Sunday, December 10, 2006

How to Pick the Right Scent

People have definite opinions on perfume: some love it, some hate it. Finding a signature scent can take lots of time, lots of patience, and lots of trial and error. Just because a perfume smells good in the bottle doesn't mean it's going to smell good on you--your skin's natural makeup may alter a fragrance in ways you never knew possible.

My co-worker mentioned that a Mary Kay consultant once told her to lick her wrist after applying a perfume. Apparently if your tongue tingles, the scent is right for you. I have not been able to find anything to verify this approach, but here are some tips for finding a perfume:
  • Figure out what scents you like. It may take some time to research your "personal taste" in fragrance. Are you into florals? Musks? Citrus scents?
  • If a woman is wearing a perfume you like, ask her what it is. Also, if someone is wearing something you absolutely can't stand, politely ask the name of that perfume so you can take it off your list!
  • Think of fragrances the same way you think of music: top, middle and base notes. Note that a top note is what you smell first; citrus and light spices are the first smells to evaporate.
  • Similar to the world of wine tasting, there are key terms that can help a salesperson figure out what you like. Learn terms like clean linens, tea, grapefruit, citronella, vanilla beans, spice or rainwater. Once hearing these terms, a salesperson will better understand what fragrances you like.
  • Apply a scent and wait 10 minutes. Remember to spray on pulse points, where skin is warmest, for best diffusion of scent.
  • Sniff the test spot again. Still like it? Chances are you'll like it tomorrow, but keep in mind that as the top and middle notes evaporate, you're left with the heaviest oils.
Finding your scent can be quite a journey, but these tips should help you navigate the wonderful world of perfume. Just remember one thing: not everyone will love your new-found fragrance, so wear it sparingly and don't bathe in the stuff!

1 comment:

blackjade said...

When you get a chance, take a look at my "The Nose Knows" post. I'd love to have your opinion. I'm on a bit of a perfume quest.