As to why scents sometimes smell completely different on two different people, Ms. Yang said that fragrances are sensitive to light and heat, and even your own personal body chemistry, diet and hormonal levels. Even time of day plays into how a perfume “wears,” or how it smells on you, how powerful it is and how long it lasts.
Your environment also plays a role in how your skin smells. “At the very least, you should wear your fragrance at least twice in two distinct environments,” Mr. Jeong explained. “Since your surrounding, your diet, and even the weather can have an impact on how the fragrance smells on you, it is important to try your scent out a few different times.”
Ms. Yang let us in on the cardinal rule of fragrance application and sampling: “Don’t rub. Rubbing the scent creates heat that will break up the molecules faster. You can accidentally speed up the scent journey and miss out on the delicate dance of its true reveal.”
If multiple trips to the mall to sample new fragrances sounds exhausting, keep in mind that department stores have small sample vials behind the counters ready for you to bring home — all you have to do is ask. If you prefer a cosmetics store like Sephora, their staff is able to make a sample vial of fragrances on their shelves so you can wear them over a few days to know how they function in different environments, giving you time to live with the scent.
Discover something you love
The chemical makeup of your chosen scent has effects on the durability of your fragrance. Mr. Jeong said, “A big misconception is that all EDPs (eau de parfums) or parfums last very long and are great projectors. While oil concentration affects scent strength and sillage (how much a scent lingers in the air), the ingredients used in a fragrance formula often matter more.
“For example, natural citrus ingredients tend to be more effervescent and last shorter than notes like vanilla, patchouli, and different woods.”
Ms. Yang also pointed out that natural vs. synthetic elements in your scent affect not only the length of the wear, but the smell of the scent itself and how it interacts with your body. “Natural is not always more sustainable … or better for you. I’m a trained aromatherapist and I love natural fragrances as much as synthetic/natural combos. That said, four tons of roses, composed of approximately 1,600,000 rose blossoms, yields only 1 kilogram of rose oil. Real, all-natural perfumes are very expensive. No two rose yields will smell exactly the same (like wine) due to climate conditions.
Finding a perfume that you reach for over and over again, that you never tire of, and that instantly feels familiar and comforting, is no easy task. But there are a few rules you can follow to help find that signature scent…
What the eek does EDP and EDT mean?
The counter lady lost you with her perfume jargon? No worries, it is not that complicated really. Here’s what you need to know: ranked from the strongest, longer-lasting to the lightest and most evanescent, perfumes can be divided in Parfum, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Eau de Cologne. Parfum is the most expensive as the richest in terms of fragrant oils (and of concentration of costly ingredients obviously) and the most commonly worn is EDT, which lasts up to 3 to 4 hours.
How do I know this is right for me?
1. Go with your guts. Try to forget the pretty packaging, the cool designer and the perfect model or celeb fronting the juice for a minute. We know, that’s part of it and makes you feel fabulous too by association but avoid getting influenced by marketing devices. If you love a smell, don’t analyse and just go for it. A fragrance is very physical so if it is love at first spritz, it means you have found your confidence-boosting scent.
2. Road-test your hot contenders. Spritz one of your favourite scents to your skin, let it settle and see if it still feels right at the end of the day. Test it on people you love and hear what they say. But most importantly, check if does boost your confidence and makes you feel fabulous. Remember, it is about your signature scent.
Build a fragrance ‘wardrobe’
Marilyn was sleeping in Chanel 5 and nothing else. Fast forward and Kate Moss has embraced at least 5 iconic juices in recent years, all of them expressing a new image and setting a new mood each time. It is official, the signature scent has morphed into suit-my-life signature scents. You wear perfume to boost your confidence and to suit your shifting moods so going from one to another is perfectly normal. Just restrain yourself to a selected few – remember you aim at building up a signature fragrance wardrobe, not a disastrous olfactory clutter.
Follow the tricks of the trade:
– Apply your perfume to the warm spots of your body: wrists, neck, décolleté, behind your knees and to your ankles. The perfume blends in with your own natural oils faster.
– If your fragrance tends to evaporate too fast, mix a couple of drops to a scent-free moisturiser and apply all over your body.