Wearing the right perfume is really great. You definitely feel smart, confident and just a little sexy when you are cocooned in a gorgeous scent. The trouble is picking the best perfume for you. I admit I find the whole thing daunting and admit that I usually opt for another bottle of the same fragrance so that I don’t have to negotiate the ‘perfume obstacle course!’
Do you feel the same? You step into a shop and suddenly there are just so many different perfumes to choose from that it is dazzling. The perfume assistants ask you the style and concentration you would like and already I feel the panic rising because I don’t know the answer!
As I celebrated my birthday a few weeks ago, I thought I would love to treat myself to a beautiful new perfume – one I had never bought before. I also decided that it could well be worth my while reading a little about perfumes online beforehand. What I learned was really interesting and I strongly recommend you do the same as it gives you so much confidence that you definitely will be able to choose the perfect perfume for you – one that will definitely turn heads and get you remembered!
Learn The Language of Perfume
Learning some of the terms and descriptions used definitely makes perfume choosing easy and more fun as you understand the phrases that the perfume assistant is using.
The Different Strengths Of Perfume
We are all aware That fragrances are available in different strengths and that some seem to last for many hours and others hardly at all – it all depends on the amount of fragrance oil concentration there is in the perfume.
- Parfum is the most expensive of all because it is the most concentrated and will last up to 24 hours after it has been applied– which is amazing. Because it is stronger, parfum can be used more sparingly(20-30%).
- Eau de parfum has a lighter smell because it contains 10- 15% fragrance oil concentration. Eau de parfum typically lasts 6-8 hours.
- Eau de toilette is lighter still and lasts 2-4 hours as it contains 5 -15% fragrance oil concentration.
- Eau de cologne lasts a similar length of time and contains 3- 5% fragrance oil concentration.
- Eau de fraiche (fragrance water) contains 1- 3% and this is the lowest concentration, so it usually lasts just a couple of hours.
It is good at this stage to think about when you plan to wear your new fragrance. Parfum and eau de parfum are stronger fragrances so are perfect to wear at night and also on colder days, whereas lighter fragrances are perfect for hot summer’s days, the gym, and to enjoy every day.
The Clever Composition of Fragrance
Creating a perfume is a very skillful job as it involves extracting scented oils from flowers, plants, fruits, woods as well as secretions from rare animals. These are then carefully blended with such ingredients as coal, tar, alcohol, and even petrochemicals as these are all carefully balanced to get the perfect fragrance.
Fragrances are composed of three ‘notes’- the top, middle(often called the ‘heart’ note), and base notes. The top fragrance note is the first one you smell when you spray a fragrance on your skin. It is light, very appealing and very short-lived, as it usually disappears in 10-15 minutes.
The middle note develops as the top note fades and the true fragrance and character. The middle note is usually a heavier fragrance and is at its best 30-45 minutes after you first applied the perfume and it often contains floral scents.
The base notes of the fragrance are the final scents to develop and they are stronger and longer-lasting. They are the boldest part of the fragrance so it is key that you know and like them! They are very distinctive and are often smoky or woody in character – and include such classics as sandalwood and patchouli.
The Different Groups of Fragrances
The different notes of a fragrance, not only give the perfume its identity, they usually define its character too. The main types of perfume are floral, fruity, fresh, woody, and oriental.
Light floral and fruity fragrances are perfect for spring and summer as they are fresh and vibrant smelling and they are a good everyday type of perfume – ideal for wearing to work and the gym.
Freshly scented perfumes are always popular as they smell light, crisp, and refreshing. These perfumes always have clean smelling notes of citrus or bergamot, making them the perfect choice for wearing on spring and summer days.
Having enjoyed a brief insight into the world of perfume, it is time for you to put all this new information to the test! You will be well-placed to decide which character group of perfumes appeals most and which perfume strength will suit you best.
The main points you have to consider at this stage is when you will wear your new fragrance – light and crisp is perfect for work or the gym, stronger and alluring is ideal for romantic evenings.
Don’t be put off by the fact that your chosen strength is not the longest lasting as it is easy to refresh your fragrance either using a handbag-sized bottle or a clever trick. Moisten a couple of white tissues with your fragrance and pop them immediately into a small plastic bag to keep them moist until you need them – this trick works brilliantly!
Sample some new fragrances
Armed with your new knowledge, it is time to test a few new fragrances. Several experts suggest that you do this first thing in the morning when your sense of smell is at its best.
Enjoy smelling the various fragrances in your chosen group, but don’t spray them on your skin yet. Spray the fragrance into the air or onto a tester strip to establish whether you like the top notes of the fragrance.
Once you have whittled the selection down to two contenders, spray the first perfume onto the inside of your wrist and for the next 10-15 minutes regularly smell its top notes to decide whether you like them. Once these top notes have faded, you can do the same with your second chosen fragrance on your other wrist.
Cartier’s Parisian perfumer, Mathilde Laurent, who has just created Cartier’s newest launch, Carat, gave some great advice in an article in Marie Claire magazine. She suggests that as soon as you have sprayed the fragrance on your skin, you should leave the store.“Never smell a perfume at the counter,” she says as “the smell in the shop can be overwhelming.” She strongly recommends that you ‘spray and escape’ and firmly believe that a fragrance needs to be smelt in the fresh air as ‘you’ll have a better impression of how it will wear in day-to-day life’.
The third most important point after testing it on your skin and smelling the fragrance away from the perfume counter is to ‘live it’. By this, Mathilde Laurence means that you should carry on with the rest of your day as normal – but regularly smelling your wrist to see how the middle notes and base notes have evolved and whether the fragrance is the clear favorite.( https://www.marieclaire.com/ beauty/ a2281 4503/how-to-choose-perfume/ )
I must admit that I found all this advice very different to my usual style of perfume buying during my lunch hour. I did try the ‘three-point selection test’ and it worked brilliantly as I wore my new fragrance to a summer party at work and received so many compliments I felt like a celeb!