Whether you’re getting dolled up to celebrate V-Day with your S.O. or staying in for a much-needed self-care day, spritzing on a sexy scent will have you living in your best soft girl era. If you’re anything like me, you might choose your perfume based on your mood, the occasion, the time of day, or even your outfit. It’s been said that a person’s scent is just as important as their appearance.
With thousands of perfumes on the market, navigating different fragrances can be overwhelming. Your aroma can reveal a lot about you and selecting your ideal scent is highly personal. Different perfumes can give off different vibes – from bright and upbeat to complex and sensual. While finding the perfect perfume can take time, here are five tips on how to find your signature scent.
1. Get To Know Your Notes
Within each perfume or cologne, you find different “notes.” These notes consist of three individual layers called the top, middle, and base notes. Each note serves a significant purpose and when mixed together, can create an enchanting, unforgettable scent. When you first spray perfume, the first note you will smell is the top note. The top notes typically last for about fifteen minutes before making way for the other two notes to dominate.
The middle notes start to appear once the top notes fade. Dubbed the “heart” of the perfume, the middle notes’ goal is to cling to some of the aroma while ushering in new scents. These lovely notes make up between forty to eighty percent of most fragrances and will most likely be the notes that you will smell the most while you’re wearing your perfume.
The final fragrance notes, which will settle into your skin for hours, will only appear after the top notes have worn away. After about thirty minutes, the base notes, which are usually a bit heavier and deeper, will then introduce themselves and add more richness to the perfume.
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2. Narrow Down a Fragrance Family
Now that you know about fragrance notes, you can figure out which signature scent will speak to you the most. The perfume universe is mainly divided into four “families.” Each scent family has distinctive characteristics, and you will often be attracted to one scent over another when it comes to choosing a perfume that suits you.
- Floral – If you’re wanting to smell like a bouquet of beautiful hand-picked flowers, then the floral scent family may be the perfect find for your signature scent. From delicate notes of daisy to gentle layers of ylang-ylang and lavender, floral formulations are full of class, romance, and luxury.
- Fresh – With uplifting and exhilarating notes such as lemon zest and mandarin, the fresh fragrance family is commonly made of citrus, water, and green notes. Hence the name “fresh,” these fragrances are usually associated with more clean vibes.
- Oriental – Regularly referred to as “amber” fragrances, oriental perfumes are often associated with exotic and spicy scents. Softened with intertwining scents of jasmine, cinnamon, and orchid, this signature scent is often described as warm, decadent, and seductive.
- Woody – Another warm family, woody fragrances are usually inspired by nature, blended with a slight masculine edge (similar to some aftershaves). Creamy, yet mysterious and sensual, these signature compositions are typically described as warm and dry – perfect for a night out on the town.
3. Determine How Long You Want It To Last
Fragrances come in four different levels of concentration. As the concentration gets higher, the price usually gets higher as well. With the highest concentration of perfume oils (between twenty to forty percent), parfum has the longest staying power – usually lasting on the skin for six to eight hours. Eau de Parfum has the second strongest concentration of perfume oils, normally between fifteen to twenty percent, and typically lasts about six hours after spraying. Eau de Toilette has less perfume oil, around five to fifteen percent, and lasts about three to four hours. Eau de Cologne has the lowest concentration of around two to five percent and lasts about two hours after application.
4. Sample the Scents
The most crucial part of finding your new signature fragrance is, of course, testing it out. While some fragrances may seem like love at first spritz, allowing the fragrance to sit on your skin is very important. Try spraying it on a pulse point or a spot where your skin is a little bit warmer, such as your inner wrist or elbow. Take a few moments and let the fragrance oxidate and play with your body’s natural chemistry, revealing its true self over time. Try not to disrupt the scent by rubbing your wrists together.
As an additional tip: Don’t try out a bunch of different perfumes or colognes at one time. Spread it out over a few different trips to the perfume counter. Also, make sure to take a sniff of the coffee beans, or even a part of your body that has no smell, to cleanse your olfactory palate in between scents.
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5. Choose a Scent That Reflects Your Personality
One thing is for sure: Your signature scent should reflect your personality and leave you feeling incredibly confident. Take your time, and learn about yourself, your style, and your taste before committing to a perfume. Do you love flowers and all things sweet? Or do you enjoy that “fresh out of the shower” scent? Then think about the purpose of your future fragrance – is it for every day, for evenings out, for special occasions, or for work? Additionally, once you nail down the notes that you are attracted to, it may be helpful to research perfumes you think may interest you – make sure to read the reviews and be aware of the different price points. If possible, relay this information to a retail fragrance expert and they can provide you with recommendations based on your profile.
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