Tip Tuesday #38

My top 5 tips to finding your perfect fragrance

  1. Always go shopping for a fragrance early in the morning, when your sense of smell is still sharp. Don’t use perfumed soap or body lotions before you go, as this will affect the scent you finally try.
  2. Take your old, favourite fragrance with you – it will serve as a guide to you and the beauty advisor helping you. If you don’t have an old favourite, start by identifying notes (those are the individual ingredients or smells within a fragrance) that you like. For example, you may love the smell of roses (as you had a rose garden in the house you used to live in), or you may love the smell of vanilla (as it reminds you of your mums baking as a child), alternatively spices intrigue you (you may have grown up eating lots of curry or burning incense). Knowing and identifying a few of these, will already help steer you in the right direction, so that you eventually target one of the following fragrance categories:
    1. Floral: smells of roses, jasmine, vanilla – a very feminine and sensual trail
    2. Fruity/ Floral: red and yellow fruit, like apricot, raspberries, strawberries and blue berries, as well as floral notes like violets
    3. Woody: this category generally lends itself to the men, bringing out dry and wet wood smells, undergrowth, moss and leather
    4. Spicy: very oriental with notes of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, chocolate, tea and pepper
    5. Fresh: smells of fresh cut grass, sparkle of citrus fruit, fresh flowers like lily of the valley, lilac and freesia
    6. Although using a blotter (that is the tiny piece of paper that the fragrance is usually first sprayed on) will give you an initial indication of the fragrance, it should not be used to make your final decision. Once you have short-listed 3 fragrances, spray one just above your elbow and the other two on each wrist (these are all heat sensitive spots).
    7. Walk away and do something for a good 15 minutes and allow the fragrances to settle and develop. A perfume from a reputable and established perfume house is usually complex – meaning it is made up of many facets and notes, and will open up in time, revealing a top note (this is the first thing you will smell after you have sprayed it), the heart of the fragrance (this will follow and generally contain the highest concentration of an ingredient) and then the base note (this is what you will smell for the rest of the day, as it settles on your skin).
    8. Now to make the decision! The one you now “smell the strongest” is not necessarily the best on you! You want your fragrance to trail you and not lead. Chose the one that has reacted best with your skin – in other words has brought out a very pleasant note and gives you a feeling of well-being. A friend or Beauty Advisor can help you select this.

Good luck

Luisa Malan – Beauty Savy