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The Right Fragrance - Tips and Guidelines

With the wide variety of perfume available, selecting a scent to suit an occasion or one that reflects our personality can be overwhelming, right? 
As far as I know, women use different types of perfumes for different occasions and moods. Why so? This is simply because wearing the right perfume helps to highlight a woman's sense of style and individuality. However, not all perfumes are alike. It is good to know that perfume is the strongest and has the longest lasting aroma while Eau de Perfume is used to layer in preparation of the body for perfume. Eau de Toilette is much less concentrated than the others while Cologne has the lightest fragrance.

When shopping for perfume, it is always good to test a fragrance by applying a small amount on the skin and let the scent linger. Perfumes can take up to an hour to fully develop. Do not rub after you spray as this will ruin the composition of the fragrance. Selecting a perfume based on a whiff from the bottle may not be accurate since it smells differently when worn on the skin.

Generally, perfumes are divided into six categories based on their dominant top notes. Different categories will suit different people or occasions:

  • Chypre Fragrances - rich and tenacious, they smell slightly dry, not very sweet. The fragrance is based on a woody, mossy and flowery complex. These earthy or woody perfumes are usually very refreshing, appealing to the older generation and make ideal gifts.
  • Citrus Fragrances - projects a sharp, tangy aura, which is naturally light, refreshing and uplifting. Citrus blends are among the oldest known scents. It is suitable for a person who is energetic and sporty and is appropriate for office wear, day wear or warm evening wear.
  • Floral Fragrances - the most feminine of all fragrance and most used scent. It is created mainly from flowers, including rose, carnation, orange blossom, gardenia and jasmine which are often blended together to produce a distinctive floral bouquet. It is suitable for all age groups and for any occasion.
  • Green Fragrances - often married with fruity and floral notes. This fragrance is modern and fashionable, and is well suited to more casual wear and occasional evening wear. It is suitable for a person who is sporty, charismatic and artful.
  • Oceanic Fragrances - fresh scented, slightly soapy clean fragrances. It has an intense and often quite unusual scent which reminds one of seaside scenes. This type of fragrance is becoming more popular especially among young people.
  • Oriental Fragrances - uses strong spicy scents, amber, balsams and resins suggesting warmth, mystery and exotic sensuality. Musks and precious wood are complemented by exotic essences, and are popular for evening wear or for any special occasions. 
Tips to make a fragrance last

In general, the kind of fragrance you buy will determine how much you need to apply. Perfumes should be applied after a shower and applied directly on the skin and not on clothing. The correct application of a perfume is essential in conveying the desired scent.

Spray or dab a little perfume on your pulse points such as the wrists, the inner elbow, the nape of the neck and behind the ears. Some women prefer applying on the back of the knees, the inside of the ankles, the crease of the elbows and/or their cleavage. The application of perfume should be lighter in the day than at night. Most fragrances are designed to last for about four hours. Re-apply once during the day and again during the evening.

Perfume Tips
  • Put it on early - Apply perfume at least an hour before going out to give the fragrance time to fully develop.
  • Layer the fragrances - Use soaps and creams in the same scent as your perfume so the fragrance will last twice as long.
  • Seal the scent - Apply a scented moisturiser before applying perfume to 'trap' the essence of the fragrance.
  • Watch your jewellery - Avoid applying perfume on or near costume jewellery, as the alcohol in the former can strip off the coating or create an oily build-up.
When wearing perfume, avoid applying too much so the fragrance will not be too overpowering for others. Unfortunately, many people tend to apply too much, especially older women whose sense of smell has started to diminish and younger women who are not yet used to wearing fragrance.

The temperature of the skin can have a great impact on the exact character of a scent. People who have a lower body temperature should opt for a perfume that is much more active and volatile, while people who are generally warmer need to find a perfume that slowly releases different tones as it warms.

Caring for your perfume

It is advisable to store our perfume bottles in a cool, dry dark place as this will help them last longer. Avoid exposing it to heat and direct sunlight as this tends to weaken the ingredients of the perfume. Make sure the perfume bottles are tightly closed to keep down evaporation. Most fragrances have a lifespan of about three years from the date of manufacture. When it is expired, the aroma and colour of the perfume may change.

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