How to Choose Perfume

by Cassandra Merkling
(last updated August 26, 2015)

First, head to the store scent-free. You're going to try only two perfumes per day and you don't want either of them to compete with any other scent. Be sure to arrive early in the day so that you can give the trial perfumes time to develop with the individual chemistry of your skin. When you arrive, only smell a maximum of five scents, as the more scents you try the more your nose will become desensitized.

Basically, there are six basic categories of scents that perfumes fall into:

  • Floral perfumes are a very common kind of scent and very womanly.
  • Fruity perfumes are a light scent and have a traditional scent base, but don't have the expected overtones of a floral scent.
  • Green perfumes are also a light scent and work well for wearing every day. They are modern and very fashionable and have elements of both fruity and floral scents.
  • Oceanic perfume is something that the younger generation tends to like, as it can evoke memories of the beach and summer vacations.
  • Oriental perfumes are very strong, and good for special occasions, but are difficult gifts to get right because they can be an acquired taste.
  • Woody/Earthy perfumes bring to one's mind thoughts of the forest. They're popular among older people (but that doesn't mean that only older people wear them).

When you narrow your choices down to two contenders, it's time to spray them on yourself. Some people say to spray them on your wrists, but this technique won't protect the perfume from getting washed or rubbed off as you go about your day's activities. You won't have to worry about this when you're actually wearing it every day, but you're trying to get its full effect right now and it's best to have the one spot you have each scent placed be somewhere it won't be spoiled.

Spray one scent on each of your inner elbows, but don't rub it in or you will destroy the composition of the perfume. Next, you'll need to wait a good four hours so that the scents can have the chance to adhere to your personal oils and react with your body chemistry. The perfume itself will change and then you will be able to make an informed decision of whether the scent is a good choice for you or not.

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