Choosing a signature fragrance for you or a special someone is no simple task. With thousands of different perfume and cologne options on the market today, the fragrance possibilities can seem endless. Fragrance of course has the power to lift a mood and conjure memories, so it is important to select a fragrance that embodies the right smell and personality that you are looking for. So, where should you start? First, learn about all of the options available by understanding the components that makeup a fragrance; then consider the additional aspects that make a fragrance the perfect choice.
Scent Notes, Profiles and Personalities
As you set out to find the right fragrance, it is important to consider how the various scent profiles can represent different personality types. Itâ€™s the ideal place to start. Whether you are on the market for perfume or cologne, these common scent profiles apply to both â€“ and are made up of what we in the fragrance business refer to as â€œnotes.â€ Notes are what determine the overall scent and include three layers called base, top and middle notes. Every scent consists of all three notes and their ratios are what deliver its fragrance personality. Consider these four major fragrance profile types and as you review the options, think about which characteristics match the interests of the person you are shopping for.
- Freshâ€“ Fragrances with a fresh profile are often made up of green and airy notes, such as fresh-cut grass, citrus and other clean smells. This scent profile is perfect for men and women with an outdoorsy, classic or simplistic personality. Some good examples of fresh fragrances include:
- Floral â€“ Floral scents are among the most popular fragrance categories for women. This profile embodies a wide range of blooms, including single petals and floral bouquets. Notes in floral scent profiles often include jasmine, carnation, rose, lily of the valley and many more. This scent can be powdery or sweet and is ideal for anyone who favors the scent of flowers. Some good examples of floral fragrances include:
- Oriental â€“ This scent profile is unique and one of the more exotic fragrance categories you can choose. Oriental notes include rich and bold smells that produce amber or vanilla-like scents. These fragrances are often quite strong, even sensual, and are ideal for romantic occasions. Some good examples of oriental fragrances include:
- Woods â€“ Commonly referred to as woods or chypre, this fragrance profile includes aromatic wood and moss notes such as sandalwood, cedar wood and oak. These notes make the scent ideal for men who favor rich or woody scents. Some good examples of woods or chypre fragrances include:
Sensitivity Awareness and Other Considerations
Now that you have a better idea of the various perfume and cologne options available to you and how one might suit your taste over another, there are a few more differentiations to be aware of.
One of the most common considerations is fragrance sensitivity. As many as 30% of people said they find scented products irritating, in a study from the University of West Georgia. While this is typically derived from conditions like asthma or other chemical sensitivities, itâ€™s important to differentiate these symptoms from tree pollen or dander, as perfumes and colognes are not categorized as allergens, but as irritants which donâ€™t have any effect on the immune system. That said, fragrance sensitivity can still lead to headaches, wheezing, sneezing and even a skin allergy. So how will you know if a fragrance will irritate you or your recipient? A good rule of thumb to consider is those who are already prone to seasonal or indoor allergies may be more likely to experience fragrance sensitivities.
If you or the person youâ€™re shopping for might fall prey to fragrance sensitivity, donâ€™t worry â€“ there are still options (actually many) that you can consider. You may have seen or heard perfume jargon like parfum, extrait de parfum, liqueur de parfum, eau de parfum, cologne, eau de toilette, body splash, and aftershave at some point in your travels, but werenâ€™t quite sure what it all meant. Well, today is your lucky day. These fragrance terms are more than just fancy words. They are in fact, designators for different dilutions of perfume oil. For those with fragrance sensitivity, we recommend the following:
- Parfum/Extrait de parfum/Eau De Parfum â€“ This type of fragrance offers between 15 and 40 percent fragrance oil that lasts the longest, but doesnâ€™t leave a noticeable scent trail.Â See what types of parfum/extrait de parfum are available:
- Eau de toilette â€“ With less than 10 percent fragrance oil, eau de toilette offers a lighter and less complex scent. This type is usually ideal for people that are just entering the fragrance realm. See what types of eau de toilette are available:
- Body splash and aftershave â€“ These options are the most dilute, featuring just 1 to 3 percent fragrance oil. Meant to be worn allover and reapplied frequently, these scents are a great entry-level option. See what types of body splash and aftershave are available:
Wear It the Right Way
Now that you are educated on all of your options, we hope you will enjoy choosing a perfume or cologne that meets the personality and characteristics you are looking for. But, we want to offer a few last tips before you go. After you choose your fragrance, itâ€™s important to make the most of it by knowing the right way to apply it and make it last longer.
- Where to apply fragrance â€“ Apply perfume and cologne to the â€œpulse pointsâ€ on your body â€“ the areas where blood vessels are closest to the skin, such as the inner wrists, base of the throat and behind the ear lobes. These areas help emanate the scent from your skin into the air.
- How to make it last longer â€“ To make a scent last longer on the skin, it is important that the pulse points are hydrated. Also, citrus fragrances fade the fastest, versus wood notes that have more staying power.