Fine Fragrance 101

How to Find Your Signature Scent

Your signature scent truly is part of who you are. When done correctly, your fragrance can make a memorable first impression and leave a lasting effect. But finding the perfect scent can be difficult. While the answer is actually pretty simple (find the one you like), getting to that point requires an understanding of the complex world of fragrance and your own body chemistry.

Luckily, at Antica Farmacista, we live and breathe fragrances so we’re here to simplify the process and help guide you in finding your signature scent. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Understanding Fragrance Notes

When you first start your signature scent journey, you’ll need to rely on perfume descriptions to identify what you might be interested in trying. Most descriptions will include the fragrance notes, which is simply a way to describe the components that make up the scent. Most scents will include a top, middle, and base note.

What is a top note?

The top note will be your first impression. Typically, the top note is made up of smaller molecules that will appear right after you spray the perfume but will fade away relatively quickly. You’ll find that most top notes are citrus, herbal, or have a hint of spice.

What is a middle note?

The middle note will stick around for longer and is typically more mild than the top note. The middle note is the body of the perfume and is what will stay with you as you go through the day. You’ll find that most middle notes are floral or fresh.

What is a base note?

The base note is the depth of the scent. It’s what will linger on you throughout your entire day but may not be as detectable right after you spray the perfume. This is the lasting note and will typically be more woodsy or warm.

The one thing to remember is that the top, middle, and base notes all work together to create your signature scent, so don’t write off a fragrance due to one note — it’s the entire experience that matters.

Step 2: Understanding Scent Categories

When looking for your signature scent, the amount of scents listed in a perfume can feel overwhelming. The key is to look for scents that fall in categories that match your personality and style.

Citrus Fragrances

A citrus fragrance is going to be light and fresh, with fruity citrus notes. Because it is the extract of the fruit, it’s going to be less sugar-y sweet and more crisp. A citrus fragrance will have hints of orange, lemon, bergamot, tangerine, grapefruit, clementine, and other citrus fruits. Think of the spa, and the refreshing and relaxing scent as you walk into the lounge room.

Exotic (or Spice) Fragrances

Exotic scents are going to include bold fragrances that remind you of far-away places. They are going to be bold and will surely make you stand out. This is not a category of fragrances that are soft and subtle, but make a lasting impression. An exotic scent will have hints of vanilla, cinnamon, clove, peppercorn, or other spices.

Floral Fragrances

A floral fragrance is one of the most iconic fragrance categories in the perfume world. It is feminine and beautiful, like a fresh bouquet of flowers. Depending on the flower, the scent can be light, romantic, or vibrant. A floral fragrance will have hints of rose, peony, tuberose, lily, or other florals.

Fruity Fragrances

Fruity scents are often associated with femininity and youth. When done right, a fruity fragrance is going to be defined by hints of sweeter fruits like strawberry, peach, apple, mango, raspberry, and others. These scents will be the essence of the fruit so imagine the smell of a crisp, ripe, juicy fruit.

Green Fragrances

Green scents are earthy and leafy. Imagine the smell of a crisp, dewy morning. Green scents will have hints of grass, vetiver, moss, palms, or fig leaves. Green scents can lean more toward the fresh side, or they can lean more toward the spicy side, with aromatic grasses and herbs that can invigorate the senses.

Woody Fragrances

A woody fragrance is going to include earth notes. While these notes tend to be more masculine in nature, when mixed with softer, complimentary notes, they make for a bold fragrance with a deep lasting scent. A woody fragrance will have hints of cedar, sandalwood, vetiver, and patchouli.

Step 3: Understanding Perfume Types

There are two classes of perfumes: eau de parfum (EDP for short) and eau de toilette (EDT for short). The difference between the two comes down to the concentration of fragrance oil and alcohol.

Eau de Toilette (EDT)

When a perfume has a higher amount of alcohol, the fragrance will diffuse more, which means that more people will be able to smell it, further away. An eau de toilette has a higher alcohol content, so this fragrance will be more noticeable and will make an impact as you walk into a room. Because of the lower percentage of fragrance oil, however, eau de toilettes tend to be strong but fleeting, lasting only a matter of hours.

Eau de Parfum (EDP)

When a perfume has a higher amount of fragrance oil, the fragrance will diffuse less, which means only people very close to you will be able to smell it. An eau de parfum has a higher fragrance oil concentration, so this fragrance will be more personal, less overt, and less noticeable to strangers on the subway. With a higher percentage of fragrance oil, eau de parfums stay close to the skin for longer than eau de toilettes.

Step 4: Choosing Your Signature Scent

Now armed to understand the complex world of scents, it’s time to embark on your journey to finding the perfect fragrance for you. When starting your search, there are a few things to consider: your lifestyle, your personality, and your preferences. It’s important to consider the type of lifestyle you have when choosing a signature scent.


Is your life filled with parties, events, social engagements and vibrant nightlife? Go for a bold scent that stands out in the sea of people.


Are you more laid back and relaxed? Is your ideal weekend full of cozy sheets, a cup of tea and a good book? Consider a soft, weightless scent.


Outdoorsy and one with nature? Do you live for a good hike or love to garden? You might prefer a scent with hints of herbs and earthy notes.


Are you working a 9-5 and want to be mindful of colleagues close by? Maybe opt for a light, citrus scent that brightens the mood but isn’t overpowering.


Is life a beach to you? Are you always planning your next beach vacation or do you live poolside? Go for a scent that matches that vibrant energy.

The important thing is that the fragrance you choose fits in seamlessly with your lifestyle and is a reflection of the things you enjoy.

Consider your hobbies when choosing a scent. If you enjoy gardening, you might enjoy green, fruity, or citrus scents. If you are someone who enjoys traveling the world, a more exotic or spice-heavy scent might suit you well.

It’s also important to consider how you want people to perceive you. Your scent may be their first introduction to your personality so it’s important to embody not only who you are but who you want others to think you are.

Find Your Signature Scent
Shop Antica Farmacista Fine Fragrances

Introducing Antica Facets: our first Personal Perfume Collection. Facets is composed of five distinct moods that encompass the vision we hold for our customers: complex, multifaceted, and fluid. Reach for different Facets to enhance a feeling, or slip into a new one. As you start your journey to finding your signature scent, consider trying all five of our Facets with our Discovery Set.

After Hours
50ml Eau de Parfum

Cozy You
50ml Eau de Parfum

Green Green
50ml Eau de Parfum

Happy Hour
50ml Eau de Parfum

Sun Kissed
50ml Eau de Parfum