Scents for every scenario?

21st September, 2016


It was in a crowded train on my way home. I was working on some unfinished paperwork until I suddenly noticed the pleasant smell of a flower garden in bloom. While looking up, a bouquet of roses, jasmine, peony and orange blossom passes me by and seats herself a few chairs away from mine. It’s exactly the type of girl you would imagine wearing this fragrance; in her late teens, blonde, energetic and surrounded by a group of admirers. I couldn’t help but to stare at her. The florals, the freshness, it all smelled so familiar, I could swear it was the Elie Saab rose couture. A fragrance that is mine.

Credit: Fotolia / ViewApart

Or at least it was mine until I smelled it on her. The roses, her admirers, the orange blossom, her energy, it all seemed to fit so well. Why did I ever purchase this fragrance in the first place? Didn’t I learn anything from my great scent search last year? Floral fragrances are just not me, not me at all. I’m quite the opposite to say the least. Musky, woody and eccentric scents, that’s what makes my heart beat faster. So, why wear the rose couture? Well, let’s start by saying that it smells good, obviously. But when digging deeper, I guess I just want what every other perfume lover wants; to own a variety of odors for several occasions. During my days on the beach I want to wear a spritz of fresh citrus, romantic dinners ask for a heavy, woody fragrance and days in the park? Well, that’s where the Elie Saab rose couture came in.

Do my perfumes still portray who I am, who I want to be?
But now that I’ve collected so many different fragrances over the past few years, it kind of made me wonder, did I lost my sense of self? Do my perfumes still portray who I am, who I want to be? Well, I can tell you that the simple answer is no, they don’t. Because wearing so many different odors just in case I might go to the beach or out for a picnic in the park isn’t very convenient, at least not for me. I feel that it’s confusing even. Since a typical floral girl is no longer a floral girl and a citrus woman is not a citrus woman anymore. You can be anyone these days; all you have to do is buy the right perfume, the right clothing, magazine, car and whatnot. And with that in mind I came to the conclusion that I just wanted to be me, not the admired floral girl in the train, not the woman who spends her days on the beach wearing a citrus scent, just me. It was time to remove all of those alter ego’s from my fragrance cabinet. And the next time I see that girl wearing her rose couture, I will smile at her knowing that she found her signature scent as well as I did, just one.

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About the author: Marloes Hagenaars

Marloes Hagenaars comes from the very small town Langeraar in the Netherlands. Her interest in fashion started growing when she did her Bachelor Journalism in Utrecht and later did a Masters in Fashion Journalism at the London College of Fashion. During her Masters she started Freya Magazine (, a fashion magazine that explores current issues through fashion. Currently she is working as an editor for Harperís Bazaar Netherlands. Her favourite perfume is L'Air du Desert Marocain by Andy Tauer



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      • Cauda Pavonis | 22nd September 2016 14:48

        I would never tell anyone how to wear fragrance - and I think it's awesome that you've discovered the way that works for you - but for me, personally, I love having a different perfume for each mood. While I tend to have families of fragrances that make me weak in the knees (modern, woody, leather and tobacco), I don't always feel like wearing one of them. Mood, season, outfit, occasion; these all contribute to my choice of fragrance. Because I don't always feel the same, I don't feel comfortable always smelling the same or even similar.

        To each their own, though! Some people know who they are, and are always that. That's great for them! For me, though, to wear the same fragrance (or the same kind of clothing, or whatever) would be too restrictive and, quite honestly, boring.

      • hednic | 22nd September 2016 15:16

        Interesting perspective expressed in the article, but wouldn't work for me.

      • caribbeanisland | 22nd September 2016 16:09

        I completely understand you, but for me the quest is always to find scents that are me in some aspects, and will fit all my moods and occasions. So I might use 2 fragrance for 1 month then change to the next when I get bored. I tend to have a "related" arsenal of aromas, from the soap to the skin care, they are grouped by aromas and I wear them upon seasons, although the concept of seasons is quite abstract living in the caribbean, we have same weather all year. Right now I am in a Cassis, Fresh fruits, slightly citric Colognes stages, past month I was in a Rose mood.

      • Cevenol | 22nd September 2016 21:33

        Interesting and after a year spent putting together a small collection, which i love, I dont think I'll be adding anything new casually, not full bottles, I'll still smell all i But can for sure, but I think I'm ready to narrow it down for everyday use to about 5 bottles...Still!

        But one?? No way.

      • Ken_Russell | 22nd September 2016 22:41

        Enjoyed reading this article and the fragrance insights pointed out. Personally thinking that a signature scent might easily work for some and less so or simply not for others- however was fortunate enough to encounter a few fragrances (almost) nearing that level of greatness, uniqueness, complexity to become that elusive "lifelong signature scent".

      • genvy5 | 25th September 2016 09:00

        I just can't get over that the accompanying picture features a group excitedly focused on a guy eating a sandwich, featuring an insane amount of radial zoom blur

      • Elizir | 26th September 2016 21:17

        I'm going to have 5 fragrances

        1. Summer: Aqua di Gio Essenza by Giorgio Armani

        2. Winter: L'eau d Hiver by Frederic Malle

        3. Autumn: Lys Mediterranee by Frederic Malle

        4. Spring: Boss Bottled Intense by Hugo Boss

        5. Date fragrance: Dior Homme Intense (vintage) by Christian Dior

      • Mark_Trail | 27th September 2016 08:19

        Nice piece of writing but I don't think this approach would work for me. Or to be more precise, I don't think one scent policy would be ideal for me


      • bandito | 10th October 2016 14:08

        Although I don't think I'll end up with one fragrance, I have reduced my collection drastically and I have found your general premise extremely helpful - thank you x

      • sjg3839 | 25th October 2016 19:19

        Gone too far to get back to that point.

      • Cedarlea | 27th October 2016 23:27

        My goal (and it seems to be working so far) is to have a "scent of the season" that is my default. Anything else is just a sample I'm trying on looking for the next one. I have a hair and clothing style that rotates seasonally (to give me some consistency and a transition point for when I inevitably get bored). I have a theme, but it really seems to be whatever scent jumps out and says "I'm the one" in the scents I'm sampling.