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5 Tips for choosing a new fragrance

12 November 2019 | By Helen Clemson

Choosing a new signature scent can be incredibly overwhelming, but we’re here with expert advice to help you find a fragrance you’ll love.


Fancy a new scent but worried about making the perfect purchase? With our five top tips on selecting a sublime scent, picking the right perfume will be a delicious experience. 

Know your happy scents

Start by identifying everyday smells that you already love. In an interview with nytimes.com, Brian Jeong, co-founder and CEO of Hawthorne, explains, “If you are brand-new to fragrances, think about the other distinctive smells that you enjoy in your life, especially ones in products you use on your body. The coconut shampoo at your gym? Your fresh and green body wash? The soft and mineral smell of your clothes after laundry? Even the tobacco in the cigarette that you smoke? These can all serve as a great starting point to finding your ideal scent. Search for fragrances with those notes like the ones you love in your other products.”

Try it on right

There’s an art to fragrance sampling; ideally, it should be spritzed on a pulse point where your skin is naturally warm (like your wrist or elbow), so the fragrance heats up and is revealed over time. As Mindy Yang, founder and CEO of Perfumarie, reports to nytimes.com, ensuring the scent makes contact with your skin – and for the right amount of time – is the key to finding your match. “Try perfumes on skin first whenever possible,” she says. “Most people buy a scent off the first impression – within seconds! (It’s a pity since a perfume’s top notes literally wear off within 15 - 30 minutes.) The essence of the scent will reveal only after it’s intermingled with the wearer’s chemistry, and it takes time.”

Know your ingredients

You don’t have to be a scientist to get to grips with the ingredients formulated into a fragrance’s blend. However, a little insider understanding as to which ingredients have better durability means you’ll be more satisfied with your purchased product. Brian unpacks it like this: “A big misconception is that all EDPs (eau de parfums) or parfums last very long and are great projectors,” he says. “While oil concentration affects scent strength and sillage (how much a scent lingers in the air), the ingredients used in a fragrance formula often matter more.” For example, natural citrus ingredients tend to be more effervescent and not as long-lasting as notes like vanilla, patchouli and different woods, Brian goes on to say. 

Consider the source

Another factor to think about when looking at how long scent notes will last on skin is whether your desired fragrance is composed of natural or synthetic ingredients. As Mindy points out, natural versus synthetic elements affect not only the length of the wear but the smell of the scent itself and how it interacts with your body. “Natural is not always more sustainable… or better for you,” she reports. And as a trained aromatherapist she loves natural fragrances as much as synthetic-natural combos. “That said, four tonnes of roses, composed of approximately 1 600 000 rose blossoms, yields only 1 kilogram of rose oil. Real, all-natural perfumes are very expensive. No two rose yields will smell exactly the same (like wine) due to climate conditions,” she explains. 

Wear what you like, when you like! 

Think fresh fruity florals are for summer only? Think again. “When you love something, buy it,” says fragrance expert and journalist, Tania Sanchez in Perfumes: The Guide, the book she co-authored with Luca Turin. In other words, don’t feel duty-bound to wear spice-laden scents in winter or jasmine-dosed EDT in summer. 

IMAGE CREDIT: shutterstock.com

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