Fragrance can reveal a lot about a person. After all, a signature scent is a very personal and powerful thing. That's why it's important to find the right perfume for you and you only. One that makes you feel confident and ready to take on the world. Fragrance has always been important to me. I can remember every single one of the signature scents I wore throughout my life, from Love's Baby Soft Cologne Mist to Kilian Paris' Love, Don't Be Shy (thank you, Rihanna).
While there are some who choose to live a life devoted to the same fragrance they wore as a teenager, there are others who prefer a seasonal refresh or simply want to experiment and switch things up. Though I may have spritzed Pink Sugar upon my decolletage daily for many wonderful years, these days, I fall into the latter category. That being said, there are certain mainstays I have when it comes to perfumes, and it's that I tend to go for gourmands—even if a famous perfumer once told me that they were "tacky." I can't help it—I love smelling like a bakery filled with freshly-made desserts!
If you're looking for a new fragrance but need a little bit of direction, look no further. We've enlisted eight scent superfans—from perfume podcast hosts to TikTok fragrance influencers, to share their picks for the best 2022 signature scents. Keep scrolling!
"As a complete and utter fragrance junkie in my personal life and alter ego, Basenote Bitch, my perfume collection has seen many bottles come and go. The one that consistently stays put (along with GAP Dream, duh) is Relique D'Amour by Oriza L. Legrand. The fragrance house's description of the perfume is true poetry, but in summary, it's meant to smell quite literally like an old chapel in a Cistercian abbey after the rain. When I wear this perfume, I smell like light streaming through stained glass as incense wafts across cold stone. I'm suddenly the star of a nunsploitation movie. It's a light incense fragrance that can be worn all year round, but I enjoy it most as a goth springtime scent. If you're looking for a meditative signature that sets you apart and leaves a trail of Catholic guilt, this could be for you."
"I'd encourage folks to try out Commodity Gold- (Personal). It's soft and warm with a pleasantly grounded muskiness of sandalwood, a hint of sweetness from vanilla, and an overall round, golden texture from amber. The scent stays very close to the body with a veil of Iso E Super (it's like fragrance's invisible tuner knob), which gives it an airiness that makes it more mysterious and ethereal than cloying or brassy. I wouldn't necessarily call it a skin scent; it's more like a delicate layer of fine silk gliding over your skin. This is definitely an appropriate fragrance for all occasions, and for everybody—hence a great contender for your 2022 signature scent!"
"The thing about a signature scent is that no one can pick it for you. I can point you in the right direction, but when it comes down to it, you have to find something that you respond to. You don't know until you know, but when you find it, you just know. My work has a lot to do with fragrance, so I'm writing and thinking about scents all week long, and I get to try basically everything. I do have an unimpeachable top three, but when it comes down to it, my signature scent would have to be Cloud by Ariana Grande. No, I'm serious. Let me explain.
"This dropped in 2018 and it quickly became a cult favorite and one of the best-kept secrets in beauty. Cloud is a fun, interesting, completely unique scent that's as much of an experience as it is a fragrance. I know what everyone says about celebrity scents, but listen, some of them are good, and this one is great. Cloud opens with lavender, bergamot, and pear, giving way to vanilla orchid, praline, coconut, and whipped cream, finally settling down to wood and musk. It plays with sweetness in a really interesting way because, yeah, it's sweet and it makes no apologies, but it's hazy and almost a bit muted. The pear, coconut, whipped cream all meld together for a distinct but mellow sweetness, but are tempered by the hazy lavender, wood, and musk. It's push and pull, perfectly balanced, and lovely to wear.
"I always say—which my friends make fun of me for—that Cloud smells like charged air. You know how the air feels thick and electric before a storm? Like that. It feels like big, fluffy clouds of whipped cream, like wet concrete, like dewy grass in the morning, and the way cotton candy feels when it melts on your tongue. And don't get me wrong. This scent isn't juvenile—it's actually very adult. I wear it all the time and someone always stops me to ask what I'm wearing. It's one of my absolute favorites and I go back to it all the time."
Krista Burton, Writer and Author of the Forthcoming Book Moby Dyke
"I love perfume. I adore niche perfume and designer perfume; perfume that costs $6.99 and perfume that costs $350 an ounce. The price doesn't matter—if it's good, I'm obsessed. And I want to tell you about a scent: Lalique's Encre Noire Pour Homme. Listen, I am on my third bottle, and I am an unhinged person who owns more than 200 perfumes, grouped by category and note, in a wall-sized, custom-built perfume cabinet. Holy shit, should you ever buy Encre Noire. Encre Noire is a gorgeous, inky, chilly, earthy vetiver. It smells mysterious and dry and dark, like somewhere secret underground. This perfume is a cool shadow; it is the silence of being watched in a forest. It is genderless (as are all perfumes, because how can a smell have a gender? My God.) It is French. It comes in a stunning, heavyweight black glass bottle that you could use as a weapon, if necessary. It looks and smells extremely expensive, but it's not expensive. It will smell incredible on you. Put it on and feel the temperature drop."
"I purchased a perfume a few weeks ago that has made a splash in my collection and has been in heavy rotation each week. I've always been a Baccarat Rouge 540 and Flowerbomb girl but was looking for something new and extra special to add to my collection. Mercurial Cashmere by Electimuss was created in 2021 from the house of Electimuss. It's classified as a floral woody musk and opens with a smooth creamy blend of cardamon and pink pepper. Tuberose and violet develop in the middle, with some powderiness sprinkled in from the iris. Sweet caramel and vanilla swirls in woody notes such as cashmere wood, cedar, and oud like a decadent kiss on the skin.
"This perfume has an airy sparkly quality that smells extremely luxurious and sensuous. It has above-average projection and sillage and is sure to leave people curious to know where the source of that stunning scent is coming from. It's a very elevated and elegant floral that gourmand lovers will enjoy as well. For those looking for a bold statement piece to wear as a signature scent, this is a beautiful option in the same class as fragrances like Baccarat Rouge, Initio Parfums Prives Oud for Greatness, and Armani Beauty My Way Intense."
"Super Amber is a warm, musky, slightly sweet delight. It's not too heavy, won't trigger a headache, but lingers in the air around you. Instead of the traditional static scent cloud you would get with something like Coco Mademoiselle or Good Girl, with Super Amber you'll tease yourself with the most addicting wafts of scent throughout the day. Super Amber is for folks who subscribe to the minimalist your-skin-but-better, I-woke-up-like-this aesthetic. This scent is for fans of Lake & Skye's 11 11, Nemat's single-note Amber Oil (also a favorite for Billie Eilish), D.S. & Durga's I Don't Know What, and DedCool's Milk. On the flip side, if you've tried some of these second-skin amber scents before, but found them a bit too metallic or synthetic, Super Amber is sweet enough to give a go. If you didn't like the cetalox in Juliette Has a Gun's Not a Perfume, or if you found the Iso E Super in Escentric Molecule's Molecule 01 or Le Labo's AnOther 13 to be too sharp, Super Amber will maintain the same overall vibe with none of the metallic tinge."
"This new release from Mona Kattan of the Huda Beauty empire is a dream. It is a flirty, sensual candied apple that is super versatile. Of course, some of the most prominent notes are jasmine, musk, and a crisp, just-bitten apple. The scent is fun and poppy, so this could be your signature scent if you are a go-with-the-flow kind of girl. Pro tip: Pair with Kayali's Vanilla Hand Cream ($15) to smell like a baked apple pie!
"This fragrance is a seductive, warm, and alluring fragrance that lasts all day. If you want people turning heads and leaning in to get closer to you, this is my secret weapon! The standout note in this fragrance is the pimento leaf, which gives it a spicy twist. It's warm, sweet, and sexy!"