Understanding Perfumes and Perfume Shopping

Been shopping for perfumes lately? Get into a lifestyle store and you are sure to find a section selling perfumes. Not one or two, there are many carrying signature blends of Amitabh Bacchan, SRK, Antonio Banderas and the other ones with their own tones and overpowering scent. Unless you are a perfumologist or one specializing on aromatherapy, it is way past our simple requirement to choose the one we are looking for. Here are few tips to make it a bit easier. First things first, go with what you’re naturally drawn to.

After you’ve got a clearer idea of what you like, be it fruity, sweet, dry, etc., look for fragrances in that category. In the store, spray the perfume into the palm of your hand, then wipe it with tissue: this ought to give you an idea of what the perfume should smell like on your skin within a few hours.

Personal taste is key, but it shouldn’t be the only criteria when choosing a scent. Often, women will choose scents without realizing the message they’re sending.

It’s my opinion that after their teen years are over, women should avoid choosing highly communicative scents, like flower-based perfumes. Instead, opt for business-appropriate fragrances, such as lemon-based or perfumes containing oriental notes. They may not sound very worthy of a glamorous evening out, but these scents pass muster because they blend light, fresh notes with others to create something energetic, bright and uplifting. They’re ideal to wear outdoors during the spring and summer and turn out to be ideal for Chennai weather.

Cartier Eau de Cartier: An old classic, this fresh scent is rich in citric yuzu, bergamot, violet leaves, musk, lavender, cedarwood,  patchouli and amber. The combination of bright citrus and rich musk is enigmatic, yet relaxed.

Acqua Di Parma Iris Nobile: This elegant scent stands head and shoulders above the crowd, thanks to a refined blend that includes mandarin, iris petals, orange blossom, vanilla and more. This is a particularly classic, memorable scent ideal for a very fancy occasion.

Yves Saint Laurent Opium: Absolutely no list would be complete without a mention of this timeless scent. An enchanting blend of cloves, plum, rose, cedarwood and more, it illustrates that certain scents resonate with women for decades. This one has been around since 1977!

For the youthful who love to experiment, try these out

DKNY Be Delicious: This youthful, fun scent contains a burst of juicy apple tempered by intriguing coordinates, like cucumber, rose, sandalwood and white amber, to name a few.

Dior Addict: A grownup vanilla scent can be a tricky one to manage, but this scent does so with grace. It’s blended with sandalwood and tonka beans to create the ultimate, mysterious, glamorous scent. Despite being bold and memorable, it veers just short of being too strong.

Nanette Lepore: Expect nothing but pure romance from Lepore, who’s responsible for some of the fashion world’s most flirtatious, sweet designs. Her original scent is similar: It’s a warm blend of rose, white peach, white cranberry, orange jasmine and more.

What does Eau De Toilette, Eau de Parfum, etc… mean?

These terms refer to the strength of the fragrance, or more specifically, to how much high grade alcohol and/or water that has been added to the fragrance oils. Parfum (generally the most concentrated form you can buy) has 15-25% perfume oil dissolved in alcohol. Any mixture with a lower proportion of oil to alcohol is known as an Eau.

Eau Fraiche (Usually 3% or less perfume oil)
Eau de cologne – EDC (2 – 5% perfume oil)
Eau de toilette – EDT (4 – 10% perfume oil)
Eau de parfum – EDP (8 – 15% perfume oil)
Soie de Parfum (15 – 18% perfume oil)
PARFUM (15 – 25% — also sometimes referred to as Extract or Extrait)
Perfume oil (15-30% perfume oil in an oil rather than alcohol base)

You may also see the term Parfum de Toilette. Most companies use this term to describe a concentration that is either the same as Eau De Parfum, or between Eau De Parfum and Parfum.

The 3 most common perfume fragrances you will purchase are:

PARFUM – This is one of the strongest perfume fragrance available. This means that you need to use less and the fragrance will last much longer depending on skin type. Will last 6 to 8 hours.

EAU DE PARFUM – EDP This is lighter than the Parfum and is less expensive, but still has long-lasting fragrance smell. Will last from 3 to 5 hours.

EAU DE TOILETTE – EDT This is a lighter fragrance and is therefore most used for the casual everyday use. It is less expensive than Eau de Parfum. Will lasts for 2 to 4 hours.

Few tips to identify the perfume that is right for you
  • Use the family icons next to each product to tell you which family the perfume belongs to.
  • Lighter fragrances work better for daytime with heavier musky scents for a night out
  • During the day an EDT or EDC works best. During the evenings a more concentrated fragrance can be used such as an EDP
  • Remember that a fragrance that you love wearing may not smell the same on someone else or suit their personality
Making your perfume effective

Apply fragrances to your wrist to try them. This gets the truest representation of how the fragrance will smell on you. Put your perfume on before your body lotion, always spray some in your hair and never, ever overdo it.

For the full effect, try layering your scent by having a bath or shower using soap, shower gel or even shampoo of your desired fragrance.

Perfume also lasts longer on your skin if it’s oily, so add a little Johnson’s Baby Oil, to the areas you’re going to spray, according to beauty expert Jenna Rose.

Spray fragrance on pulse points, such as the temples, base of the throat, the wrists and the bend of the elbow, which are the areas that produce heat to release the scent of your perfume.

When you spray perfume on your wrist, never rub your wrists together because it compresses the scent, which then won’t develop naturally.For an extra long-lasting scent, hold the spray about 12 inches away and step into the fragrance cloud.

Finally, remember: just because your best friend, your mother, or The Perfumologist recommended it, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

Posted on January 3, 2012, in Attractions, Fashion and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.


    hmm, informative !
    too much behind a SPRAY !

  2. Really helpful! I have been looking to try out new perfume! And was looking for suggestions as well! Thanks for sharing such an useful info!

  3. It was helpul, but can u pls suggest few perfumes for a guy whose line of work involves a lot of sweating in a highly humid atmosphere.

  4. Kumar,

    A valid question. You need a deodorant layered with a dominant aroma. Check out our latest article that talks about notes. It will help you.


  5. Agree 100% – Every Person has a Different Scent which goes best with them as per preferences and personalities.

    We Here @ “Projekt Perfumery India” – Pefumery.co.in and DeMystifying Scents and Recommened People based on their Individuality.

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