10 Tips On How To Choose, Wear, And Store A Perfume
If you are a regular perfume user, It probably happened to you at least once: you buy a fragrance, thinking that it’s perfect for you, just to leave it – almost full – on the shelf for months and years, or give it to a friend, or sell it on E-bay. But fear not: finding your next perfume is not that complicated, just keep in mind these few tips.
1. Go to the shop unscented. If you’re trying something new on you, you don’t want to layer it with another fragrance. This is pretty straightforward, but if you’re planning to go perfume shopping on that day, and spraying perfume in the morning is as normal for you as brushing your teeth, you’ll need to remember this.
That’s especially useful if there is someone else helping you with the choice. You may be smell-blind to your own perfume, but the other person’s nose will be confused. If you’re planning to go on your own, at least leave your wrists free.
2. Give it time. We’re always in a rush, and we expect to choose a perfume as we would choose a dress. Perfumes however, develop over the course of hours, so what you get on the top notes may not be what you get two or four hours later. Unfortunately, we tend to forget that, and perfume houses know we do, so it’s not unusual to come across fragrances that smell gorgeous for the first 10 minutes only. Give perfume time. Make the stop at the perfume shop the first one of your shopping session, try the fragrance and continue with your route. Take a sniff from time to time to check if it’s still good after a couple of hours. Top notes are not enough.
3. Spray it on your skin. This is related to the one above. Paper and skin make perfumes smell differently, and perfume houses know that as well. The skin is the real thing though, and if a perfume is great on paper, it may be because it was constructed for that purpose. The blotter is more practical, but it’s not enough: always go for the skin, it doesn’t matter if you smell of ten different things at the same time.
4. Be wary of shop assistants. I don’t mean it bad, of course: they’re there to sell, and that’s fair enough. The problem is, whereas some of them know their stuff, others will just try to push the latest fragrance, without even asking what you’re looking for, and others just won’t have a clue. When they approach you, try to understand how helpful he or she can be, you may be better off on your own.
5. Don’t stress your nose. So now you’re in the shop, spraying perfumes on your skin, dribbling shop assistants, and determined to wait at least two hours before deciding what you like or not. How many perfumes should you try? If you want to go home with a new one on that day, then three are enough, else your nose will get confused.
If you can wait and come back, then spray more, be flexible with the tips so far, and create a shortlist of three.
6. Celebrity perfumes are still perfumes. If there is a topic that causes strong arguments in the perfume community is the one of celebrity fragrances: should we hate them or love them? My take is that your approach should be the same as with any other perfume. Just remember that celebrities never take part in the making of the scents that carry their name, they only give their persona. If you love / hate the celebrity, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to love / hate the perfume.
7. Be open to perfumes for the opposite sex. Gender division in perfumes is becoming relative, thus more and more useless. It doesn’t mean that if you are a guy you should wear ultra-feminine fragrances or vice versa, but in my perfume reviewing experience so far, I constantly come across fragrances which, although officially for one sex, would suit pretty much everyone.
8. Consider buying samples online. If you want to be 100% sure about a fragrance, then you will have to wear it for one or two days at least. No need to buy a bottle though, It won’t be hard to find samples online, both designer and niche.
9. Don’t let them see the light of day. That is how they will live virtually forever. Light is a fragrance killer, and although all perfumes nowadays contain UVA filters, absence of light is the best thing. Keep them in the original box all the time.
10. Think of the occasion before you pick from the shelf. Free perfume on a free skin, sure: we should all be able to wear whatever whenever. Yet, there is such thing as the correct match between a perfume and a given situation. This should be a straightforward principle, but it’s often overlooked. Perfume is part of your image and image has a social impact. Once you’re aware of that, the rest is just common sense.
Andrea writes perfume reviews with a personal view at Yournextperfume.com
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