Selecting Your Scent
Finding The One can be quite a task – a long process which can take months, or even year long flings, experimenting with different types to learn what you love. But then your fragrance soulmate will come along, and something just tells you that it’s time to settle down. (Yes, fragrance, we are definitely still talking about perfume here!)
Chances are, you’ve met a handful of people in your life whose scents have remained the same for so long that they become part of that persons essence. Your mum who smells of florals, rose and vanilla, your boyfriend who smells of whichever Chanel fragrance is current and cool, your ballet teacher who smells… french! Signature scents are so much more than a pretty perfume; they’re your calling card, a memory evoking sense which will comfort everyone you love.
Finding your fragrance soulmate is a little like finding a real life soulmate. You may not know it straight away, in fact it can take a while before you realise they’re the one. You may try them out, break up then get back together again. You might think they’re not your type, they don’t include any of the ingredients that you usually go for, but it still just works. Yep, still talking about fragrance here.
As it’s National Fragrance Day today, I’ve pulled together a few top tips for finding your scent soulmate, as well as a few of the perfumes that I am loving right now.
First up, Fragrance Basics.
Absolutes – These are pure, natural extracts and oils from flowers and other vegetable materials. Very expensive for a small amount. For example you can buy pure rose oil.
Note – When we smell a fragrance, we smell different notes within it. When the first scent — or top note — disappears, we smell the middle note, also known as the bouquet. As that fades, we are left with the base note, which is the third element of a composed fragrance. First soulmate tip; Don’t commit to a scent until you smell the final note.
Eau de Cologne – Eau de Cologne is three to five percent oil in a mixture of alcohol and water. It tends to be lighter and refreshing, typically with a citrus oil component.
Eau de Toilette – Containing about the same amount of perfume oil or a little more — somewhere between four and eight percent — than Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette is mixed with alcohol instead of water.
Eau de Parfum – A higher percentage of perfume oil — roughly 15 to 18 — mixed with alcohol makes up Eau de Parfum. It is more expensive than Eau de Cologne and Eau de Toilette.
Perfume – Perfume is 15 to 30 percent perfume oil mixed with alcohol. Because it contains such a high percentage of perfume oil, it is far more expensive than Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette, or Eau de Parfum.
You’ll also hear other terminology from your helpful scent-spritzer to describe scent families. For a woman, these will be citrus, fresh, floral, oriental, sweet, spice, or wood. Fragrances for men include those and also other more masculine scents like leather, tobacco, musk, and mosses. Second Soulmate Tip: Learn which scent family you enjoy the most. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together!
First Impressions Count!
The obvious thoughts of Do I love the way this smells? and Can I imagine myself wearing this? should definitely be considered when looking for a new perfume, but don’t make a hasty decision. A fragrance may smell great at first only to fade into an unpleasant hum. Don’t be afraid to spritz then walk away, and then take a moment later in the day to decide if you still like the scent. Two of my favourites for having a lingering beautiful scent are Jimmy Choo’s Illicit Scent and Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb.
Don’t Over Think It!
Have you ever felt like a perfume novice when listening to the perfumers at the counter? Well panic not, they don’t have a better sense of smell than you, they just are more skilled at recognising the individual ingredients within the perfume. It really doesn’t matter how well you can smell a perfume, just whether you like it or not! The whole point is that they smell good 🙂
Fight Fragrance Fatigue
If you’re shopping trip is specifically with the aim of finding a new fragrance, your nose can start to fatigue! Stop your search when they all start to smell the same, the next stage is to develop a head ache but oddly this can be prevented by sniffing coffee beans between perfumes or afterwards! Step outside and get fresh air between perfumes otherwise you’ll confuse your nose.
Consider your Skin Type
Your skin type, believe it or not can affect how a fragrance smells on you. Are you dry, oily or in-between? If it’s dry, your scent will fade more quickly as it is quickly absorbed. A highly concentrate perfume will work better for you than an Eau De Toilette.
Anything personalised instantly wins me over, but aside from the fact that my name is etched in the glass / lid, two of my favourite everyday glamorous scents include Thierry Mugler’s Angel – a warm oriental woody fragrance which lingers for hours and hours, leaving traces of vanilla and patchouli which I absolutely adore – and Chloe’s Eau De Parfum, I mean, can we just appreciate the beauty of that bottle?! (Second from the Top). Both scents have honey in them, adding sweetness but not in a sickly way, and Chloe’s scent is also a warm fragrance with amber and cedarwood notes made more feminine with a strong rose top note. I previously owned the smaller 30ml version of this which was always in my handbag for spritzing on the go, but my stunning personalised bottle now takes pride of place on my dressing table.
Also personalised is my bottle of Jimmy Choo’s Illicit fragrance, with my initials emblazoned on the silver lid. A scent that I reach for in the evenings, it’s floral, more modern and certainly unlike any scent I’ve ever owned before. There’s something provocative about it, with ginger, jasmine and sandalwood making the floral rose notes a little more daring. A new launch is Jimmy Choo’s Exotic scent (top photo, middle fragrance) which is a twist on the brand’s original fragrance, a fruity and summery scent with orange, orchid and patchouli notes very much noticeable. Blackcurrant and grapefruit give the scent a sweet edge and it’s one that I love to wear on crisp clear days – it’s refreshing and sweet, a summer favourite already.
When it comes to classic fragrances, ones which I reach for time and time again, there are two favourites of mine. Firstly, Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir. It’s iconic, the scent equally as much as the stunning glass bottle. The intense pomegranate scent is instantly recognisable and settles onto the skin the expose a warm, familiar and sensual scent throughout the entire day. Frankincense, woods and patchouli give the sweet pomegranate a delicious warmth – if you havn’t tried Pomegranate Noir before then you must make a trip to Jo Malone London, it’s a scent you’ll never forget.
A classic which I thought could never be improved is Estee Lauder’s Modern Muse, but then, the Rouge edition was released. With a rich rose addition to the classic scent, it has a range of notes which give the scent a complex and varying fragrance, leaving a different smell on each person who wears it. I reach for it on special occasions; it’s elegant but modern, floral and fabulous.
And lastly, the scents which I adore, but the packaging just makes them absolute favourites. There’s Marc Jacobs Daisy Blush – another one which I could never dream could be improved from the originals, but wow oh wow, I feel like the blush scent was made with me in mind! With unusual combinations of water lily, pear and honeysuckle revealing themselves under the floral bouquet, it’s fresh, bright and dewy but with wood notes giving it an ultra-wearable scent. That, and Juicy Couture’s Viva La Rose take pride of place on my dressing table, making quite a statement! The latter is encased in a dazzling pink sparkly bottle which gives you an idea of the vibrant sparkling scent inside. It’s the most citrus-scented fragrance in my collection, and I loved the scent far more than I thought I would (it’s also the perfume that attracts the most compliments!) – the jasmine, rose, and honey blossom notes are very familiar, and amber adds sensuality to the fizzy, alluring citrus.
Since photographing this post, Georgio Armani’s Si scent has been welcomed into the ‘favourite fragrance club’ – with Rose at it’s heart but also my favourite notes including Bergamot and Neroli also included, it’s warm, instantly likeable and immediately familiar. The finishing note is a sweet vanilla, which lingers on the skin giving a longevity that is unrivalled. Keep a look out for more on this new addition to my collection!
I hope you’ve found this post useful, do let me know if you have any tips for selecting your fragrance soulmate, and also what your favourite scents are down below!