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I always match my perfume to my outfit – am I the only one?

 If you don't have a signature scent, how do you pick which perfume to wear each day?

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Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
July 9, 2024
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When I was younger, my aunty worked in a perfume shop, which meant she had a treasure trove of fragrances in her home.

While most people's wardrobes were full of clothes, she had shelf upon shelf of perfumes to pick from, and I remember asking her how she chose the one she wanted to wear each day. She said she picked depending on her mood and who she felt like being that day.

While I liked the idea of matching your scent to who you wanted to be each morning, I was more taken with the notion of having a signature scent – one that people immediately recognised as 'me' when they smelled it.

five bottles of perfume in front of framed photos
I started building my own fragrance wardrobe

At 15, I picked my signature scent as Giorgio Armani's 'Sensi', and I wore it every day until they discontinued it. Disillusioned by the discontinuation of 'my' scent, my signature scent era was over and I decided to emulate my aunty and start picking my perfume each day, but rather than pairing it with my mood, I picked mine according to my outfit.

Matching my perfume to my outfit

Leather skirt and a dark tee calls for Diptyque's 'Fleur de Peau'. Summer dress and Birkenstocks? Jones Roads' ultra-fresh 'Shower' or Maison Margiela's 'When The Rain Stops'. Fancy attire for a special night out? Tom Ford's 'Black Orchid'.

Curious as to how other people choose their perfume each day, I spoke to some of the biggest names in fragrance for how they pick which scent to wear every morning. Read on to find out.

'I believe in fragrance freedom'

Woman in floral shirt and pastel blue suit© Sim Canetty-Clarke
Michelle Feeney shares how she chooses her fragrance

"I don’t believe in sticking to a signature scent, because our fragrances should match how we want to feel and who we want to be on any given day," says Michelle Feeney, founder of Floral Street.

"Scents are a powerful form of expression and we should be changing up our fragrances to match how we want to feel and who we want to be," Michelle continues. "I might choose a fragrance to match my outfit, or how I want to feel for an occasion."

MORE FROM MICHELLE: I took a 'grey gap year' at 51 – here's what I learned 

Floral Street has just launched a Fragrance Wardrobe, comprising 12 of their scents so you can choose a different one every day. Michelle explains of her decision-making: "If it's a hot day and I'm wearing something light and floaty, I'll choose Floral Steet's Arizona Bloom, which is a sunny and free-spirited scent with Balinese coconut, jasmine petals and salted musks.

"If I'm headed to brunch and want something bright, expressive and happy, I'll choose Floral Street's Sunflower Pop, which is really citrussy with bergamot and a bellini accord."

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'I layer my fragrances'

My ultimate fragrance icon is Mona Kattan, founder of Kayali fragrances, famed for her extensive – and envy-inducing – scent wardrobe. Mona has a novel approach to selecting her scent each day.

woman in front of lots of perfumes© Instagram
Mona Kattan with her huge fragrance collection

"I love to layer my fragrances so thankfully that takes a lot of the pressure off having to choose one each morning because the possibilities are endless!

"I also tend to pick scents based on my mood or how I want to feel. For example, if I want to feel energised and ready to take on the day, I love wearing citrus or coffee forward fragrances to give me a bit of a boost.

photo of a beautiful dark haired woman in a soft off the shoulder dress
Mona Kattan of Kayali

"If I want to feel fresh but cosy, I love a good musk scent that hugs close to me. Fruity floral scents are great for channelling happy, positive energy, like 'Eden Juicy Apple | 01' - it’s so bright and youthful."

SHOP: 19 best new perfumes for women 2024: The talked about fragrances from Jo Malone London, Tom Ford, Dior & MORE 

'I decide on the statement I want to make'

No fragrance collection is complete without a bottle of Diptyque in the mix, and the brand's managing director, Amanda Morgan, says your scent profile is key to choosing your fragrance each day.

"Choosing your daily perfume can be a quick decision based on one of your 'signature scents', or you can put more emphasis on your scent profile," she says.

seven perfume bottles indifferent color and shape, with different amount of perfume left.© Getty
How do you choose the perfume you're going to wear?

"I often change my scent depending on the mood I'm in and what statement I want to make that day. I typically wear a lot of black clothing, so my scent can add colour, personality, or softness. I may choose to wear a more powerful, distinctive scent if I'm having important meetings, as opposed to a softer, more subtle, playful scent if I'm meeting friends.  

"I find that your perfume can make a statement and add to your overall personality, and people remember you for your scent."

'Matching my intention'

Wellness and manifestation expert Giselle La Pompe-Moore takes an holistic approach to her scent selection.

Beautiful woman in a cream room
Giselle shares how she chooses her fragrance

"Scent plays such an important role in my life," she says. "It's often used to conjure up memories, but I'm intrigued by how we can use scent to bring us into the present moment.

"When I set my intention for the day, I always choose a fragrance that will 'seal it in', so I look out for the scents that will help me to embody the feeling I want to step into that day. Then, whenever I'm going about my day, the scent becomes a reminder of my intention and also to return back to myself."

MORE FROM GISELLE: 6 things I do each morning for a happier day 

'My plans for the day'

Clare White, founder of aromatherapy brand Made By Coopers, selects her scent depending on what's in her diary.

woman with blonde hair smiling in a striped shirt
Clare White of Made by Coopers

"If I have a busy schedule, I opt for bright and energising scents such as grapefruit or peppermint. These help keep me alert and motivated, whereas in the evening, particularly for special events, I choose deeper, sophisticated fragrances. Scents with notes of sandalwood, amber, or ylang-ylang add an air of elegance are perfect for a night out or a formal occasion."

Susan Wai Hnin of fragrance brand Gabar takes a similar approach. "If I have a busy day of work and errands ahead, I usually choose a fresh/clean scent with citrus, mandarin, bergamot or oceanic notes to give me the zest to take on the day.

"If it is the weekend or I’m on holiday, I'll pick a scent that's warm and inviting with notes of sandalwood, cashmere woods, rose, cherry or coconut. I love gourmand scents in the winter or when I'm on vacation because they give off a sense of warmth and intimacy."


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