Written By: Emily Veness
Coco Chanel once said “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future” – strong words! (or perhaps just clever marketing?)
Unfortunately, finding the perfect perfume is not always the simplest task! The vast choice, the pretty bottles, the celebrity endorsements that promise you’ll ‘Rise’ like Beyoncé… (not to mention the department store fragrance spruikers who madly wave their perfume testers at you.) Talk about olfactory overload!
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So, how do you find ‘the one’? We’ve got the tips you need to know:
1. When it comes to choosing your scent, shop alone. “What appeals to you may not appeal to another person. Our sense of smell is so complex and the differences in our likes and dislikes span so wide,” explains Michael Edwards, author of ‘Fragrances of the World.’ It’s easy to select a fragrance based on what you think others may like, or what may be ‘in vogue’. Once you get into this headspace – step away from the bottle!
2. Just follow your heart. “Whatever picture you are trying to create, if you don’t smell right, it is obvious to the brain and sends an alarm – hence the expression ‘something doesn’t smell right here’” explains Emma Leah, perfumer of Fleurage Perfumery. “When you choose the fragrance that you adore, it amplifies your inner self at its radiant best. This is what attracts the right people to you.” explains Leah.
In summary: You need to work out the fragrance CATEGORY that most floats your boat. Fragrances generally fall into these categories as described below:
The most popular of the categories, floral blooms are quick to captivate our olfactory senses. According to Edwards, “Their repertoire is vast, ranging from concertos on the theme of a single floral note, to mighty symphonies of heady mixed bouquets.”
Notes to look out for: rose, tubrose, peony, orchid, lily, jasmine, iris, freesia, gardenia
If it’s the scent of the ocean breeze, early morning dew or zesty citrus that sends you a little euphoric, a fragrance with fresh notes may be your perfect pairing.
Notes to look out for: Lemon, lime, grapefruit, green-tea, mint, herbs, vine leaves, white lilies, lotus, cool dew,
Examples (Click to shop) Issey Miyake L’eau D’Issey, (Water) Jo Malone London Rain: Rain and Angelica, (Citrus) Tom Ford Amalfi Di Mandarino, (Fresh Citrus) CK One, (Fresh Green) Guerlain Aqua Allegoria
Reminiscent of exotic spice markets combined with opulent florals, oriental scents are deeply sensual with a hint of mystery.
Notes to look out for: cinnamon, clove, vanilla, amber, nutmeg, rose, orchid, musk, cardamom, dark chocolate.
Examples (Click to shop) Viktor and Rolf Bon Bon (Oriental) Dior Dior Addict (Oriental Floral) Alien Eau Extraordinaire (Soft Oriental) Vera Wang Princess (Oriental Floral) Jean Paul Gaultier CLASSIQUE (Oriental Woody) Calvin Klein Euphoria, (Oriental) Yves Saint Laurent Opium
If the scent of a crackling fire or pine at Christmas are a feast for your senses, Woody fragrances may just be the olfactory winner for you. “Woody notes are the most ‘non-moonlight and flowers’ of the fragrance groups,” says Edwards.
Notes to look out for: Cedar, pine, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, leather, tobacco, cinnamon, oakmoss, amber.
Examples (Click to shop) Tom Ford Tobacco Oud (Mossy Woods) Jimmy Choo Exotic (Woody) Gucci Rush (Woody Oriental) Thierry Mugler Angel, (Dry Woods) Clinique Aromatics Elixir, (Mossy Woods) Gucci Gucci by Gucci
OTHER TIPS WORTH KNOWING:
- The darker the skin the more oil it contains, the more oil it contains, the longer fragrance will last.
- Redheads have the most perfectly balanced skin, so a fragrance will remain truer.
- Blondes tend to have drier skin, so often find fragrances don’t last.
- When you are testing fragrance, always try it on your skin. Everyone has unique body chemistry that can alter the perfume once applied. Try a maximum of 4 fragrances a day, two on each arm, distanced apart. If you already know what category of fragrance you are drawn to, this will help narrow down what you should spritz.
And how do you know when you’ve found the one? “The perfume that is for you should make you gasp with ecstasy and then sigh with joy each time you catch a breath of it,” reveals Leah, “You should respond with closed eyes and instinctively return to it over and over and find the same happiness with each re-experience.”
Witness the making of a fragrance campaign – BEHIND THE SCENES: BLAKE LIVELY FOR GUCCI
What is your perfect perfume? Do you have a signature scent? Let us know in the comments below and earn BWA Dollars to spend on rewards!