Choosing perfume is a gut thing. You can read as much information about fragrance as you like, but until you smell a scent, it is impossible to know how you will experience it. In the run up to National Fragrance Week, STORIES by Eliza Grace supports The Fragrance Foundation’s vision of helping consumers make informed decisions when purchasing their scent. Here are a few things that might better equip you when buying perfume for yourself or as a gift.
- Who is it for?
Consider the personality of the perfume wearer. If you are buying fragrance for yourself, think about the elements of your personality you would like to showcase. A blend containing Hesperedic facets, such as Bergamot, Grapefruit, Sweet Orange or Lemon, will convey a refreshing, uplifting message. Something featuring notes from the Balsamic Facet will tell a softer, richer story. Anything floral suggests femininity or provides balance for notes that are considered to be overly masculine. To tap into some of perfume’s more sensual notes you could choose fragrances featuring oriental notes, such as Vanilla, Sandalwood, Heliotrope and any of the Gum Resins.
- How do you live?
How you spend your days will have a bearing on the kind of scent that best suits you. This applies to gift giving as well. For example, an outdoor enthusiast who is drawn to the natural world needs a fragrance that harnesses the essence of that environment. A blend featuring Oak Moss, Patchouli and perhaps herbaceous oils such as Lavender, Tarragon or Rosemary would work well. Someone who travels a lot and relies on their fragrance as a means of refreshment would benefit from a blend containing notes from the Water Family that recreate the smell of fresh air after a thunderstorm or bracing salt spray. Consider the interests of the fragrance wearer and how this might inform the choice you make.
- What’s the occasion?
The fragrance you wear makes a statement. A light, floral scent is more suitable for subtle daytime wear; woody and complex strikes a serious work-related tone whereas spicy notes can help you stand out from the evening crowd. Consider when and where you want to wear the perfume. If it is a gift, you can help the wearer by explaining the sort of occasion for which the blend would be most suited.
These are little more than guidelines to give a starting point from which to make connections between your story and the one told by the fragrance you buy. Ultimately you should trust your gut when you inhale a new scent. How does the fragrance make you feel? What is it saying to you? How does that message fit into your life’s narrative?