Monday Question – Are You Still Looking For The One?

Are you looking for that one special perfume?

The one fragrance that is totally you?

A signature scent to grow old with?

Or did you give up on that notion, if you ever entertained it?

Are you looking for a perfectly balanced wardrobe, an extensive collection or a single wonderful signature scent that has it all?

My Answer:

Although I enjoy the most diverse perfumes, and attempt to curate my own collection to perfection, I often still find myself dreaming of finding that one perfume that is simply perfect. The one I never want to let go again, the one that compells me to wear it day in, day out, the one that underscores my personality, suits me, flatters me, completes me.

I realize this is the wish of a young girl imagining her prince. I strongly suspect neither exists.

Just as one person cannot and should not be everything for me, one perfume can’t fulfill me either. The fairy-tale ideas of ideal romance will be corrected by real life sooner or late, because no matter how lovely the person you end up spending your life with is, he or she won’t be able to compete with a perfect fantasy.

I guess a perfume can’t either.

But what a perfume can do, is be perfect for a moment. The one perfect scent for “right here and now” exists. And I’m glad, chances are not bad that I can find it in my collection.

What are your thoughts about the one?

About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
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88 Responses to Monday Question – Are You Still Looking For The One?

  1. judith dm says:

    I would love to find The One. Or the Mostly The One. I would like to find The One I Look Good With, meaning we are thought of as a couple. Too many distractions though. In my younger days yes, I had The One. Maybe for a year, longer. Then Another One, but still went steady. Now I know more, have been exposed to more, and so much more to choose from, and each review I read tempts me. I mostly stay in my comfort zone of powdery, amber-y, vanilla-y, Gourmandish, Orientalish, not big on flowers, etc., etc. Every now and then I want to take off on an adventure. However I can be one date girl, if I don’t like from the get go there is no going back. And $ wise, it makes sense to find that one true love, as sampling is costly! There are a few I am considering an Engagement with, but at this time I am not ready to settle down!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Mostly The One – I like that, I hope to find mostly the one too, but, like you, I’m probably not ready to settle down anyway, so who knows if I’d even recognize “mostly the one”. ;)

  2. HELL NOOOO!! The one? Sorry, can’t commit
    Portia xx

  3. Georgy says:

    I still am looking for that one scent, that suits me in every occasion an mood, right now I narrowed it down to PG’s Querelle in winter and french lover by FM in summer, and terre d’hermes, but certainly hoping to find that one soulscentmate……

  4. Sandra says:

    Committed to my man, but not to one particular perfume. Having said that I am looking for the perfect vanilla themed perfume. Many come close, but I keep searching. I know it is out there – i just have to find it. And when or if I find it, I could never be a signature scent girl. Ever!

  5. andrea says:

    The closest I have come to a signature is La Femme Bleue but it does not suit very occasion, nor would I want it to as I can never replace it, I prefer to wear it on special occasions so I will always associate a good time with the perfume.
    I still have an ideal in my head that one day I will find the one but realistically I know that will never happen as I fall too easily for new perfumes. Luckily my Prince did turn up, albeit in a different guise to what one would expect, I do not have a problem staying true to him, you create your own version of a fairytale to remain happy (most of the time anyway) :-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ah, LFB, a beautiful scent, but you are right of course, it has to be rationed carefully.

      The lure of the next new perfume is very strong, I know that all too well…

  6. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Years ago, back then, I thought there is such a parfum.
    But there is none, at least not for me. I’m changing constantly, my taste, my preferences – so how could one scent follow those changes ?

  7. Parfumista says:

    I know that I will nor find the perfect one for all occasions i.e. And I don’t want to either as it would spoil my interest in perfume. There is so much out there to explore and it’s a pleasure to find new favorites in different subcatergories of the different olfactory families and whitin different perfumebrands

  8. Tara says:

    I like to medicate with perfume and also really enjoy choosing my SoTD. Finding the One would take all the fun out of it :)

    It’s enjoyable to search for the perfect incense, green, white floral etc, though even then I’m unlikely to stop there…

  9. Irene says:

    It’s summer and sunny here. My fav today is Bronze Goddess. The imperfection: It doesn’t last long. The near perfect last winter was Puredistance I (genial post here). Maybe, simple choices, but, I thing the pleasure it’s the way of looking for the best. Enjoy finding your best.

  10. Mille Fleurs says:

    Years before I fell down the perfume “rabbit hole”, I did have a signature scent, Lady Primrose Tryst. (Some pf my children refer to it as Eau de Mom No. !…lol).

    I really enjoy trying new perfumes, and do not plan on stopping anytime soon. Some I feel are “me”; most are not, but I have such fun trying everything! Perfumes are like colors of clothing to me; much as the color teal, for instance, may suit me, and people may say it’s so “me”, who wants to wear the same color everyday? I think I also love the challenge of finding that one color—that one shade of yellow, or one difficult perfume note (be it tuberose, oud, whatever!)– that works perfectly with my skin tone or chemistry.

    I still have the best of both worlds, btw. I use Tryst bath products–lotion and powder and my the time my husband snuggles up at the end of the day his favorite smell is still there, along with traces of my SOTD, just to keep him on his toes! :-)

  11. arline says:

    There are a lot of fragrances out there, an overwhelming amount. I’m sure there are many that I could be happy with, and I will search with the help of you perfumistas.

    I have mentioned before, I still want to have my hands in creating it. I definitely don’t want to be a perfumer, but I do want to be a part the making of my scents. I have been mixing oils lately, but they don’t count as perfume!!!!

    I am really looking for a few scents to call my own. When funds permit, I will explore custom fragrance options, whilst selecting a few Arline friendly perfumes that I find lovely and interesting.

  12. Yay, someone besides me likes Lady Primrose Tryst! A gorgeous scent! On the subject of the One, yes, I did find it, and it’s been discontinued forever, so now I wear different things to round out the wardrobe. But I still have old bottles of the original. My advice is, if you love it, do get and keep those bottles – in the cool and in the dark!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m glad you have a backup stash, and although curiosity is killing me, I won’t ask what your “one” is, so there isn’t a rush for the last remaining bottles. ;)

  13. Ines says:

    Nope. I’m not looking for the one. I have too many I love and I just can’t imagine one to rule them all. (he,he, I managed a LotR reference) ;)
    I’m not saying that might not happen, I just don’t think it’s a very realistic notion in my case. As I can’t seem to minimize my collection, I just keep adding to it.
    No strength of character in me, none whatsoever…

  14. Tatiana says:

    I used to have a few (less than three) signature scents that I wore constantly. But none of them really worked for the summers we have here with temperatures hovering around 30 to 33C all summer and then once or twice a year a heat wave with temperatures exceeding that. Then I spilled one fragrance, but couldn’t really afford to replace it at the time. Now it’s reformulated. Another got discontinued. When I went on-line to find a replacement bottle for the discontinued scent, I found perfume blogs and the rest is history. I’m finding there are families of scents that usually do or don’t work for me. Yes, to chypres and leathers and green scents with iris or galbanum. No to aldehydes and big white florals. While I love them, they tend to wear me instead of the other way around.
    So many beautiful scents, so little time.

  15. laniersmith says:

    I am not looking for The One, just the next one.

  16. When I was younger, I used to dream of having a signature scent. Something that when people smelled it, they thought, “Yes, that is Daisy.” My grandmother had that; she was a Chanel No.5 fan to the end and never strayed.

    But what has happened over the years to me is that my tastes have changed a lot. Things that I didn’t like before, I embrace now. A good friend of mine who has known me for a long time came over the other day and we went through some of the things I used to wear. She made the comment that when she met me, I wore very unisex, almost masculine fragrances. Then there was a period when I wore really avant garde stuff (the weirder the better). Now, I have been gravitating towards prettier fragrances.

    I like where I am now. I don’t pick fragrances to shock or make a statement to others, but only to please me. I still hold out the hope of finding the one, but I am okay looking for the next one as laniersmith above puts it!

  17. wesleyhallparker says:

    Yes!!! I want The ONE! Or, as Judith put it, the “Mostly the One.” I do not expect it to be the only fragrance I wear (life is too short for that, and a girl likes to have options for different moods, occasions and seasons – just as she has a varied wardrobe), but I’d like it to be one that I wear most often – so that it becomes a signature part of my style. You know, like Diana Vreeland and her cape! ;) Or Coco Chanel and her pearls. You want to be recognizably you – even though of course, you also have your own individual permutations and variations.

    What I have noticed is that until my 30s, I was a serial monogamist in the perfume world :) I had “the one” from high school (a classic millefleurs floral blend), and “the one” from college (Eternity), and “the one” from my 20s (Hanae Mori EDP – back when I wanted to smell like a cookie!)…and then…in my 30s…it became much harder to pin down. And now I no longer have “the one.” In my early 30s I began “the Quest” lol, but it has not reached it’s conclusion!

    On my quest, I discovered the following fragrances and wear them with love – but none of them is a clear winner as “The One”:
    31 Rue Cambon
    No. 5 Eau Premiere
    L’Temps d’Une Fete
    L’Eau d’Hiver
    L’ostmarch Ael Mat

    I’m not sure what they have in common – but I sense a commonality. I feel like I am circling an idea of “the One” but have not yet pinned it down :)

    I think we become more complex, more sophisticated, more multi-faceted and individual as we age – so it is harder for a single perfume to capture us.

    My hope is that I can have many perfumes that I enjoy, but still find one that “captures me” most, and that others will associate with me – and that it can become part of the memories of my husband and children, the way I remember my mother’s and my grandmothers’ scents.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is a big part of the reason why I want a sort of signature scent as well, to provide my children with an identifiable “Mother” scent. Something that brings me back to them in an instant, should they need that. I guess they’ll have a flashback of Mom as soon as they enter a perfume store. ;)

      • wesleyhallparker says:

        Lol! Yes, I have thought the same thing for my daughter :) She is only two, and can already say “Par-fuuuuuum!” She loves to dig into my samples, and when she can – she’ll grab bottles and pretend to spray on. Sometimes I have even wondered if there is one that is safe for her to play with? I always worry about the chemicals for her. But maybe something like Bvlgari Petits et Mamans? Do you ever run into this with your boys? Perhaps boys are different, lol.

        • wesleyhallparker says:

          By the way – not totally in love with Petits et Mamans – just wondering what is “safe” for the little ones.

        • Olfactoria says:

          My boys mostly ignore my perfumes, but there was a memorable incident when my 2yr old rubbed his tummy with an amber perfume and declared it to be very good. :)

          Maybe your daughter could apply a little bit of perfumed body lotion? That is not too harmful if used only on small areas.

  18. Zubi d'Nova / Melissa de Blok says:

    Looking for the one is still on, but in every category. I want to find the perfect honey scent, the perfect floral, the perfect incense, the perfect civet, etc etc.

    So far I have found a few scents I find perfect: SL Un Bois Vanille (your fault!), Amouage Memoir (your review didn’t help), Rose Praline (Rosine), Parfum d’Empire Aziyade, and Guerlain Gourmand Coquin.

  19. Meg says:

    I think I already have. Two of them in fact– a mated pair, both by Lalique: Flora Bella & Encre Noire. With these two, I utterly feel as though I could settle back for life and wear nothing else, if it came to that. But instead, armed with the sense of security they both give me, I keep exploring and trying new stuff… content in the knowledge that this olfactory “marriage” will hold firm!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I adored your recent post about Encre Noir, such a moving piece!
      I envy your certainty a little bit, but mostly it makes me incredibly happy to hear such a statement. Perfume is so powerful and thankfully we all here are blessed to realize that.
      Of course Encre Noir is on my list now… :)

  20. Civava says:

    I have the one – Safari by RL, but desperately seeking another because this one is so hard to wear to the office or to wear it casualy. I’m wearing it when I feel I have to make some kind of statement and that without talking. I don’t even know exactly what or how, but I just know it when to wear it. And it is not as often as I would like. I have to go out and that is also rare by me lately. I guess I have to do sth. about it ;-).

    • Olfactoria says:

      I remember Safari vividly, since i sat next to a woman on a plane who didn’t have your consideration for her environs. It is a beautiful perfume, but it needs and demands, and takes up space, a lot of space. :)

  21. Darilyn Sivera says:

    I am always looking for “The One” that makes my eyes roll back in my head!

  22. I am sure I will find more that I love. But I am content with a relatively small stable of versatile fragrances- mostly of the barbershop style. Fortunately I have opened my mind beyond my typical comfort zone to find some wonderful fragrances that are not in that category.

  23. Undina says:

    The problem with “The One” for me is that even when I had it (for many years Climat by Lancome was the only perfume I thought was out there for me) I couldn’t wear it every day because in the way my world is organized my most favorite perfume(s) are for special occasions only – the same way as clothes, shoes, etc. So even then – when I was in love with One and The Only perfume, I had one or two “everyday wear” perfumes.

    Today I have at least several perfumes I love and do not want ever to be without but it doesn’t mean that I stop looking for new ones to add to that category or just to the “everyday wear” category.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Do you still reserve Climat for special occasions only, now that you have more options?
      I love to wear whatever I like, whenever I like, no matter how formal or extravagant. But I guess it would have to be different if I didn’t work from home…

      • Undina says:

        I do. As well as a couple more perfumes, such as Ta’if, Portrait of a Lady and Ubar. To wear them I do not need to be dressed up or go to some formal event. But the occasion should be special for me.

  24. annemariec says:

    Ah, the ‘signature scent’ debate. It’s never far away. For some people it is about trying to understand themselves, or at least to decide what is the ‘self’ they want to project to the world. For others this is not a concern. They will cheerfully try and wear all sorts of things and experiment with all sorts of ‘selves’. They will play different roles, even if only inside their heads, according to what perfume they wear.

    I’m in the middle, a bit like Meg (above), perhaps. I like to have a few staples that speak especially to me and maek me feel comfortable inside my skin. With those as a firm centre of my perfume world, I like to dip and glide around through a range of other perfumes, just having fun. Nobody wears the same dress every day, so why should we wear the same perfume? And although I might say to myself ‘I’m not a gourmand person’, in fact I love the fruit in Rochas Femme, and the honey in Ginestet Botrytis.

  25. Suzanne says:

    I’m not looking for “the One” because I very much agree with what you stated so well in your post (“Just as one person cannot and should not be everything for me, one perfume can’t fulfill me either.”) But by the same token, there are certain fragrances that inspire such an intense feeling of devotion that I do feel like I have a core group of fragrances that are “me” and that collectively make up the One! ;)

    Yes, I realize that makes absolutely no sense! But hopefully you get my drift anyway? :D

  26. Alexandra says:

    I no longer believe in ‘The One’ when it comes to perfume and besides I love having a perfume wardrobe: the perfect scent for that dress, this event or my mood! Having said that I would love to find an absolute favourite, the perfume I reach for that’s just everyday me, but my taste is till changing so quickly that at the moment I can’t imagine finding something that definitive. Today it would smell something like the love child of MdO’s Vanille and Amouage’s Epic…

  27. Alexandra says:

    Hummmm, as I dwell on it I think Mohur might be THE ONE rose…

  28. Interesting question B. Can’t imagine having only one ‘signature’ perfume any more than having only one friend to talk to or one artist that I look at or one author that I read. Different perfumes touch different moods and facets of one’s personality. Some people wear perfume to project an image of themselves to others, as has been noted, others wear because it’s a story we want to tell ourselves.
    One of the lovely things about having perfume friends is that they broaden your horizons, making you look at things that you couldn’t read easily before or simply introducing you to things that are unarguably stunningly beautiful. So grateful that you came to London to share your knowledge of amber with us. Amber Absolute, Ambre Fetiche and Ambre Precieux have become firm friends.

    • Olfactoria says:

      You make excellent points, Lila. I’d never think about sticking to one book for the rest of my life, so I guess I won’t ever stick to one perfume either. ;)

      I’m very happy you made some amber friends, I really enjoyed coming to London. I hope to come again for a few days of perfume shopping in the fall.

  29. Sugandaraja says:

    It looks like I can answer this post and the one after it at the same time. :)

    As soon as I smelled Tubereuse Criminelle I knew it was “the one” for me: that all-time favorite; never-to-be-topped fragrance; that desert island pick. I don’t know quite what it is about it, it just works on every level for me. There are some fragrances, even whole categories ( chypres; powdery vintages ) that took me a while to “get”, but this worked from the get go. It was love at first sniff, and has remained fairly consistently so.

    What I don’t have is a “signature scent”; that one scent I wear every day. I like variety, and if some evil genie banished every bottle but my favorite, I’d probably only wear it as an occasional thing and fill my life with other scented things.

  30. Anita Monroe says:

    When I was very young, my husband the scientist traveled extensively. Because i couldn’t go with him, he would search for perfumes to bring to me as gifts. I’ll never forget when he gave me “Caleche” by Hermes. He also liked perfumes by Nina Ricci. especially “Capricci”. I still love those, but if I had to give up all perfumes but one, I’d keep “Jicky”.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I love that. My husband is travelling a lot too this year, I must impress upon him the romance of bringing home perfume. :)
      Caleche is so elegant, Jicky is amazing. You have great taste, Anita.

  31. fleurdelys says:

    I feel as you do. The idea of having one signature fragrance is very appealing, but the reality is that I just like variety too much. I can’t picture all the notes that I love combined into one perfume; it would probably smell awful!

    Also, I know from experience that if I wear one fragrance too often, it can go “off” on me and I can never wear it again. I limit my consecutive wearings of a perfume to two days.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m the same, I’m so flighty. What I love one day, can easily bire me the next. It is important to beware my great perfume loves from the date of becoming ordinary and boring. :)

  32. There is no parfume “The One” for me. I need time to review, revisit and edit the perfumes I already own before any more purchases. Enduring love for a perfume is rare and I can only credit a few with that kind of love eternal.
    No 5 extrait
    Eau Premiere
    Beige
    Apres l’Ondee
    Nahema
    Mure et Musc
    Prada Infusion D’Iris EDP
    OJ Osmanthus
    For the rest of the time I am oh so fickle. A new contender ifor love eternal is Seville a L’Aube, Lemmings exist for untried Peche Cardinale and Azemour les Orangers. There I must stop!!

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