It’s one accessory that will never fail you regardless of your body type, size, skin colour or outfit. We’re talking perfume here.
Because of its versatility and the fact that it makes you smell fabulous, it’s probably the ultimate accessory everyone ought to own. But, before splurging on a scent, there are a few things that you should take note of.
The fragrance families
Perfumes come in several fragrance families to cater to individual preference. The most common and popular women’s perfume families are floral, fresh, fruity, oriental and woody. Dating back to the 1900s, floral scents are the most classic and timeless. After all, the smell of aromatic blooms such as rose, jasmine and lily of the valley are unfailingly charming.
Fragrances in the floral category have a feminine and romantic appeal and they include My Way by Giorgio Armani, Paris by Yves Saint Laurent, Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming by Christian Dior and Daisy by Marc Jacobs, among many others.
With a scent that’s as crisp as the ocean breeze, tender like the rain or uplifting as freshly-cut grass, fragrances that fall in the ‘fresh’, sometimes known as ‘green’ or ‘oceanic’ category are just right for everyday use.
Bergamot, broom, lichen, peppermint and vetiver are usually used in fresh-smelling fragrances, which include Earl Grey & Cucumber by Jo Malone London, Chance Eau Fraiche by Chanel, Fresh Life by Fresh cosmetics and Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana.
If you’re looking for something that smells sweet, go for fragrances with a fruity aroma. Fruits like apple, berries, peach, pomegranate and orange are among the ingredients used to produce perfumes in this category and for a flirty twist, they are sometimes mixed with caramel, jasmine, sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla.
Some of the popular fruity fragrances are English Pear & Freesia by Jo Malone London, Euphoria by Calvin Klein, My Burberry Blush by Burberry, Illusione by Bottega Veneta and Essenza di Colonia by Acqua di Parma.
Here’s a tip: Combine the fruity fragrance you like with something from the ‘fresh’ family as their notes blend well together, creating an aroma that’s uniquely yours.
With a heady and intoxicating scent, women’s perfume in the oriental fragrance family takes a little getting used to but one of its plus points is that it is long-lasting thanks to an exotic blend of cloves, peppercorns and amber, among many other ingredients.
Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford, Gucci Guilty Pour Femme and Opium by Yves Saint Laurent are some notable oriental fragrances.
As for the woody variety, this is a fragrance family that will capture anyone’s attention with just a single spritz. Ingredients like amber, cedarwood and sandalwood are mixed together with patchouli, oud and vanilla for added strength and warmth.
Such rich and smoky scents include Fahrenheit by Christian Dior, Carbone by Pierre Balmain, Sycomore by Chanel, Splendid Wood by Yves Saint Laurent and Tam Dao By Dyptique.
Last but not least, prior to your perfume purchase, pay attention to its type or form, namely pure perfume or extrait de parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette and cologne. Perfume in its purest form is the most expensive as it contains up to 30 per cent of perfume oil, which is so potent it will make your scent last over a day!
Most popular is eau de parfum, which boasts a perfume essence of between 15 and 20 per cent enabling it to last for about five to eight hours on your skin.
With a perfume essence content of five to 15 per cent, an eau de toilette generally stays on for about three hours although some versions last longer than that depending on the ingredients and how much you apply.
Cologne has between two and four per cent of perfume essence, which makes it soft and subtle with a lasting power of up to two hours only. However, you can always create a more intense and enduring scent through fragrance layering.
Before you head to the beauty counters to find the current best women’s perfume, remember to spray test on your pulse points such as your wrist where your skin is warmer so that the smell of the fragrance is intensified. And, never rub your wrists together as this will alter the fragrance’s molecular structure and change its smell.
After spritzing it on, wait for about 30 minutes and see if it goes well with your body chemistry. If it makes you feel and smell good then that’s the right one for you.