Christian Dior once said, “Perfume is a mark of female identity and the final touch of her style”. I love and identify with this quote because when I get ready for the day my perfume is the final signature touch everytime. I have always loved perfume and the way that it makes me feel. It is something that is personal and individualistic and when one has a signature scent that they faithfully wear, it becomes a part of who they are as much as their personal style. It becomes your identity, your pleasure and a part of who you are.
Choosing a signature scent is all about who you are as a person and what you most enjoy. It can be a time consuming endeavor that take dedication and curation to make sure that you pick something that speaks to who you are and your lifestyle. I wanted to create a primer for how to select a signature scent and the different types of perfumes as well as some tips on how to make the scent last longer once it’s applied.
The first thing to know about perfumes are the different types. We have seen words like Parfum and Eau De Parfum on bottles, but what does that really mean? Below is the basic types to understand what type of perfume you are looking for.
-Parfum: This is the strongest concentration of scent which lasts 12+ hours and is also the most expensive type to purchase.
-Eau De Parfume: Is the next highest concentration, but is lighter than Perfume. It still has a long lasting scent and is the most popular to purchase.
-Eau De Toilette: This one has less concentration, but is a good choice if you are looking for something light and is less complex in scent.
-Eau De Cologne: Mostly marketed to men, but is still good for either a man or a woman who wanst something light and fresh.
-Eau De Fraiche: This has the lightest scent among all fragrances and therefore is the least expensive to purchase, but will also not have much staying power once used.
The second thing to know about perfume is the scent types. This is where perfume starts to become more personal as we all have a type of scent that we prefer over another.
-Floral Notes: This one is pretty self explanatory as the name suggests, this type of perfume has the main scent of flowers. It is more sweet smelling and has notes of fresh cut flowers and fresh powder.
-Oriental Notes: This scent profile is more musky and has notes of incense, amber, sandalwood and patchouli.
-Woody Notes: Another one that is a little self explanatory. This one has more musky notes of aromatic woods, oak, moss, amber, dry woods and leather.
-Fresh Notes: This one encapsulates the fresh notes of things such as the clean linens, the ocean, water, citrus and fruit.
The best way to choose a signature scent is to know which perfume type speaks to you. So for example, do you love floral scents more than citrus scents? Or do you love sandalwood scents more than leather? It’s all about knowing what scent you personally find yourself drawn to. Once you have gotten your scent profile selected, you can go online and search for something such as “perfumes with fresh notes”. The search will yield all of the different perfumes on the market for the scent profile that you are looking for.
The next part which will take the longest will be to try those scents. To do this go into a store that has a perfume counter so that you can start to discover which perfumes you like the best. Start with spraying the samples on the little sample card to see which ones speak to you the most. After that you want to choose just one to try on yourself. Pick your favorite and spray it on the wrists (do not rub, let dry naturally) and wait to see if you like it. Perfume takes on a new scent when we spray it on our skin as the scent mixes with our own skin type and oils and natural scent.
You want to make sure that you like the way the perfume smells on you and your skin, so make sure you keep smelling it throughout the day. As the day goes on, keep smelling your wrists and notice the top notes of the fragrance which will be right after you spray it on, then later smell again for the middle notes and lastly smell it much later to see what the bottom notes are like. This will help you chooses the right scent to make sure that you are pleased with how it smells on you throughout the day.
Now that you have chosen a scent that you love, here are a few tips on how to make the scent last longer throughout the day.
-Take A Shower Before Spraying The Perfume: After you take a shower (or bath) apply the fragrance right afterwards. Make sure the skin is dry and spray it right onto the clean skin.
-Moisturize Your Skin: Another way to make the scent last longer is to moisturize your skin with either an unscented cream or a cream of the same scent as the perfume. The perfume will stick to moisturized skin better than dry skin as the dry skin will absorb it too quickly.
-Spray on the Right Points: Although you can apply perfume to any part of the skin, the best places to apply it to last longer are the pulse points on the skin. These points of the body are the warmest points on the skin and therefore it creates a candle like effect where the heat accentuates the scent and makes it stronger and last longer.
-Don’t Rub The Wrists: If you do spray perfume on your wrists, do not rub them together afterwards. When you rub your wrists together you are actually destroying the chemical makeup of the perfume and therefore the perfume will not only not smell the same, but the top notes will disappear much faster. Just spray the perfume on the wrists and let it dry naturally for maximum scent.
-Choose A Good Distance To Spray From – You don’t want to spray the perfume too closely as you don’t want big droplets to land on the skin and cause a scent that is too concentrated. Spray the perfume about 5-7 inches away from the skin to not only get the right amount of scent, but so that the perfume also reaches a wider range of skin.
-Keep Fragrances In The Right Place: A bottle of perfume can last months and even up to a year, so you want to make sure that you are storing your perfume the right way because the chemicals can start to break down if not properly stored. Keep perfumes in a dark place without rapid changes in temperature. The bathroom counter or anywhere near daylight is not a good place to store perfume. Instead, store perfumes in a dark drawer or closet or a vanity as long as it doesn’t get direct light.
And one last tip, don’t forget about the hair! The hair holds the scent of a fragrance a lot longer than the skin. You can apply just a small amount to your hair each day or even give a spray to your hairbrush which is even better so as to keep the alcohol from damaging your hair.
And if you are curious as to what my favorite signature scent is for myself…it is the English Pear and Freesia from Jo Malone. I received this as a Christmas gift from my husband this year and have been obsessed with it since. This will likely be my scent for many years to come!