The results are in! Women smell better than men.
New research is showing that women have up to 50% more olfactory neurons than men. By having more olfactory neurons, women have a keen ability to detect scents men would otherwise miss.
Considering how sensitive your noses are ladies, it makes sense that finding the perfect fragrance can be tricky. It’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to pick out the right scent when there are hundreds of smells competing for your attention.
Luckily, we’ve created a short guide to help you learn how to choose a perfume you can get excited about. We’ll give you an inside look at what goes into making fragrances, as well as the best tips and tricks for testing out scents. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll know how to find your signature fragrance!
So take a look. Your nose will thank you!
How to Choose a Perfume Base
The first step in knowing how to choose a perfume is to learn the different notes, especially the base. Perfumes and colognes have a blend of various “notes” that create their scent.
Similar to the notes in a piece of music, the notes in a perfume blend together to create a harmony of smell. Quality perfumes and colognes will use 3 separate note layers.
Here are the 3 layers of the notes of a perfume:
- Base notes
- Middle notes
- Top notes
Working together, the base, middle notes, and top notes will create the specific smell of your perfume.
The top notes are the scent you smell immediately. Whatever you initially feel towards a perfume is a result of your first impression with the top notes.
Middle notes are the scent that emerges after the top notes start to fade. You can think of middle notes as the peacekeeper. It’s the middle notes job to mask the strong fragrances of the base notes, without overpowering the top notes.
Finally, the base notes will complete your perfume. Base notes are strong scents that you usually don’t detect right away. Instead, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes or more for a base note to truly be noticeable.
How the Notes Work Together
The more you know about how notes work together, the easier it’ll be to find a combination that suits you. For instance, let’s say you want a perfume that smells flowery. It would make sense for the base to be a rose scent.
To complete the flowery smell the middle notes could be lavender and the top notes gentle gardenias. However, what if you don’t want the perfume to be so flowery, but instead you just want the essence of flower?
You could find a perfume that uses fruity undertones for the top notes instead of more flowers. By blending in undertones such as green apple or orange, you’ll be able to combine tropical fun with classic flower scents.
If you want your perfume to be a bit heavier, than look for spicy notes. For instance, Gucci Envy Me uses strong sandalwood base notes to create its sensual musk. Cinnamon, anise, and pine are very strong notes that can give perfume a fuller body.
Know the Different Perfume Concentrations
Are you looking for a light and gentle perfume to wear in the evening? Or are you hoping to have a strong irresistible scent that lasts all day long? The type of concentration you choose will play a big role in how strong your scent is and how long it lasts for.
Here are the 4 different names for each level of concentration:
- Parfum or perfume (highest concentration)
- Eau de parfum
- Eau de toilette
- Eau de colonge (lowest concentration)
The higher the concentration, the higher you can expect the price point to be. High concentration perfumes cost more because they have stronger scents that last longer.
Smell Fragrances You Might Like
After you find a perfume with the right notes and concentration, you’ll want to test it out. The very first step to finding your fragrance is to do a smell test.
You’ll want to avoid getting any of the perfume on your skin at this point in the selection process. When you get the perfume on your skin it’ll linger, and any future scent test won’t be accurate. Skin tests only work when you’ve narrowed down your scent selection.
For now, we’ll review the steps you need to take to test perfumes out on paper.
Find Test Papers
As you begin shopping for perfumes, look to see if there are any blotter papers or test strips available. Next, spray the perfume you’re considering onto 1 of the test papers.
Only do 1 spray, and be careful to not let the perfume get on your clothes, skin, or hair. After spraying the test paper, walk away from the area you sprayed the perfume in. This will give the paper a chance to absorb the fragrance, while also removing you from the area where the scent’s lingering in the air.
Gently Smell Fragrance
Finally, go ahead and lightly sniff the testing paper. You don’t want to inhale deeply or smell it closely, just lightly sniff the paper that has the perfume on it. Pulling your head away, what’s your initial reaction?
Write Down Your First Impression
It’s easy to confuse 1 perfume with another, especially if you’re testing several out in 1 day. We find it’s helpful if you take notes in a journal or on your smartphone. Write down the name of the fragrance, how you tested it, and what your first impression was.
How to Test Perfume on Your Skin
You probably don’t think of your skin as an organ, but it is! Your skin is the largest organ your body has, and it has a blend of hormones and pheromones that are unique to you.
The exact makeup of your skin’s chemistry will impact the way different fragrances smell. That’s why you must test a perfume out on your skin before committing to buying it. However, you’ll want to avoid overloading your skin with too many scents.
Start Scent Free
To begin, you’ll want to make sure you’re completely scent-free. To do this you’ll want to take a shower, but don’t use any scented body washes. Finally, avoid using body sprays, hair products with strong scents, or scented lotions.
Try 1 Scent a Day
Go ahead and go back to the store that has the scents you’re considering. Choose 1 perfume from your selection of possibilities, and give it a try. However, instead of using test papers, this time you’ll be using your skin.
Don’t Put Perfume on Clothes
Choose 1 perfume and spritz it on your wrists and pulse points. Don’t bother putting the perfume on your clothes. Perfume needs to interact with your skin for you to fully appreciate it. Putting perfume on your clothes will only make it difficult to fully appreciate the body of the scent.
Applying Your Fragrance
When you apply the perfume to your wrists avoid rubbing them together. The friction of rubbing your wrists together causes unnecessary heat that will impact the way the perfume smells. You should also avoid wrist rubbing because you’ll be smearing your natural body odor on top of the perfume. Instead, just spritz the perfume on your wrists.
Experience the Scent All Day
Next, go on about your day and let the scent sit with you for a while. As you go about your day, notice how the scent changes over time. The more time you spend with a scent, the more noticeable all 3 of the fragrance notes will be.
Write Down Your Thoughts
The moment you put the perfume on your skin, take a second to write down your first impression. After a couple of hours go by, jot down a few more notes about how the fragrance occurs to you.
Finally, at the end of the day, do you still like the fragrance? If not, use a few details in your notes to help you understand why. For instance, was it not strong enough, or was the fragrance too strong?
The more specific you can be, the easier it’ll be to communicate with store employees when you’re searching for a different scent. Instead of telling store employees, “I don’t know that smell just wasn’t for me”, you can tell them exactly what it was you didn’t like.
Love Your Scent
Now you know how to choose a perfume that’s perfect for you. We hope our article was able to teach you at least 1 new thing about the wonderful world of fragrances.
Don’t wait to love the way you smell, go ahead and find a perfume you can fall in love with today! For more ways to love the life you’re living, explore the rest of this site.