in partnership
Shop owner Arielle Shoshana Weinberg (Tina Irizarry)

Finding a signature scent with Arielle Shoshana

I've never been one for perfumes -- not because I don't like them, but because my sister has bad allergies and I am around her more often than not; and honestly, I don't feel like listening to her very loud sneezes and sniffling.

So when it came to a signature scent, I've never put much effort into finding a perfume to wear every single day, one that was light and not overpowering. Until I walked into Arielle Shoshana that is.

Located in the Mosaic District, Arielle Shoshana is the first niche fragrance boutique for the DMV, and quite different from the department store fragrance counter. The perfume boutique focuses on exclusive, more unique fragrances that can't be found anywhere else in the D.C. area. And at the age of 24, Arielle Shoshana is where I finally found my first signature scent.

With the help of owner, Arielle Shoshana Weinberg I was able to find a scent that I absolutely love (and have worn every day since I got it) in a simple five step process.

Step one: Arielle asked me the tricky question of "what do you [think] you like?" Well, honestly, I had no idea. I responded with "umm something on the lighter side, not super strong, maybe something fresh?"

The boutique is split into sections of fresh, sweet, citrus, spicy, beachy, green, smoky, undefinable, fruity, floral, and woods. Arielle had me start by smelling perfumes in the fresh section, since I said I might like something fresh. Well, I was wrong and the perfumes in the fresh section were too strong for me, so we moved on. I smelled scents in sweet and spicy, which were not my favorite either.

Step two: We explored what I DON'T like, which seemed to me the more defining question, since I have more scents that I don't like than I do. Arielle knew we were now going to avoid fresh, sweet, spicy, smoky and wood smells.

Step three: Arielle asked me what perfumes I had worn in the past. As I mentioned earlier, I have never been a big perfume wearer. I had gone through phases - sorry mom - where I refused to wear anything but Abercrombie and Hollister, so naturally I would buy their perfumes too. Now, I can't stand the smell of either one of those stores and wish they would stop spraying buckets of perfume in their air vents.

At home, I have one bottle of perfume from Victoria's Secret that hasn't been touched in years and that's it. In Arielle's terms, I was a blank slate.

Step four: Next, I pondered when or where I planned on wearing this scent. I was looking for a signature scent, something I could wear every day and not get sick of it. Something that wasn't too strong, so I wouldn't be the girl on the Metro people avoid, but something that had lasting power so I wouldn't need to reapply.

Arielle walked over to the floral section of the boutique and said "I think I have something in mind." She had me test three floral perfumes. One was a little too strong for me, so I had it narrowed down to two. With those I did a skin test. I put one on each wrist and sniffed, then let them settle a little on my skin.

I sniffed again 10 minutes later and I knew at the moment that I could wear the La Chasse Aux Papillons by L'Artisan Parfumeur every day and not have my sister loudly sneezing the moment she gets near me. It is a light floral smell that I like to describe as honeysuckles in the spring.

Step five: Make sure you sample! I would have never come across the La Chasse Aux Papillons unless I went through my entire process of smelling fresh and fruity scents, realizing what I do and don't like and doing the skin test with the last two standing.

Arielle says your signature scent should be something "that blows you away." I can confidently say the La Chasse Aux Papillons does just that!