Buckle up, because we’re getting philosophical for a minute. There’s a famous saying that goes, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” In other words, can something really exist without being known? Well, realistically, yes. It offers an intriguing thought, though – our time on this earth may be defined by the impact we leave behind. Like looking in a mirror to see ourselves, how much is our “image” really just a reflection of other people’s memories of us? What does that mean about the impressions we’re making?
Of the five senses, smell might make the most primal and permanent imprint in our minds. Science has proven it’s more closely tied to memory and emotions than any other sense. For babies and animals, it’s an essential part of reacting to the world. Once we become adults, we often overlook it, but that certainly doesn’t diminish its power. Think about it – the second you catch an earthy whiff of autumn, you’re immediately transported back to carefree days of leaping into inviting heaps fallen leaves designed to entertain you for hours. In the summer, a whiff of the salty, wild ocean breeze or distinctive smell of sunscreen will surely signal pure summer relaxation.
More than Memories
If being known and remembered is part of what defines us, and scent is the blueprint of perception and memory, then you have to wonder if maybe your signature scent represents you more than you realize.
Think about a time where you saw an old flame. Some time had probably passed, the emotions and memories had somewhat faded, you were keeping your cool, but then you leaned in for a hug and time stopped. The instant you smelled them, everything came flooding back into your mind – feelings you used to have, moments you’d shared – things you hadn’t even realized you had forgotten. Their scent embodied them in a way nothing else did.
We become known for the way we smell. It becomes a distinct part of our environment, our clothes, our mood, and it represents us just as much as our style and décor does. Instinctively, we know this. But how long do we go through life wearing the same fragrance? “They say when a woman wants to start fresh, she’ll get a haircut and change her perfume,” Edward Bess observes. “Her scent is an expression of who she is at this time in her life.”
Fragrance that Fits
No one can choose your signature scent for you, but there are some good general guidelines to follow. While it might go without saying, the most important thing is that you choose something that you absolutely love. The fragrance needs to truly “speak” to you – if that doesn’t make sense, then you probably haven’t found the right one yet. Keep exploring. Like a warm, inviting skin scent? Try Spanish Veil. For something more unisex that smells of suede and frankincense give Genre a try. And if you go in any direction the wind blows, opt of La Femme Bohème.
Once you’ve got a contender, try wearing it consistently for a while before you decide. Perfume is almost like a living entity; your skin chemistry interacts with the ingredients, influencing the way it smells, and the fragrance will evolve and change throughout the day as your body heat activates different layers. While “signature” scent doesn’t mean “only” scent, you’ll be wearing it a lot. Make sure you’re happy with it every step of the way. After you find your perfect signature fragrance, make sure you work it to your fullest advantage. You put all that time and thought in, right? Edward shares an intriguing tip: “Rather than leaving a toothbrush at his place, try leaving a light spritz of your signature perfume. You may be absent, but your scent will linger, making his heart grow fonder.”