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A guide to finding your signature scent that explains the differences between top notes, middle notes, and base notes giving scent recommendations.

There can be no doubt that a signature fragrance is an indispensable weapon in any gentleman’s armoury. While it lacks the obvious sartorial impact of a hairstyle or beard, it is insinuating and subtle, weaving its pervasive magic, sending out strong signals about your unique character and personality. With time, it will become an integral part of your persona. This makes you not only recognizable but also memorable, as your scent leaves a long-lasting impression on everyone you meet from the office to date night.

Fragrance not only serves to calm the mind and relax the body, but it also taps straight into long buried memories evoking a range of emotions from nostalgia or tristesse to joy, comfort and longing. Each individual has a completely unique range of scent associations, so you will have to first think about the fragrance families – floral, citrus, green, or woody scents - and decide what they mean to you. You may find that the fragrances you favour evoke places and people you love or let you access comforting memories of days happily spent in the reassuring security of your childhood.

How Your New Fragrance Will Make You Feel

You must think carefully about how you want the new scent to make you feel and what you would like to project about yourself. If you want to feel and appear empowered or energized, you might look at Truefitt & Hill’s West Indian Limes Cologne or 1805 Cologne, both of which would be the perfect choice for spring and summer months. If you are rather seeking to project a slightly mysterious allure, you may be more interested in the Trafalgar Cologne, with its heart notes of nutmeg, lavender and clove, or alternatively you can opt for Grafton Cologne - the spicy fragrance, lightly accentuated by floral top notes. Perhaps you wish to transmit an aura of calm competence and relaxed sophistication? Then you should try Truefitt & Hill’s distinctive and captivating Apsley Cologne, which seduces with a refined blend of smouldering woods, enhanced by delicately balanced citrus notes. Maybe you would like to choose a more straightforward, and traditionally masculine, fragrance with strong connotations of leather? Truefitt & Hill’s classic Spanish Leather Cologne is then a perfect choice. Alternatively, if the warming smell of the sandalwood invites and attracts you, the Sandalwood Cologne will conjure these characteristics, while a modern twist will give the fragrance an unforgettable, contemporary sophistication.

Harmonizing Fragrance Notes

Before you make your all-important choice, you should understand a little bit more about how fragrances work. All fragrances are blended with aromas constituting top notes, heart notes and base notes. The top notes are the fruity or citrusy aromas that sing out when you first spray the fragrance. They are comparatively evanescent and gradually evaporate leaving only the faintest traces, which delicately linger on. The heart notes begin to assert themselves a little later and emerge to blend with the top notes. They are generally the herbal, floral, green or spicy aromas that dominate the fragrance, and your choice will be based on how captivating you find them. The base notes are the building blocks of the fragrance. They are the longest lasting, but also the last to develop, meaning that they will not become apparent for at least half an hour after the first spraying. They mature to ground and support the fragrance with their earthy notes, such as cedarwood, musk, amber, patchouli, vetiver, and black pepper – they are the longest lasting aromas.

Selecting the Perfect Scent for You

Now that you understand the complex composition of fragrances, it is time to make your choice. Selecting a fragrance should never be a virtual experience no matter how much you trust your favorite social media influencer's scent recommendations; you need to deploy your nose and your skin. Given the intricacy of fragrances and the ways in which certain aromas assert themselves, then fade, you will need to live with a fragrance for a few hours before making the vitally important decision as to which to choose.


Begin your process of elimination by spraying a few samples on to perfume cards in the shop. Talk to the perfume experts about the kind of fragrances you favour and they will offer you guidance.  Fragrance experts at the perfumery may even lead you down some unexpected, but delightful new byways suggesting scent families and fragrance brands you may not have found on your own

Most likely you will only be able to smell between three to six scents at a time before your olfactive senses become overwhelmed, so you might have to make a few trips to the department store to cover all the options. However, to make this process a little bit easier, we recommend opting for Truefitt & Hill’s Cologne Sample Pack This sample set will allow you to test each fragrance at your own pace in the comfort of your home. Edit your choice down to, at most, two options, which you can spritz liberally on your skin. Your wrists or neck are the best places, as the close proximity of your veins, makes the skin warmer and better able to diffuse the scent. 

How Your Body Chemistry Can Affect Your Scent

Once the fragrance has made a contact with your skin, it will begin to interact with your body’s unique pH, and natural skin oils. Bear in mind that if you have eaten strongly flavoured foods, which include ingredients such as garlic, spices and chilli, or had a few cocktails the night before, these strong aromas may have an impact on your fragrance. The fragrance will ‘dry down’ after 10 to 15 minutes, when the top notes largely evaporate.  The remaining notes will develop and linger over the course of the day. Give the fragrance the whole day to perform this mysterious alchemy before you make your choice.

Making an Impression with Your Signature Fragrance

A signature fragrance tells a wordless and tantalizing story. It is the most intimate way of sharing some of your inner most thoughts and character. It has the power of persuasion like no other and it imbues us with every breath we take. It is all about you – the scents that are meaningful to you and the personality you wish to project to the world are encompassed in the allure of your fragrance as it adds another dimension to your persona.

The scent is a powerful tool to help you stand out from the crowd, so do take your time and choose wisely to guarantee you make that all important and lasting impression each and every time.