First, Your Pheremones:
Animals, humans, and even insects respond to something invisible that you can’t see, smell, or sense. They’re called “pheromones.” These are chemicals that subliminally trigger specific responses. Your personal pheromone messenger molecules are continuously whirling off your body and into the air around you. They rise up from the recesses of your sweat glands, and they linger in strands of your hair. Your own body produces it’s a signature scent as well.
Another person’s reaction to how you smell can be highly subjective. There really isn’t a perfect scent that everyone likes or that will cause them to be attracted or receptive to you. However, there are different categories of fragrance that you might find more pleasing than others.
The search for your special (signature) scent is a journey. It’s one to consider carefully, not just rush out to get the latest scent from a celebrity or designer you admire.
Choose A Fragrance For Yourself:
What is your favorite category of fragrance? The six classic types are Floral (flowers); Fruity (fruits); Fougère (grassy, green, herbal); Oriental (incense, spices, exotics); Chypre (woods, earthy) and Oceanic (synthetics meant to evoke a particular feeling such as ocean, sand, rain, fabric). There can be mixes of these categories such as fruity florals, or “florientals.”
You may be drawn to several types or mixes of scent and that’s fine…you’ll have more scents to love!
Note the “Notes”:
Perfumes have a top, middle, and bottom set of notes (ingredients). These are blended together to give you a first impression, and as the alcohol in the fragrance dries on your skin, you will get a second and a third sense of what it’s really like.
Finally, the fragrance will interact with your own body chemistry. That’s why your friend white floral might smell divine on her, but less lovey on you. You have to try each scent individually, walk around with it a while. Only then will you know if it’s a home run or a flop.
Once you find a fragrance you love, one way to extend its wear-ability is to layer different products in the collection(e.g. body lotion, shampoo, bath gel).
Using products such as body washes, lotions, oils, soaps, and mists are less expensive than the perfume or Eau to the toilette, and they’re also a nice way to test out expensive perfume before committing to a big bottle of it.
There is no unwritten rule that you can’t mix scents from different places. Experiment!
Fragrances are available in so many different types. Perfume is the most expensive because it contains the largest amount of distilled essential oils and is very concentrated, but you can use it more sparingly. Cologne and Eau de Toilette are less expensive and less intense but you can apply it more generously.
A solid fragrance, scented deodorants, and even semi-solid cremes (good for travel) are less concentrated. Body Mists or Splashes even lighter. Consider home products such as scented laundry soap, candles, oils, sachets, scent diffusers, and room sprays.
Change with the Seasons:
Some people wear one scent to the exclusion of all others. However, different times of the year, different activities your mood, your health, and even your clothing all work with your body chemistry to affect how a scent smells on you. Lighter fragrances are generally the best for warmer weather. Heavier scents are better for cooler months and special occasions.
Don’t overdo it! Your fragrance is not meant to be smelled across the room or broadcast to an entire busload of people. It’s meant to be savored just by you, and when others are up close to you.
How to Sample Scent:
Don’t choose by just sniffing a bottle or a paper “scent strip.” You need to test fragrance directly on your skin, and let your body chemistry to tell you what works and what doesn’t.
If possible ask for a small sample to take home or if online, samples are usually available at low cost. Where possible, the point is to try the tester on your skin. Wear the scent for a few hours and note how it changes and if you still love it.
Sampling is particularly important if you have sensitive skin or allergies. Take the time to shop for scent when you’re not in a hurry to buy. You might have to make multiple trips, but it will be worth it.
Boutique vs. Drugstore:
You can find pleasing fragrances in a wide range of price points. In fact, some of the most famous skilled perfumers in the world create fragrances for all budgets. Costlier fragrances are usually more complex and elegant because of packaging and pricier ingredients. However, it’s usually your body chemistry, not necessarily the price, that will guide you to the fragrance that suits you.
Fragrances are organic and fragile. they can also be quite an investment. Just like wine, a scent can “turn” over time, and especially when exposed to heat, humidity, and light. If you don’t use up your perfume quickly ( usually within a year), the notes may fade or change.
Heat and humidity can kill a fragrance, so don’t store them in the bathroom or anyplace hot and humid. Avoid putting fragrance in the sun where it can oxidize. Some people even put fragrance in the refrigerator if their home is very hot.
Scent For Someone Else:
Gifting fragrance can be tricky. It’s a lovely, personal and romantic gift. But it can backfire if the recipient doesn’t like it. if you get it wrong. Here are some ways to ensure that your gift of fragrance is a good choice:
What’s Their Type?
If the person you’re buying for already has a favorite fragrance, you will want to get them something in that scent or something similar. If you’re not sure what they’d like, their personality and lifestyle can give you some clues. Are they laid back and happy? Get them a cheerful, fresh or fruity scent. Are they a stressed-out Type A? Try something light and clean that won’t react so strongly more with body heat.
If they love fragrant flowers, a floral scent might be perfect. Are they edgy and trendy? An avant-garde fragrance with an unusual focus might be right up their alley. Do they love sweets? A gourmand fragrance could be “the one.” You get the idea!
Choosing Scents For Men:
Fragrances are really a matter of personal preference, and therefore mostly unisex. But there are classics that seem to work well specifically on men. You’ll find that the standard ones are citrus, green, woods, or marine.
You can choose a fragrance by taking clues from their personality and choices. If he despises lemons, for example, he probably wouldn’t like an overly citrus-y fragrance. If he enjoys hiking in the woods, woods, green/vetiver might work well. For those who love the sea/beach, a marine scent is a good choice.
Think about lifestyle, too. The fragrance is meant to be sniffed up close and personal. But if you work in a school, hospital, or crowded office a subdued scent or version of a stronger one is really a must.
If none of these clues help you find the right thing, you can give scent in a safer way with sachets, a scented candle, or a room spray.
Many Happy Returns:
When choose a fragrance for someone else, make it clear that you or s/he can return your gift (and you won’t be offended). It’s considerate to include a return slip (know the return policy of the store and buy it in a reputable place).
If a fragrance is very inexpensive but it’s pricey elsewhere, it’s probably too good to be true. (Read: Don’t Get Fooled By Faux Fragrances: What’s Really in that Bargain Bottle?