I randomly came across an online article from Reader’s Digest that suggested data linking your perfume choice to personality. I admit that I’m a sucker for this type of stuff if I’m caught in a moment when I need a quick escape. They’re almost always guaranteed a cackle.


The article was based upon a research study done by Alan R. Hirsch, MD., a neuropsychiatrist and founder of the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago. The study was apparently administered to over 18,000 people and compared the participants’ personality test results with their aroma and flavor preferences. According to Dr. Hirsch, as reported in the Reader’s Digest article, is that there are great implications here because you can understand someone much better if you know what they like.


Hmm interesting, I thought, let’s see where this goes…


According to Dr. Hirsch’s study, these are the scent-personality pairings along with my guesses on their potential perfume choices:



Lovers of Citrus are the Alpha males and females. These types are the leaders of the pack who can be perceived as dominant and aggressive. While some of us tend to spritz these on during the dog days of summer, citrus loving types crave it year-round. These born sharks tend to be wearing scents like Diptyque Le’ Eau de Neroli or C.O Bigelow Lemon 1999.


Madagascar vanilla

Madagascar vanilla (Source: Wikimedia Commons)


Vanilla fans are anything but bland. Those who gravitate towards vanilla fragrances are lively, energetic and life of the party types. It’s basically the opposite of what you’d expect. What’s more, those who tend to wear warm vanilla scents – such as Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black – are those who are great at generating buzz and getting the party started. These types crave action and are rarely home alone.



Arabian Sandalwood attar
(Source: timelessessentialoils.com)


Wearers of sandalwood tend to be perfectionists and high achievers.  Type-A personalities, they are their own worst critics and tend to drive themselves to the point of exhaustion. Bold and not ones to mince words, they know what they want and usually get it. They’ll likely be exuding scents like Guerlain Samsara or Le Labo Santal 33.




Rose aficionados usually are cautious folk don’t like to stray from the straight and narrow path. Their impulses are fully in check and they rarely find themselves doing things they regret later. Their capacity for refection and wise life choices may not make them the most titillating of companions but they are extremely considerate of others which makes up. They are likely drawn to scents like Stella McCartney Stella or Diptyque Eau Rose.


lavender plant


Lavender types tend to be connectors and have a large network of friends. They seem to get along with just about everyone and are charismatic in an understated way. Although they  tend to be sexually repressed, they have a natural curiosity about life. They also seem to have a knack for remembering special dates like birthdays and will always be there if one of their many friends are in need. You might find them wearing mainstream scents like Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena and Lavender or Yardley English Lavender. Those who can afford it will likely be smitten by Serge Lutens Gris Clair and Tom Ford Costa Azzuro.



People who gravitate towards fruity fragrances are anything but sweet. Although they try and project a sunny disposition, they tend to expose their not-so-happy selves with sarcastic comments and passive aggressive behavior. In fact, they often suffer from moodiness and depression. That person next to you wearing Marc Jacobs Daisy might need some serious cheering up!



Source: Pixabay


Gardenia lovers are known for being steady and dependable. They make great friends and prefer quality over quantity in relationships. These people pleasers go to great lengths to maintain friendships and stay in touch over decades. Unlike the gardenia plant, which is known for being high maintenance, gardenia perfume lovers are very chill and tend to be followers rather than leaders. Rest assured that anyone wearing Kai or Monyette Paris will be there for you through thick and thin.


honeysuckle Santa Barbara


Those with a penchant for the heady, sweet smell of honeysuckle are a pleasure to be around. They’re determined to be happy and avoid any hint of darkness like the plague. Absolutely no drama guaranteed! They’ll lift you up and make you smile with their easy-going and laid-back approach to life. Honeysuckle by Fresh immediately comes to mind.




According to this study – which I tried to get my hands on but couldn’t locate despite an exhaustive search – jasmine aficionados are wild ones. They’re provocative party animals who couldn’t care less about what anyone else thinks about them.  Jasmine lovers are similar to vanilla wearers but take it to the next level. These people might love Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb or Maison Margiela Replica Flower Market. Those into retro jasmine perfumes probably can’t get enough of Jean Patou Joy and Chanel No.5.


Source: Pinterest

For those who adore the smell of linen, chances are they love challenges and pushing themselves to the limit. These types are extremely competitive in debates and games and relish physical and mental challenges. Never satisfied and in constant pursuit of their personal best, they’re drawn to something along the lines of Estée Lauder White Linen. Another perfect match would be Demeter Fragrance Library Linen which is so close to the real thing that someone I won’t name has been known to freshen up her linens when behind in laundry duty. 


Conclusion: Although Dr. Hirsch is a self-proclaimed expert on smell and taste, while specializing in smell and taste disorders, I found his findings questionable (to put it kindly).  There are too many reasons to go into why these blanket categories don’t work. I also discovered while searching for this study that Dr. Hirsch was fined in 2014 for selling a fragrance product called Sensa which promised to help people lose weight without diet or exercise. If it were only that easy, right?


The one thing I’ll agree with him on is “We know much more about the moon than we do about smell.” 


 What do you think? Feel free to drop a line with your thoughts!

















  1. Casey Keith says:

    I appreciate you mentioning that you don’t  necessarily agree with this study’s findings and called out the Doctor as having been called out for some shady behavior coming the forefront recently.  Pairing scents with personality types seems about as useful as horoscopes and perhaps as accurate. I’m Leo who acts more like a virgo and I enjoy citrus scents but will occasionally gravitate toward sandalwood and sexy florals like tuberose.  I stay away from vanilla and strong rose scents because to me they smell like everyone’s grandmother. In the end it is a fun topic to read about when you need a break from other topics – like the news!

    • Erica says:

      Hi Casey,

      Like you, I’ve always been skeptical about any of these “studies” about scent. I think our group has many members. I love that you’re sharing the horoscope stuff with me. I’m an Aquarius who also has Gemini and Libra tendencies LOL. And totally agree that this topic is not to be taken any more seriously than a horoscope. When I like what I read I think that’s great and if I don’t I think well it’s just a horoscope.



  2. Elaine $ Scarlett says:

    This is an awesome article, I also agree with you that I wouldn’t give the good Doctors findings much credit.  I love a number of the scents you mentioned. I love roses,vanilla.jasmine and at times clean linen so not sure how he would categorize me. Miss fit maybe.  Although like you I thoroughly enjoyed the article whether I agree or not.



    • Erica says:

      Hey Scarlett,

      We are on the same page lady! I love all of the above too and who wants to be boxed into a category. 



  3. Sophia says:

     What your signature scent reveals about your personality is interesting. My favorite scent is Vanilla, and everyone who knows me would most likely agree that I’m energetic, lively and extroverted. My husband likes the smell of fresh linen and this is spot on about him as well. Another weird thing to ponder!

    • Erica says:

      Hi Sophia,

      Since the sense of smell is the least understood of all of the senses – except for the fact that it’s intricately linked to our brain/memories – there will continue to be all kinds of crazy reports about the connections. I put this out there as fluff and nothing to be taken seriously. Glad you enjoyed. I love vanilla too!



  4. Jag Randa says:

    I have never really associated scent choosing as to how we perceive ourselves or how others see us. But now that I read, the vanilla one struck me the most. My daughter loves vanilla and she is a true leader and life of the party type. All her classmates gravitate towards her but I don’t think it’s just because of the vanilla scent lol.

     Thanks for the awesome article. Which do you prefer?

    • Erica says:

      Hi Jag,

      I give a lot of wiggle room to all of these categories. There’s no 100% one size fits all that’s for sure. But it’s great that your daughter loves vanilla, which is also one of my favorite scents. Not in perfume though! I’m a gardenia and jasmine girl. If you put them both together I’m both dependable and wild lol.

      Thanks for stopping by and cheers,


  5. Reyhana says:

    Thanks for a wonderful post, Erica! I really enjoyed reading it.

    I am a sandalwood kind of person, although it’s not very womanly to be wearing sandalwood… lol. But I think it’s because I am attracted to anything that resembles wood anyways. I hate metal beds and so buy the wood. I love wooden cabins and always loved our treehouse when we were younger (again made of wood).

    I love wooden accents in the home. I guess somehow it makes me more connected to nature.

    • Erica says:


      Sandalwood is totally a female/womanly scent are you kidding me!  I am not drawn exclusively towards sandalwood but it s a beautiful aroma. Never question what scent you are attracted to. If you haven’t yet tried Samsara or Santal 33 you really should. And let me know OK?



  6. Strahinja says:

    Hi Erica,

     I love psychology and I think that there are a lot of areas that still need to be explored. This theme about scents – how we react to them, how we perceive them – is interesting. You are probably right for saying that these categories don’t work very well. For example, there are people who love citrus scents, but their favourite color is blue or white, and these people are not aggressive; they are calm and peaceful (according to psychology). If we look at data on a person’s preferences through different queries like: colors, food, scents – it shows that results can be contradictory.

    I personally like citrus, I have one Chanel perfume, and I’m a calm person (and to be objective I have to say that people also see me like that). Maybe it is more easier to determine someone’s character or part of his character by his favourite color, his/her zoidac sign or something similar, than the scent.

    Some scents can provoke special memories and maybe we start liking them because of that.There are a lot of elements that need to be included when defining someone’s character. The truth is that we are complex beings and it is not always easy to do that.

    Do you think that maybe some quiz/query could help to nearly determine our character? Not hundred percent, because it is still hard to do that, but just for some psychological analysis or for fun 🙂 ?



    • Erica says:

      Hey Strahinja,

      My belief, one which has been backed up by scientific evidence, is that the most powerful link to scent preference is memory. Not personality traits and definitely not zodiac type. I look at scent quizzes as pure entertainment but don’t think they’re meant to take seriously. Like you said, everyone is complex and complicated which is the reason many of us spend more money on shrinks than fragrance.

      I’m really curious about your Chanel scent. Is it Allure Home Sport? If so I love it too!


  7. julienne murekatete says:

    Impressive! According to this research i found myself the lover of citrus and regarding being dominant and aggressive i don’t deny it. It’s interesting that the fragrances we are most attracted to is linked to our personality type.

    Thank you for your post. It got me thinking about other ways I’m showing my true colors without even knowing it!


    • Erica says:

      Hey Julienne,

      There are so many articles about personality type and scent choice as well as zodiac sign and personality preference. I read them purely for enjoyment and don’t take them too seriously.

      Thanks for stopping by:)


  8. Hollie Rose says:

    Wow, interesting article. I love reading about random things that we do or use that prove our personality. I don’t think they really have much meaning but if I see an article, I will always read it! You didn’t write about the perfume that I use, but my friend uses Marc Jacobs Daisy. And its spot on! lol. Thanks for a great article

    • Erica says:

      Hi Hollie Rose,

      Ditto. I read these articles for sheer enjoyment and often end up laughing because they’ve gotten it so totally wrong!  There have been no scientific studies to the best of my knowledge that have drawn any definitive conclusions on the matter.

      Happy Monday and have a fragrant week!


  9. JB says:

    This is fascinating. I think the scent/character link is a fun way to get in touch with yourself and friends. Makes me wonder what scent basis is used for men! I’m glad this article recommended some fragrances too. Now when my wife or daughter read this I can figure out what they like; or maybe take a guess at what scents best describe them and find the perfect combination.

    • Erica says:

      Hey JB,

      I’m pretty sure the same types of reasoning apply to men.  As acclaimed British perfumer Roja Dove has said, “In a nutshell, just like a handshake, or a signature, scent is an expression of a man’s soul”. It’s not only what you wear but how you wear it that speaks volumes. Too many of both sexes don’t quite get it that less is more! As far as the ladies in your life, I love this approach but it might be a surer bet to find out which perfumes they love. You’ll probably want to stay close to whatever it is and there are countless sites, such as Sephora, that will give you a similar scent to the one you’ve entered.

      Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!


  10. Marlinda Davis says:

    Hey there! This was a very interesting read! I do love the smell of linen and I am always up for a good challenge. Its funny because my daughter loves lavender and she’s the type of person who gets along with EVERYBODY! She’s the opposite of me, lol, she’s never met a stranger and completely ignores anyone’s bad comments or deeds.

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Erica says:

      Hey back Marlinda!

      I love the smell of linen too. Fresh and clean always smells good to me especially in today’s world of the down and dirty;)  I enjoy the scent of lavender as well. It’s definitely a zen type of scent (which seems to fit your daughter’s personality) although I love it more as a home fragrance than a perfume. The smell of fresh lavender which I grow in my summer garden is amazing. I’m going to miss it now that the weather here in NY is staring to dip.


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