Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to Find Your Signature Scent Part 1: The Basics

MoonBelle Photography

Fragrance is undoubtedly one of the most personal beauty products a person can own.  Scents react to your own body chemistry, so what smells amazing in the bottle or on someone else just may not work for you, and vice versa.  Whether you're looking for a Signature Scent or want to build up a fragrance library of perfumes for different moods and seasons, Applied Glamour steps in to assist and eliminate confusion!  This three part series on perfume will take you through every aspect of fragrance selection, from the initial sniff to exactly what "woody oriental" means to where to find the most unique scents.

First, some terms to decode:  Top notes refer to the fragrance elements you smell immediately after the perfume is sprayed.  They're strong and will be your first impression of the perfume, but they also tend to evaporate fairly quickly.  Middle notes are what you smell after the top notes have faded, usually up to an hour later.  They're the "heart" of the fragrance and the main elements of the perfume.  The base notes are what add depth and complexity to a perfume, since it's the element that lingers long after the top and middle notes have faded.  You can start detecting them as early as thirty minutes after applying the perfume, but they often take much longer to appear.  This will affect how long your fragrance lasts.

If you have no idea where to begin, just pick up a perfume bottle that appeals to you and see how you like the fragrance inside.  Ideally, you want something aesthetically pleasing as well as smelling amazing.  It's completely okay to judge a fragrance by its bottle.  Alternatively, pick a fragrance to test from a fashion house whose clothes or accessories you admire.  If you have a collection of Pucci scarves, try Miss Pucci or Vivara perfumes (the bottles are stunning, too).  If you dream of a Chanel handbag, see how you like Coco Mademoiselle.  It's not completely foolproof, but it's a great place to start.

The best way to find a fragrance you love is to test it on your own skin!  Try one scent on each wrist at a time and wear it around for a while to really get a feel for the top, middle, and base notes, determine how long the scent will last, and most importantly, how it smells on you.  It can be time consuming, yes, but the process is ultimately worthwhile. 

Stay tuned for parts two and three on How to Find Your Signature Scent!  Coming soon: all about fragrance families and secrets for finding truly unique perfumes.

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