It's a well-known fact of life that we tend to switch up our fragrances with the seasons. As the weather gets warmer, we reach for the scents with more floral and citrus notes; alternatively, as it cools down we crave deep, woodsy musks. But, have you ever considered that you may be predisposed to exactly which notes you choose based on your personal characteristics?
Sure, we've all been taking fragrance personality quizzes for years — those that determine which scent we "should" buy if we think we are preppy or romantic — we decided to ask two bespoke fragrance professionals if they could tell which notes their customers would be drawn to based off of their personalities, and the results were pretty spot-on. We spoke to Benoit Verdier, co-founder of Ex Nihilo, a personalized fragrance boutique in Paris, and Lance Patterson, the CEO of Penhaligon's in London, which offers a fragrance "profiling" service in its stores. In a nutshell, they've been working with customers to create personalized fragrances – based on specific note preferences – for years.
So, if you often struggle with figuring out how to find the right perfume, Patterson and Verdier have narrowed down which specific notes to be on the lookout for (depending on where you fit in personality type) to help you understand which new scents you'll be drawn to, season after season.
You’re outdoorsy by nature and often spend your day drinking countless cups of tea
If you've self-diagnosed yourself as the outdoorsy type, Verdier suggests you look for scents with notes of neroli, orange blossom or citrus. "They have a fresh effect on the skin and suit someone with a love of nature or the outdoors," he told us.
You live for textures in your clothing (think rich velvets) and you’re a night owl
If you find that you have a love for rich textures and late nights, Patterson said that when it comes to your taste in fragrances, they "are every bit as opulent as [your] lifestyle." Look for notes like musks, oud, soft resins and precious woods or exotic flowers, like those found in Penhaligon’s Hammam Bouquet ($128).
You are a complete convert to the fruit water trend and fit in a yoga session every day
We all love a great fruit-infused water, but if you can't go a day without (or if skipping your yoga class throws you completely off-balance) Vedier suggests looking for a scent with citrus or neroli for a fresh, clean and energy-boosting effect. "On the contrary, a white musk could also be quite soothing and meditative and help you feel more centered after a busy errand," he noted.
You try out every single new trend that comes out, from off-the-shoulder tops to chokers
If you're a trend-lover, Patterson told us that you're likely drawn to classic ingredients that are rooted in heritage fragrance making, but prefer unique and unusual notes to help announce your presence. Vedier said that since the possibilities are endless when it comes to fragrance, he would dare you to try something unexpected. "A favorite of mine at the moment is peony twisted with an exotic fruit like lychee. It is super-addictive without being too sweet."
You're a lover of the classics when it comes to fashion and would describe your style as chic — never too trendy
For the classic girl, Patterson said your heart often belongs to white blossom, jasmine, gardenia and rose orange blossom. Verdier added that he likes timeless, feminine fragrances with a real signature to them, like a contemporary chypre with a twist of a red fruit such as raspberry.
You'd live in a maxi dress if you could, and wouldn’t mind tucking a flower behind your ear for an added touch
For the more free-spirited customers, Patterson says they always enjoy notes inspired by nature: cool green florals, lily of the valley and fresh citrus. Verdier agrees, adding that he avoids recommending the dated "flower power" fragrance notes of the '70s like patchouli and vanilla, but instead prefers rose centifolia from Grasse, or a jasmine, noting that they are "strong and sexy without a touch of hippy."