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What's the factor that takes a perfume from being just one amongst a collection of many on your vanity to standing out as the one — a signature you wear every day, an aroma loved ones come to associate with you, that establishes your presence, evokes your aura, communicates your very essence? Let's be real: It all comes down to personal preference.

But that's exactly why finding a signature scent can be so elusive. Tastes change, preferences waver and we all place such a high importance on a sense of self-identity that claiming anything as one's "signature" can feel weirdly intense. It's just perfume! Testing the waters (eaus?) of a new fragrance doesn't have to come with commitment — that's what testers and in-person trips to Sephora are for. And with the new crop of perfumes hitting the market there's lots of olfactory discoveries to explore.

We've rounded up 24 of our favorite of-the-moment perfumes that cater to every taste, whim and mood. These nuanced, balanced takes on classic gourmand, woody, fresh, floral and musky blends offer a little something for everyone. And who knows? One of them might even become your next signature.

Woody + Leathery

Not all woody and leather-tinged scents are heavy — sure, they're known for being grounding and cozy, but with not-so-basic accords like smoky wood, patchouli and sage; and sandalwood, amber and musk, the latest crop of scents in this category are anything but expected.


Musky scents are perhaps the most difficult to describe — most of the time, they simply have that alluring, intriguing, just-draws-you-closer quality you can't quite put your finger on. That's certainly the case with this crop, which incorporate woody, floral and gourmand elements seen in the other categories for a heady combination. Every single one has "signature scent" written all over it. 

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For those of us who have been wearing vanilla scents since high school, it's time to consider an upgrade. Try By Rosie Jane's overtly sweet but subtly complex Dulce or Ellis Brooklyn's Vanilla Milk; or redefine "gourmand" altogether with a coconut-y eau like Lost in Paradise by Chris Collins.

Fresh + Earthy

The best way to describe this category is perfume for people who don't think they like perfumes. Rose-tinged florals and musky tobaccos are too much for you? Meet the anti-perfumes: With notes that draw from matcha, moss, chamomile, violet leaf, "fresh earth," frankincense and cumin, these scents are nontraditional — and that's exactly why we love them.


Old-school florals — the powdery, heavy, sometimes borderline musty scents of the past — have gotten a makeover of late. Whether re-imagining (and re-formulating) a beloved Dior classic in an alcohol-free, fresh new iteration (Dior J'adore L'Eau) or grounding floral notes with the unlikely warmth of musk, tangerine and a hint of spice (Fenty Eau de Parfum), the old-school garden party is getting shaken up a bit, for the better.

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