I have been reading and rereading Alyssa Harad’s graceful new memoir, Coming to My Senses. There’s a moment towards the end of the book when Alyssa tries to track down her mother’s former signature scent. She reflects, “A signature scent’s promise- the promise that you will be remembered- offers a kind of immortality. After you are gone, your scent remains: on a scarf, on a dress, or on a stranger, swirling by someone you know, catching them up, catching them off guard.”
For most hardcore perfume lovers, the idea of limiting ourselves to one signature scent is archaic and a bit frightening. We proudly flaunt our perfume promiscuity, flouting monogamy in favor of a perfume harem. But I must confess that I intend on having a signature scent eventually. I want to smell familiar to my family and friends, to have them recognize and remember me by my perfume floating in the air. I want that immortality.
I have very high standards for my future signature scent. It can’t be just a sexbomb or a comfort scent; it’s got to have some intelligence to it, some cleverness. And I’d want it to be witty and playful, because having a sense of humor is incredibly important to me. The closest I’ve found so far is Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose. To me it smells like the most vibrantly violet-scented tube of lipstick, but three different people have told me that it smells like towels. I do not particularly want to be remembered as having smelled like towels. L’Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant is probably the perfume that I wear the most, but it’s not quite what I’m looking for either. I love the way it smells, but it doesn’t feel personal enough to be my signature.
How do you feel about signature scents? Do they appeal to you or freak you out? If you already have a signature scent, please share it with us in the comments!