Womens Health

Your Fragrance Guide: Choosing a Perfume

Perfumes and fragrances play an intimate part of your beauty routine and many women abide by a single, signature scent. But when it comes to choosing a new perfume or fragrance to call your own, the decision can be a difficult one. Indeed, scents play a critical role in triggering memory and a sense of familiarity for others. The following fragrance guide can provide you with tips on choosing a perfume or fragrance that suits your personality, whether fresh, flirty, or classic.

Types of Fragrances

There are five major categories of fragrances that can help guide your perfume decision. A combination of these categories creates bolder and more complex fragrances, but familiarizing yourself with your favorite perfume bases can help you decide on even these more complex perfume choices.

Floral fragrances are the most popular and widely used fragrances in the world, and are generally suited for all age types. As the name suggests, floral fragrances have strong flowery overtones, making them ideal for those looking for a feminine or romantic fragrance. These fragrances can include rose, jasmine, violet and lavender scents.

Fruity fragrances use fruit scents as part of the formula to create a spicy, fresh, and youthful scent that is versatile and may be worn in all seasons. These fragrances provide a classic scent with an added twist, and are ideal for outdoor wear, particularly during milder weather.

Woody perfumes (sometimes called "chypre") are unique in that they feature hints of earthy tones such as tree bark or moss that are associated with forest scents. Woody scents are generally suited for the mature woman, since they have a very sophisticated quality. These scents - which can include sandalwood, patchouli, bergamot and cedar - are particularly suited for cooler evenings, and add a rich, natural and fresh air.

Green fragrances provide a lighter scent that is reminiscent of freshly cut grass or spring growth. The predominant notes of these fragrances are derived from green plants such as pine, juniper, grass, leaves, and herbs. Generally speaking, green fragrances feature more neutral tones, making them ideal for all occasions – particularly for younger or sportier women.

Oriental perfumes are strong and full-bodied, creating a sensual, exotic, and warm impression. Oriental fragrances include ingredients such as spices, musk, balsams, resins, sweet vanilla, and sumptuous flowers. Fragrance tones in this category cross over from spicy fruit scents to warm and woody ones. Oriental perfumes are ideal for corporate environments and special events.

Tips for Making Your Decision

Consider which parts of your personality you want to bring out with your new scent and think of the types of non-cosmetic fragrances you are naturally attracted to. For instance, if you love the smell of baking, you may want to choose a perfume containing vanilla, but if you love the smell of gardens, a floral perfume may be right for you. On the other hand, if you love the smell of beaches, an oceanic fragrance may be the best choice.

Remember, different perfumes may be better suited to different times of the day, different seasons, or different age groups. For instance, sensual oriental fragrances containing amber and musk are better suited for the winter season, while a green perfume may be better suited for younger women and for daytime wear.

Lastly, remember that perfumes and fragrances create complex tones that change on the surface of your skin as you wear them. This means that the initial scent you may have experienced when applying a new fragrance will evolve into different stages as it blends with the oils of your skin. Make note of the different tones specifically designed for your perfume in order to get a truer sense of the type of fragrances that you may be interested in.

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