Sunday, August 11, 2013

How To Choose The Perfect Scent

[As published on HERE]

Smells are a very important part of our lives. I often associate them with memories of times past. A fleeting whiff of a man’s perfume as he passed by at the train station reminded me of my ex-boyfriend. The cloying scent of musk and roses made me think of a teacher I didn’t really like back in high school. That said, choosing the perfect fragrance that describes you is crucial, in order to make a good lasting impression. The world of perfumes is so wonderful and magical; yet finding the perfect one that you’re guaranteed to love for many years to come is so difficult!
woman smelling bouquet1
Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to hit that elusive signature scent right on its mark.

Step 1: EDP or EDT?
It always helps to know the type of perfume you want. Eau de parfum (EDP) contains 8% to 15% of the essential fragrance, and is stronger and longer-lasting. It’s usually more suited for night-time, when the temperature is lower and the scent won’t evaporate as much. Eau de toilette (EDT) has 5% to 8% of the essential fragrance, and is usually the most popular choice as it’s cheaper and less cloying.

Step 2: What’s the occasion?
There are a lot of perfume categories (known as fragrance families), so do a mental checklist of when you plan to use the fragrance. Is it for work? A fruity-floral with citrus notes will be a safe bet. Or is it for an evening date with the boyfriend? Then a sexier scent with hints of wood would be an interesting choice. You get the drift.

Step 3: Make a list of your favourite smells
This is where you get creative and dig through your memory box of smells. What scents make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? Unusual smells like roasted almonds, popcorn or rain can all go into the list. Write down about 3 or 4 scents you like that evoke pleasant feelings. When in doubt, choose two flowers, two fruits and two unconventional items.

Summer berries are often a popular choice

Step 4: Time to do some homework
After that, go online and search for perfumes that contain the ingredients from the list you just made. Now Smell This and Fragrantica carry an extensive library of fragrances from any brand and country imaginable. You will be able to find a few scents that will have your favourite smells.

Step 5: Always try before you buy
Now, let’s go shopping for that perfect scent! Here is the time to exercise all forms of self-control and not give in to the salesgirl’s recommendations, or fall in love with the packaging of the bottle. It’s EXTRA IMPORTANT to try the perfume on yourself before buying it. Trying it on a friend will sometimes make the scent smell different because each of you has a different body temperature.
Buy the perfume for its scent, not its bottle

Step 6: Leave it on for a few hours
Let the scent sit for a few hours – that’s how long it takes for the perfume’s heart notes and base notes to show. More often than not, we’re taken in by the how the perfume smells initially. After buying it, then we realise that we don’t really fancy the heart and base notes, and the poor fragrance gets banished into a corner. Take your time to decide whether you feel a ‘connection’ with the scent, however clich├ęd it sounds.

Step 7: Go back and get it!
If you’re satisfied with how the scent develops on your skin, then what are you waiting for? You’ve found your perfect scent! Bear in mind, though, that most of us will have more than one perfect scent. It’s okay to be unfaithful (when it comes to perfumes, of course), so you can match your scent of the day to your mood.

(images:,, Piotr Stoklosa,,

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