I think it’s safe to say…

mellow-skincare-guide-to-perfume…that most of us LOVE receiving perfumes as a gift on special occasions because they make us feel special and loved – as long as it’s the perfume we would have chosen for ourselves. Buying perfume for someone when you don’t know their tastes can be a risky business.

How do you decide which perfume is the one most suited to you?

Smell is our most primitive sense and it is very important because it can’t be switched off. It is processed in the same unconscious part of your brain as memory and certain smells can bring back memories and images of people and places.Smell is our most sophisticated sense and research shows that it affects how other people perceive you – so watch out and ignore it at your peril!The stores are jam packed with every imaginable perfume, so how on earth do you choose what’s right for you? Just because a perfume has been designed by a famous actress or pop star doesn’t mean it’s going to be suitable for you, not least because perfumes don’t smell the same on everyone.

Choosing a personal fragrance, one that you would buy over and over again, can be complicated but it can be very satisfying when you make the right choice either for yourself or someone in your life.

Finding the Right Fragrance

Which of these fragrances do you prefer?

  • Rose gardens, jasmine in bloom, freshly cut flowers? This would suggest you like natural, floral scents.
  • Logs burning on an open fire, incense burning, fresh breezes? You like chypre scents.
  • Freshly cut lemons and oranges, margaritas, lime or grapefruit? It’s citrus scents for you.
  • Mint tea, lavender, lemon trees? You prefer Fourgere scents.
  • The smell of tropical flowers at night, fresh ginger, baking spiced buns? You’re a fan of oriental scents.
  • Walking by the sea, laundry drying, mountain air? You like ozone scents.

Who knew there were so many to choose from?! Let’s look at the different scents in more detail:

You’re spoilt for choice with a huge variety such as rose, jasmine and violet. They contain either a variety of floral notes or a single strong note and they have many personalities, from fresh to spicy-scented mixes.
Examples: Anais Anais by Cacherel, L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci, Eternity by Calvin Klein and Chanel No. 19.

A Chypre base is usually woody or mossy with fresh citrus, such as bergamot, or sometimes with floral overtones. Examples are: Dolce Vita by Christian Dior, J.Lo Glow, Clarins’ Eau Dynamisante.

Uplifting and invigorating, citrus scents burst with the tangy freshness of lemon, orange, bergamot, lime and grapefruit. Perfect for waking you up! Examples are: Diorella by Christian Dior or Boss Woman by Hugo Boss.

A French word meaning fern. These scents are complex, sophisticated and subtle and, not surprisingly, are popular with men and women. They offer a mixture of lavender with a green, mossy or herby base and sometimes feature oriental tones – spicy with citrus notes. Examples are: Be by Calvin Klein, Deep Red by Hugo Boss.

Very rich, dramatic and spicy. Oriental fragrances have exotic spices such as sandalwood and vanilla, often with rich musk and amber undertones. Musk is thought of as a sexy smell, an animal sex signal that humans can detect too. These scents tend to be quite noticeable fragrances and often long-lasting. Examples are: Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, Obsession by Calvin Klein and Coco Chanel.

A recent development in the 1990s. Likened to a breath of fresh air, they evoke scents and scenes from the ocean and days on the beach. Examples are: L’Eau d’issey by Issy Miyake, Escape by Calvin Klein, Cool Water Woman by Davidoff.

Give It Time

So what tips are there for helping you choose the right scent for the right occasion?

  • Start by deciding what the perfume is for – work, weekends away, romantic evenings, formal dinners or a holiday in the sun.
  • Think about fragrances you like – favourites from the past, perfumes you have ked on other people.
  • Find a helpful assistant on the perfumery counter…and tell them what you like so they can suggest suitable fragrances in the same family.
  • Spritz scents you might like on the paper strips and write the names on the strips. It’s important to give your nose time to clear between each scent.
  • Don’t have too many choices – maybe a maximum of 3.
  • It’s also advisable to wait a few hours to allow the aromas to develop on your skin and to ask friends and family their opinion.
  • It might be frustrating to wait before you buy but the smell of fragrances alters after application because the mixture of essences (notes) evaporates at different rates.
  • The choice is yours and if you find a fragrance you love, it will become your signature scent.

What do we mean by “Notes” in perfume?

  1. TOP NOTES This is the smell you first notice when you spray the perfume. They last for 15-30 minutes, particularly with citrus and fruity aromas.
  2. MIDDLE NOTES These are warmer and develop later. Some woody and floral smells can last between two to three hours.
  3. BASE NOTES These give depth to the perfume and last the longest, between four to six hours. Examples are musky, vanilla and amber fragrances.

Top Tips!  

  • Apply your perfume before you get dressed to your neck and wrists. Don’t overdo it – a little goes a long way. Spray at arm’s length so that the perfume is not concentrated in one place.
  • Alternatively, spray a perfume cloud in front of you and walk through it.
  • For a lasting fragrance, match with a body lotion. Now you smell divine and ready to party!

And finally… I’d love to know if you’re adventurous and regularly like to try new perfumes or if you have been wearing your “Signature” scent forever!

Perhaps this article has inspired you to visit your nearest perfume counter, have a little spritzing session and see if you can spot your Florals, Orientals and Chypres from your Ozones, Fougeres and Citrus 🙂

Pop on over to my Facebook page and let me know your favourites!

Until next time,

Carole x