All Women's Talk

7 Tips for Choosing a Perfume Thats Right for You ...

By Alison

How often do we spend sampling and choosing a perfume that's right for us? Fragrance really is a personal statement and finding one that’s truly suited to our tastes can be challenging. Every season our body chemistry changes, every day we wear different clothes and feel differently about ourselves, therefore, we want to select fragrances that reflect our true selves the moment we step outside our front doors! Here are some helpful hints for choosing a perfume that’s right for you.

Table of contents:

  1. Know the scent families you like
  2. Samples
  3. Don’t try on more than three scents at once
  4. Take your time
  5. Smell yourself
  6. Consider body types and chemistry
  7. Vary the scents according to the seasons

1 Know the Scent Families You like

Everyone knows that choosing a perfume or your signature scent can be challenging. Not to mention there are so many wonderful fragrances out there to choose from. I’m hoping that I can break it down and simplify this process. Most perfume companies categorize their scents according to fragrance profiles and collective notes; simply put, these categories are: woody, floral, fruity, spicy, and citrus. There are hybrid varieties too, such as floral-oriental or fruity-sweet fragrances. Obviously you'll be attracted to one category over another based on your personality, and taste, so it's good to know what scent family you're attracted to when choosing your next perfume.

2 Samples

I recommend starting off with samples rather than buying big bottles of perfumes and eau de toilettes, realizing you dislike the fragrance after 5 spritzes. Most stores allow you to try their fragrances with tester bottles and they usually offer free samples you can try in the comfort of your own home. I recently purchased a fragrance sampler box from Sephora (priced at $65), that contained 10 mini samples of classically popular perfumes. Once I had a chance to sample each vial, I went back to Sephora to claim one of the ten perfumes (a full-size bottle) of my choice. In my opinion this is such a great way to avoid buying a bottle that you don't like or won't use.

3 Don’t Try on More than Three Scents at Once

Don't try on more than three different scents at-once. Most fragrance stores and stockists of perfumes typically have coffee beans on hand to prevent you from overloading your olfactory senses with too many scents. Always use the body's pulse points when applying perfumes and hold the bottle 8 to 10 inches away from you when spraying. Your body's pulse points include: the wrists, behind the ears, the throat area, behind your knees, at the ankles, and between the breasts.

4 Take Your Time

Perfumes have notes that evaporate at different stages so what hits you first may not be the overall scent you’re after. When we smell a composed fragrance, we smell different notes within it. The first scent is the top note that hits your nose immediately and is the first scent you smell. Once the top note dissipates, we smell the middle note (sometimes called the heart note or bouquet), and this is really what the core of the fragrance is all about. The base or bottom note is what accentuates the middle note and is the lasting impression you smell. You'll be able to smell the base notes after about 15 minutes, so don’t commit to buying a perfume until you smell the base notes!

5 Smell Yourself

Go with a friend when shopping for a fragrance, as it can be tough to smell yourself and really know what might smell best for you. I am also a firm believer that if a fragrance is truly right for you, you won’t be able to smell yourself. Encourage others to provide feedback when sampling and testing fragrances in stores. Also know that what smells great on someone else, won’t always smell fantastic on you.

6 Consider Body Types and Chemistry

Because our body chemistry is unique to us, the same perfume will smell different depending on who is wearing it. Furthermore, it will smell different in the bottle or sprayed on a card, than it will on your skin. Tip: spray a fragrance on a card first. After five or ten minutes, smell it again to see if it still speaks to you. If so, spray it on your skin. Also, remember to take your skin type into account. If you have drier skin, the scent will dissipate faster than if you have oilier skin. Therefore, if you're drier, consider buying a highly concentrated perfume as it will have more staying-power than an Eau de Toilette.

7 Vary the Scents According to the Seasons

Real fragrances are stronger than you think, therefore it's best to apply less than you think you need to. Apply with discretion as you don’t want to clear a room or an elevator! It’s kind of lovely to switch up your signature scent according to the season, occasion, or mood of the day! Try a floral and sweet perfume for the daytime, and an oriental or spicy scent at night. In cooler weather, stronger scents are the best as they aren't overwhelming and conversely, lighter scents are better in warmer weather.

I hope you get to enjoy these tips and can spend time selecting your next perfume - the one that's right for you. Do you have any tips for choosing perfumes? If so, please share with us in the comments section.

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