In some ways, it feels like I’ve been searching for a signature scent my whole life.
(This is an exaggeration.)
But truthfully, I’ve always gravitated towards the idea of having a signature scent. I love stories about classy, sophisticated ladies with Chanel No. 5 (because it’s always Chanel No. 5) perfuming their every movement. How one whiff of the distinct scent could conjure powerful images of said lady, leaving a cloud of nostalgia and memory in her wake.
When it comes to perfume, I’m basically a marketer’s dream.
Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that I’m not a fan of Chanel No. 5 (although I haven’t smelled it in I-don’t-remember-how-long so perhaps my opinion on it has changed). That dislike didn’t stop me from dabbling in perfumes, though. My first perfume of choice was Esprit’s Life, which I spent my birthday money on when I was fourteen. My God, did I love that perfume. I used it up till the very last drop — in fact, I even featured it in an empties vlog.
Other perfumes I rotate through include Calvin Klein’s Eternity Moment, picked solely because I adored the ad campaign that featured Scarlett Johansson and Trent Ford. (I TOLD you I’m a marketer’s dream.) Luckily, I really like the scent too. I also have rollerball-sized spritzers of Clinique’s Happy, Happy Heart, and Happy to Be, which are really convenient for travel. Recently, I purchased Jo Malone’s Tudor Rose and Amber, a limited edition scent that was inspired by Tudor history. Last but not least, I have my beloved bottle of Galimard’s Pêle-Mêle, which I purchased when I was sixteen and visiting Gras, France. More than any other scent I’ve worn, Pêle-Mêle gets me the most compliments.
Still, as much as I love the perfumes I have, I felt like none quite filled the spot of my signature scent. Eternity Moment and the various Happy perfumes are wonderful scents, but none are particularly distinctive enough (to my nose, at least) for me to declare any of them as my signature. Pêle-Mêle will always be too special for me to wear every day. Tudor Rose and Amber is a heavier scent and more suited to evenings.
Thus began my search for a signature scent. I went to Sephora and Nordstrom several times, spritzing various perfumes and chatting with the salesgirls to help me narrow down my search. I read reviews on Fragrantica and researched the notes of the perfumes that I liked so I could begin to refine my choices. I considered brands, packaging, names, prices, and everything in between. All of my research, combined with a conveniently timed sale (thanks, Sephora!), led me to one perfume: See by Chloé.
With top notes of bergamot and apple blossom, See by Chloé balances fruity and floral, which are the two types of scents I gravitate towards most. (Turns out I’m not one for earthy or woody scents for the most part.) Middle notes of jasmine and ylang-ylang make up the heart of the perfume, and the base of vanilla, musk, and sandalwood round out the overall scent.
If that description of See by Chloé makes no sense at all, not to worry: just know that I adore this perfume. Every time I wear it, I get the tiniest sense of pleasure every time I catch a whiff of it in passing with my movements. Each time that happens, I feel like I’m that sophisticated woman I dreamed of being as a little girl, with my signature scent marking the people I’ve been with, the places I’ve been.