HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT FRAGRANCE | PART I

Posted in Fragrance on October 10, 2014 by


For some, like me, fragrance is arguably the most important accoutrement.

However, walk into any retail store and one might understandably be intimidated by the abundance of perfume bottles on offer.

So, with so much choice crowding the shelves, how does one select the right perfume?

“First of all, one must understand that fragrance is connected with our olfactory,” says Erica Moore, fragrance evaluator at Fragrances of the World. This is why perfume is so personal for each of us.

Moore adds, “Smell is one of our most subliminal and most evocative senses. Our brain compensates for the lack of vocabularly to explain what we are smelling by linking it to the experience surrounding the smell such as a food, childhood memory or summer holiday.”

But the truth is, when it comes to selecting the right perfume, there is no wrong or right answer. What smells rich and woody on one might smell earthy and soil-like on another.

“Picking a fragrance is completely subjective,” says Moore. No matter what scent you choose, it simply needs to represent who you are. Depending on what you identify with, you need to look to scents that claim to be just that. You might be a signature-scent-wear-Chanel-no-5-until-you-die kind of girl. Or, you might be like me, and love a wide, wide range of scents.

Understandably, adding to a fragrance collection can be costly. “If a fragrance is considerably more expensive, it is safe to assume that the cost of the fragrance itself will be a significant contribution to the overall price,” advises Moore. Essentially, this means that the most expensive raw materials such as osmanthus absolute and French jasmine come at a price. In the fragrance world, more often than not, you get what you pay for.

Here, you’ll find some helpful fragrance shopping tips:

 

 

 

 

DON’T LET ANYONE SPRITZ UNTIL YOU’VE NARROWED DOWN YOUR CHOICES

Moore suggests not wearing or applying any fragrance until you have pre-screened what the store has.

SPRITZ ON BLOTTERS BEFORE SKIN

Start by spritzing a fragrance on a clean paper blotter. If you are a fan of the fragrance, then follow up by spritzing on clean, fragrance-free skin.

TRY IT ON

Why does a fragrance small different in a bottle as it does on your skin? It’s to do with your skin’s own unique pH. Remember: you have to wear a scent for at least five minutes to smell more than the top note and about 20 minutes to get to the base notes that linger on the skin.

BEWARE OF OVERLOAD

“Never put more than four fragrances on at a time, and place them well spaced apart, spritzing only two on each arm,” says Moore.

WORK WITH A SALES ASSISTANT

Once you find something you like, go back to the sales assistant who offered it to you and use that person as a tour guide. “They will be able to tell you which family your preferences fall into,” says Moore.

TAKE HOME SAMPLES

You don’t want to overwhelm your senses. “A fragrance takes 24 hours to reveal itself fully – so you should definitely take any fragrance you are considering home on a blotter overnight,” advises Moore. “Better still, ask for three or four samples, narrow it down to one or two favourites, then try these on your skin (and leave overnight).”  Something that appears to be sparkling and fresh, might dry down into something you don’t like quite as much so it’s always best to try before you buy.

DECIDE WHAT THE FRAGRANCE IS FOR

Do you want to wear it to work? Is it for a date night or a tropical holiday? “Consider the occasion for the fragrance, bearing in mind that if it is a new scent your brain will link the experience to it,” says Moore. She continues, “If you are choosing a wedding fragrance for example, chances are that any time you smell the fragrance after the day, you’ll be reminded of your wedding.” And, if you still need guidance, remember lighter, fresher scents work well for casual daytime events and warmer, sexier fragrances for evening. But don’t use it as gospel – at the end of the day, fragrance is subjective.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

“If you know you like a certain type of fragrance in shower gels or candles, look at the ingredients in perfumes you are interested in. This will help you decide if the fragrance you’re on the hunt for is in the family you like,” says Moore. Not sure what family is which? Click on Fragrances of the World’s fragrance finder – it’s a signature-scent quiz that allows you to determine whether a certain fragrance family is right for you.

TRY OUT DIFFERENT SIZES

In the past, customers used rollerballs for travel, but now it’s a cost-effective way to experience a variety of scents. If you love the perfume, you can always come back and buy the larger size.

Stay tuned for next week’s post to see what new popular and unique fragrances might pique your interest…


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