I Asked 13 People What Their Forever Fragrance Is

Not everyone has found The One. After all, finding a signature fragrance takes time. You'll most likely have graduated from your first fragrance as a teenager (Lacoste Touch of Pink was mine—anyone else?) and curated a couple of staples in your fragrance collection as your tastes developed. Most have their go-to fragrances for summer, which they'll switch up for the warmer, cosier winter scents when the time comes, and then there are those expensive perfumes that might wait their turn for special occasions and evenings. And don't forget those affordable perfumes that smell way more expensive than their price tags might suggest. But for a perfume to reach signature-fragrance status, it's a pretty big deal.

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(Image credit: @michellerosedrumm)

So where do you start to find your signature scent? We've done some of the groundwork for you by asking some fragrance fanatics about their forever scents—the ones that will stand the test of time and that they'll return to again and again. Some even have strangers running down the road asking them what their fragrance is. Is there a higher compliment? I think not.

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(Image credit: @rosiehw)

Curious to find out what their picks are? Read on for beauty insiders' favourite signature scents. 

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(Image credit: @rosiehw)

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Poppy Nash, Who What Wear UK Managing Editor
(Image credit: @poppynash)

"My mum has been wearing Escentric Molecule's 01 for years, long before it became as popular as it now is in fact! I’ve always loved it on her and as soon as I was old enough for a ‘proper’ perfume (my scent of choice was SJP’s sickly-sweet Lovely and then Daisy by Marc Jacobs) I went straight for the same. Although they say the fragrance changes from person to person, I find it so comforting to wear the same scent as my mum and every time I catch a whiff of it on myself I think of her. Not to mention I always get so many compliments when I wear it, which is a huge plus! I think I’m a die-hard Molecules fan forever."

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Remi Afolabi, Who What Wear UK Video Editor
(Image credit: @remiafolabi)

"It’s been a long time coming, but I think I have now found my signature go-to fragrance! I received the travel-sized version of Le Labo’s AnOther 13 last year, and I have been hooked ever since. There’s something unique and unusual about this scent once spritzed onto the skin. It’s slightly musky and woody yet very fresh and super clean.”

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Eleanor Vousden, Who What Wear UK Beauty Editor
(Image credit: @eleanorvousden)

As a beauty editor (and a borderline obsessive collector of fragrances—I have about 50 on rotation currently!) it's hard to pin down just one fragrance that I love and could call my signature. It depends on my mood, the time of the year and the situation. But, that being said, the one fragrance constant in my life has to be Narciso Rodriguez For Her, which I discovered as a teenager and still adore in my late twenties now. I adore musk fragrances, and I get compliments whenever I wear it. It's beautifully musky, deep and mysterious without being overbearing. Bergamot and African orange flower open before drying down to an alluring pairing of amber, musk, vanilla, vetiver, and patchouli. May I add that one of the noses behind this perfume, Francis Kurkdjian, is also behind the iconic Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat 540 scent that set TikTok ablaze. If you love that expensive-smelling perfume, then you have to smell this too.

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Maxine Eggenberger, Who What Wear UK Deputy Editor
(Image credit: @maxineeggenberger)

"Byredo is a brand I fell in love with when I first moved to London over a decade ago. I saved up what I could, took myself off to Liberty and treated myself to a bottle of, actually, I can't remember which fragrance was my first, but that was it—I was hooked for life. I've proclaimed Mojave Ghost to be my signature scent, as it's something I always receive compliments on when I wear it. And who doesn't need an ego boost from time to time?"

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Emily Dawes, Who What Wear UK Affiliate Editor
(Image credit: @emilyjdawes)

"I've worn Diptyque's Eau des Sens for about four years now, and although I keep trying others, I always come back to it as my favourite. It's the scent I wore on my wedding day, and it works all year round, so I don't think it will ever get old for me!"

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Hannah Almassi, Who What Wear UK Editor in Chief
(Image credit: @hannahalmassi)

"I always come back to Le Labo's Patchouli, and I'm currently on my last few spritzes, so it's time to get that refill. It's such a pure and uncomplicated yet really rich and heady scent that conjures up a convincingly '70s mood both for the day (think a hippy jaunt down King's Road to go shopping at Biba) and for the night (the more I spray, the more it layers to make a musky, deep number for a glam dinner). I first discovered this scent when sitting next to Ophelia Lovibond at a dinner. She smelt incredible, and it matched a retro suit she was wearing, and I was sold!"

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Sophie Cookson, Who What Wear UK Insights Manager

"I'm not going to lie, I have worn the same fragrance for around 10 years now. I have thought about mixing up my perfume from time to time but I always revert back to Coco Chanel Mademoiselle Eau de Toilette. It feels so fresh with a hint of fruitness and it makes me feel feminine and grown up. I have the twist and spray atomiser so that I can freshen up on the move."

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Joy Ejaria, Who What Wear UK Social Media Editor
(Image credit: @joyfuljoyous1)

"Fragrances aimed at women don't really scream my name. I love stronger scents, so I often find myself reaching for my husband's collection instead. Some of my go-tos are Penhaligon's Endymion, Creed's Original Santal and Dior's Higher. However, the one I'm always willing to top up 'for him' is Issey Miyake's L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme. They say scent has the power to unlock memories, and that's exactly what this does for me. It oddly reminds me of being a child at a family gathering where the majority of the men used it."

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Florrie Alexander, Who What Wear UK Commerce Writer
(Image credit: @florriealexander)

"To those that know me, it will come as no surprise that my signature fragrance is Glossier You. As long-time Glossier fan in all forms from the Boy Brow to its lipsticks, it was only natural that I found myself wanting to try the brand's much-loved fragrance. From the first spritz, it became my signature scent. It has woody notes with a sweet injection and pink pepper that perfectly balance for a fresh finish. As you wear it, it gets even better, blending with your natural scent to create a truly personal scent that lingers all day long. I’m so infatuated with the scent that I’ve accumulated it in all forms; the perfume, the balm, the roller and even the candle."

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Erin Jahns, Who What Wear U.S. Beauty Director
(Image credit: @erin_jahns)

"If I had to describe my fragrance MO, it would be 'pretty.' I tend to like light, floral, semi-sweet scents, but they have to have enough of a base to not lean too saccharine or tweeny. Byredo's perfume Young Rose is pretty much the scent I've been waiting for my entire life, and I can't stop wearing it. I love rose perfumes, and this one balances Damascus rose with spicy Sichuan pepper and headier hits of musk, ambroxan, ambrette seeds, and orris. It's floral but far from basic. People always want to know what I'm wearing when they hug me, and I can't ever really picture myself shelving it."

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Shawna Hudson, Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear U.S.
(Image credit: @shawnasimonee)

"If I have to pick just one, I'll go with Jo Malone's Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense. This is a fragrance that really took me by surprise. I was expecting it to smell pretty earthy when I got it, but instead, it hits you with this beautiful sweet floral note (lavender) on top of the tonka-bean base. It's sweet, warm, and earthy all at the same time! It definitely suits my personality."

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Katie Berohn, Who What Wear U.S. Beauty Editor
(Image credit: @ktberohn)

"When it comes to fragrances, I'm all across the board, but at the end of the day, my true love always lies in the spicier, heavier scents. Anyone who has ever met me knows my eternal love for Tom Ford's Black Orchid perfume. I can't imagine a better-smelling perfume. Orchid, black truffle and patchouli blend together to create the most hypnotic, warm perfume. I always say I don't have a signature scent, because I'm such a fragrance polygamist, but if I did have one, it would be Black Orchid."

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Grace Day, Who What Wear UK Beauty Contributor and Aesthetician
(Image credit: @thatgracegirl)

"I often wish I was the type of person who wore the same perfume every single day and was known for always smelling of one signature scent, but as a beauty editor and self-declared fragrance obsessive, I chop and change my perfume on pretty much a daily basis. Anything from my mood to the weather can dictate what scent I choose each morning. However with that said, there is one fragrance that I always (and often) come back to. Escentric Molecules is my go-to on days when I’m unsure of what to wear or when I’m in a rush but need something I can rely on—and it never fails to bring in compliments. Powered by a single fragrance note (Iso E Super) Molecule 01 is what’s known as a skin scent, which means it adapts to each individual wearer, enhancing your natural scent in a subtle but radiant way. It’s a very intimate, cosy fragrance, simultaneously warm, sweet, woody, and musky, so it works no matter what the season or time of day. I often layer it with other perfumes, and find it really helps to amplify and improve their longevity."

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Emma Spedding, Vogue Acting Executive Fashion News And Features Editor
(Image credit: @speddingemma)

"I am not exaggerating when I say that any time I wear this perfume, I get compliments on it. While I love other fragrances in my collection, such as Byredo’s Gypsy Water, I chose this as my forever perfume because it is unique and unlike any other fragrances I’ve tried. I’ve never met anyone else who wears this fragrance, and that's what I love about it. I was given a sample to try by a beauty-editor friend about five years ago, and she once saw me at an event and said, 'WHAT are you wearing? That smells amazing! Why did I give that away?!'"

Up Next: Honestly, These 9 Subtle Fragrances Make Me Smell So Rich

Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor of Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.

Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards and also contributed to Powder, winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards for her work in beauty journalism.

Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.

When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner.