Perfume is very much synonymous with womanhood as are handbags and high heels. Scent is a very personal thing and I think we don't always give enough attention to the choosing and buying one. Every scent smells subtly different on each individual and it takes time to develop as it sits on your skin and warms up.
Science and Perfume
Picking your scent is as personal as finding the right foundation shade for your skin. It has a science behind it along with a touch of personal preference. Human biology 101: every single one of us produces a body chemical that's unique and are completely our own. It's not the kind of chemistry that you're thinking about that involves the attraction between two potential, compatible mates. In its face value, body temperature affects a fragrance's notes and each of us has our own specific skin chemistry. This point is very important because it's the combination between the chemicals that our bodies produce
and the perfume that we choose that will ultimately determine if that specific scent suits us. In short, a perfume that may smell great on you will smell horrible on another woman.
Another point to remember is that a perfume has three notes -- the top, middle, and base notes. The base note of a perfume is the strongest and the most ever lasting of all three, with the middle note coming next, and the top note being the one that lasts the shortest and evaporates the fastest. The basic idea is to find a perfume that has a base note that smells great on you with a middle and top note that you wouldn't mind wearing, as its initial scent wears off, because regardless of the perfume brand and type, the first spray always smells very strong. So when picking a perfume scent, make sure to pay close attention to these three effects.
How to Choose your Signature Scent
You know how some people believe in love in first sight? Well in this instance….
Step #1 is love in first sniff. Your original and instinctual reaction to a scent is crucial in finding the perfect fragrance for you.
Step #2 is that aforementioned hullabaloo about body chemistry and fragrance reaction that we have to take into account.
Step #3 is the wrists only, no rubbing and no sample paper strips rule. When you're trying out a fragrance, make sure you spray directly on your wrist and DO NOT rub your wrists together. Doing so crushes the scent.
And of course, spraying the perfume on a sample strip will only work for step #1 but completely violates step #2. So after spraying it on your wrist, wait for it to dry before smelling and determining if you like it or not. In addition, do not overlap and mix perfumes and wait for a little while before making a purchase to let the scent settle in for you to determine if it suits you or not.
Pre-plan and Research
I've found that Sephora and sephora.com is the best place to test drive and research a new perfume purchase. Unlike the fragrance department of upscale department stores like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Macy's, and Neiman Marcus where you feel intimidated to touch anything let alone ask a sales associate for help, Sephora stores have a very hands on, feel free to touch, try, and smell everything feel to it. And because of this, I've found it to be the best place to get perfume samples next to those little fragrance strips in glossy magazines. What's more is that their site has this feature called Fragrance IQ that can help you narrow down perfume options before purchasing. I've always like to research items before I go shopping, a habit that can be both good and bad. And since there are so many scents to choose from like floral, fruity, woody, earthy, natural, grassy, etc, this will make decision making much easier.
Here is a list of my Top 5 Fall Fragrances….
1) Dark Beauty
Add this woody, fruity spritz to your Balenciaga wish list: an addicting blend of green tea, blueberry, queen of the night, and cedar, for the most seamless accessory transition into the cooler season.
Balenciaga B. Intense, $110, sephora.com (Available November 2016)
2) From the Heart
Chloé Fleur de Parfum is a lush bouquet of floral hearts: rose, verbena flower, and cherry blossom. It's the perfume for those who believe in love at first spritz.
Chloé Fleur de Parfum, $105, sephora.com
3) Instant Glamour
With champagne, orange blossom, honeysuckle, and vanilla, Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence is like the bubbly (but still sophisticated) younger sister of the original Decadence perfume.
Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence, $122, sephora.com
4) Sultry Sweet
Tom Ford's sophisticated gourmand blend of Italian bergamot, mandarin, honey, rum, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, and myrrh is nothing less than liquid luxury.
Tom Ford Velvet Orchid Lumière, $120, shop.nordstrom.com (Available November 2016)
5) Seductive Powers
Charlotte Tilbury is known for her sexy, smoldering makeup looks, and the same can be said about her first fragrance, a warm, sensual floral that combines lemon, peach, and black pepper with tuberose, frankincense, fire tree and hedione. Consider this love potion instant attraction in a bottle.
Charlotte Tilbury Scent of A Dream, $100, charlottetilbury.com