Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scents and Sensibility

Perfume is one of the most personal beauty products out there. Your signature scent may smell amazing to you, but be completely repellent to those around you. When it comes to fragrances, you have to know what you're doing. Not only do you need to find the scent that suits you best (and there are so many fragrances on the market it can make you a little crazy!), you also need to know what type of product to buy, and how best to wear it.

Thanks to some advice from Allure magazine, here's all you need to know about the world of fragrance.

  • First know that finding the right perfume takes time. You need to figure out how a product wears over a period of time. There are different scent "notes" that require a certain degree of consideration...the fragrance world is almost as confusing as the winery world! I am by no means an expert on perfume, so you may want to check out a few scent-centric blogs out there to learn the lingo.
  • Don't bother trying out scents you don't like. I am not a big fan of floral scents, so I wouldn't want to waste my time sniffing rose-scented perfume. Let the salesperson know of any preferences (likes/dislikes) you know you have.
  • When shopping for a scent, don't spray directly on your skin. First try the scent on a test strip. Let the product dry a minute and then sniff it. Sniff it again after a few minutes to see how to scent changes and opens up. After 10 minutes, you should have a feel for the full range of elements in the fragrance.
  • Clear your nose and your head! Sniffing coffee beans between fragrances helps to neutralize your "palette" for lack of a better word.
  • Once you have two to four favorite scents picked out, try them out on your skin (on your pulse points--different areas of your arm) to see how the fragrance reacts to your personal biological makeup.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to find "the one." You want to let the scent open up on your skin for about 10 minutes. If you like the way it smells, you're all set. If not, it's back to the spraying and sniffing.
  • Perfume: Perfumes contain the largest percentage of perfume oil, about 20 to 25%. Because of this, perfumes are the longest lasting and most expensive. They come in small quantities and should be applied with care. One or two drop will last 8 to 12 hours.
  • Eau de Parfum: This usually comes in a spray form and contains 15 to 18 percent perfume oil and will last 6 to 8 hours.
  • Eau de Toilette: This is the least expensive and least concentrated formula. If you want just a light scent, this is your best bet since it only contains about 4 to 10% perfume oil.
  • Cologne: I always think colognes are just for men, but they're for both genders! They are more diluted than perfumes and can be used as a spray or a splash.
Extend the life of your favorite perfume by following these tips:
  • Wear the right amount. If you're wearing a perfume, you only need a drop or two. For eau de parfum, no more than three sprays; no more than four sprays of eau de toilette, and no more than six sprays of cologne. You don't want to over do the amount of fragrance you're wearing because doing so can be offensive to others.
  • Know that you are not a good judge of how much you have on. After a bit, you get used to your fragrance and are desensitized to it. As such, it's easy to over do it. Just stick to the number of sprays listed above and you should be ok.
  • Apply fragrance to your pulse points (wrists, inner elbows, neck, behind ears, behind knees).
  • Store your fragrance wisely. Heat and light will breakdown the compounds in your product, so store it in your bedroom or linen closet. Perfumes last anywhere from one to eight years after opening, depending on the scent.

1 comment:

phairhead said...

Chris has his certain faves. Everytime I wear White Musk he says ,"Oh! that's nice. what is it?"