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Julyne Derrick

What's Your Signature Scent?

By April 15, 2008

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My mother wore Chanel No. 5 all her life. It was my dad's staple gift and I think he secretly loved it when she ran out because it meant he wouldn't have to think too hard about a gift. But I never really liked the scent, and I'm not one to stand around a perfumer's table and talk about basenotes and things so I can't really say why. It's all a matter of taste. Mine runs more to Bond No. 9's "Scent of Peace," which is my daytime fragrance.

A reader wrote in today about her signature scent, Arpege by Lanvin:

My all time favorite fragrance is Arpege by Lanvin. My Mom introduced me to it when I started college in 1970. What a classic it is. However, after college I discovered Chanel No.5 and then I discovered L'Interdit by Givenchy, the original, created for Audrey Hepburn. Arpege will always be my favorite! What a fragrance.

If you have a signature scent, weigh in below, and tell us why you love it so much.

Photo: Bond No. 9's Scent of Peace, courtesy Pricegrabber


April 16, 2008 at 4:51 am
(1) Laura says:

Samsara from Guerlain. I’ve been wearing it since my twenties and am 43 now. Occassionally I wear something else – one day every 6 weeks…. – but the next day I will go back to my good old trusted red bottle.

Consequently it seems that people associate me with that smell and funnily enough, it has given me a ‘reliable’ image as someone who sticks to one thing.

April 16, 2008 at 8:48 am
(2) Anna says:

L’Eau d’Issey, by Miyake. It stopped me in its tracks when I first found it: it’s airports, me on the way somewhere early in the morning. Then I got married in it on a hot Sydney day in ’99, and wore it for my biggest work days. Now I still haven’t found a better – it’s green, floral, live, the wind in its nose!

April 16, 2008 at 9:33 am
(3) Anne says:

Tommy Bahama Very Cool is my signature summer scent (I used to wear Clinique Happy). It is clean and calm, summery and citrusy. The scent doesn’t call attention to itself — it is subtly intriguing. For winter I like a deeper scent, a woody one like Narciso Rodriguez for her.

April 16, 2008 at 2:09 pm
(4) beauty says:

Ahhh, L’Eau d’Issey was my longtime favorite until I got stuck on Bond No. 9. It’s a fabulous, fabulous fragrance.

April 16, 2008 at 2:11 pm
(5) beauty says:

Clinique Happy is a great scent. I haven’t tried Tommy Bahama fragrances. I also really like Marc Jacobs’ fragrance, but it was really pricey.

April 17, 2008 at 9:11 am
(6) Annette says:

I’ve always been into Exlamation (my husband got me on that – his thing I guess), and White Linen. Both aren’t overly powering, and it keeps him happy, me as well.

April 21, 2008 at 1:00 pm
(7) Tish says:

I wear Burberry Brit Red–it’s warm and has a touch of vanilla, and I just feel better when I wear it. People notice it when they hug me and compliment. I feel that if a scent were to describe me, that would be it.

April 21, 2008 at 1:09 pm
(8) Judith says:

Red Door for Winter and White Linen for summer. I love each of the scents as they remind me of the current season.

April 21, 2008 at 1:17 pm
(9) TByrd says:

White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor.

People are always telling me how absolutely beautiful I smell. I love
hearing that.

April 21, 2008 at 1:19 pm
(10) cdales says:

These days, I alternate between Lauren Pure Turquoise and Arden Mediterranean. Also, on certain days, revert to Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely, Sung Spa or Arden Eau Fraiche (thank heaven for Ebay!). Anyone else here recall a wonderful splash, Arden Blue Grass Tingling Tonic (from the ’80s?)? It was discontinued beause of photosensitivity issues. The closest thing since has been a blue Jean Nate splash (late 90s?), also discontinued. People ALWAYS ask what I’m wearing (meaning they love it, yes?)

April 21, 2008 at 1:23 pm
(11) Mimi says:

White Linen is my all time favorite, clean and not overpowering. I was very into Ruffles by Oscar Delarenta for a while, but it always boils down to me and my White Linen.

April 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm
(12) Karine says:

My boyfriend gave me ‘Ralph Lauren’ (burgundy colored bottle) in the early Seventies. Living in Tucson AZ – I had to drive to Phoenix AZ (the Polo Club) to purchase it. Thank God it became available in Tucson during the mid eighties :)
The boyfriend is long gone, but Ralph Lauren prevailed. My second favorite scent is ‘Sun Moon and Stars’ by Lagerfeld.
I gave up purchasing from dept stores these days – I get exellent deals from: Scentiments.com

April 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm
(13) Barbara says:

I had to laugh when I saw the price of your favorite “Scent of Peace”. That is half of my monthly salary, on Social Security. My favorite scent is smelling someone fresh out of the bath or shower; all natural, inexpensive and goes with everything.
Enjoy your scents now; when your cents diminish, you will probably use my favorite scent. :) Barbara in California

April 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm
(14) Andrea says:

I love neroli essential oil.

April 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm
(15) beauty says:

Hi Barbara,

I know, I know, I spent a lot of money on that perfume (face turning bright shades of red), which is outrageous when you think about it. I justify the random perfume purchase (made about once every five years) by dividing how much use I get out of the bottle. I figure a couple spritzes a few times a week and that bottle will last me a few years. Many days I go without perfume, especially when visiting my family who live out in the Texas countryside. I guess it’s all a matter of your income, savings and your interest in perfume.

And I agree with you, there is nothing better than fresh skin. Plus, too much perfume can muck up a nice dinner, annoy people sitting next to you in movie theaters, etc. etc.

Cheers and thanks for reading…

April 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm
(16) Sue says:

It’s Clinque’s Happy for me, I like it’s clean fresh sent I do use Elizabeth Arden’s Sunflowers from time to time and when I’m in my mysterious moods I wear Patchouli oil. but I alwaws go back to Happy.

April 21, 2008 at 3:24 pm
(17) sweet1 says:

my newest “must wear” is Wish by Lollia. i have always worn the deep more musk/spicey scents because the light florals didn’t smell right on my skin even though I loved how they smelled from the bottle. Wish is slightly sweet and nicely floral! My favorite by far!

April 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm
(18) Toni-EvinNRobsMom says:

My tastes have changed over the years as I have gotten older. I started out as a Sunflowers kind of girl, then in my early 20′s it was J.Lo, now I pretty much stick with Happy. Although I got Lamb by Gwen Stefani & I love it!!

April 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm
(19) tumutumu says:

These days, I alternate between Lauren Pure Turquoise and Arden Mediterranean. Also, on certain days, revert to Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely, Sung Spa or Arden Eau Fraiche (thank heaven for Ebay!). Anyone else here recall a wonderful splash, Arden Blue Grass Tingling Tonic (from the ’80s?)? It was discontinued because of photosensitivity issues. The closest thing since has been a blue Jean Nate splash (late 90s?), also discontinued.
People ALWAYS ask what I’m wearing (meaning they love it, yes?)

April 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm
(20) Jackie Romagnano says:

I heard somewhere that if you wear the same scent all of the time that eventually you won’t be able to smell it yourself. Over the years I’ve like a lot of different scents – one especially I can’t find anywhere – Eau de Love – I think Yardley made it centuries ago. Wore the day I got married. One of my other favorites was by Max Factor and called Geminesse – loved that one, too, but I don’t think it’s around anymore. Time to stop smelling in the past and start smelling the present got to say that Lauren is great especially at Christmas and Amariage is great anytime.
I just wish that the prices were lower..ugh!

April 21, 2008 at 7:18 pm
(21) Pam McDonald says:

Estee Lauder Knowing. I’ve worn it since the late 80′s and I still like it and always get comments on it.

April 21, 2008 at 10:54 pm
(22) Cindi says:

You might think I’m very bad,but I wear different scents. I have about 20, some I don’t wear, some I wear when I feel like it and some I switch every week. I guess that’s my signature, wearing a differnt scent each week. I have 8 favorites I switch around. Among them are heaven sent, emeraude, white diamonds, chantilly, wind song, truth(not by Calvin Klein)and Freesia by Crabtree and Evelyn.

April 21, 2008 at 11:40 pm
(23) tumutumu says:

These days, I alternate between Lauren Pure Turquoise and Arden Mediterranean. Also, on certain days,
revert to Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely, Sung Spa or Arden Eau Fraiche (thank heaven for Ebay!). People ALWAYS ask what I’m wearing (meaning they love it, yes?)
Anyone else recall a wonderful splash, Arden Blue Grass Tingling Tonic (from the ’80s?)? It was discontinued because of
photosensitivity issues. The closest thing since has been a blue Jean Nate splash (late 90s?), also discontinued.

April 22, 2008 at 8:53 am
(24) carina says:


April 22, 2008 at 11:42 am
(25) Lana says:

i love tommy girl and anna sui! i change a lot though depending on where im going!

April 22, 2008 at 12:42 pm
(26) Nicole says:

I used to wear Tranquil breezes from Victoria Secret. It was melon, jasmine, and cucumber. It was soft and sweet. Now they have pear and cucumber melon. There isn’t anything that is close to being as smooth as Tranquil breezes.

April 22, 2008 at 12:57 pm
(27) Sheila says:

I love Clinque Aromatic Exlir, it’s a nice sophisticated fragrance and it smells delicous. I get many compliments and it has been my signature fragrance for years.

April 22, 2008 at 8:43 pm
(28) Alisha says:

Touch by Fred Haymann

It is a clean, florally sent that everyone has become to know as my fragrance. There is a Touch for men and it is just as absolutely wonderful. I hope they don’t stop selling it at Perfumania. The Touch by Burberry doesn’t smell as good as the Fred Haymann one though.

April 23, 2008 at 8:44 am
(29) Cherifa says:

Although my friends always advised me to keep one fragrance, I love parfums sooo much that it is impossible to do it. On the other hand the thing that never changes is the kind of the fragrance .in fact, I always unconsciously opt for sugared and hot scents such a :

April 23, 2008 at 12:20 pm
(30) Sherry says:

Armani Mania
I am always asked what perfume I am wearing, when I wear this scent.

April 24, 2008 at 1:49 pm
(31) Elaine says:

Guerlain’s Shalimar since college, true classic fragrance wih spice/vanilla undertones. My favorite Aunt a true “flapper girl” wore it forever associate Shalimar with her beauty, grace, charm.
Daytime and Summer(live in SE so Summer is
April-September) Clinique Aromatic Fragrance, the original, especially using the bath gel to keep it light, fresh and also spice undertones.
Both receive compliments most frequently from men.

April 24, 2008 at 1:56 pm
(32) Monica Kenworthy says:

My absolute favorite perfume is J’ai Ose by Guy Laroche. Its a little on the nutty side not at all a floral scent. The only problem is as much as I love the scent it doesn’t stay with me very long. Other scents I’ve tried do, but not the J’ai Ose. Any suggestions.

April 24, 2008 at 2:01 pm
(33) Barbara says:

My all time favorite was Avon’s Unforgettable. But they do not make it any more DARN. They also will give the the formula so I could have a reproduction made. Strangers would walk up to me and comment how great my perfume was. That is when you know your perfume is right.

My current favorite is Estee Lauders is Youth Dew Amber Nude.

A dear friend always wore the original Youth Dew. Even now years later the scent brings back beautiful memories of this great lady.

April 24, 2008 at 2:05 pm
(34) Barbara says:

Should read “Avon will NOT give” need to verify better.

April 24, 2008 at 2:07 pm
(35) Marcia says:

My favorite is Allure by Channel. It smells absolutely delish!!

April 24, 2008 at 2:16 pm
(36) Margaret in MI says:

I started in college with Este Lauder’s Youth Dew. My Mother told me to only wear one fragrance at a time. Over the years I’ve used Georgio’s Red, Guerlain’s Shalimar, Chanel #5 (also my cat’s name). Then came Perry Ellis’s 360 degrees. I wore that for 12 years. Now, I’m on Angel by Thierry Mugler. I like light florals but Angel is totally different. Who knows what I’ll try next.

April 24, 2008 at 2:50 pm
(37) Hilary says:

I join Pam in wearing Estee Lauder’s Knowing. I’ve worn it, too, for years and always get compliments. In the summer though I usually opt for Dolce & Gabanna’s Light Blue.

April 24, 2008 at 3:12 pm
(38) Viola says:

Knowing by Estee Lauder has been my favorite and only fragrance for years. People comment favorably and always breath in deeply and say, “Vi’s here. I can tell by her delicious scent.”

April 24, 2008 at 3:17 pm
(39) Margy says:

My aunt introduced me to Dioríssimo. It smells like narcissus flowers. I just love it.

April 24, 2008 at 3:19 pm
(40) Martina says:

White Shoulders is my everyday scent. My grandmother wore it and thankfully it is still available. It is light and floral without being too sweet and girly. Nobody else wears it that I know, so it’s rare enough to make people notice too without costing a car payment.

April 24, 2008 at 3:19 pm
(41) Kat Bailey says:

I love Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely. I also love Issey by Miyake. In my younger days I wore Anais Anais. I also loved Burberry Weekender but can’t find it anymore. Oh Bill Blass was always a favorite for the body lotion.
Light and flowery is my signature fragrance preference!

April 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm
(42) Ih says:

i’ve used different perfumes until i met and fell in love with D&G’s the one when my husband bought it for me. i dont think there’s any tearing away from it now…..

April 24, 2008 at 3:56 pm
(43) Kitty says:

Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew is my favorite winter scent, but living in New Orleans, it’s a bit heavy for summer. Then, I prefer Paloma Picasso. My daughter adores the Youth Dew–she loves to sniff deeply and then sigh “Mom, you smell soooooo good!” What more could I ask for? In years past, my husband gave me Knowing and Cinnabar, and I still love them both, but the Youth Dew is just more “me” now. I used to love two single-note fragrances, Vetiver and Sweet Olive, that were bottled in New Orleans by La Belle Epoque, too.

April 24, 2008 at 6:29 pm
(44) Barbara says:

A lot of people probably have never heard of this but I’ve worn it for at least 30 years and still love L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci. I still have people tell me how good I smell and ask what it is. I’ve tried others over the years but always come back to this one.

April 24, 2008 at 6:53 pm
(45) Edil says:

The one perfume for me is Esste Lauder White linen

April 24, 2008 at 6:55 pm
(46) Diane says:

I love wonderful perfume but I only wear Narcisse by Chloe. I know it must be the right fragrance for me since I am asked all the time what are you wearing? Total strangers in the supermarket, gas station and the bank ask. I can be in a large group of women and someone will say what is that wonderful smell and it always turns out to be me. I wish I could find another fragrance that would get the same response but I never have.

April 24, 2008 at 8:53 pm
(47) Jessica says:

I have a couple, Vera Wang Princess, Fantasy, and a guilty summer pleasure, Hollister Malia

April 24, 2008 at 9:32 pm
(48) Terry says:

I’ve been wearing Musk oil, almost daily, for over 35 years. The smell instantly relaxes me – I have a stressful job so I am frequently sniffing my wrists – it’s the best stress reduction I know! LOL. I love it!!! I use it so often that all my clothing and bedding smell like Musk, even after laundering which is why I like the oil so much!

I’ve been wearing White Shoulders for almost as long and it’s my favorite scent to wear on special occasions – it’s flowery, clean, light and fresh. Martina – there are at least two of us who wear it!!!!

April 24, 2008 at 10:33 pm
(49) Susan says:

A couple of years ago I discovered Summer by Kenzo. I love it because it is light and airy. I smell like I am wearing something, but it is so close to my own scent that it is not overpowering. I get a lot of compliments!

April 24, 2008 at 10:47 pm
(50) mercedes says:

Shalimar has been my signature fragance for 30 years. My family relates that frangance to me. Recently my niece in Colorado walked in her parents house and inmediately asked if her Auntie M was there. I had just arrived from Virginia for a visit and she did not know as it was a surprise! She smelled me!
I also have Samsara and Bal a Versailles by Deprez. I use them very, very seldom because I feel best in my Shalimar!

April 24, 2008 at 11:32 pm
(51) cmg says:

Euphoria by Calvin Klein

April 24, 2008 at 11:57 pm
(52) Carol Winkler says:

Paul Sebastian’s Design–sweet and clean without being cloying, but distinctive.

April 25, 2008 at 7:33 am
(53) Barbara J. says:

I have been wearing Estee Lauder’s Private Collection since 1982. My body chemistry changes the scent to be my signature smell. No one has been able to duplicate it. As a dancer my partners have always commented on the scent and have actually come back to say.. Please dance with me so I can smell your perfume..(and I thought they just wanted to dance.) I have tried many other name perfumes and they all smell like “Raid” on me..

April 25, 2008 at 8:05 am
(54) Julia says:

My only perfume is Knowing by Estee Lauder.
Someone said to me that it was going to be discontinued. I hope not!

April 25, 2008 at 8:36 am
(55) Tammy says:

Red Door is my absolute favorite perfume and I wear it the year round. For one thing my sweetheart loves it and I have known several people that say they think of me when they smell Red Door.

April 25, 2008 at 11:09 am
(56) Jude says:

Rosewater and Evelyn Rose by Crabtree and Evelyn. My oldest granddaughter also likes rose scents–I like to think it makes har think of her Gram!

April 25, 2008 at 12:03 pm
(57) Barbara says:

I’ve been wearing Norell for years. I’ve read it was the first designer fragrance. I made sure to wear it every day I was around my new grandson so he’d know me by my scent and smile.

April 25, 2008 at 12:27 pm
(58) Suzanne says:

Je Revien by Worth and Ivoire by Balmain. Very elegant without being in your face too strong. Have loved them for years!

April 25, 2008 at 4:47 pm
(59) beauty says:

Wow! I had no idea I’d get this kind of response from a question posed about fragrances. Thanks so much everyone for weighing in!

April 25, 2008 at 6:33 pm
(60) LINDA says:


April 26, 2008 at 6:37 pm
(61) Natalie says:

I don’t have one “signature scent”. Moreover, I wear a variety of perfume oils from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, a company specializing in esoteric and handmade blends that are nothing like what I’ve ever found in commercial scents. The alcohol that most mainstream perfumes contain irritates my nose, and while the perfume oils will smell different depending on your skin chemistry, I have found some absolute winners on my skin that I cannot live without. And these oils break the perfume stereotypes, mainly that perfume must always be screaming florals. While I don’t smell the same each day, I always smell fabulous :) .
Some of my favorites from BPAL are Snow White, Shub-Niggurath, Snake Oil, The Hesperides, Alice, La Petite Mort, and Loviatar. And at $15 dollars for a bottle and the opportunity to buy sample sizes called imps, you can test any of the general catalogue before you buy a bottle. There is also a wonderful forum where fans post reviews of the oils and talk about their favorites, and is full of genuinely kind and lovely people, a rarity on the internet.

April 27, 2008 at 12:50 am
(62) Sandra says:

My all time favorite is Aliage by Estee Lauder. I’ve worn this since the 70′s.
I now use it for my Fall/winter fragrance. My summer favorite is Cristalle by Chanel

October 13, 2008 at 8:55 pm
(63) Karen Holcomb says:

My signature perfume is Touch by Fred Haymann. I wear this every day and have been for years. I can put it on at 6:30am and it never fails by 5:00pm someone will stop me and ask me what perfume I am wearing, I give them the name and tell them it is the Touch in the Red box by Fred Hayman. I heard a rumur that this has been discontinued, please tell me this is not true.

March 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm
(64) Lisa says:

Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel in the colder months and Island Kiss by Escada in the warmer months…usually. I love them both so it mostly depends on the day. I have a ton of perfume, but these seem to be the 2 I reach for the most. Although I just bought L by Gwen Stefani and I think this will be a new staple. I absolutely love it!

May 5, 2009 at 10:35 am
(65) MrsST says:

LAMB by Gwen Stefani and Angel by Thierry Mugler. I saw in the commenets that 2 peole so far also like LAMB…I love it….I love that Gwen and her creative team were not scared to give it some staying power…it smells wonderful. Same for Thierry Mugler’s Angel…1-2 sprays and you are done…smells wonderful layered with BBW’s Chocolate Amber lotion, which has sadly been discontinued. :(

June 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm
(66) Unnur says:

Miracle by lancome
Miss dior cherie
and L de Lolita Lempicka

July 11, 2009 at 10:24 am
(67) Athena says:

I live in the tropics and so have to use lighter fragrances or else I will induce a headache in myself and others around me.

Recently, I discovered Chanel Eau Premiere. I really like it, more so than No 5 EDT or EDP. But given its price,I wear it only when I have important meetings to attend.

I wear a different scent daily so that I can smell the fragrance on myself. There is Bulgari pour femme, Thierry Mugler Cologne, Borsari’s Violetta di Parma, Tocadilly (I bought many bottles of it since it has been discontinued), Prada Infusion d’iris and Pleasures.

When the weather is cooler due to rain, I will wear Lolita Lempicka, Kenzo Jungle Elephant, Ysatis (one of my favourites) and Knowing.

August 17, 2010 at 12:28 am
(68) Kimiiki says:

I love the scent Fantasy by Britney Spears. It’s got a sugary, sweet scent, not like vanilla but kind of cupcakey. I wore it on my first date with my boyfriend and have loved it ever since.

October 15, 2010 at 12:39 am
(69) Kelly says:

Pure Turquoise by Ralph Lauren is my signature scent. I’ve been wearing it exclusively for 3 years – I hope they do not discontinue it, as I’ve not found anything else even remotely close to it. I just happened upon it in Kohl’s one day and have been hooked ever since. Prior to wearing PT, I wore Lauren by Ralph Lauren or Liz Claiborne.

March 13, 2011 at 12:08 am
(70) Nancy says:

Midnight Poison by Dior… it’s seduction in a bottle :)

January 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm
(71) Emma says:

Since it came out I’ve been hooked on Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche, it’s become a smell that people immediately associate with me and the scent just screams ‘classy Chanel’. Absolutely love it and it felt like a relatively natural progression from Anna Sui Secret Wish. Funnily enough though, although the Eau Fraiche one smells divine on me, the original and Eau Tendre smell like old lady talc. Always intrigues me how different perfumes smell on different people.

June 19, 2012 at 10:34 am
(72) Raine says:

When it comes to scents to me, I’m something of a chameleon Because I love everything,but it mostly depends on my scent. I have a passion for sugary sweets,such as pink sugar and snooki’s perfume, then dark sexy mysterious perfumes such as rock princess and black star by Avril lavinge. So it’s really hard for me to pick my “favorite”, because i love all my perfunes. I own Lamb by Gwen stefani, it’s One of my favorites, I also own pink sugar sensual, g of the sea,super g, sunshine cutie g, and bath and body works “Dark kiss”. I have to say that my signature, favorite scent to wear though, is Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy. I love everything about the scent, from the dark violet blue bottle with blue crystals that look like stars, from the scent that smells like dark sugary wonderfullness mixed with dark berrys and mysterious florals. And the box has shades of purple and blue with fireflies on it and it’s like a dark jungle with exotic plants that really paints a picture in your mind!!! :) whenever I wear it, I just know I’m going to have a fantastic night, and I never stop getting compliments with it! Plus on my skin it lasts forever and the 100ml bottles are so big, that you definitely get what you pay for! It’s amazing! :)

July 12, 2012 at 2:59 am
(73) Shradhha says:

Oh man! It’s so difficult to tell your signature scent. hmm……Let’s see! I use many a perfumes and don’t stay stuck to only one. But the one I felt quite attracted to is Midnight Pearl Eau de Parfum. I was so much attracted to its bottle when I bought it. The fragrance is also very seductive…..a little flowery flowery. I like it!

April 8, 2014 at 2:43 pm
(74) sally says:

sorry people nothing bets norell by niorell. I can’t tell you how many people male and female on a daily basis ask me WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? and were can I get it. i’m finding it very hard to find, and the ones I do find are priced out of sight. can anyone help me find it?

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