Your Guide To Building a Fragrance Collection

Most people have probably heard the term “signature scent,” but they’re usually less familiar with the concept of a fragrance collection. 

A fragrance collection is basically a set of scents that you can layer on top of one another to create new fragrances, match different seasons and occasions, and build up your arsenal of go-tos for those days when you’re rushing out the door and need a finishing touch. 

Finding one, let alone more than one, signature scent can seem like a pretty big undertaking, but there are several tips to keep in mind that can help make building a fragrance collection fun instead of frightening.

How Can You Build the Perfect Fragrance Collection?

Building the perfect fine fragrance collection requires learning a little bit more about fragrances and your personal taste. Here are seven key factors to keep in mind to help you build your collection. 

Know Your Fragrance Categories

Before you start building your fragrance collection, it’s important to understand the different fragrance categories you have to choose from. Let’s be honest — part of what can make learning about scents difficult is all of the confusing jargon normally used to describe fragrances. 

What even is an eau de toilette, and what makes it different from an eau de parfum? At Snif, we’re not interested in dissecting the difference, or harping on top notes, middle notes, and base notes. We also don’t differentiate between men’s fragrances and women’s fragrances because every scent should be made for anyone and everyone who wants it. Instead, we’re going to illustrate what different scent families might smell like or remind you of to make it relatable. 

Fragrance Categories: Simplified

With this in mind, let’s demystify fragrance categories. 

Light, Musky Fragrances

The first fragrance category you should know about is light, musky scents such as Golden Ticket. Lighter fragrances will be slightly more subtle, and they often have a fresh, earthy twist. Musk is a common inclusion to give a fragrance a warmer feel with a powdery, sweet, and woodsy undertone. 

Smooth, Juicy Fragrances

Another fragrance category you can explore is smooth, juicy fragrances, like Natural Talent. The smooth smell in these types of fragrances comes from ingredients such as soft suede and sandalwood. When a scent is described as juicy, it usually contains a delicious, fruity element as well, like citrus, peach, or apricot. 

Sweet, Earthy Fragrances

Another more subtle fragrance category is sweet, earthy scents. These scents are more low-key, which means they can easily make the transition from day to night with you. Our fragrance Sweet Ash gets its sweeter notes from vanilla and tonka, and these scents are mixed with earthy fragrances like moss, woods, and fir balsam for more depth.

Fruity Fragrances

The final fragrance category you should keep in mind as you begin to build your fragrance collection is fruity fragrances. Fruity fragrances can come in a wide range of scents, like a boozy, elegant fragrance such as Poppy Issues or a juicy, sophisticated cherry scent like Tart Deco, one of our bestsellers. 

Compared to smooth and juicy scents, fruity fragrances are more fruit-forward (hence the name). You’ll generally find more potent fruity scents like cherry and plum at the forefront of this category.

Learn What You Like

Now, it’s time to learn what you like. Try not to get swept up in what scents are trending at the moment, and instead, pay attention to what you truly love. 

Think about the fragrances in your collection as elements of your wardrobe — they can help accentuate your different moods. For example, ask yourself what type of scents would make you feel confident and professional going into a big work meeting or fun and flirty before date night. 

Given that our olfactory memories (aka, memories related to scents) are some of our strongest, you may also have positive — or negative — associations with certain fragrances. Lean into the scents that make you feel happy and upbeat. Maybe it’s a citrus fragrance that reminds you of your mom’s summertime lemonade, or a woody scent that brings you cozy vibes like your fireplace during the holiday season. 

Not sure what you do or don’t like? The best way to learn what you like is by smelling as many different fragrances as possible. 

With Snif, this is easy to do. With our try-before-you-buy model, you have the option to sample Snif scents. Once you receive a Snif fragrance in the mail, you have seven days to wear the sample size. If you’re not totally in love with the scent at the end of the trial period, you can send the full-sized fragrance back, free of charge. (We have you covered.)

Get Comfortable Layering Scents

Once you have a better idea about what fragrances you like, you can start thinking about layering scents. Getting comfortable layering scents is a key part of building your fragrance collection, because it opens up a whole world of new fragrance possibilities. 

When you’re experimenting with layering fragrances, less is more. Try to layer a simple, subtle scent with something more complex and bold. Not all scents pair well together, so it’s important to take time to experiment and try new combos! 

Branch Out and Experiment

We know, we know — it’s tempting to find three or four fragrances you love and simply stop there. 

It’s important to have classic scents that you can always reach for… but don’t forget to branch out and experiment with new fragrances to keep your collection exciting, fresh, and fun. 

With Snif’s Build Your Own Bundle option, you can sample three scents of your choice for an easy and convenient way to keep your fragrance collection feeling uniquely you, while also trying new scents that might be outside of your comfort zone. 

Incorporate Both Timeless Fragrances and Current Go-Tos

When building your fragrance collection, make sure you incorporate timeless scents as well as exciting, niche fragrances. Having a range of scents in your fragrance collection will make it easy to find the perfect fragrance for every season, mood, and event.

In the winter, you might love warmer, spicy fragrances to keep you feeling cozy, and once it gets sunny and hot outside, you might gravitate toward brighter, citrusy fragrances for all the summer vibes. Similarly, you might want to include a more luxurious scent in your fragrance collection for formal occasions, and something more subtle for your day-to-day use. 

Treat Fragrances Like Accessories

Think of your fragrance collection like a set of accessories or jewelry. Maybe you have certain rings that you wear every day, and others you only wear occasionally.

In that same way, there will be some fragrances that feel fitting for your everyday routine, and others that feel bolder and better suited to special occasions and big events. Playing around with scent to see how it might complement or amplify your day can become an exciting part of your get ready routine. 

Don’t Rush It

Our final piece of advice when building your fragrance collection is to take things slow. You don’t need to rush the process and buy all of your scents at once, and doing this might leave you feeling unhappy with your collection at the end of things. 

Give yourself time to explore and sample different fragrances. 

Final Takeaway

Building your fragrance collection should be a fun way to enhance your wardrobe and explore your taste more. Maybe you’ll find that you love the musky scent of patchouli or the citrusy complexity of bergamot. 

Regardless of what scents you’re drawn to, learning about different fragrance categories and what scents you like from each is an important first step when building your fragrance collection. From there, smell and sample as many fragrances as you and your nose can handle. 

Once you find a few that you like, you can start layering to make unique fragrances to fit any mood, outfit, or season.


The Role of Odor-Evoked Memory in Psychological and Physiological Health | NIH 

Study of compositions of musks in different types secreted by forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii) | NIH 

Patchouli Essential Oil and Its Derived Compounds Revealed Prebiotic-Like Effects in C57BL/6J Mice | NIH

← Previous Nostalgic Smells That Will Take You Way Back Next → Gasoline Fragrance: Why We Love the Smell of Petrol