How to choose a perfume

Woman perfume

Perfumes are like our favourite colours and accessories, we use them according to the season of the year or our mood. An intimate part of who we are, we normally associate certain perfumes to a specific person because scent is quite possibly the strongest sense, as it enables us to remember moments and emotions long forgotten! Above all, perfuming our body is an act of pleasure…for us and for others! In the meantime, learn how to choose your next perfume.

  • The ideal time to try a new perfume is in the morning, when our sense of smell is most refined. Which also means you shouldn’t choose perfumes right after having been in smoke-ridden environments or places filled with multiple aromas, such as restaurants, florists, hospitals or any other environments with very strong odours.
  • Avoid choosing or buying perfumes if you are pregnant. During this phase, a woman’s body is undergoing many hormonal alterations and, just so you know, the scent perceptions are the most affected.
  • Don’t buy a perfume just because it has Jennifer Lopez or Antonio Banderas name on it, or because fashion magazines are calling it “the” perfume of the year! You should also consider the following situations: never buy a perfume because you loved the way it smelled on someone else or simply because you smelled the bottle and thought “this is the one”! Just as you try on clothes, a perfume should also be tested out on you before you decide to purchase it!
  • The strips of paper found in most perfume stores are available so that you can test out different fragrances and because it is a practical way of doing so. But, the truth is that in order to feel the true essence of any perfume and make sure it “matches” you, you have to apply it directly to your skin. So, first things first, if you are going to be experimenting perfumes, don’t spray any on before you leave the house!
  • When applied to our skin, a perfume is transformed because it triggers a chemical reaction between our perspiration, aromatic molecules, as well as the pH and oiliness level of our epidermis. The result? The perfume attains a new and exclusive identity, which means that you may not enjoy the perfume you smelled on someone else after all and vice-versa! 
  • The perfume specialists also recommend you do the following: don’t follow your first impressions, in this case scents! Each perfume has three notes: the top note, which is the first one to evaporate; the middle note, which takes longer to develop; and the base note, which holds the true fragrance. This means that it is extremely important that you let the perfume develop before making a final decision. So, unless you’re going to spend various hours in the perfume store, you should just ask for some samples of the perfumes you liked most up and take them home so they may undergo a longer period of experimentation.
  • Our nose can only successfully and efficiently register two or three different aromas at a time – after that, our sense of scent becomes literally “confused” and we are unable to distinguish any perfume. If to this you add the fact that you’re in an ultra-perfumed environment…well, you get the picture don’t you? Just another good reason to gather up some samples, try them over various days and make a wise choice!
  • When we spray perfume on our body, our immediate instinct is to rub or spread the fragrance, usually with our wrists. Don’t do it! Otherwise, you’ll alter the perfume’s composition, which means that you won’t be able to sense the fragrance’s true essence and you might just discard a perfume that could have been perfect for you!
  • Perfumes also change according to the temperatures they are exposed to: the scent of a perfume is intensified in environments with very high temperatures and don’t last very long; in cooler environments, it works the other way around, perfumes have a tendency to last longer. Curiously, the same perfume may smell like one thing at home and then differently at the office where the air conditioning is on full blast – there you go, environmental influences. That is why the Autumn/Winter collections normally present warm and enticing perfumes, as opposed to the Spring/Summer collections, which are normally dominated by light and fresh aromas.
  • The sense of scent is so powerful that it is able to register and store thousands of aromas and odours, stimulating memories which are directly related to those smells. This means, only buy perfumes when you are in a good mood, so that those fragrances will be forever linked to great moments!
  • A perfume’s expiration period is usually about three years once the bottle is opened and as long as it is kept in a cool place and away from direct sunlight. Some people even recommend that you store colognes and eau de toilette in the refrigerator, so that their “life expectancy” is prolonged!
  • Buy a perfume because it makes you smile, because it is a reflection of your personality, not because it is the most expensive one in the store. A great fragrance is great because of its scent, not because of its price tag.
  • When in difficulty, always ask the perfume store clerks for help and don’t be afraid to express exactly what you’re looking for: “something floral”, “a perfume that smells like lemon or any other citrus”, “seductive” or “intoxicating” – that is the language of the wonderful world of perfumes!
  • You’ve discovered the perfume of your life? Great! But don’t limit yourself to that one only! There are thousands of enticing perfumes to be tried… think of everything you’ll be missing every time you spray on the same old perfume! Although being faithful to one or more perfumes is, in itself, your signature – personal and unique – don’t be afraid to try different fragrances and use one for work, one to go out at night, another one for the weekend and save one for special occasions… isn’t that what you do with your wardrobe and other accessories?
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