Growing up, many of us drenched ourselves in cheap body sprays and heavily scented lotions. Bath & Body Works items lined my bathroom counter, as I recall the scents of sweet pea and warm vanilla sugar filling the room. Where we once trailed down the drugstore beauty isle in search of glitter spray, we are now choosing more intricate scents. Being a young adult woman, I now understand how fragrance is synonymous with womanhood. The perfume you select represents you; it is your calling card to everyone you encounter and a scent remembered by those you love.
With the wide selection sold in stores and online, it is easy to become overwhelmed when searching for a perfume. Therefore, I took a trip to Sephora to meet with one of their Fragrance Beauty Experts, compiling a list of quick tips and tricks for finding your staple fragrance.
“A lot of women come in and instantly want perfumes they see in magazine ads,” said Shanelle Banks, Sephora Fragrance Expert, “When in reality Chanel Nº5 is not the fragrance for them.”
Finding Your Signature Scent:
- Three Test Rule
Never test more than three fragrances at once. Although it may be tempting to try multiple, especially since perfume’s ornately decorated bottles are so eye-catching, after three sniffs your nose will have a difficult time differentiating the complexities of the fragrances. This can lead to the risk confusing the scents.
- Skin, Not Paper
Rather than using the sample paper strips, spritz a small amount of perfume onto your wrists and wait a few moments. It’s important to test the fragrance on your bare skin because our chemical makeup has unique hormones and pheromones that can slightly or majorly affect how the fragrance smells. “Perfumers say that your body chemistry ‘pushes’ certain notes in the fragrance more strongly, thanks to genetics or your diet.” How the scent smells on someone else may not be the same way it will smell on you, therefore ditch the paper-sampling method.
- Choosing From The Four Fragrance Families
Each of us has individual preferences in terms of scent, therefore choose a scent that best describes you and your personality. There are 14 fragrance families, but all of which can be divided into four main groups; Fresh, Floral, Oriental and Woody. Narrowing down your scent into a specific category helps find your staple aroma without trying on an overwhelming amount. Below is a short synopsis of what each category encompasses.Fresh → Light, clean, zesty, citrus, refreshing, sporty, fruity
Floral → Roses, daisies, chic, feminine, sexy
Oriental → Exotic flowers, warmth, spices, vanilla
Woody → Outdoors, cedar wood, amber
- Sephora Fragrance IQ Test
Sephora continues to dominate the beauty industry in all aspects, as stores now incorporate electronic interactive kiosks; one dedicated to skincare and the other to fragrance. The digital perfume finder provides knowledge about the four fragrance families, while you can take a quiz to find which category best suits you. Using only three questions, results are calculated immediately providing a list of suggested perfume choices.
The quest for the ever elusive signature scent can be difficult, but hopefully these four tips will be of some service. Finding a perfume that matches your unique biogenetic makeup and personality takes time and an unseeingly large amount of trial and error. Below are are a few women who have gotten it right. ↓
One Scent Women
“I’ve been using the same perfume for over 11 years now. It’s Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au thé blanc. I actually stumbled upon it while traveling with my husband. It was our first trip away together, so the scent reminds me of that time. It’s a smell that brings back memories.” – Marsha Kumar, Tampa Bay Resident
“I love Viva La Juicy. I’ve been using it for like 6 years and I haven’t grown tired of it like I do with other fragrances. I always switch up my face wash, body wash and shampoo because I get tired of certain scents, but this is something I’ve just always loved, which says a lot.” – Erin Toler, Nursing Student at Colorado Christian University
“Hmmm, I would say Valentina is my go-to, I’ve been using it for about a year and a half. It’s from Italy and I love it!!! It’s nice to use when going out for the evening; a nice light and airy scent that’s not overpowering.” – Rosalyne Follman, Student at the University of South Florida
“I love Daisy by Marc Jacobs and have been using it for on and off four years. I like a certain style of perfume that is floral and light.” – Katherine LeFevre, Student at Old Dominion University
“Victoria’s Secret’s Love Spell. It was the most popular perfume when I was in middle school and I’ve been wearing it ever since, for 15 years! I can’t stop. I buy the deals every year at the semi-annual sale and stock up!” – Katie Daly, Tampa Bay resident