Spring Scents: How to Pick your Perfect Perfume

Looking for the perfect signature scent to accentuate your style this spring? Our resident beauty expert, Emma Charlotte Bangay, shares this simple guide to choosing the right fragrance for you.

What sells a scent for you? Is it the first fragrant notes that sprinkle your skin upon application? Or is it the aroma that settles after a few moments? Maybe it’s the trail of mass-seduction that lingers once you have left the room…?

Fragrances are made up of Top, Middle and Base notes, each of which play a very varied role in how perfume is perceived.

Knowing what overall smells you like – oriental, woody, floral etc. – and how to best allow them to come to the fore on your skin makes all the difference when shopping for your perfect spring scent.

What are fragrance notes?

The notes in a fragrance are the different phases through which a fragrance develops when you wear it on the skin. Think layers of ingredients on a delicious apple crumble - from the crunchy base, to the soft, mouth-watering middle and the warm, enticingly sweet top – each note has a varying layer of volatility.

Top Notes: The Fast Flirtation.

These are the first impression a scent makes. They are sharp, visceral notes that burst onto the skin at very first spritz. This is the note that sells most scents, as it’s the one that bursts from the bottle when you open it. Alas! Its allure doesn’t last as the heady top notes dissipate after only 10 – 15 minutes.

Middle Notes: The Lingering Love.

As the top notes fade, the middle notes come to the fore. These literally ‘bloom’ on the skin and make up the composition or ‘theme’ of the fragrance. Although they aren’t the most overpowering of notes, they give perfume its heart and soul.

Base Notes: The Committing Component

The middle note ‘theme’ is grounded by the base or soul notes. These are the veritable foundation for the fragrance, binding the other ingredients together, wrapping them up and securing a pretty bow on top! Base notes provide memories we so often find flood forward when we smell a scent, and they also allow aromas to last for hours on end.

Shopping for scent:

Sound complicated? Well, it’s not really. You will instantly know if you are attracted to floral, oriental or a woody perfumes depending on what you have been attracted to in the past.

But when shopping for a new scent, the key is not to make any snap decisions. If you sniff an open bottle, most of what you are inhaling is the alcohol within it and the top volatile notes, so let the fragrance settle on your skin in order to allow it to come alive and show it’s true colours. As it reacts to your skin over the next 15 minutes it will become evident how the fragrance can compliment you and become your unique spring fling.

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