What Every Woman Should Know Before Buying Perfume

Selecting the perfect perfume is a major commitment. Fruity or floral? Citrus or chypre? Combing the cases for the scent that suits you best can be downright overwhelming, so we turned to an expert with a nose for this sort of thing.

Patti Kapla, vice president of business development for FragranceNet.com and a certified fragrance sales specialist with The Fragrance Foundation, confirms the importance of scent selection. “A lot can be determined about a woman by the scent she chooses to wear,” Kapla says. “It’s extremely important to be true to yourself and consider your lifestyle, habits and personality when choosing your signature fragrance.

Here, she share her tips to help you make "scents" of it all.

Personality Test
“Find something that matches your personality. If you’re the girl that loves frills, lace and flowers, a floral scent will make you feel truly feminine,” Kapla says. “If you’d rather go camping than to a cocktail party, a light and airy fragrance that holds the scent of soft fruits, flowers and woods would match your zest for the outdoors.”

Scent Shopping
When shopping for your signature fragrance, spritz a few options onto pieces of blotter paper. “Take one sniff, then stop. Shop for something else, get a soda… do anything but smell the perfume for thirty minutes or so,” she says. “You have to give the fragrance time to dry down so that the base notes come through. By the time you smell it again, you’ll have the most well-rounded version.”

Scent of a Woman…On a Different Woman
“The same fragrance will smell different on everyone, as the notes mix with the body’s natural oils and pheromones, resulting in subtle changes,” Kapla says. “It’s best to get samples of a few fragrances you like and try one per day. And, be sure to avoid using scented body lotions or laundry detergents; they can alter the perfume.” 

Make It Linger Longer
Kapla suggests spritzing your scent on your pulse points for maximum effect. “Think your wrists, inside your elbows, the nape of your neck, and even in the crease behind your knees. These are the places you should be concentrating your fragrance,” she says. “The perfume will react with the natural fluctuations in your body temperature and emit scent throughout the day without it being overwhelming. Also keep in mind that scents cling to moisturized skin. If you don’t have the matching lotions offered with your favorite scent, try applying Vaseline or a nonscented moisturizer to your pulse points before you apply your fragrance. It will give your scent something to hold on to.”

You Owe It to Yourself
No one knows what you like better than you do, so go with your gut…and your nose. “Pick a winner based on your initial reaction,” she says. “Our sense of smell is extremely visceral. At the end of the day, it’s always best to go with the one you just can't stop sniffing.”