Finding the perfect perfume for you can be a challenge, but once you’ve understood the basic scent categories, exploring the floor at Macy’s, Ulta or Sephora will give you a better idea about what scents you LOVE, and what scents you don’t.
Take a minute to first think of the things, people, & places that bring you the most joy and make you smile. Those moments are what you feel when you close your eyes and smell your favorite perfume. We want to feel wonderful everyday and that’s exactly what a signature scent will do for you!
Basic Scent Categories
- FLORAL – The most iconic scent which is seen in a lot of women’s fragrances. Think of freshly cut flowers like Jasmine, Rose, or Gardenias!
- WOODY – These scents are classified as more “masculine,” and are smells that can be nutty in flavor, or associated with nature, like cedar and dry wood.
- FRESH – Fresh fragrances usually comprise of citrus, water and green notes. This means they have refreshing, zesty and vibrant smells like Lavender or Rosemary.
- ORIENTAL/SPICE – This scent reminds me of any spicy, sweet or powdery incense sticks. Sometimes they can be a deep woody vanilla.
- MUSK – Think of what clean laundry smells like (Yum lol)
- CITRUS – Lime, lemon or Oranges.
- AQUATIC – Aquatic fragrances are those that take inspiration from water, most usually the ocean.
- SMOKEY – Think of what your clothes smell like after a bonfire!
- GREEN – Ahh, the smell of freshly cut grass on a dewy spring morning.
- FRUITY – These scents usually burst out with notes that feature the ripe scent of fruits other than citrus, such as peach, black currant, mango, and passion fruit.
What are Scent Notes?
You might have heard of top notes, heart notes, and base notes, so what are they? Sorry, it has nothing to do with music, but they can create a beautiful masterpiece of fragrance. All of these notes play a huge part in the lifetime of the fragrance that you choose. Fragrances are actually living organisms and do evolve over a period of time.
A top note lasts about 15-20 minutes and is your first impression of the fragrance. The middle or heart notes last for most of the day and convey the main character of your fragrance They last about two to four hours. Base or bottom notes expel out for roughly four to six hours. These notes last the longest and are the ones you remember most.
The Smell Test
Please don’t go in the store and spray 50 perfumes on your body and try to decide which is the perfect one. Your nose cannot take all of those smells at once. I suggest going to your favorite fragrance destination in the morning and starting with one or two brands whose perfumes you are considering purchasing.
Narrowing it down to the brands will help you focus on a few things:
- Which brand do I want to support?
- In what atmosphere do I want to wear this perfume?
- If you’re a little high maintenance like me (lol), looking at the type of bottle and how it will match your esthetic is important. (This is all psychological in how you look at the bottle to how you feel when you pick it up in the morning!)
Firstly, you want to know which brands you are supporting and why. This is important because all brands don’t have the same core values or sustainability practices. I mention this because you don’t want a brand that doesn’t have a good social presence, a brand that dilutes their perfumes or uses harmful ingredients that could irritate your skin. Pick one or two brands that you are in love with and go from there.
Secondly, you want to consider in what atmosphere are you going to be wearing this fragrance: to work, school, fun nights out, or as an everyday perfume. Down the line, the goal is to have a fragrance for every occasion, but it’s important to start off with a signature scent that you will wear everyday and carry you through most of these occasions. I personally wouldn’t wear my Versace perfume everyday, but my Chanel perfume is a great everyday fragrance.
Something else to consider is your lifestyle. Do you workout everyday? Do you walk or drive? Do you perspire a lot or do you sit most days? All of these lifestyle questions come into play because you don’t want a fragrance that loses its smell too quickly because it doesn’t match your body chemistry or lifestyle. Those basic scent categories will help you with this.
It’s also important to consider what message you want to send into the universe. Your fragrance represents you and will propel you to your highest self with its confidence-boosting abilities. Choosing a fragrance can be a more sentimental experience because scent plays a powerful role in our lives. Your favorite fragrance should take you back to a happy memory and make you feel the same way you did in that moment.
When I first started getting into the world of fragrance I was worried about the cost. I used to buy cheap-ass perfume which never seemed to keep its smell throughout the day. Then, I did my research and invested in quality fragrances that not only told a story, but that made me happy when I wore them. Happiness is so important because life is too short and we deserve to feel this happiness everyday of our lives.
Now, I personally don’t care about how much it costs if I love a fragrance, but I would consider taking it into consideration because it can be expensive. Cheaper fragrances tend to have top notes that start off very, very strong. This is because – from what we’ve learned above – top notes dissipate quickly. Expensive fragrances have the complexity of heart notes which gives it the power to last longer.
Finally, perfume bottles can come in multiple sizes. If you are going to spend $70-$80 on a perfume, you may as well spend the extra $30 to get the bigger bottle, especially if this is a fragrance that you love and will wear often. I was being cheap and bought the smallest size of ‘Giorgio Armani – Si Passione’ not realizing I was spraying the hell out of it lol – I would’ve saved money, too, if I had just bought the bigger bottle the first time.
A Note for You!
A sophisticated woman should always have a signature scent, revealing her sensual nature, but with mysterious elegance. You don’t have to break the bank to have nice things, but investing in a signature scent can boost your confidence, inspire creativity, and radiate your uniqueness. If you want to know what scents I love wearing, check them out here with my Top 3 Most Sexy Modern and Elegant Perfumes for Women!
I Would Love to Hear from YOU!
Do you agree with my picks? Did I miss any hidden gems? What is your current favorite perfume? Or maybe you have a question. Either way, please let me know by leaving a comment below right now, or on my IG page @MINDBODYCURLS
I hope you’ve enjoyed my article and found this list useful. If you did, I would love it if you would share it to your favorite social networks!
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