Secrets to Choosing The Perfect Perfume

selection of perfume bottles surrounded by flower petals
Look for the perfect concentration for your every need

Are you having trouble choosing a fresh new fragrance for yourself? Or maybe you’re shopping for someone else and aren’t sure what type of perfume they’d like best. Whatever your conundrum, we’ve put together the ultimate guide that will help you choose the right fragrance the first time!

People choose perfumes for all kinds of different reasons. Perfumes can be used to brighten up one’s mood, to conjure up old memories or to make you smell great! That said, the choice of perfume is a personal one, and with literally thousands of choices available, choosing the right one can be a total nightmare.

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the right fragrance, from the types of available scent to what the concentration names on the bottles mean and how best to test.

What Are Perfumes Made Up Of?

Each perfume is made up of different notes that define the scent. The notes are divided into three different layers called ‘base’, ‘middle’ and ‘top’ notes which all work together to create a unique fragrance. There are eight basic types of scent:

1. Floral

Inspired by sweet smelling flowers, including carnations, gardenias, orange blossoms, jasmine and roses, floral scents are considered to be classic, romantic and feminine.

Get these floral fragrances:

2. Citrus

Derived from mandarin, tangerine, lemon and lime, citrus scents offer a lively, tangy feel perfect for bubbly women to wear during the daytime.

For those who love a fresh scent:

3. Woody

A combination of moss and wood, woody scents (also known as chypre fragrances for women’s or unisex perfumes) primarily use citrus, oak moss, bergamot, patchouli and sweet earthy aromas.

For those nature-lovers:

4. Oriental

A mix of musky and earthy fragrances, oriental scents are made from musk, amber and animalistic base scents, creating a seductive impression that makes them perfect for date night.

  • Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Misteriosa EDP 100ml $212, Metro
  • Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT 100ml $150, Metro

5. Fruity

Very popular due to their sweetness, fruity scents have a blend of fruity and spicy notes, including ingredients such as peach, mango, berry and apple, which combine to evoke a fresh and romantic sensation.

For that upcoming date night:

6. Green

Usually unisex perfumes, green scents are inspired by the smells of nature, like newly-mowed grass and fresh leaves which blend to create mild sporty perfumes ideal for casual events.

For your everyday scent:

  • Fuji Green Tea Cologne 100ml $28.90, The Body Shop
  • BVLGARI Eau Parfumée Au thé Vert EdC 150ml $227, Metro Centrepoint
  • Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Sky EDT 100ml $160, Metro

7. Oceanic

One of the newest type of scents available, oceanic perfumes contain manmade aromas that resemble open-air environments associated with water and nature, like the smell of clean linen or fresh mountain air.

For your mid-day pick-me-up:

8. Spicy

Loaded with all your favourite spices from the kitchen, including pepper, cloves, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon, spicy scents are luxurious in an old-fashioned way.

For the nostalgic:

For a scent that last all day, pick up a Parfum!
For a scent that last all day, pick up a Parfum!

Why Are There So Many Different Types of Perfumes?

After you’ve identified the right scent, there’s still one big hurdle to jump over: the concentration. There are five main types of perfume concentration, and they are termed as such:

  1. Parfum (also sometimes called Perfume) – 15-40{8f42e3536fa1e6f87f919a2e387db08d813e1f513d4d1296def18f34bd27beb4} perfume oil concentration
  2. Eau de Parfum – 15-20{8f42e3536fa1e6f87f919a2e387db08d813e1f513d4d1296def18f34bd27beb4} perfume oil concentration
  3. Eau de Toilette – 5-15{8f42e3536fa1e6f87f919a2e387db08d813e1f513d4d1296def18f34bd27beb4} perfume oil concentration
  4. Eau de Cologne – 2-4{8f42e3536fa1e6f87f919a2e387db08d813e1f513d4d1296def18f34bd27beb4} perfume oil concentration
  5. Eau Fraiche – 1-3{8f42e3536fa1e6f87f919a2e387db08d813e1f513d4d1296def18f34bd27beb4} perfume oil concentration

The more concentrated a scent, the more expensive it is because a higher concentration means a more powerful and longer-lasting scent. Because parfum is the highest concentrated scent, one spritz to each side of your neck and one on each wrist is all you need for the fragrance to last all day.

At the other end of the scale, fraiche is the least concentrated of the perfumes and because of this, the smell isn’t very strong or long-lasting. This means you have to apply it multiple times throughout the day if you want the fragrance to remain.

What Do The Concentration Levels Mean For You?

If you really want to treat yourself to something special or want to impress the lady you’re shopping for, parfum is what you want to be looking for. This perfume is the most expensive concentration, but it’s also the best and is most suited to use for work, when going for a date or when travelling, since it lasts for 6-8 hours.

Eau de parfum is the next highest concentrated scent which lasts 4-5 hours after application. This type of concentration is slightly cheaper than the original parfum and is best for weddings, parties and daytime dates.

Eau de toilette is one of the most common types of perfume concentration because it’s affordable and easy to find in more retail stores. This type of perfume lasts for 2-3 hours, meaning it will require more than one application for it to last all day, but it’s great for short events, like dinners, movies and meetings.

Eau de cologne (not to be confused with men’s cologne) only lasts for two hours at the most. Because of this, it’s unsuitable for all-day wear, unless you commit to constant reapplications. However, it’s perfect for occasions where you don’t mind the scent gradually fading, like casual outings, movies and shopping.

And finally eau fraiche. This is the least concentrated fragrance with a small amount of perfume oil which means it will only be distinguishable for one hour at the most. This makes it definitely inappropriate to wear for a full day, but a fantastic choice for at home or a short beach walk.

Pick the perfume that best suits your personality.
Pick the perfume that best suits your personality.

Try before you buy

This is the only step you can do effectively if you’re buying a new perfume for yourself. Natural changes your body goes through affect how different notes smell on your skin. Things such as taking medication, your diet or even being stressed out can all affect how a perfume smells on you. This is why the same perfume can smell different on different people.

So to start off with, definitely smell the perfume straight out of the bottle or sprayed on a piece of tester paper. If you’re shopping for someone else, this is as far as you can go with testing. But if you’re shopping for yourself, it’s definitely worth spraying some perfume on your wrist, waiting a couple of minutes for it to evaporate then smelling to see how the fragrance comes across when it’s on your skin.

Just like clothes and hairstyles, someone’s scent can reveal a lot about their personality. With these helpful tips, you’ll find it easy to choose the perfect perfume that best describes you or the woman you’re shopping for.

Be spoilt for choice when you visit these retailers to shop for your favourite scent!

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