Human beings perceive the world around them based on the traditional five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Because our sense of smell works in tandem with our minds and our sense of taste, scents are powerful. They can simultaneously evoke memories and enhance our moods as well as help us define our style and accent our personality.
The endless combinations of scents and individual fragrance notes used by fragrance chemists have produced untold numbers of popular fragrances over the years. It is estimated that 63 percent of men wear a personal fragrance while almost 83 percent of women wear a scent, making the personal fragrance industry a $38 billion industry.
But there are perfuming pitfalls which can make selecting your signature scent overwhelming. Here are some tips to consider when selecting your signature scent.
The Selection Process
You really can overwhelm yourself when you start smelling everything. Speak to someone in the fragrance department if you are starting from scratch. Mention some scents you like and then start with only three-to-six fragrances. Anything beyond that will exhaust you.
Rather it’s keeping it out of sight. Have a sales person keep the bottles and packaging hidden. By avoiding the visual aspects, you can focus on the scent instead of being influenced by the product marketing.
Once you have narrowed your samples, start by sniffing the inner cap; then spray some on a blotting paper. Note a difference.
If the store has aids like coffee beans, take advantage of them by smelling the coffee beans between each fragrance; it clears the nose to “reset” your sense of smell.
If you’re able to narrow it down to one or two, apply the fragrances on your skin. Ultimately, the true scent of the fragrance is activated when it interacts with your skin chemistry and body temperature.
If available, consider taking home a sample or buy a trial size and live with it for a little bit. Fragrances can be expensive and can take a long time to use up so you don’t want to be stuck with something you truly do not love.
What is the Difference Between …
Eau du fraiche, cologne, eau du toilette, eau du parfum and perfume all fall under the personal fragrance umbrella. Some of us may mistakenly call someone’s fragrance a perfume or cologne, not necessarily paying attention to the difference. After all, cologne is for men and perfumes for women, right? Not exactly. What differentiates the various fragrance types is the percentage of concentrated perfume essences used.
Eau du fraiche is the lightest with 1-3 percent concentration and generally lasts an hour or less.
Eau du cologne has 2-4 percent concentration and lasts for a couple of hours.
Eau du toilette has a 5-15 percent concentration and lasts around three hours.
Eau du parfum has a 15-20 percent concentration and lasts up to eight hours.
Perfume has the highest concentration, containing up to 30 percent pure perfume and can last upwards of 24 hours.
It is worth noting that eau du parfum and perfume are typically more expensive because of their higher percentages of perfume concentrates. While you may be spending more for these, you ultimately need to wear less of the fragrance.
Bobby Says …
Sometimes spray, always roll, never splash. You can save yourself the embarrassment of wearing too much scent by adhering to this theory: it is fine to modestly spray a scent, being sure to calibrate the correct amount for the situation and strength of the scent. It is always fine to use a roll-on fragrance because it is generally easier to sparingly dot it on. But never splash on a fragrance because you can easily over do it.
If you find that you have applied too much fragrance you can use rubbing alcohol to cleanse the area. If that is not nearby, most hand sanitizers have a high alcohol content. Also, like the perfume counter you can use coffee to neutralize it. Use some coffee grounds to gently scrub the area where you applied too much.
By Bobby Ciletti, travel and lifestyle expert and founder of TheDaysoftheChic.com. Twitter @BobbyCiletti