tray on my vanity, and I just let my hand choose one each morning without thinking. That works for me.

  33. Roberta says:

    In 1963 I was spending a weekend at my future husband’s fraternity house. As I walked down a hallway I smelled an intoxicating perfume: Shalimar.
    My husband of almost 60 years has bought it for me ever since.
    When my youngest daughter went to college she cured her homesickness by visiting a department store and asking to smell the Shalimar.

  34. Carol in Texas says:

    What an interesting column! I love all the responses. I have not worn perfume for years…..I’m in my 80s now and scents often bother other ladies I’m around. But as a college girl I loved Shalimar, though I never thought of myself as the exotic that I think that fragrance goes with. I tried wearing Woodhue but it would never ‘take’ on me like Shalimar did…but I loved that woodsy scent. As a young mother I switched to Revlon’s Ciara and it worked pretty well for me and was affordable. I have been given a bottle of Dior’s Adore, but it is definitely not my scent….I’d love to find a person who uses it to pass it on to. It is going to waste! I’m going to think about using perfume again after reading all these comments!

    • Mary Lou says:

      I agree that I need scent free products, because I often have an allergic reaction. The one exception, which was not a perfume scent, was Trader Joe’s lavender fragrance hand lotion. I was so sad when they discontinued it. It was such a lovely, refreshing scent, and based on comments by my granddaughter, it apparently was my signature scent, as she said she thought of me whenever someone had used it. Now I have no signature scent, but it has been so much fun to read all the comments.

  35. Jeannie says:

    Eighth grade Algebra will forever be associated with my teacher’s favorite fragrance, White Shoulders. I recoil at them both to this day.

  36. Claudia says:

    Issey Miyake is the all time favorite for me, and I also like Clinique’s Happy in Bloom for warmer weather. The Issey fragrance stays warm and subtle on my skin and clothes. I love it!

  37. Erin says:

    Romance by Ralph Lauren was my go-to for many, many years… and still mostly is, but I also really love Jo Malone and L’Occitane when I want something lighter and more natural.

    Way, way back in the day I was a Clinique Happy girl. 🙂

  38. Nikki S says:

    I loved Dear Polly when I received it in the Liberty advent calendar, but when I went to buy it I saw Darling Nikki on the Vilhelm website. Had to get that! It turned out to be just the right spicey-smokey mix for me. My mom always wore YSL Rive Gauche when we were kids; when I went to my first sleepaway camp, she sprayed it on my pillow. <3

  39. Danni B says:

    Not 1 signature scent, but per my ex, my perfumes fall into 4 categories: church, dirt, drunk bakery, or burning leaves. (He’s not wrong!) I wear a lot of indie perfumes & I never feel fully dressed without it!

  40. Jennifer says:

    My mother had very specific ideas about the use of scent and made sure I wasn’t wearing Jovan’s Musk when I was 14. I did the same for my daughters, taking them to Guerlain (at WDW) to introduce them into the beautiful magic of perfume. I have a scent wardrobe and use it to create a mood/protective veil for myself. If I had an ‘every day scent’ it would be Mon Guerlain. On fall weekends, I love Maison Margiela By the Fireplace and Guerlain Lui. In the spring, I like Dior J’dore with it’s light jasmine. This year, Dior Bouquet evoked a marvelous scent of peonies. Reading about fragrance on have brought me hours of joy.

  41. Katherine Buchanan says:

    Sorry to be a negative Nellie here, but I am also a non-scent person. I was a dental hygienist for years and years, and had to finally start asking certain patients to stop wearing their scent before appointments. Even with one or two masks, it came through and caused headaches. I used to like a couple of scents when I was in my late teens and 20’s, but started to notice that most scents made me feel ill, including scented laundry products (check out Laundry Love!). I think part of the problem is that people use too much–just one drop is all it takes, for a person who gets close to you, to enjoy. You don’t need to make the whole room smell your scent.

  42. Denise says:

    Rogue Love by Rhianna has been my signature scent for the past 5 years. Found this lovely, clean scent on vacation one year. The young woman working at the front desk at the hotel we were staying was wearing it. Oh my the fragrance was so beautiful I had to ask her what she was wearing. She was kind enough to share.

  43. Dawn says:

    I love Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue and consider that my signature scent, but in summer I switch to Elizabeth Arden’s Sunflowers – the body mist and perfume. One year I was lucky enough to find a large shower gel – oh the joy of it all! 🙂 Winters are Cartier’s La Panthere – WAY too heavy for spring/summer – but perfect for seater weather and evenings out in black 🙂
    I LOVE it! I also loved See by Chloe, which was sadly discontinued. I mourn the loss and would love to find a replacement.

  44. Carol says:

    My mother’s signature scent was Chanel #5. Sometimes I go to the perfume counter to smell the sampler just to remember her. Mine is Intuition by Estee Lauder.

  45. Heather says:

    I’m allergic to perfume and most scented products, to the point of suffering a bad asthma attack years back at what was supposed to be a “scent free” conference. On more than one occasion I’ve had to switch seats with a friend at a movie or concert when the woman next to me smelled like she bathed in her perfume, and have regifted a few products from well-intentioned friends. Patchouli is amongst the worst, and can trigger a migraine.

    That being said, I do okay with some light fruit scents, such as pineapple, mango or coconut shampoo or soap, but for the most part I avoid scented products.

  46. Adrienne says:

    What a fun post! I hardly ever wear scent, but I loved Lavender Tea by Gap Body and used to wear it daily as my signature scent until it was discontinued. I’ve tried other lavender-based perfumes but haven’t found anything yet that I like as much. I love the idea of having a signature scent, but haven’t found a new one yet. If anyone has any suggested replacements for my beloved Lavender Tea, please let me know!

  47. Erica says:

    Just like others here, I have lots of thoughts on perfume. Personally, I absolutely love it and don’t feel fully dressed without it. I also like to have perfume that fits the occasion or season. My everyday scent is Versace Bright Crystal. Its light, bright, floral and fruity scent just makes me happy. I love Chanel as well and have worn several iterations over the years but currently love wearing Coco Mademoiselle in fall and winter or for special occasions. That said, I empathize with those who say they are sensitive to scents as I too cannot stand certain fragrances or strong scents. I still remember a magazine article from when I was a teen that gave tips for wearing perfume (those were in the days when magazines had articles and people read them!). It said to always apply a small amount to a pulse point or two soon after a shower when the body is still warm and will absorb the scent. Then as the body cools and dries the scent dissipates so it’s light and pleasant not leaving a trail in your wake! I follow that advice to this day. Also, I think it’s very important to try a new scent before purchasing. I spritz a bit on and wear it for the day and if I still like it hours later (and my family likes it) then I buy it.

  48. Ellen says:

    I love the idea of a signature scent but in practice it hasn’t worked for me. I was the only high schooler who wore Chanel #5, I got so many compliments I thought I would wear it always but at some point it just stopped working for me. Many years, perfumes, and headaches later I found another signature scent that was limited edition. I’m on my last bottle (Cartier Baiser Vole Fraiche). But I don’t despair because now I hunt for the next “one” and that gives me the chance to perfume shop on vacations. I may not wear my scents daily but I have perfumes from Portugal and the Hudson Valley. I just bought a new scent on my NYC trip this year! This gives me a chance to go back to that place if only for minute.

  49. Dolle Shane says:

    Two decades ago and shortly after a divorce, I was sitting at an upscale bar
    with a longtime girlfriend. The barely 21 year old bartender told me he could name the perfume I was wearing in one guess. I highly doubted that! Said he would pick up my bar tab if he couldn’t. So…I said name it. He immediately said Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds, my then signature scent. I was astounded and ask how he knew. He simply said that it’s what my Mom wears. I have never felt as old as I did in that moment. Now 20 years later and happily remarried, thinking about that makes me smile. I infrequently wear perfume these days but when I do, I wear Light Blue. Thank you for the trip down memory lane. I loved this post!

  50. Boone says:

    Sung- by Alfred Sung- smells different on me than anyone else who tried it after complimenting me on it! A bit spicy, not too florally- 40 years of wear and my granddaughters all know it’s my signature scent!

  51. Joyce Haraway says:

    I wore Tova signature scent for years until the formula was changed. Strangers would stop me and ask what fragrance I was wearing. My daughter called it “Mommy’s special scent”. I am still searching for a perfume that made me feel that good.

  52. Karen Parnell says:

    I used to wear Lovely by SJP, but then I couldn’t find it. Now my scent is Dolce by D&G, and I am living in fear that they will discontinue it. This seems to happen to me with cosmetics as well- maybe I need to be more flexible, but doesn’t that negate the idea of a signature scent?

    • Betsy says:

      I love the scent of Lovely by SJP and would consider that my signature scent. I wore it everyday; then when the pandemic hit I stopped wearing perfume. If I start wearing perfume again I would definitely go back to Lovely.

    • Linda Sue Ryan says:

      I wear Lovely by SJP and get so many compliments on it. It’s soft, not overpowering. You can buy it at I’ve been getting it there for years.

  53. Margaret says:

    All these comments make me want to try more perfumes! I haven’t been wearing any lately, but my signature scent would be Calvin Klein’s Euphoria. I think I must have smelled it in a magazine sample when I was a teenager. (The other smell I absolutely adored was Twilight Woods bubble bath by Bath and Body Works, but it’s long since been discontinued.)

  54. Jill says:

    What a wonderful thread! My grandmother always wore Jean Nate (many many years later, I still have a handkerchief that has a trace of it!). My mother wore Chanel No. 5 when I was young, and Nicole Miller late in her life. I have a tiny little bottle with a few drops left, and open it when feeling especially sentimental. I wore Aliage for years until it was discontinued; when it came back, it did not smell the same. After many years of brief flirtations, I switched to Hermes’ Vanille Galante, but don’t reach for it everyday…

    Thanks for the great stories and suggestions!

  55. Carol says:

    I have been wearing Juicy Couture Classic for 15-20 years and still get nice comments about it. The marketing says “Designed for the girl who marches to the beat of her own drum” 🙂 I wear it all of the time except sometimes in the summer I will wear a little Tommy Girl because it smells like sunshine and sunscreen to me.
    My grandfather had a signature cologne that I can still remember today …Old’s a classic cologne for men and I miss it.
    Thanks for the fun post!

  56. Jennifer Geisler says:

    My mother used an Estee Lauder scent as her “signature”. It was too heavy for me – I was delighted when she quit wearing it! I used Jessica McClintock for years, having noticed a friend wearing it. It’s a very light, quietly floral scent. When I retired, I stopped using any perfume – not sure why. The comments offered here make me want to try again! I had one friend who wore a rose scented perfume. The scent was so exact that the first time I smelled it I kept looking at the back seat of her car, thinking she had a spray of roses in the car! She had purchased it at a drugstore – no idea the name or the maker, so I could not try it for myself.

  57. Karen Marie says:

    I wear Clinique’s Aromatics Elixir – I get lots of compliments. My Grandmother wore Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew and I find some similarities. In the summer, I wear Chanel #19 poudre – Coco’s fragrance.

  58. Diane says:

    I’ve worn Coco by Chanel for decades. The website describes it as ‘A baroque score written in ambery, floral and spicy notes.’ When I was younger I also enjoyed the original Charlie by Revlon. Not sure if it’s even available anymore. I don’t wear perfume or cologne often these days because it can bother some people. My husband has a ‘signature’ scent and I love it when he wears it.

  59. Karina says:

    My two signature scents are Casual by Paul Sebastion and the original JLo Glow. Both are soft powdery smells with a hint of musk and white flowers. I get compliments every time I wear them. I also love Heavenly Angels by Victoria Secret but sadly, it appears to have been discontinued :(. My first boyfriend wore Grey Flannel and I adored that. My mother used to wear Opium and I hated it…way too strong. Scents bring back so many memories for me and I feel naked if I don’t wear perfume every day!

    • Megan says:

      JLo Glow was my signature scent for years but now I cannot find it!

      I wear Calvin Klein Euphoria in colder months and Geir Ness Laila during warmer months. I discovered Laila at WDW EPCOT and it never fails to bring back memories of my happy place.

      If money were no object, I would wear Louis Vuitton Mille Feux. I received a sample while buying a bag and it is delicious.

  60. Dorothy K says:

    I have lived Lancôme Tresor for years! Then a friend gave me Nest Hibiscus and I fell completely in love. I wear it every single day and my underclothes smell of it when I open the drawe. My grandma’s signature scent was Emeraude and I owned a coat that had been hers before she died. The pocket had a handkerchief that smelled just like grandma for many, many years.

  61. Patricia says:

    My signature scent is Rose 31 by Le Labo. But my rule of thumb is never to wear scent if I’m going to be sitting with people for any length of time, i.e., meetings, church, planes, concerts, etc. Also I never wear it if a meal is on the offing as it can interfere with people’s sense of taste. I do wear it at home and sometimes running errands. And as others have said, if you can smell it and you’re not hugging me, I’m wearing too much.

  62. Mickey N says:

    This post reminds me of a book that I just finished, The Perfume Collector. An interesting story about the development of unique perfumes and the imagined intrigue behind their creation.

  63. Nancy says:

    I have worn Jessica McClintock for many years, including the years my grandsons were born. My hope is, in years to come, that they might catch this lovely scent and think of their Mimi.

  64. Denise Baysinger says:

    I wore a few different scents in my teens and twenties, but in my 30’s, I tried Calvin Klein’s Escape and that has been my main perfume for many years now. It just feels like me. I have a few others I use here and there for different events, but Escape is still the one that feels like me.

    • Pat says:

      I so remember sleeping in my childhood bed on nights when I had been put there by a babysitter and then what seemed much later, I would smell my beautiful mother, her lips brushing my cheek, with a sliver of light coming into my room. I would know my wonderful parents were home and close my eyes and sleep again. I have always thought if I lost all my memories, Mother’s perfume would be the last one to go. She wore Joy. She never wore anything else or owned any other perfume. She wore it for over 75 years and it smells heavenly.
      I wear Hermes Un Jardin Sue Le Nil. I have loved reading each of these about your scents and your loved ones’ scents.
      Anne, thank you for the memories.

  65. Sherry Lambert says:

    I love to wear perfume. My favorite scent is Cashmere Mist by Donna Karen. It’s a little powdery smelling with some other additions that I am not sure of. Will have to look it up.

  66. Cori says:

    I love Miami Glow by JLo and Obsession by Calvin Klein! When I was younger, fresh and floral perfumes like Diorissimo by Christian Dior and Cristalle by Chanel were my signature scents! Now, my perfumes seem to have gotten more musky and sultry. I also love Yvresse which used to be called Champagne by Yves Saint Laurent.:-D

  67. Ashley says:

    I wore Pretty by Elizabeth Arden forever. They discontinued it. I researched it; apparently it is a citrus floral. Recently I discovered Floris, the perfumeir to the royals (they hold 2 royal warrents & have recipes dating back hundreds of years and scents worn by Churchill, royalty and Carey Grant!!) Anyway, I got a sampler and feell in love with a fruity floarl again. Bouquet de la Rhine.

  68. Kitty says:

    Diorissimo by Christian Dior. It’s a fresh, delicate fragrance of Lilies-of-the-Valley. It was given to me one Christmas as a teenager, 40+ years ago. I tried other perfumes through college and my early 20’s, but came to realize that Diorissimo was my signature— the fragrance that feels like my best self. I feel sad when it runs out. My children know that’s always what I want for Christmas! Sadly, like many of you I’m allergic to most perfumes, but Diorissimo is magical for me! Thanks for this conversation, Anne!

  69. Malissa says:

    As someone with an autistic son, please don’t wear chemical perfumes or use things with chemical fragrances. It disrupts all of our endocrine systems, and some people’s lives are literally negatively disrupted by chemical fragrances. Sorry to be a downer, but it is true.

  70. Deborah S Ball says:

    I recently discovered Michelle Pfeiffer’s perfume line called Henry Rose. My favorite I found by accident and quickly bought a second bottle “Carnovas” a light floral that captures my spirit. She has her own web site and names scents like WINDOWS ROLLED DOWN or Fog! Highly recommend

  71. Jacqueline Seybold says:

    I’ve been wearing Coco Chanel since the age of 17 – I felt very grown up and sophisticated when I first purchased it a John Wanamakers department store in Philadelphia. That was 39 years ago and I still feel the same way every time I dab it on my wrists and neck!

  72. Diane says:

    For years I wore Blossoms from Talbot’s. Unfortunately they don’t make it anymore. Any suggestions what I should try when my stash runs out?

    • Valerie S. says:

      Having your signature scent discontinued is a true crisis!! Mine is Filigree from Thymes which is no longer made. I have a stash and agonize between using it to enjoy the scent and saving it so I’ll always have some.

  73. Amanda Lynch says:

    For years I wore L’Interdit by Givenchy. A friend actually smelled it a store and called to tell me that she had found the perfect scent for me. She was right! It is my favorite perfume of all time. Then it was discontinued, and I went for years without finding something I liked. Givenchy has since brought the scent back; but it has been “modernized”, and I am afraid to try it!
    The last year I have been wearing Tahitian Garden by Pacifica, a cheap brand from Target. The smell doesn’t last all day, but I love it!

  74. Karen S. Troutman says:

    My signature scent is the orginal Chloe. It is very difficult to find. My husband gave me this gift on our first Christmas together and I love it.

    • Valerie S. says:

      I’m currently reading The Perfume Thief! The author lives in my city, and this title was chosen for our “one city, one book” event. Our library hosted a very posh author event last Sunday!

  75. Andrea says:

    Estee Lauders Sensuous has been my signature scent for over 15 years, and probably longer. I kind of fell into it by accident. I received so many compliments and it seems to last all day. I got tired of trying to decide which scent to wear, and as I moved to a minimalist wardrobe, I just gravitated to one scent. I think they have discontinued it and I am very sad. It is very hard to find now and has gotten very expensive when I can find it.

  76. Terry says:

    Weekend by Burberry
    One time a young man who was waiting on me said it reminded him of his grandmother. I took that as a compliment.

  77. Val says:

    What a fun post! I love having a signature scent – mine is YSL Paris. I bought my first bottle in Paris while studying abroad in college and have been wearing it ever since!

  78. Laura says:

    What a lovely topic of discussion! I was fortunate to discover my “signature scent” when I was in my early twenties. It is Burberry for Women. I have worn it nearly every single day for almost twenty years now, regardless of where I am going or what I will be doing. On me, it’s not too spicy, not too floral, but instead a perfect mix of each. It’s a little strong at first, but settles quite well by the time I get to wherever I am going.

  79. Merry says:

    My grandmother wore Joy by Jean Patou and it’s like a warm hug from her every time I smell it. I decided to adopt a signature scent before I had kids so that they could have the same olfactory “hug”. I happened upon a little store in New Orleans called Hove Parfumerie and found my scent- Rue Royale. My kids know it as Mama’s smell and when I can’t be with them and they need a bit of comfort, I’ll spray a tiny bit on their stuffy or blanket so they have that hug.

  80. What a great post, I love wearing perfume and have worn many different scents over the years but so many people complain about it that I now limit where I wear it. I have three scents, Boucheron for spring and summer, Y (the original one now discontinued) from YSL for fall, and Opium in winter. I have been searching for literally years for a new fall fragrance, something that is light and spicy, not citrusy. Your Dear Polly may be closer than anything I have found up to now. My last try was Gucci Memoire, but it is just a bit too much green grass.

  81. A boyfriend gave me a bottle of ‘Le Must de Cartier’ when I was in my twenties. He owned a jewelry store, so picking up a bottle was easy for him, but with the end of our relationship came the end of my pipeline to that perfume. This was before internet shopping became a thing. Apparently my youngest daughter felt ‘Le Must’ was my signature scent. She had strong memories tied to that scent and stood in a Cartier jewelry store sniffing bottle after bottle until she recognized the distinctive scent of ‘Le Must’. When I opened the birthday box and found that bottle, I sprayed some on my wrists and began to cry, that’s how powerfully scent is connected to memory. Now I search for it everywhere. It’s hard to find. I have the best luck in airport duty-free shops—apparently Europeans appreciate Cartier perfumes more than Americans do.

  82. Julie S. says:

    In cold weather, I wear Maison Margiela’s By the Fireplace, in hot weather, it’s Jo Malone’s Wood Sage & Sea Salt. One that’s nice anytime is Library of Flowers’ Honeycomb.

  83. Molly says:

    I wear Coco by Chanel. It was designed to embody the paradox of Gabrielle Chanel— simple, yet complex. It reflects me a lot— I have a paradoxical nature!

  84. I worked in a perfume store for years, and I still have a HUGE collection (40+) of samples, testers, and couldn’t-resist purchases (thankfully with my staff discount). I couldn’t possibly pick one to wear every single day, but the one that I put on when I want to feel special and indulged and relaxed is Coco by Chanel. It’s too intense for day-to-day wear (especially in summer here in Australia), but it’s rich and beautiful on cool evenings.

  85. Natalie says:

    It has always been my personal opinion that a woman should smell good and her skin should be soft. I am a big fan of perfumes and I lotion up this 40 year old body every day lol
    If I had to pick a signature scent mine would probably be Eros by Versace. Whenever I wear it, I get complimented. My niece India will tell you that I’ve always smell like coconut however! That’s due to the hair cream I’ve used for years (Cantu curling cream). A few past favorites for perfumes: Light Blue Dolce Gabbana, Flower Bomb by Viktor&Rolf, Armani Code, Burberry Her, John Paul Gaultier Classique for women, Gap Heaven (they don’t make it anymore wah!) and Twilight Mist which is a body spray I buy at Walmart. 🙂

  86. Ruth O says:

    Thinking about the chemical side of perfumes and how some of the chain shops’ fragrances seem to cause more allergic reactions when teens wear them heavily, (her husband had sneezing issues with these…) our daughter found that Ulta beauty has a sampler of ‘clean’ fragrances that you can try. Granddaughters each found one they like and it’s much easier to take for those around them!!
    Always felt that fragrance should be subtle, and shouldn’t arrive in a room before you do.

  87. Carol W says:

    I currently wear 4711, the original cologne, actually made in Cologne, Germany, since at least 1799. The number refers to the address of the company. It’s very light, floral, a little spice, more of a body splash than a cologne. I select different scents at different times in my life. In the past I’ve worn Escape, Shalimar, Emeraude, and LouLou.

  88. Jody Czwartacky says:

    I found Balle a Versailles in a perfume shop on my first visit to the Bahamas in the early 1980’s. It’s soft and not obtrusive, and brings me back to the beach every time I wear it.

  89. Yana says:

    Like several have already commented, I too have a difficult time with fragrances. My intolerance started in my 40’s. However I have found Ambre oils that do not cause me any trouble. There are several different scents of Ambre oils – I own all 5 of them and none of them bother me. And you can mix and match the scents to create your own scent. They have become my signature scent for someone who can’t wear perfumes and fragrances. You can buy them online and also I know they are sold around the country in spas and boutiques.

    • Stephanie says:

      Yes! I currently wear Ahnu but feel like the scent doesn’t last on my skin. I can always smell it on my watch band and bathrobe though 🙂 Since it’s an oil it seems to get used up pretty quickly, so I’m not always able to splurge on it. But I’m glad to have found a non-chemical fragrance that I like!

  90. Maureen says:

    I seem to have a unique body chemistry that makes most perfumes smell like insecticide when I apply it. One perfume that doesn’t do that, and I love the scent, is Gilded Fox by Pinrose. The company describes it like this, “A romantic gourmand with notes of cocoa spice, buttered rum and amber.” It’s lovely.

  91. Sue says:

    I was looking recently for a new scent and wanted one that wasn’t tested on animals. There are very few choices. They’re almost all animal tested. So I tried out The Body Shop’s White Musk L’eau eau de toilette. It’s lovely and light, with a hint of citrus that makes it nice and fresh.

  92. Mary Noel says:

    What a wonderful post! As a young woman I wore Chanel 22, a lovely floral scent. I wore it the day I was married and always after that until it was discontinued. After that I wore Jessica McClintock and liked it. My husband recently died, just short of our 50th anniversary and, in cleaning out some of his things, I found a bottle of Chanel 22! He had sent to the Chanel website in Paris to get it as a (very expensive) present for me! I am using it very sparingly!

  93. Martha says:

    I love this post and reading the comments for people’s favorites. I love the idea of a signature scent but I’m a dabbler by nature and can never pick two or a few things for life (or a years) I recently have become a bit of a collector and love smelling the different ones I have. I also like using different scents on different days and especially seasons. Some of my favorites are: YSL Libre Intense ( I love both original and Intense) Baccarat Rouge 540 (although I can’t spend $300+ for a fragrance so I have a dupe), Donna Born in Roma, Chanel Chance en Tendre, J’Adore, Lancome’s Idole, Gold from Commodity and Milk by Commodity, Delina Exclusif by Parfums de Marly, Hibiscus Palm by Aerin, Moscow Mule by Juliette Has a Gun, Lira by Xerjoff. I can keep going but those are the ones that come to mind. I love citrus and coconut scents in the summer and warm, amber florals in the Fall and Winter.

  94. Shannon says:

    For my recent birthday, a close friend bought me the “Short Stories” sample selection from Imaginary Authors, an indie perfume brand. I have loved trying the different fragrances she selected and their descriptions are so fun. My favorite scent thus far is Memoirs of a Trespasser. I love darker scents with a hint of tobacco or deep vanilla.

  95. Kimberlee Williams says:

    Ugh! I FINALLY found my signature scent—Oolong Infiniti by Atelier—and immediately after, they stopped shipping outside of France. I was lucky to find a close-out bottle at Nordstrom. I don’t know what I will do when this bottle runs out. I guess I will need to start saving money for a trip to France to restock!

  96. Katie says:

    I absolutely love Jo Malone’s Blackberry and Bay. It’s a little fruity and a little green. Sweet enough to wear in spring and summer, but earthy and interesting enough to last into the fall and winter. It’s unique and beautiful. I do wish it lasted a little longer, though!

    Also, I have to mention the scent of my teenage and young adult years: Ralph Lauren Hot. It’s discontinued and I’ve never found anything close to it, but wow I loved that scent.

  97. Amy says:

    My sister-in-law worked at a cosmetics counter for a while years ago, and picked out a sample of Calvin Klien’s Endless Euphoria for me. It was a perfect choice, and I asked for it for my birthday and got two large bottles. I’m running low, and they don’t make it anymore, so I’m not sure what I’ll do next, but I love it.

  98. Kelli F. Robinson says:

    Please compile these comments. My signature scent is Origins Ginger Essence for past 15 years and then Fendi in the 1990s. Both are super nostalgic to me every time I smell them. Great post!!

  99. Laura B says:

    What a beautiful post. My grandmother also had a signature scent and no one in my family knows what it was but we all know it when we smell it. I got a whiff of that scent on a sidewalk not long after she died and it stopped me in my tracks looking for her. I think of her every time I smell that scent. It really inspired me to find my own signature scent. Still looking but it’s been a fun journey!

  100. Karen B. says:

    What a fun post.
    My long-time signature fragrance is Jo Malone Amber and Lavender. During the summer I wear Hermes Un Jardin sur le Nil. Years ago, I wore Lauren Safari. I confess, after many years I get bored and look for a new fragrance.
    Karen B.

  101. Connie says:

    My signature scent is Amarige by Givenchy. Men and women, both young and old, have stopped me to ask what I’m wearing. Once I had two young men (late teens) follow my scent as I was shopping. I finally confronted them (although they didn’t look dangerous or give out bad vibes) and they blushed while admitting they were following me because I “smelled so good”

  102. Linda Sue Ryan says:

    I wore Chanel No. 5 for years and then Chamade by Guerlain. A beautiful scent. Then I started wearing Diorissimo by Christian Dior, a lily of the valley scent. I’ve read several places that it was one of Princess Diana’s favorite perfumes. Now I wear Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker. I seem to love white floral perfumes.

  103. Ann says:

    I was once on a home tour in Galveston, Texas and someone was wearing a delicious smelling perfume. It was quite strong & I soon found that the scent was following me from house to house. I was able to locate who the wearer was & ask them what it was called. I believe it was Fresh Scent. It has been many moons ago, so I may not have the name correct, and cannot recall the brand.

    I ended up going and buying a bottle for myself, but sadly my husband did not like it. Said he was allergic to it. So my bottle sat unused and was finally discarded.

    This is one of those silly things that has “haunted” me ever since. The smell was that good!!!! I know the perfume was finally discontinued. Years ago I read something about it online. I think someone compared it to Fahrenheit for men. You used to be able to order a copycat. I wish I could track it down again. If anyone out there knows, please comment! I think I bought my bottle at JC Penney, so it was not a fine perfume.

    Same said husband gave me White Shoulders for Christmas when we dated in the 70s. He was an exchange student from Brazil. We met in high school. His exchange student sister recommended the scent. I was mad about it at the time & thought it was so romantic! I still have a bottle. We’ve been married for 43 years now.

    When I was much younger I loved Love’s Fresh Lemon. A true child of the 70s 😊

  104. Ann says:

    A few favorites were

    YSL Rive Gauche (smelled like Magnolias!!!!)

    Anais Anais

    Charlie was big, but I did not really get into it.


    Paris by YSL

    Allure by Dior

  105. Ann says:

    And a shout out to to Estée Lauder’s Beautiful. One of the few times I recall someone asking what I was wearing.

    Needs to be the parfum. The other versions are not as good.

  106. Megan says:

    For our wedding day, my husband and I went to Macy’s and picked out a scent for one another. He liked a perfume for me slightly more than I did (Lancome’s Idole), so he let my choice win out — Flowerbomb by Viktor & Ralf. It has such a lovely vanilla scent, which has long been my favorite. He ended up also getting a V&R cologne eventually, which I think is so cute that we have a matching set. He ended up getting his more preferred choice for me for a gift later on, which is a much lighter, more summery smell — so now I have two for different seasons. I haven’t worn them much since COVID, but this post inspired me to dab a little (a LITTLE, I hear you other commenters! My husband is also scent sensitive).

  107. Sam says:

    Mine is GUESS Dare! Lovely smell, the bottle lasts forever, and it’s under $20. I always loved the perfume strips in magazines. I’m pretty sure that’s how I came across the GUESS one. 🙂

  108. Andrea Ballard says:

    I love You by Glossier, for an admittedly strange reason…it reminds me of bug spray. Now I know bug spray is generally thought of as unpleasant, but it’s so nostalgic to me; hot, humid summer nights in the South with the ever-present swarm of mosquitoes. It’s my childhood in a bottle!

  109. Malgorzata Podgorska says:

    Chanel no 5, Eau de Toilette until I discovered 24 Fabourg by Hermes. I love anything by Hermes, anything but 24 Fabourg is so …me, my favourite. I also like Chloe and Balenciaga perfumes , they blend with my skin 🙂 so well, so I have few I really like and always looking forward to new release – Hermes, Chanel, Chloe, Balenciaga, but 24 Fabourg by Hermes is my favourite and signature one. 24 Rue de Fabourg is the Paris address of Hermes signature/flagship store. I will definitely try Dear Polly. I love reading the perfumes descriptions, sexy quiet, delicate floral with an edge , yes please. Greetings from Brisbane in spring xxx

  110. Lee says:

    I don’t like fragrance that smells like perfume. I love Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Abricot. It basically smells like vanilla, like waffle cones or cake.

  111. Christine Patrick says:

    I definitely have a signature scent I have been wearing since around 1999 when I discovered it at Garden Botanika the stores that used to be around in some malls but are long gone. Heart by Garden Botanika is still available sometimes on Amazon and I stock up. I never fail to have people tell me how good I smell and is it my shampoo. It’s very light and clean smelling. My two older daughters, having grown up with it, now wear it too. I will be beside myself when I can no longer get it!

  112. Fay Menacker says:

    Loved this column and the replies. I love perfume–my fave is Light Blue, which is very much like Avon’s Haiku. Also Avon’s Rare Gold is absolutely fantastic.
    I bought Inis after reading the replies–very nice, however Light Blue and Haiku are a bit better.

  113. Dena says:

    I love Chantilly! It’s just a lovely soft scent that is not overpowering but lasts. It was created in 1941 I just learned. I tend to spray a perfume on my lower body so the scent wafts up subtly. I also still love Windsong. Oldies but goodies!

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