We’ve all heard that scent is the strongest of our five senses, but have you ever considered what your personal scent says to the world?
We typically choose a fragrance based exclusively on whether it’s pleasing to our noses. But what if we can use the power of scent to not only boost our own confidence, but also to leave a positive, lasting impression on people at the same time? It’s entirely possible, since our sense of scent is directly linked to our emotions. Read on to learn how having a go-to fragrance can not only elevate your presence, but also get people to see you as more likeable and dependable. Introducing the power of the signature scent.
How Our Brains Process Scent
Before we can understand the benefits of having a signature scent, we need to learn why our sense of smell is so intricately linked to our emotions. It has to do with how our brains are wired. Unlike our other senses, scent enters the brain through the frontal cortex, the area that also deals with memories and emotions. After a smell enters the nose, it travels to the olfactory bulb in the brain, which processes the scent. The olfactory bulb is directly linked to both the amygdala (which is responsible for memory) and the hippocampus (which processes emotions). This all happens in an instant, which explains why even just a whiff of lime can make you vividly recall a vacation you took (mojitos, anyone?) even more so than seeing a photo from the trip.
Whether or not we like to admit it, humans are emotional beings; we often make decisions based more on emotions than on logic. Because our sense of smell is so connected to our emotions, we can use this to our advantage by wearing a scent that stirs up the same feelings that we want to be remembered for.
Unlike our other senses, scent enters the brain through the frontal cortex, which also deals with memories and emotions.
Harnessing the Power of Fragrance
It’s no secret that wearing a beautiful outfit makes you feel special and more refined. The same can be said for wearing a truly exquisite perfume. It’s that extra cherry on top that can elevate your vibe in a simple way. While you’re wearing your signature fragrance – one that you’ve connected with emotionally and have specifically chosen as how you want the world to perceive your scent – perhaps you stand up taller and have a little more confidence to approach your day with a more feminine and distinguished mindset.
In addition to a confidence boost, a signature scent helps people remember you, since – as you’ll recall – scent stimulates our brain’s amygdala. Hollywood starlets and other successful women throughout history knew the power of having a signature fragrance. Not only did having a consistent fragrance trigger the memory and emotional centers of those around them, but it also helped them stand apart from the crowd.
Wearing one or two perfumes on a regular basis leaves an impression on the people you come into contact with day after day. In a way, this consistency can become a part of your personal brand. People are drawn to consistency (at least on a subconscious level), since it makes it easier for our brains to process experiences. If you come across as consistent and put-together, it makes it easier for people to see you as someone they can trust and depend on.
Finding the Fragrance That’s Right for Your Vibe
Choosing the right fragrance in a seemingly endless sea of options can be daunting. Here are a few tips to help you narrow it down:
Think of the impression you want to make on people. Fragrances with fresh notes like basil or green tea exude confidence. Citrusy scents give off an air of optimism. Florals tend to be more feminine, and musky scents like vanilla and amber emit comfort and warmth.
If you’re looking for a scent that you truly connect with, try this when testing a fragrance: Put a dab on your wrist, close your eyes, and take a long inhale of the scent. With your eyes still closed, notice any emotions that the aroma brings to the surface. Consider if the feelings that are stirred up by the fragrance align with what you want to bring to the world through your signature scent. Repeat this process as many times as necessary.
Consider if the feelings that are stirred up by the fragrance align with what you want to bring to the world through your signature scent.
Start small. Most companies offer travel or trial-size perfumes so you don’t have to commit to a large quantity before knowing if you love it. Keep in mind that it’s better to buy a mini version instead of testing it out at the store so you can try it out in different settings – what works for a night out with the girls may not be perfect for a day at the office. (Side note: a truly great signature scent is appropriate in nearly all settings.) Also, remember that scents change after being on your skin for a few hours.
Consider spending a little more. Typically you can use less of a pricier fragrance because it’s more concentrated and doesn’t contain as many fillers. Since the scent is stronger, you’ll use less and it’ll end up being a better value.
And at the risk of being blunt, I’ll say this: generally, cheap smells cheap. Blending a perfume that is beautiful and refined is an artform, and typically the price of a fragrance reflects its craftsmanship.
Pick a more nuanced perfume with several different notes. Mystery and intrigue are inherently feminine. On that note, try to keep your fragrance choices somewhat mysterious as well. Which thought would you rather leave people with: “I can’t put my finger on what her scent is, but it’s so enticing,” or “She smells like she just ate an orange.”?
Think of it this way: If you want your scent to remind people of an easy, breezy beach vacation, you don’t want to smell like pure coconut. Perhaps instead you’d find a perfume like Ruby Moon by Olivine Atelier, which features notes of coconut in addition to vanilla and musk.
Typically, less is more. Your fragrance shouldn’t be overpowering. Even just a spritz or a dab behind your ears can be enough to leave a memorable impression. It’s better to be the woman whose scent exudes femininity and sophistication than it is to be the girl who smells like she bathed in Chanel No 5.
All that said, it’s important to remember to choose a scent made with “clean” ingredients. Recent studies have come out revealing the hidden dangers of artificial fragrances and their effect on our endocrine system. The following companies offer products that are free of phthalates and other known hormone disruptors:
If you want timeless, alluring scents and branding that’s absolutely dreamy, look no further than Olivine Atelier. The brand offers body oils, eau de parfums, and roll-ons, including mini sizes and sets – perfect for trying out a few to see which best suits you. Not sure where to start? Wolf Moon has a cult-like following, and Gigi is one of Madonna’s favorites.
Urthy Scents is my latest obsession. They offer dozens of scents categorized into 12 collections, so you’re certain to find one that resonates with the vibe that you want to put out into the world. I’m currently wearing Daylight Fire, a cozy and musky scent that fits in perfectly with the latest Vanilla Girl aesthetic. In addition to body oils and eau de parfum, the brand also sells candles, room sprays, and car diffusers, so your home and car can have a signature scent as well.
Lake & Skye
According to their website, Lake & Skye takes “a holistic approach with our award-winning products by distilling scent down to its essence to create best-in-class products that elevate the everyday.” Their scent 11 11 appears to be their best seller, and other top products include Midnight 07 and Santal Gray.
Ellis Brooklyn is a scent enthusiast’s dream. Their price point is a bit higher, but their curated collection of perfumes gives off a more sophisticated vibe – just look at that gorgeous packaging. Searching for a signature scent that’s perfect for winter? Try their Cozy Winter Travel Spray Trio.
If you prefer a fragrance that’s slightly less conventional than a typical floral or citrus, check out Phlur. Their fragrance collection is smaller, but they approach perfume blending as true art. Missing Person is the brand’s latest viral sensation, and it’s included in their Bestsellers Travel Trio.
If you’re looking for a way to elevate your ambiance this new year, consider finding a fragrance that encapsulates the woman you aim to be. You may be just one spritz away from leaving a more positive and engaging impression.
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