First understand the difference between actual perfume, parfum de toilette, and eau de cologne. Each of these designations tell you how much of the actual oil concentration is in the bottle. Perfume has about 30% oil concentration, so the scent will last longer, usually 6-8 hours. Parfum might have 20%, eau de toilette about 10%-15%, and eau de cologne has about 5% concentration. The more oil concentration, the longer the fragrance will last, but it will also be more expensive.
There are four main fragrances that you’ll find in perfumes, either on their own or mixed together. These include citrus, which would be a clean and tangy aroma of citrus and other fruits like orange, lemon, and melon; floral, which smells like any number of fresh cut flowers; Oriental, which would have musk and vanilla scents; and woodsy, which includes sandalwood, patchouli, and other natural outdoor fragrances. There are other scents of course that might be mixed into any fragrance, including leather, soap, eucalyptus, and even mint, but these are the four main varieties you’ll see in stores.
To find your signature scent, consider your own style. If you love romantic and feminine clothes, you’ll want something in the floral family as this is very romantic and soft. If you prefer a more sexy and bold style, you might choose something in the Oriental family. If you’re a minimalist and a bit more practical, you might appreciate a clean fragrance which would then be in the citrus family. If you’re a naturalist and love the outdoors, something in the woodsy variety might be for you.
Of course many women have different signature scents for different events or outfits. For instance, you might choose a citrus or woodsy scent for daytime if you work in an office and don’t want to be seen as overly feminine or sexual. When hanging out with your boyfriend or husband during the day, you might choose something a bit more feminine, in the floral family. For a sexy date, you might want a nice musk scent. Stock up on different fragrances and then wear them accordingly to achieve your signature style.