beauty

'I wore it the day my son was born.' 28 women share the story behind their signature perfume.

Frankly speaking, fragrance shopping is bloody overwhelming.

Not only are there about a million options but there are only so many scents one nose can handle before it gets nostril fatigue.

Like dating, the road to finding that one ‘Signature Fragrance’ is a numbers game and you’ve got to sniff a lot of frogs to find your splendidly perfumed prince.

However, if you’re trying to branch out from your current scent, we asked 28 women to share their ‘signature scent’ and the story behind it for a hefty dose of perfume inspiration.

Think of this as a curated ‘to-smell’ list. In fact, we wouldn’t recommend you go to a perfume shop without it.

How to make perfume last all day… you’re going to need a tub of vaseline. Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

Dani – Giorgio Armani, Si EDP, $150 for 50mL.

I bloody love it, every time I wear it I feel so nice and I can instantly pick the scent when someone else is wearing it. I first bought it duty-free in 2017 when I went to Hawaii with my then-boyfriend who proposed on the trip. I also wore it on my wedding day.

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Sarah - Yves Saint Laurent, Black Opium, $168 for 50mL.

I first discovered this when I sneakily tried a spray or two from my sisters bottle about a year and a half ago. From there, I just kept seeing it everywhere. My boyfriend loves perfume more than I do (he’s a niche perfume and Tom Ford kinda guy) and we could never find one that we both liked. I sprayed the YSL on in a Croatian Airport after our first holiday together and he loved it as much as I did! It’s now my go to - and anything else I try is very similar (FlowerBomb by Viktor & Rolf - which my other sister received as an 18th birthday present, and Good Girl by Carolina Herrera). I love that every time I wear it, it reminds me of my sister.

best perfume for women

Charlie - Viktor & Rolf, Flowerbomb EDP, $160 for 50mL.

My mum's best friend always wore it and I completely fell in love with the scent. One year for my birthday she bought me a bottle and I have worn it ever since for about five years.

After high school, my girlfriends and I went to Europe over Christmas and New Years, so I bought a new bottle for the trip. Every time I wear it now, it reminds me of that holiday.

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Melissa - Byredo, Gyspy Water, $315.

I stayed at an Airbnb once and might’ve been that horrible guest that tried a tiny bit of someone’s perfume out of curiosity. It was love at first whiff.

best perfume for women

Ange - Narcisso Rodriguez, For Her EDP, $89.99 for 100mL and Thierry Mugler, Alien EDP, $101 for 30mL.

These are my favourites!! I’ve been wearing them for the last 10 years which coincides with my time as a Mumma.

My sister actually introduced me to Narcisso Rodriguez.... we are polar opposites in so many ways, but we share the same love for this perfume. I then smelt Alien in Myer for the first time while shopping late night on a Thursday when my son was a baby, so I’m instantly reminded of that era. Also, so many people ask me what I’m wearing when I’m wearing Alien!

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Sarah - Chanel, No. 5 EDP, $240 for 100mL.

My grandma wore it (inspired by Marilyn Monroe) and then my mother began wearing it during my childhood. I was given a bottle for my 18th birthday and now I’m hooked, too. Three generations and counting.

best perfume for women

Rebekah - Dior, Poison Girl EDP, $165 for 50mL.

I loved the advertisements for it when it first came out and fell in love at first smell. I get never-ending compliments on it and it lasts all day. I can literally smell it when I get in the shower after a 10-hour shift of sweating and dancing. It’s so so sexy. Definitely not an everyday perfume but it always impresses.

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Paige - Prada, Candy EDP, $49.99 for 30mL.

My partner bought me a bottle on our first holiday together to Singapore and I've worn it every day for seven years since. A deliciously sweet but fresh scent.

best perfume for women

Alison - Giorgio Armani, Armani Code for Women EDP, $165 for 75mL.

My first 'grown-up' perfume that I immediately loved and haven’t been without a bottle since. One friend also loved it and bought it for herself, but gifted the bottle to me after a short time as she said she couldn’t wear 'my' perfume. Another friend, who now lives much further away than either of us would like, says I just don’t smell like 'me' if I’m not wearing it when we pick each other up from the airport.

ADVERTISEMENT
best perfume for women

Debbie - Clinique, Aromatics Elixir Perfume Spray, $165 for 100mL.

I started wearing this over 20 years ago because not only did I love the wood notes but I could afford it while I was at uni. Wearing Aromatics Elixir was also the first time I received the comment ‘someone smells nice....’. The power of perfume, eh?

best perfume for women

Zoe - Chanel, Coco Mademoiselle EDP, $240 for 100mL.

I was briefly dating a guy when he bought this for me as a gift. Nice enough dude but I didn't really like him and broke it off not long after. He had great taste in perfume though!

ADVERTISEMENT
best perfume for women

Kerri - Thierry Mugler, Angel, $109.95 for 50mL.

Been wearing it for at least 10 years. I love the memories associated with scent. My mum had a fantastic collection of perfumes and I remember trying them on when I was younger. Shen then gave me this one because it smelt better on me.

It also has a special significance for my fiancé - every time I wear Angel he smiles and remembers the early days of our relationship.

I’d always heard that the best perfume for you was one you couldn’t smell on yourself. I don’t know if that’s true but I always get compliments on this one and I can’t smell it on myself.

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Ibolya - Lacoste, Lacoste Pour Femme, $66 for 90mL.

I've been wearing this for 15 years and it's the only perfume I never get tired of. I first bought the perfume on vacation at the Black Sea and it still reminds me of being there.

best perfume for women

Lem - Versace, Crystal Noir EDT, $69.99 for 90mL.

I first smelt this on someone else and was like YAAAS. 13 years later it still reminds me of high school and when I started 'feeling sexy'.

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Jess - Le Labo, Rose 31, $421.

I splurged on a bottle of this fragrance before going on a holiday to Europe and the scent still reminds me of our little Parisian apartment and trekking around the Austrian mountainside. It's the most beautiful unisex scent that takes your average 'rose' fragrance and injects it with punches of spicy, musky and woody notes.

It's lasted for fours years, and while I'm not looking forward to finishing this bottle up, Le Lebo stores do offer same-scent refills at a discounted price.

best perfume for women

Amy C - Giorgia Armani, Acqua Di Gioia EDP 100 mL, $149.

I don't have a 'signature' fragrance (there are too many good ones to choose from!) but one I've repurchased again and again is Acqua Di Gioia EDP by Giorgio Armani. I LOVE the men's version Acqua Di Gio (so much so, I've bought it for all my partners haha) so when I saw there was a 'female' version, I bought it immediately. I love the fresh, androgynous scent and the way the bottle looks like the ocean. It also reminds me of my early twenties and when I wore it to my first big job interview, which I aced, in case you were wondering."

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Ali - Chanel, Chance EDP, $240 for 100mL.

My favourite ever is Chance by Chanel! I bought it when I was studying overseas so it reminds of those happy memories and that feeling of adventure.

best perfume for women

Chloe - Marc Jacobs, Daisy EDT, $90 for 50mL.

My mum’s best friend, who is like an aunt to me, would always wear this and I loved the smell of it and its floral tones. When I got to my teen years, I finally asked her what it was. Not long after I saw a bottle half-price in a Boxing Day sale. And so, Daisy was the first expensive perfume I bought and is still my favourite.

The happy connection to the scent really makes it extra special. Now, I am a big fan of all the Marc Jacobs perfumes and got a bottle of Lola too (which is my second favourite!) and hope to add Daisy Dream to the collection, too.

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Jennifer - Ralph Lauren, Romance for Women EDP, $39.99 for 30mL.

There are so many, however, I do love Ralph Lauren Romance. It's light and florally. One of the ladies I used to work with wore it and I complimented her on it. She remembered and bought me a bottle when I finished working there. I thought it was a beautiful gesture.

best perfume for women

Anna - Jo Malone, Peony & Blush Suede, $99 for 30mL.

I discovered this on a holiday in California. I was just killing time at a department store and tried a few fragrances without paying much attention but when I got home I realised I really loved one scent but could only remember it was Jo Malone. I smelled my way through all her fragrances back in Sydney until I found THE ONE and have been wearing this now for six to seven years.

ADVERTISEMENT
best perfume for women

Sophie - Bvlgari, Black Unisex EDT, $49.99 for 75mL.

I started wearing it at least eight years ago. I found out about it because I read somewhere that it was a unisex perfume and I was sold. I am not a girly-girl and this appealed to me because lots of the other perfumes were very flowery and the men’s fragrances were obviously for men. This was and still is, a nice halfway.

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Teneill - Lolita Lempicka, Lolita Lempicka for Women, $29.

It’s very distinctive! When I was younger (in teens, I’m in my 30s now) I remember being in the back of the car with my step mum and dad in the front. I could smell it and asked my step mum what it was as I loved it. Then I started asking for it for every Xmas and birthday. It was a very spendy thing to buy myself, so Dad and Deb would get it for me.

Seven years ago my step mum died and so that smell overwhelmingly reminds me of her. I know for a long time my Dad even kept a bottle of it in his bathroom. I save it for special occasions now and think of her when I put it on.

best perfume for women

Sally - Versace, Vanita by Versace, $59.95 for 50mL.

Mine is Versace Vanitas... I’ve been wearing it for years but it’s really hard to get now. However, when I tried to change it up my kids got SO upset and told me I no longer smelt like me. Luckily I recently found it on Catch of the Day!

I love that I can’t smell it on me and it doesn’t give me a headache but people tell me how nice I smell.

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Courtney - Huda Beauty, Kayali Musk, $120.

I found this in Sephora after my previous perfume was discontinued last year. I don’t wear it every day - and usually opt for a roll-on perfume oil for day wear - so when I do wear it; it feels extra special. I love it.

best perfume for women

Tiffi - Diptyque, Olène EDT, $184.

I've been wearing it since 2017, and it's a perfume I picked up while in Paris. My now fiance and I were browsing at Galeries Lafayette and I stopped at the Diptyque counter having heard amazing things about their candles. I then browsed their perfume and fell in love with Olène. It's very special to me because that trip in Europe was the first trip with my partner and there are a lot of fond memories connected with that holiday.

My fiance just purchased a larger bottle for me since my original ran out so I can wear it on our wedding day!

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Vanessa - Dolce & Gabbana, Light Blue EDT, $79.99.

This reminds me of when I was at my fittest and going out and feeling great all the time.

best perfume for women

Melinda - Robert Piguet, Petite Fracas, $249 for 100mL.

I bought this perfume while pregnant and wore it when my son was born, now he's almost four. No matter when I wear it I'm instantly taken back to the day he was born and those special months after. He was a much-wanted baby and we waited a very long time for him. I love smelling this perfume and remembering all this.

best perfume for women
ADVERTISEMENT

Amy M - Elie Saab, Le Parfum EDP, $152.

I have about 20 fragrances on my shelf and I don't use them, but I've been wearing Elie Saab's Le Parfum for over five years. I was given it as a gift when I arrived in London. I always wore the same perfume - J'adore by Dior and it was really tough to get me to swap. I had just moved to London and I wanted a fresh start and that included my fragrance.

It reminds me of moving to London. With grey skies and the cold, the fragrance was a little way to brighten my day.

best perfume for women

Featured image: Supplied and Instagram @marcjacobsfragrances and @norao_x.

What is your signature fragrance? Tell us in a comment below.

00:00 / ???