Guest Editor Kate Shapland on…Fragrance buying
It’s a question of perfume this week: how do you get the right fragrance for the right person? Well, believe it or not there’s a science to this ladies (and gents!), so here are my guidelines – if you’re hoping to get a fabulous new scent for Christmas from your other half, print this post and leave it for someone to accidentally read ..
The personality factor – fragrance speaks volumes about the wearer without them saying a word, so this is the important thing to think about when you want to give one to someone. Think hard about their personality traits – is the recipient bubbly, confident, seductive or sophisticated? Keep these characteristics in mind because fragrances have personalities too and can be matched very accurately to the wearer. Oh, and a good tip if you are budgeting: while eau de parfum is more intense and tends to last longer, eau de toilette fades faster, is lighter and usually cheaper!
The note factor – fragrances are a mix of ‘notes’, which are basically different aromas, and these can be detected separately as a scent develops:
• Fresh scents like Be Delicious by Donna Karan contain aromas from ingredients like lemon, lime and grapefruit – as you would expect – and are reminiscent of vibrant, energetic things. Give these scents to vivacious people who love being outdoors and are fit and full of zest for life.
• Floral scents tend to be very feminine, passionate scents created with aromas from flowers. They inspire images of picnics on summer days and traditional English gardens. Good example? Lola by Marc Jacobs and Light blue by Dolce & Gabbana. Give floral fragrances to romantic, creative people.
• Oriental fragrances like Armani Code Elixir by Giorgio Armani (available in store) are super-sophisticated and exotic, so ideal for someone elegant and a bit mysterious.
• Woody scents like Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist are as warm and inviting as a cup of hot chocolate, but quite sensual too. Give these someone who likes to be cosy and loves little luxuries in life, like a beautiful cashmere scarf.
The chemistry factor – also worth thinking about because everyone has their own body chemistry and that interacts with a fragrance. Try spraying scent onto the inside of your own wrist and seeing how it develops on you and whether you still like it after the initial sniff. Your nose can differentiate between three scents at a time, so don’t overload your olfactory senses by trying too many scents at the same time!
The age factor – some scents suit certain age groups better than others. Light and sparkly fragrances are more age-appropriate for younger people – so teenagers and college students. A 30-something has more confidence and is likely to be happier experimenting with unusual scents. A more mature wearer, meanwhile, is likely to be happier with classic fragrances like Estee Lauder Youth Dew and Chanel No5 that have been around for decades and are distinctive but traditional. It also tends to be the case that more mature wearers like heavier scents than younger wearers.
Watch our Fragrance buying Guide video for more hints and tips.