Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Great Scent Search

Finding a fragrance that’s right for you can be a rather overwhelming process – especially if you walk into a department store and multiple sales people start attacking you with bottles. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of scent shopping.

1.    Try to go to a perfumery that specializes in helping you find the right scent. Search your area for a perfumery of apothecary and if you can’t find one then opt for the nearest department store. It’s worth searching for one because the people who work in a perfumery or apothecary tend to be very passionate about what they do. You want that when you invest in an expensive bottle of bliss! I go to Etiket in Montreal. Usually whoever is working there will ask you some questions about what you typically find yourself attracted to (if you don’t know they’ll help you figure it out!) and then they’ll walk you through variations in that fragrance family.

2.   Be Open! Some commonly used notes in perfumes come loaded with assumptions (old ladies wear roses, hippies wear patchouli, musk is dirty). Perfume is a complex and subtle art. One material used in one way will not even slightly resemble the same material used in another composition. Forget what you think you know and let yourself get lost in the smell.

3.   Use the little paper tabs that are provided. It is of course important to spray a perfume on your skin, but until you find one you’re really excited about and potentially want to purchase, you should only spray the tabs. When you spray the perfume on the tabs, avoid making contact with your nose. The scent will stay on your skin as you’re smelling every other fragrance.

4.   Don’t smell coffee beans, smell yourself! The best way to neutralize your nose is to smell your own care skin. It sounds silly but I usually smell my elbow or my shoulder because I don’t wear perfume there. It works a lot better than coffee beans because the beans confuse my nose!

5.    Lean about different notes. Everybody’s chemistry is a little different so you can’t make a general statement about top, middle and base notes. Typically, the top note is the first thing you smell when you spray or dab perfume on the skin. It lasts about 5-15 short minutes so enjoy it! Next you’ll get the middle of “heart” notes, which last about 30-45 minutes. Base notes give a fragrance its depth.

Of course, everyone’s tastes and preferences are different so I encourage you to be really patient and open-minded when scent shopping. I’ve learned that fragrances are a really important accessory. They leave a lasting impression on people you meet and can also evoke memories. My scent search was so fun at Etiket and it’s not over yet! I always love trying new fragrances and even try to change them up by season. I hope your search is as fun as mine is. Good luck!

Originally Posted on The Beauty Department

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