How Should I Choose A Perfume For Myself?
Choosing a good perfume may look like a daunting task, be it online or at a shop. This is especially true when you’re just left to a shelf of different colored bottles in front of you and the salesman doesn’t do more than spraying a sample onto a strip of paper. One of our goals at Scents N Stories is to make our customers more aware of perfumery so that they can make informed choices whenever they go perfume shopping, even if it’s from some other brand. This way if a salesman isn't helpful you won't be clueless!
Below is a standard conversation with an aspiring fraghead. It packs all the basic information that is necessary for you to buy perfumes like a pro.
So here goes...
What are notes??
Notes are the different components which make up a fragrance’s scent. Broadly speaking, there are 8 types of olfactive families – fougere, oriental, leather, citrus, floral, aromatic, chypre and woody. To learn more about these families, click here.
Each perfume is made up of a unique combination of different notes. This combination of notes is mostly categorized into three layers – top notes, middle notes, and base notes.
Top notes make the first impression of a perfume and evaporate very quickly, within 5-15 minutes. They usually consist of sharp, fresh and light scents. These are also called opening notes or head notes.
Middle notes are the ones which appear after the top notes have evaporated. They stay for a longer time – upto an hour. They usually consist of pleasant notes which round off the fragrance. The notes forming this layer are also called heart notes.
Base notes make up the most long lasting layer. They appear towards the end of the heart notes and stay for the longest time. The notes in this layer are usually deep, rich and heavy.
Isn't this a bit too much information? How is this helping me?
This is to explain that fragrances are made up of layers and as each layer dissipates another one reveals itself. Thus, fragrances change over the time period in which they are on you. That’s how they are made. The scent you smell at the perfume shop will not stay the same, it will evolve. So, for perfumes the first impression is usually not the last impression. This is why it is a good idea to first buy testers or samples of perfumes that you would want to try. Use them and see their evolution. And only buy the ones you really like.
SnS Bite: Check out our samples here.
But how do I know which notes I want to focus on?
Once you’ve read our blog on the fragrance families, you will have an idea of what each family smells like. Think of the smell of each family and see which fragrances you usually like. For example, if you like the scent of your leather shoes or a shop with leather products, you may want to try a fragrance with dominant leather notes. Similarly, if you’re someone who is drawn to the scent of flowers, you may want to try perfumes with floral notes.
Go with smells which give you a positive feeling. It could be happiness, confidence, attraction, freshness…any positive feeling!
SnS Bite: Scents’n Stories has a great Customer Care team which can guide you to your best fit in minimum time.
Let’s suppose I’m not buying online. I’m going to the PERFUME STUDIO. What then? Is there any science to testing a perfume?
Then the first thing we want you to make sure is that you test the perfume on your skin instead of the testing strip. Because perfumes interact differently on different skins. It may come as a surprise but the smell of a perfume can vary from skin to skin. Plus, on the skin you will be able to experience its evolution.
One rule that you should ALWAYS follow when applying perfumes is DO NOT RUB IT! People often apply perfume on their wrist and rub them together. We’re not sure who made this act popular but it completely destroys the top notes of the perfume.
Also, make sure that you do not smell the perfume immediately after applying. Give it a few seconds to settle down and then smell it. Right after spraying, a perfume gives the sharp smell of alcohol which takes a few seconds to evaporate.
One last thing to remember before trying out scents: do not try more than three perfumes. It is always better to do a little homework if you’re going perfume shopping so that you know which ones to try. Because trying out a lot of perfumes at once confuses the nose. And trust us when we say that coffee beans don’t help!
What if I have more questions about perfume shopping?
You are most welcome to ask us! We have some exciting discussions related to perfumery on our SnS Family Group. Join in to ask your questions. You can also follow our social media channels for more information and updates.