One of the ways we make our mark is by the perfume we wear. It defines us in a small way, lifts our mood, and boosts our confidence. Here are some tips for choosing the right scent for you and making it last through the day.
Finding Your Scent
The first tip is to go shopping for your scent in the morning, without wearing perfume. The morning is the time your sense of smell is at its freshest and hasn’t been tainted by other smells. Take a friend or your partner shopping with you for some honest advice.
A good point to remember is that within a few days your sense of smell becomes used to any perfume you choose, so keep a few favorites at home — it’s called a scent wardrobe — and even switch them every day.
If you don’t know which perfume you want, decide which scent category appeals to you: Floral, Oriental, Woody or Fresh. Use the scent sample cards (mouillettes) to eliminate the categories you like less. Once you’ve chosen a category, find the specific perfumes that suit you best. Before you go overboard and emerge smelling like a candle factory, only sample about three perfumes at a time — apply to your elbow fold and one on each wrist. If your nose can’t differentiate anymore, neutralize the scent by smelling clothing or some coffee beans. If you can’t decide between two scents, buy both and switch them daily.
Don’t be embarrassed to ask people if the scent suits you. Better to know upfront than wonder why people are avoiding you! Also, if you’re in menopause, pregnant or unwell, your perfume may suddenly smell different on your skin due to hormonal changes.
Applying Perfume Correctly
To allow your perfume to merge faster with your natural oils, apply it to the warm parts of your body: neck, wrists, behind the ankles or knees, and décolletage. Don’t spritz your wrist and rub them together (this friction heats the skin and changes the scent), rather spray each wrist and let the perfume be absorbed. If you find that it evaporates too quickly, add a few drops to a scent-free moisturizer and apply it over your body.
It’s also best not to cover up your perfume with clothing. Target areas that are exposed to the air. If you’re in a very hot climate, don’t apply it directly to your skin as sweat destroys perfume faster. Rather spritz a scarf, sarong, or your hair.
Your perfume can degrade with age, indicated by a change in odor, texture, or color. Perfume is also sensitive to shifts in temperature. Changes in the environment (e.g. cold to hot) can cause unforeseen chemical reactions in the scent’s natural ingredients, aging the perfume faster. Best to store it in its original box in a dry, cool place, preferably at room temperature (not in the bathroom as steam curbs its freshness!). Also, store it in a dark place as sunlight can change its color. Some people even store perfume in the fridge. Expiration is usually 24- 36 months after first opening the bottle (check the packaging).
Follow these tips to make sure you leave a lasting impression.