Image via Hey Claire

Perfumes and colognes can lift your mood, evoke memories, and just simply help you smell really good. Today, thanks to new marketing, new brands, and designer lines, there are literally thousands of different perfumes and colognes available on the market. So how do you know which scent will be the best fit for you? Here are some tips on how to choose the perfect scent.

Choosing a Scent

Each perfume or cologne consists of different ‘notes’. These notes determine the overall scent. These notes consist of three different layers, called base, top, and middle notes. Each of these notes work in synergy to create a specific smell. Some perfumes, for example would be considered floral and contain different scent notes like rose, gardenia, or geranium. Others may be a bit fruitier, with undertones of citrus or apple. Exotic perfumes contain spicy notes like star anise or even cinnamon. Men’s scents have various notes as well. Musk scents have a heavier, more masculine tone, while others may have smells like pine or even leather. It is always a good idea to determine which types of cologne or perfume you prefer and then see which base notes they contain before making a purchase decision.

Choose a Concentration

Fragrances come in four different levels of concentration. As the concentration gets higher, the price usually gets higher as well. Typically, colognes or perfumes with high concentration have a more powerful scent and last longer. They can be a bit pricey, but some people feel the higher price is absolutely worth it. The highest concentration is simply called perfume or parfum. This level should last all day with just one application to the wrists or pulse points. The next level is eau de parfum, which typically lasts about six hours after application. The third level is called eau de toilette. An eau de toilette is usually more affordable and typically requires more than one application throughout the day. The fourth and lowest fragrance concentration is eau de cologne, which only lasts about two hours.

It’s also useful to note that while the difference between eau de toilette and eau de parfum was once mostly about concentration, these days the reinterpretation by type might mean each possibly has a quite different aroma – so it pays to try before you buy.

Test the Fragrance

Before you decide to purchase any fragrance, you should try a few simple tests to make sure the scent is right for you. First, take a simple sniff of the bottle first to get a general idea of what it smells like. Secondly, and most importantly, try a bit of the fragrance on your skin. Our skin has its own unique combination of hormones and pheromones that react with fragrances and alter the way a fragrance smells. It’s a good idea to spray a small amount on your wrists, wait a few moments, and then smell the scent on your skin. Sometimes, depending on your own chemical makeup, it can enhance or diminish the smell. It can also be altered if you have a certain chemistry that does not match the scent’s mixture. Lastly, after applying the scent, leave the store and allow the fragrance to dry on your skin, and then seek a second or third opinion.

Wearing your New Fragrance

In applying fragrance, remember 80 per cent of body heat is lost through the upper regions, so apply fragrance lower down for greater staying power and to keep away from sun-strike areas. Try application below the breast bone, on the ribs or tummy area, to the thighs and behind the knees. Remember that fragrance molecules rise, so don’t spray in the air and walk through the cloud, leave this to the movies.