This simple guide will help you chose the right fragrance for you.
Fragrances are made up of Top, Middle and Base notes, each of which play a very varied role in how perfume is perceived.
Knowing what overall smells you like – oriental, woody, floral etc. – and how to best allow them to come to the fore on your skin makes all the difference when shopping for your perfect spring scent.
What are fragrance notes?
The notes in a fragrance are the different phases through which a fragrance develops when you wear it on the skin. Think layers of ingredients on a delicious apple crumble - from the crunchy base, to the soft, mouth-watering middle and the warm, enticingly sweet top – each note has a varying layer of volatility.
Top Notes: The Fast Flirtation.
These are the first impression a scent makes. They are sharp, visceral notes that burst onto the skin at very first spritz. This is the note that sells most scents, as it’s the one that bursts from the bottle when you open it. Alas! Its allure doesn’t last as the heady top notes dissipate after only 10 – 15 minutes.
Middle Notes: The Lingering Love.
As the top notes fade, the middle notes come to the fore. These literally ‘bloom’ on the skin and make up the composition or ‘theme’ of the fragrance. Although they aren’t the most overpowering of notes, they give perfume its heart and soul.
Base Notes: The Committing Component
The middle note ‘theme’ is grounded by the base or soul notes. These are the veritable foundation for the fragrance, binding the other ingredients together, wrapping them up and securing a pretty bow on top! Base notes provide memories we so often find flood forward when we smell a scent, and they also allow aromas to last for hours on end.
Shopping for scent:
Sound complicated? Well, it’s not really. You will instantly know if you are attracted to floral, oriental or a woody perfumes depending on what you have been attracted to in the past.
But when shopping for a new scent, the key is not to make any snap decisions. If you sniff an open bottle, most of what you are inhaling is the alcohol within it and the top volatile notes, so let the fragrance settle on your skin in order to allow it to come alive and show it’s true colours. As it reacts to your skin over the next 15 minutes it will become evident how the fragrance can compliment you and become your unique spring fling.
Here's a List of My Top 10 Spring Fragrances....
10) Byredo Rose of No Man's Land
Byredo's rendition of rose is more than a basic floral, its a World War I tribute to front-line nurses who saved lives in the deserted area between opposing armies ("no man's land") were known as Roses. With top notes of pink pepper and Turkish rose petals, a sweet raspberry blossom and Turkish rose absolute middle, and papyrus and white amber creating the base, the scent is as complex as its inspiration.
Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Perfume Oil, $85, byredo.com
9) Donna Karan Liquid Cashmere Aqua
This water-inspired perfume is as light as they come, and smells a bit like the ocean air mixed with a breeze of spray on sunscreen. The fresh scent lingers, so you won't feel as if it disappeared by afternoon.
Donna Karan Liquid Cashmere Aqua, $112, macys.com
8) Chloe Love Story EAU Sensuelle
This spring, Chloe romantic favorite gets a zesty update with the addition of sweet orange blossom.
Chloe Love Story Eau Sensuelle, $105, ulta.com
7) Daisy Marc Jacobs Kiss Edition
The olfactive equivalent of a middle-school make-out, Daisy's saccharine new blend is bursting with fruity floral notes. Apricot nectar, dewy violet, white peony, pink rose, creamy cedar, musk- gang's all here.
Marc Jacobs Daisy Kiss Eau de Toilette, $80, ulta.com
6) Escada Fiesta Carioca
This booze cruise of island aromas mixes passion fruit, red raspberry, and violet leaf with an oranage blossom and jasmine middle and a woody musk base.
Escada Fiesta Carioca, $62, ulta.com
5) Sisley Paris Izia
If you're the kind of person that sips ice water with more than one lemon, then you'll love this effervescent take a rose perfume. White bergamot and pink pepper lend a burst of freshness that sticks around, even as the rose and musk come into play.
Sisley Paris Izia Eau de Parfum, $100, sisley-paris.com
4) Tom Ford Vert De Fleur
Poised. Glamorous. Flourishing. Private blend Vert De Fleur strikes an alluring theme on the definitive note of 70's glamour. Refined with a modern flourish of iris and hyacinth, Tom Ford's floral subversion of classic green captures an exuberant scene where beautiful icons with inimitable personas uncover a new world of pleasure.
Tom Ford Vert de Fleur, $225, tomford.com
3) Gucci Bamboo Limited Edition
If Gucci Guilty is for the bedroom (or bathtub), Bamboo belongs in the boardroom. Not just because the alliteration suggests so! Floral and woody notes harmonize for a Casablanca lily, Tahitian vanilla top and a sandalwood- gray amber base song.
Gucci Bamboo Limited Edition, $94, sephora.com
2) Ex Nihilo Devil Tender
Fragrance- heads know newish French perfume brand Ex Nihilo for surprising scents like Devil Tender, a spicy Bulgarian rose with grapefruit notes.
Ex Nihilo Devil Tender, $225, saks.com
1) Miu Miu L'eau Bleue
Whether it's a premature sandal sighting or too-soon drinks alfresco, there are certain indicators that spring is almost upon us. Miu Miu's new scent aims to capture those moments with L'Eau Bleue, a springy blend of lily of the valley and honeysuckle.
Miu Miu L'Eau Bleue, $90, sephora.com