Scent was always an important part of my life. I feel like, ever since I first learned about the concept of 'signature scent', I was trying (too hard) to obtain one. I was determined trying to find the destined signature scent of my own.
Just like any young teen, I was drawn to fruity and sweet scents at the time. Pretty bottles were also quite important part of the selection process. I was loving Anna Sui and Lolita Lempicka.
But there were abundant of teens who were also using the perfumes from above brands, so I never the perfumes never felt like they are my own. It felt like those fragrances were applied on me, and nothing more. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adored those perfumes during that time. There was just that feeling in the corner of my heart that this is not what signature scent is meant to be.
Soon I entered in my twenties.
I was still in search of my own signature scent, and frequented Sephora purchasing multiple perfumes that just ended up on my desk collecting dust.
I was trying all different types of scents: fruity, floral, musky... all didn't feel close enough to this image of the perfect perfume that I created in my head. I didn't even know what I was looking for, I guess.
I began to feel that maybe this is what everyone does, use certain scent until you get used to it. Maybe there is no such thing as "signature perfume."
Then I discovered niche brand perfumes.
The price was scarier, but they definitely smelled different from other mass-produced perfumes from big fashion companies. Usually I was reminded of someone when I smelled certain scents, but no one's face came up to my memory when I smelled those perfumes. I felt hopeful again.
I spent my later half of twenties searching within those selections. The one I used the most was from Penhaligon's.
But I still felt something was missing.
Then it happened. The moment occurred during one of my Japan trips. I was in Kyoto, walking in a wooden temple. It was so quite even though the place was packed with people. I passed by groups of people sitting and watching the rock garden. I walked on the squeaking floor to the back, hoping that there will be fewer people there. As I stroll down the walkway, I smelled a combination of beautiful wet wood, burning incense, and raindrops. It was the most memorable scent I have ever encountered. It was the magical moment, the moment where something turned on in my brain. I felt that this is it! This is what I want to smell like and the image I want to portray when someone think of me. But the problem was... how do I find this exact scent in perfume?
Entering to my thirties, I believe I finally found the one.
No, it is not a single perfume. I realized the signature scent I have been looking for was not from a single perfume, but rather a certain note. It was "Oud."