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Choosing the Perfect Perfume for You — Complete the Designer Dress

Every woman should have a “go-to” fragrance that defines her! Your basic scent is determined by natural body chemistry, hormone levels, pH and the medicines or supplements that you take on a daily basis. Adding a beautiful perfume to the mix completes the fabulousness of the designer dress experience. The hard part is choosing the right fragrance for you.

Smelling perfume

Have you ever loved the way a particular perfume smells on your best friend (or, for that matter, a complete stranger)? Chances are, your first impulse is to rush out and buy the same fragrance. But wait! First ask for a sample that will allow at least 3-4 applications, which will give you the benefit of trying out the perfume in a variety of settings. Don’t be confused if a perfume that is amazing on another woman tends to sour on your skin. Your body chemistry is at play, and what works for you may not work for another woman, and vice versa.

So, just as you spent time shopping for a designer dress, so too must you shop for the perfect fragrance. Here are some tips and things to look for as you shop for your signature scent:

  • Perfumes have 3 layers (also called “notes”). The true scent is only exposed after the 1st and 2nd (top and middle) notes evaporate. Choosing a fragrance with sheer top notes means that the true scent will be more readily apparent.
  •  What is your favorite smell? Begin your search by determining your own favorite smells — cut grass, fresh rain, the first time the air conditioner is turned on — there is no wrong answer here!
  • Definitely pick the salesperson’s brain! A knowledgeable salesperson will be able to steer you to the right fragrance group for you (woodsy, fruity, floral, etc.).
  • Limit how many fragrances you test at a time. If you sample more than two perfumes at a time, your judgment will be clouded as your olfactory senses begin to overload.
  • Apply the sample and wait! If there are no take-home samples available, apply a small amount to the inside of your wrist. Do not rub the perfume! Rubbing will only spoil the base note. If possible, wait at least 15-20 minutes before making a purchase. Ideally, apply the perfume you think you love and wear it for 24 hours, making the purchase the next day. This will allow time for any perfume to reveal itself fully, and give you the best sense of how the perfume will work for you.
  • Climate affects perfume. It’s best to choose a lighter fragrance for hot, humid climates to avoid being “over-scented.” Keep in mind, however, that heat will hasten evaporation, so you’ll need to re-apply a lighter scent more often.
  • Switch it up! While it’s nice to have a signature fragrance, it’s also nice to have a variety of scents. After all, your wardrobe changes with the seasons — why not your perfume? It is, after all a definitive part of your style!
  • You don’t always get what you pay for. If you find a scent that is perfect for you at the corner drugstore, go for it! A scent is valued not by its price, but rather the pleasure that it offers you.
  • Refrain from pregnant perfume shopping. The intense hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can affect your olfactory senses, so it’ best to not test out new perfumes while in a family way.
  • Finally, always be certain you’re purchasing an unopened package. Scams and rip-offs come in many flavors and scents. An opened package of perfume may mean that the original scent has been watered-down or replaced. When you’re paying plenty of money for a top-notch scent, make sure you’re getting what you’re entitled to, and insist on a new, unopened package.


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