Scintillating scents

Choosing a scent or perfume is not always easy, given the gorgeous array available. By Lynda Papesch.

I’ve been known to pick a perfume because I love the bottle it’s in, and I’m not alone in that. Some people collect perfume bottles, simply to enjoy their packaging. Selecting a perfume to wear is a different story. Essentially it should reflect your personality, regardless of gender, and leave you feeling good about yourself. Perfumes usually belong to one of six different olfactory fragrance families.

Hesperide: synonymous with freshness and lightness, citrus fragrances from this family are perfect for dynamic, inspiring and cheerful personalities.
Floral: iris, jasmine, lily of the valley. Perfect for affectionate, happy people.
Chypre: bergamot, rose, patchouli. These stimulating yet elegant fragrances are ideal for those with strong and authentic personalities.
Oriental: musk, spices, vanilla. These muted fragrances reveal seductive, enigmatic and sensual personalities.
Aromatic: lavender, rosemary, sage. Ideal scents for extroverted and energetic people.
Woody: patchouli, cedar, sandalwood. These notes suit an adventurous and daring spirit.

When a perfumer creates a fragrance, it’s not intended to be masculine or feminine, although marketing helps to create the illusion of male and female fragrances. Some perfumes appear more suited to men or women because the notes used to make them express a more feminine or masculine side. For example, leather, tobacco and patchouli notes are more appealing to men while floral and muted notes will attract women looking for an incredibly feminine scent. Let’s not forget there are also unisex perfumes with mixed scents that make them alluring for both men and women.

Choosing a perfume is personal and becomes even more complicated when you have a multi-faceted personality, so this is where knowing notes comes in to play.
Perfume has a complex three-level structure, and this olfactory pyramid gradually reveals the fragrance’s different notes:

Top notes provide the initial scent, as soon as the fragrance is sprayed. They often correspond to citrus or aromatic notes. Heart notes are sensual, reflecting a perfume’s true personality, only appearing after several minutes. They are often floral, fruity or even spicy. Base notes are the foundation on which the entire perfume is built, adding depth, fullness, and longevity. Common base notes are mossy woods, musks, and amber.

Various times and events call for different fragrances so curate your own unique collection, maybe light and floral for a day at the office, and heavier, more sexy notes for an evening out.

Changing perfumes with the seasons is one way to find your ideal fragrances. As the weather warms up, try light and refreshing citrus notes for relaxing at the beach or pool. During autumn, woody and spicy notes are popular, while in winter, the focus is on warming fragrances with sweet and gourmand notes. Spring is the time for fruity and floral notes to celebrate renewal.

Here are a few options to try:

Fame Intense, Rabanne.
Fame, Rabanne.
Lady Million, Rabanne.
La Belle, Jean Paul Gaultier.
La Beau, Jean Paul Gaultier
Divine, Jean Paul Gaultier.
All of Me, Narciso Rodriguez.

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