Best Types of Perfume?
There is a such a dazzling array of perfumes to buy that choosing a new fragrance can seem daunting. Perfumes are created from a blend of fragrant oils and aroma compounds to produce attractive and soothing fragrances for people. Perfumes have been made for 4,000 years and today there are said to be more than 8,000 different perfumes in the world. Luckily, with a little preparation, you can approach the perfume counters confidently and with the guidance of an experienced perfume assistant you will be able to choose the ideal fragrance for you. The correct fragrance is one that suits your character perfectly and makes you feel really good whenever you are wearing it.
Here we bring you all the information you need about the best types of perfume.
Introducing the scent families.
Fragrance is as powerful as music and our sense of smell reacts to different scents which subconsciously evoke different emotions and memories- in a way that is unknown to our other senses. The Police have long recognised the power of our sense of smell and regularly find that victims recognise a ‘scene of crime’ by its smell.
Perfumers have categorised the different scents into ‘families of scents’ and learning which families you like helps you to find your ideal fragrance. There are eight different families of scents.
These are earthy natural smells that capture the fragrance of trees and this group is often referred to a chypre fragrances. Woody scents include patchouli, oak moss and bergamot and appeal to those who like the great outdoors and outdoor pursuits including hiking, camping, cycling etc. Some of these scents have a sultry note too. Polo by Ralph Lauren is the classic example of a predominently woody scent.
These scents are popular because they smell clean and fresh. In fact, they are tangy and very refreshing and perfect on a hot summer’s day. Citrus scents suit extroverts well. The citrus scents that are frequently used in perfumes include lemon, orange blossom, grapefruit and bergamot. Perfumers often blend citrus notes with spicy ones as this works extremely well.
This group of scents include all the warm earthy smells like amber and musk. They are said to be the perfect choice for wearing on a date night when you want to seduce someone! Popular oriental scents include patchouli, anise, vanilla and myrrh. Calvin Klein’s Obsession and Joop! are both popular fragrances that incorporate many scents in this category.
This is the family of scents that usually evokes the biggest reaction – people either love them or hate them with no half measures! Gourmand scents are sweet indulgent and literally ‘good enough to eat’! Chocolate, vanilla, caramel and hazelnut are popular scents in this group. Thierry Mugler’s Angel is the iconic gourmand fragrance that has inspired countless others. During the last ten years, it is this family of scents that has proved the most popular.
Floral scents are the largest category and definitely appeal to the romantics! They are very feminine and can be intensely floral or combined with fruity or citrus notes. Many different flowers are used for scents in this category including roses, jasmine, iris, carnation, honeysuckle and many others. A great example of a perfume with floral scents is Daisy by Marc Jacobs which combines jasmine and violet with strawberry and sandalwood. Bloom by Gucci is another classic example.
This family of scents is perfect for young fragrances and summer ones as they are perfect for hot sunny days. All types of fruit can be used including all types of berries, watermelon, cherry and pear. Perfumers carefully balance their sweetness with other ingredients so that the fragrances are not sickly sweet – in fact, some are very sophisticated.
Spicy scents tends to be stronger and more long lasting and very sultry. Cardamom and black pepper are the most commonly used ones, but cinnamon, cloves and ginger are popular too. Spice scents are often paired with woody ones very successfully. Guerlain’s Shalimar is the classic example of this type of fragrance. The trendy new spice being used by perfumers is pink pepper which has a spicy but almost berry-like scent.
As you can imagine, this family of scents is full of lovely ocean smells such as sea salt, algae and coastal air. This is the newest family of scents and perfumes made with these scents are said to be particularly good for wearing at work and for important job interviews.
Once you know which scent families you like, this will narrow the field and you will be able to focus on the different perfumes that contain them as these will be the ones with fragrances you like and suit your character.
How to choose the right perfume for you
Once you have found a few perfumes that you like, it is best to spend your time trying them out. Make sure that your skin is not fragranced with shower gel or body cream. Only try a couple of fragrances and apply them to the inside of each wrist. The immediate smell will accentuate the top notes of the fragrance. These are short-lived and shortly afterwards, you will be able to smell the heart notes of each fragrance. Most perfumes last for several hours and the lasting scents are those of the base notes. Make sure that you smell the perfumes regularly and like the way they develop on your skin.
What strength perfume should you buy?
Once you have decided which perfume you like best, there will be one final hurdle to cross – which strength perfume should you buy? There are for different strengths of perfume to choose from:
- Perfume / Parfum
This is the most expensive type of perfume as it has the highest concentration of fragrance oil – usually 20- 40% and is sold in small bottles. Parfum is heavier, stronger and longer lasting. The stronger fragrance from parfum makes it easier to recognise and can last up to 24 hours! There is less alcohol in this type of perfume so it is best suited to those with sensitive skin. As this type of perfume is stronger, you only need to use a very small amount – a tiny drop- on your pulse points for it to last all day through
- Eau de Perfume / Eau de Parfum
This type of perfume is lighter as it has an oil concentration of 10-15% which is blended with alcohol and water and is often presented in a spray. Eau de Parfum is still a great buy as it will last on your skin for 6-8 hours.
- Eau de Toilette
Eau de Toilette is a much lighter type of fragrance as it contains 4-15% concentration of fragrance oil and is usually available as a spray. You will need to refresh the fragrance every 2- 4 hours during the day and many women opt for a stronger version for night time or a completely different fragrance. Because it is a much lighter type of perfume eau de toilette is perfect for wearing for work and also ideal for the warmer spring and summer months.
- Eau de Cologne
This perfume type is the lightest of them all as it contains 2- 5% concentration of fragrance oils and lasts for 2- 4 hours before it needs refreshing. This is definitely the one to opt for if you want to try a certain fragrance at a cheaper price and there are a number of tricks to help the fragrance to last longer on your body. This strength of perfume is the one that is most commonly used for aftershaves too.