How To Choose A Signature Scent For Your Wedding

Wedding days are pretty significant in their own right, and choosing a signature scent can make it even more special by connecting it to your memories, hometowns, or cultural backgrounds. This may be your first time selecting a signature fragrance, so it’s understandable if you’re not sure where to start. From touring your venue for ideas to getting inspired by your favorite scented candle, follow these eight steps to choose a signature scent for your wedding.

Know the science behind scents

People don’t choose a signature scent for their wedding just to make things smell nice — the fragrance will also help them remember their special day for a long time to come. Scents can be powerful triggers for memories. In fact, multiple studies have shown that smells trigger vivid emotional memories and are more likely to create that feeling of “being brought back in time” than with images. Choosing a unique scent that you associate only with your wedding (and no other memories) will help you relive the day for years into the future.

Learn your scent terminology

As you consider different perfumes and candles, you might notice some common terminology on the labels as you read the descriptions. The top note is the scent that you smell first, right after applying the perfume or lighting the candle. These light scents fade first. The mid notes are the primary notes that define a fragrance. They usually appear in 10-20 minutes and make the strongest impression. The base notes are the heaviest, longest-lasting scents that outlast the top and mid notes; they provide depth and stability and take on their own character as the other notes fade.

Connect a scent to a place

pine forest

Relationships are often defined by a sense of geography and place. The city where you met your partner, your home state, or the restaurant where you became regulars. Starting with a place is a great way to kick off your search for a signature wedding scent. You can take a general approach — for example, looking for beach scents that are reminiscent of your coastal home — or you can look for scents that are based on a particular geographic area. While it might be hard to find certain items like perfumes in these location-based scents, there are many country, city, and state candles available for almost every place you can dream of.

Choose a scent memory

Since you’re choosing a scent to help you make a memory of your wedding, why not select a fragrance based on another great memory from your relationship? If you’re having trouble brainstorming potential scents, make a list of great memories and the scents you associate with them. For example, maybe he gave you roses on your first anniversary together, or you took a wonderful camping trip together out in a pinewood forest. There are also plenty of existing scent blends that can evoke more experiential scents, like beach vacations and wintry campfires.

Consider a scent theme


If you really have no idea what scent to choose, consider what energy or atmosphere you want to evoke, as well as what season your wedding will be held in. For example, citrus-scented candles are energizing, fresh, and crisp — perfect for a spring or summer wedding. On the other hand, an amber scent will be warm and spicy for a winter wedding. Some common scent profiles to consider include: floral, fruity, woodsy, smoky, spicy, herbal, water, grassy, and fresh. If you need help narrowing down your scent choices (for example, you have several memory-based scents to choose from) you can also use the scent theme to help you make a selection.

Tour your venue and make a note of the scent.

Your venue will likely have a natural scent profile, and you’ll want to choose a wedding scent that won’t clash with the fragrance of the surrounding area. This is especially important for outdoor weddings during spring and summer when many plants are likely to be in bloom. Take a tour of the venue in a similar season and make a note of any scents you notice. For example, if your wedding venue is surrounded by trees, it might be a little overpowering to pick a signature scent that’s also woodsy. Or, if the venue smells very grassy and herbally, a spicy fragrance might clash with it.

Set aside your everyday fragrances

You want your wedding to smell as special as the day itself, so put aside your everyday perfume and get yourself a unique fragrance for the ceremony. On a similar note, if you have a candle, diffuser, or flower scents that you often use around your house in the course of everyday life, you might want to look for something out of the ordinary. After all, for the memory association to be the strongest, you want a unique scent that you will exclusively associate with your wedding day.

Decide how to incorporate the scent

There are several ways to incorporate scent into your wedding day. One of the most obvious ones is the perfume or cologne you wear, but it doesn't have to stop there. Candles, diffusers, flowers, potpourri, and scented stationery are all different ways to incorporate scents into your special day. Before you finalize your plans, make sure that you double-check the venue’s policy. Not all spaces allow open flames, so candles might not be an option, and it’s better to know up front before you’ve chosen your wedding’s signature scent.

Choosing a signature scent can elevate your wedding to the next level and turn the day into an event that you and your guests will remember forever with a whiff of perfume or the lighting of a candle. While choosing a signature wedding scent does take a bit of work, you’ll appreciate the fragrance both during and after your special day.

*Collaborative post

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