Create Your Own Signature Scent

Signature scents make a powerful statement about who you are and how you’d like to be seen in the world. Whether you stride out with outwardly sexy base notes or prefer a more delicate citrus whiff, signature scents say “This is who I am”  But had you considered how easy it is to create your own Signature Scent from essential oils or fragrance oils or even a combination of both! Whether you want to duplicate your favorite fragrance or create one from scratch, we have everything you need to start creating your own signature scent.  In this article, we will explore how to decipher the fragrance notes of your Signature Scent and how to use them to create a range of harmonizing products to underpin and work in harmony with it. So, let’s explore together how to create a signature scent.

What Is A Signature Scent?

Signature Scents are the fragrances you use to define who you are to the world. It’s the aroma that pervades the room you’re in and the fragrant signature you leave in your wake. It could be a branded or designer perfume or something more bespoke and unique to you.

My best friend often says, “I love the way you always smell of Roses”. That’s the fragrance she has come to associate with me in the same way her favorite perfume reminds me of her. I may not always wear the same perfume, but they all have Roses at their heart. You could say that Roses are my Signature Scent.

Bespoke scents are rising in popularity with design houses, as are artisanal limited edition distillations. Today, it seems, everyone wants a signature scent. 

A Powerful Tool

A Powerful Tool

Our sense of smell holds a primordial fascination with many functions, but not least for helping bond people. It’s primal. Babies recognize their mother’s scent from birth. When I wear Romance by Ralph Lauren. My son is reminded of being little and always needs a slightly longer hug than usual when I wear it because his brain transports him back to being a child.

Your scent, that is your personal scent mixed with your favorite perfume is a potent tool. This powerful statement to the world is something that can be used to your advantage, to set the scene, stamp your mark or even as a tool for seduction. 

Research shows odor to influence perception, and we can use this to influence how they are feeling.  

Many businesses are hiring top perfumers from towns like Grasse to create their own amazing Signature Scents. Leveraging odor they are deliberately influencing customer feelings and experiences. From retail outlets to hotels, businesses are habitually seducing customers with Signature Scent. That’s the very basis of the VINEVIDA Hotel Collection. 

How To Use A Signature Scent To It’s Best Effect

Take your existing perfume or Signature Scent and layer it through your toiletries and skincare and your home. 

Alternatively, for something truly unique and bespoke to you, create one from scratch. This is a great decision if you like to be an individual rather than following the crowd. Once you get the idea of layering harmonizing fragrance notes, you’ll begin to understand ways to tweak your Signature Scent from season to season too. 

We’ll look at Signature Scents in two distinct, and self explanatory, categories:

    1. Signature Scent For Your Body
    2. Signature Scent For The Home

Signature Scent For Your Body

Signature Scent For Your Body

If you already have a favorite perfume that you wear all the time, such as Chanel No. 5, for example, this is your ‘signature scent’. You might also match it with your skincare and toiletries to harmonize the layer fragrance, and to ensure it lasts throughout the day. But that can get expensive very quickly if you are buying designer brands. With a fragrance oil dupe of your favorite scent, you can create a range of matching topical products, suited to your needs for a fraction of the money. 

If you look at the notes in your Signature Scent, you can then select essential oils to harmonize with the perfume. Additionally of course essential oils will also bring their own added benefits. For instance:

You can use these harmonizing essential oils for specific purposes, while also delivering that long-lasting fragrance layering effect.  

You could make a fragranced body lotion that also addresses your dry skin, a hair oil that smooths, reduces split ends and encourages shine, or even a hand cream to soothe your hard-working hands. All imbued with the harmonizing notes of your signature scent. 

It’s much easier than you think! 

Signature Scent For The Home

Signature Scent For The Home

Signature Scent for the home is also known as a ‘Signature Home Scent’ and that is how I most often refer to it, and will continue to do so for this article for easier differentiation.

Some people use the same signature scent for their body and their home scent too, which means the moment someone walks into their home they instantly know that home belongs to you. 

This is fine of course, but it can be a bit ‘samey’. Your brain could even stop scent processing if it's always the same aroma. You effectively go “nose-blind which happens after about an hour. 

Personally, I feel a Signature Home Scent should be complimentary to your Signature Body Scent, but not a carbon copy. It still needs to ‘feel’ like you, but individual and nuanced. 

Again, you can pick out fragrance notes and use those to create harmonizing products to use throughout your home. Go fresh in the bathroom, more sensual in the bedroom and sophisticated in the sitting room. You can use these harmonizing notes to create individual fragrances that all work together and layer with one another to support your Signature Home Scent. 

You can create your own diffuser blends, matching scented candles, reed diffusers and wax melts. Notch it up and run your Signature Home Scent through your laundry care products and scent your bed linen and towels too. Use it to create matching cleaning products like surface cleansers and carpet deodorizers.

You can layer and fill your home full of harmonizing notes to build the overall effect of your Signature Home Scent. 

How Can I Create A Signature Scent?

How Can I Create A Signature Scent

Duplicate or Start From Scratch?

The first question out of the starting blocks is are you going to be using a pre-made fragrance oil dupe or are you going to be starting from scratch? I call our ready-made duplicates “Dupes”.

This is an important question for several reasons:

    1. Essential oils vary from distillation to distillation. So every time you make a blend from them there will be subtle differences in them. This is what Artisan Distillers are banking on in their limited edition runs. So subsequent perfumes will never be exactly the same even if they make them with the same oils.
    2. For this reason, many designer perfumes rely heavily on synthetic aroma compounds to ensure they can maintain a consistent aroma across different batches. So premade fragrance oil will always be consistent, meaning you will get the same intensity of fragrance every time you make it.

For The Body Or For The Home?

Your second question needs to be, “Am I creating a scent to use on my body”? 

If the answer is yes, then we need to be working with topical safety data and using IFRA Guidelines and maximum safety dilutions. These guidelines help you produce skin-safe products.

Our dupes come with the IFRA safety guidelines calculated for you. Creating your own, means you have to work out your own safety data. However, calculating your own is not difficult when you know how to,  so there is no reason to let this faze you. 

IFRA guidelines also apply to some home-related products like Laundry Cleansers because they will come into contact with your skin.

You can find the relevant safety data on every fragrance oils webpage under ‘Documents’. There is a whole guide here - How To Find Safety Information On The VINEVIDA Website.

Let’s use VINEVIDA’s NO. 3001- Inspired By: Coco Chanel #5 By Chanel fragrance oil as a consistent example through this article and take a look at some of the most used IFRA safety data

NO. 3001- Inspired By: Coco Chanel #5 By Chanel Fragrance Oil
IFRA Category Level of Use (%) Product Application Examples*
2 0.25% Deodorant
5A 2.54% Body Creams and Lotions
5B 2.54% Face Products
5C 2.54% Hand Products
9 2.54% Soap, Shampoo, Rinse Off Products
10A 2.54% Laundry and Surface Cleansers
12 No restrictions Candles, Air Fresheners
*The given product applications are simply individual examples. Please consult the IFRA safety sheet for a full and comprehensive list of applications please.

Observations On The Safety Data:

    1. You would always expect Cat 2 to be a lower percentage as a deodorant, as it is more easily absorbed into the body. I could add in essential oils here to boost the intensity of the aroma. 
    2. It is interesting and unusual that Cat 5A, B, C, 9 and 10A are all identical, normally there is more variance. It is also quite low, so in 100ml of products you can only use 2.5ml. This is often enough for skincare and some toiletries, but I would want to use more in my Laundry and Surface Cleansers. Therefore, this is where I need to look to bolster it with either a harmonizing fragrance oil or an essential oil. 
    3. Cat 12 usually has no restrictions, and within reason, you can use as much as you like. However, more does not always equate to better, you still need to find a happy balance. That gives you a little taster and I will provide you with everything you need to know as we move through the process. 

Recipes For Creating A Signature Scent

Recipes For Creating A Signature Scent

I’m going to give you recipes for several variations here so that you can create a Signature Scent from scratch using fragrance oils and essential oils.

Then I will show you how to create a range of harmonizing products. 

There are a couple of articles that may help you gain a much deeper understanding of the process of developing a perfume. I suggest reading these first. 

    1. Craft Your Scent: Cologne With Essential Oils
    2. How To Make Perfume With Essential Oils

Creating A Signature Scent From Scratch - Essential Oils

VineVida Essential Oil

First, you have to accept that you can create a structure for your Signature Scent, but due to the variability of essential oils, batches will always be highly individual. It will change every time you make it.

Choose top, heart and base notes for a fully rounded scent profile. You must always use base notes to anchor the whole fragrance and to give the aroma some longevity on the skin. If it is all top and heart notes it will disappear after 30-60 minutes on the skin.  

I want to create a floriental type perfume, with a floral and spice heart but anchored with a deep base note and lifted with a dash of complimentary citrus. 

Remember to double check your IFRA Data, Jasmine has a very low dilution rate at 0.60%, so I cannot add any more than 12 drops in 100ml. You must check everyone systematically if you are creating your own recipe. 

This recipe has already been worked out for you :) 

Essential Oil Cologne Recipe Suggestion:

Into 60 ml of Perfumer Alcohol, 25 ml of Distilled Water, and 10 ml of Jojoba Carrier Oil, add the following essential oils:

Top Notes:
Heart Notes:
Base Notes:

Combine everything, decant into a glass bottle and label, listing every single ingredient for safety reasons. 

Then place it in a cool, dark place and let ‘mature’ for anywhere from 1-3 months. Try it at regular intervals using scent strips rather than relying on what it smells like in the bottle.

Do a 24-48 hour patch test before first use and then you can use it in the normal way you would use perfume, dabbing on pulse points. 

Creating A Signature Scent From Scratch - Fragrance Oil and Essential Oils

VineVida Fragrance Oils

This is the perfect example of how you can take a fragrance oil that really appeals to you and give it a little twist of your own to make your own bespoke Signature Scent.

Bear in mind that you need to consider the fragrance oils, top, middle and base notes and gauge where you can add in notes and bolster things up. 

You all know by now that I love all things Rosy, so that is where we are going, but this time I want a floral sensation Cologne with Rose right at the heart of it. 

Adding NO. 1409 brings aquatic notes to lift it in the top notes where there is plenty of room to play with. The green notes from the Rose Geranium will pad this area out too. 

NO. 1409 adds in delicious blue notes of Wisteria, intoxicating Jasmine and a dash more Rose. I added in Rose Geranium as well, to accentuate that fresh green Rose scent. All of which broaden out the heart and make it burst forth with flowers.

Patchouli essential oil adds depth to the Amber base and smooths out the base notes to give a great depth and anchor the scent on the skin. 

Fragrance Oil and Essential Oil Cologne Recipe Suggestion:

Into 60 ml of Perfumer Alcohol, 25 ml of Distilled Water and 10 ml of Jojoba Carrier Oil, add the following fragrance and essential oils:

Just One Fragrance Oil?

VineVida perfume dupe le male

What about if you want to just use one fragrance oil on its own? Well, that’s easy. For an alcohol-based Cologne, the first thing you need to do is to check the IFRA safety of your fragrance oil in Category 3A and 3B for shaved skin or Category 4A and 4B for unshaven skin. 

I’ve already got the safety data for NO. 1409 open, so let's look at that as an example: 

    • Category 3A and B (Shaved Skin)  - 2.16%
    • Category 4A and 4B (Unshaven Skin)  - 93.99%

That’s a massive difference, right? It is because of the difference of using it on shaved and unshaved skin. 

Essentially the basic Cologne recipe is as follows:

    • 60 ml of Perfumer Alcohol
    • 25 ml of Distilled Water 
    • 10 ml of Jojoba Carrier Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis)
    • 5ml of Fragrance Concentrate made from fragrance and/or essential oils

However, we can’t use as much as 5ml for a product intended for use on shaved skin, we can only use up to 2 ml. Therefore, use up to 2 ml and top the rest off with Distilled Water. 

For unshaven skin, you can use up to the whole 5ml allocation. 

This is why it is important to check your safety data! 

Developing Your Understanding

Hopefully, giving you those three examples of how to use the fragrance and essential oils individually or in combination with one another has developed your understanding of how to construct your own Signature Scents. 

Essential oil based Signature Scents are subject to variation and these subtle differences can keep things interesting. However, if you are looking for an exact carbon copy every time, fragrance oils are a better bet. 

You can add depth, elongate and round out profiles using other fragrance oils and essential oils to effectively fill gaps in another's scent profile. You will be able to work this out for yourself with some practice.

Spend some time to read about Accords in Craft Your Scent: Cologne With Essential Oils, especially if you have some surprising, or disappointing outcomes. Creating harmonious accords in your Signature Scent is a great skill, one garnered over years of practice and experience by master perfumers. Please don’t expect to get everything right the first time. It is an experimental process. 

Deciphering Fragrance Notes

Deciphering Fragrance Notes

Let’s move to what you can do now that you have developed your Signature Scent and start with deciphering fragrance notes.

OK, let's use VINEVIDA’s NO. 3001- Inspired By: Coco Chanel #5 By Chanel fragrance oil as an example again, and look at the scent profile and fragrance notes that are available on all our web pages.

Always look at both sections, because notes might appear in one but not the other, and it may offer you a little more information to work with. 

NO. 3001 - Scent Profile

Achingly romantic with orange blossom, rose, geranium, patchouli, and floral spice notes deepened with woods, vanilla lemon, and amber, then grounded with vetiver’s basso profundo magnificence.

NO. 3001 - Fragrance Notes

    • Top: Citrus, Floral
    • Mid: Spice, Orange blossom, Rose
    • Bottom: Floral, Woodsy, Amber, Vanilla

I also pop over to Fragrantica and look there for fragrance notes and look at the other clues to the puzzle I found! 

“Top notes are Bulgarian Rose, Coriander, Peach, Mandarin Orange and Jasmine; middle notes are Cloves, Rose, Mimosa, Orange Blossom and Clover; base notes are Sandalwood, Opoponax, Amber, Civet, Vanilla, Labdanum and Tonka Bean”.

Let’s just turn that into an easy-to-read table for you…and voilá!

VINEVIDA’s NO. 3001 and Coco Chanel's Scent Notes
Flower Spice/ Seed/ Bean Fruit Wood Tree/ Leaf/ Grass Resin Herb
Orange Blossom (Neroli)
Sandalwood Patchouli
Opopanax (Myrrh)
Synthetic - Civet

What an amazing array of scent notes! It also gives us a huge range of scent notes that we can call upon for creating our Signature Scent and harmonizing layering products. We can see that there are no herbs at all and so we need to be very careful about using these as harmonizing notes moving forward. 

If you love NO. 3001 but would like it a little lighter and brighter, you could add in Orange, Mandarin and Lemon to lift it all. If you want to make it deeper and more sensual you could add more Sandalwood, Patchouli and Vetiver. To create a floral explosion you can ramp up any of the floral notes and build upon them. 

There are so many ways that you can add a twist but still have NO. 3001 at the heart of your Signature Scent. Equally, this can cascade down to any harmonizing products you wish to make.

Now I Have Deciphered The Fragrance Notes How Do I Use Them? 

Now that you have defined and deciphered the notes of your Signature Scent you need to make a couple of decisions:

    • Do I use it as it is at the heart of all my harmonizing products?
    • Or do I select distinct notes from it and create my own?
    • Alternatively, do I add more to it and add my own unique twist to make it mine? The choice is yours. This is your Signature Scent! 

Harmonizing and Layering 

Harmonizing and Layering

When it comes to harmonizing products and layering them, you would not want to replicate all these scent notes in the table above. Firstly, it would be prohibitively expensive, secondly, many designer perfumes are made from synthetic compounds not pure essential oils. 

Also, some essential oils and absolutes have pretty low safety dilution rates, like Jasmine and Oakmoss.

If you currently buy matching designer products, you will certainly be able to save money by making your own in this way. 

Let me show you how I would construct harmonizing products to underpin NO. 3001 as my Signature Scent. 

Flower Spice/ Seed/ Bean Fruit Wood Tree/ Leaf/ Grass Resin Herb
Orange Blossom (Neroli)
Sandalwood Patchouli
Opopanax (Myrrh)
Synthetic - Civet

I can pick and choose scent notes from across the table, and marry with either essential oils or fragrance oils to add to my topical products. All harmonize with the Signature Scent, while not being overpowering.

Body Lotion

I want this to be floral but I also want to anchor it with deeper base notes to give it longevity on the skin.

I’d choose the following:

Read More - How To Make Body Lotion With Essential Oils

Hand Cream

This is where you want creamy richness and skin-nourishing qualities.

I’d choose the following:

Explore - How To Make Hand Cream With Essential Oils.

Shower Gel

You want this to be bright and airy, perfect for citrus scents and because you are washing them off, there is less risk from phototoxicity, if you stay within the recommended limits. 

I’d choose the following:

Also Try - Make Your Own Ocean Salt Shower Gel.

As you can see, every product is different and will smell different as you use them, but the overall effect underpins, and harmonizes with the Signature Scent. 

It also helps to stop a sense of boredom creeping in by constantly using the same scent throughout your skincare, toiletries and home. Working in this way gives you the power to swap things up and make changes. 

Bored with your Body Lotion? Make another one and try different scent notes. Did eczema flare up? Add in some Geranium and Myrrh essential oils to help soothe it. 

Working like this empowers you to make any change you wish when you wish. Perfect power and control. 

One More Example

Before we finish, I just want to give you one more example to reinforce this idea and help to broaden your understanding.

Let's look at the scent notes for NO. 1407 - Inspired By: Sunkissed Hibiscus By Nest.

Flower Spice/ Seed/ Bean Resin Fruit Wood Tree/ Leaf/ Grass Herb
White Flowers
Orange Blossom (Neroli)
Coconut Amber

You can see straight away how different the two examples are, this is extremely rich in florals and heady ones at that. It has notes of tropical Coconut and the Amber anchors it.

There is plenty of space here in both the heart and base notes to add your own twist or introduce harmonizing notes that otherwise don’t appear. You could easily add in citrus notes, spices and rich woods and resins to broaden the whole scent profile. 

You could take the idea of white flowers for a Body Lotion and combine it with Coconut, anchoring it with rich wood, like Sandalwood. It would create a new dimension and it would really add a new, and exciting aspect to the overall aroma. Yet, it will harmonize with the original aroma of NO. 1407. 

Hopefully, you grasp the idea of deciphering the scent notes of your Signature Scent and using them as individual ingredients to form a cohesive range of harmonizing products with which to layer scent. 

What Other Ingredients Do I Need To Create Harmonizing Products For My Signature Scent?

What Other Ingredients Do I Need To Create Harmonizing Products For My Signature Scent?

Wow, this could be a huge section all in itself and I want to keep this simple where possible. I’ll cover some of the basics for you but my best advice would be to pop on over to Unlock The Power Of Aromatherapy: 100 Ways To Use Essential Oils and follow the links to products that appeal to you. Don’t forget to search the blog for specific projects too. 


To make your own skincare and toiletries you don’t actually need a huge array of ingredients. Just as long as you have some Aqueous Cream, a couple of carrier oils, some Rosewater, Glycerin Witch Hazel and a cosmetic butter or two, you can go a long way with just those.

Beeswax is always useful for lip balms and even making solid perfume. Cosmetic Clays are useful too.

If you want to make perfume or Eau De Cologne you will need Perfumer’s Alcohol.

Obviously, you will also need a small range of essential oils and fragrance oils that harmonize with your chosen Signature Scent. 


If you want to make your own wax products like candles, wax melts and wax sachets, you will need either soy, paraffin or beeswax.

Perfumers Alcohol can come in handy when making your own Reed Diffusers and Room Sprays too.

If you want to make your own Laundry Cleansers, you’ll want some Soda Crystals and Borax.

Again, you will also need a small range of harmonizing essential oils and fragrance oils.

Build Up A Collection Over Time

You don’t need to buy everything at once, it would soon become prohibitively expensive. If you are a beginner, buy small amounts at a time, as ingredients do have an expiry date! Give yourself time to experiment and explore before buying large quantities that you may never use! 

As your interest and market grow, buy in bulk, to make the most of saver deals and reduced prices. 

If you pushed me for the most important things to buy in each category, this would be my list:


Aqueous Cream, Rosewater, Glycerin, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond and Rosehip Carrier Oil.


Beeswax or Soy Wax, White Vinegar, High Proof Alcohol or Perfumer’s Alcohol, Bicarbonate Of Soda, Borax and Castile Soap. 

The Final Word On Creating A Signature Scent

The Final Word On Creating A Signature Scent

You can now take all the hints and tips that I have shared with you, create your own Signature Scent either from a dupe of your favorite perfume or create it from scratch from fragrance or essential oils, or even a combination of them both. 

You should be able to decipher the scent notes in your Signature Scent and define complementary elements and oils that you can use to create harmonizing products to layer your Signature Scent with.  

Essential oils give you hidden benefits in products like Body Lotion to soothe dry skin, all the while underpinning the fragrance of your Signature Scent. 

For more information on layering, we have two great articles for you: 

    1. Layering Perfumes With Essential Oils - The Body Edition
    2. Layering Perfumes With Essential Oils - The Home Edition

Create a Signature Scent that suits you entirely, a twist here and a zesty flourish there and it speaks of you to everyone you come into contact with. Their first impression on meeting and the last thing you leave when you go. Create something memorable, appealing and absolutely you! 

However you define your Signature Scent, enjoy it and have fun with the process, it’s such a great project!


COCO CHANEL #5™ is a trademark of Chanel Inc. VINEVIDA and its products are not affiliated with, endorsed by, or in any way associated with Chanel Inc. or its trademarks.

SUNKISSED HIBISCUS™ is a trademark of North Castle Partners. VINEVIDA and its products are not affiliated with, endorsed by, or in any way associated with North Castle Partners or its trademarks.

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