How To Choose The Right Perfume

If someone asks me what I want as a gift, I unabashedly tell them that they can gift me a perfume and also I have no qualms about telling them which brand I would prefer. Well, I know, it’s very inglorious of me to do so, but clothes and jewelry as gifts are a big no-no for me because I never really like what others choose for me. As far as perfumes are concerned, I have no inhibitions in accepting whatever comes my way.

People have been distilling and using perfumes since ancient ages, perfume distilleries were used ever since 2000 B.C. One of the most ancient forms of applying fragrance was in the form of oil and wax. Egyptian women used to wear wax cones on their heads. These cones would slowly melt in the heat releasing the perfume and fragrance. Since Egyptian women used to shave their heads completely, they had no problem letting all the wax and grease depositing on their head, how disgusting.

My sense of smell is quite strong, good fragrances excite me, pleasant fragrances calm me down, and bad odors give me a headache. I am big time into perfumes and fragrances. Fortunately, I do not suffer from body odor, no garlic or cumin overdose for me, so I am not so keen on deodorants and roll-ons. During my college days, MTV and Archies collection was my favorite, but as I grew more mature, my taste in wearing fragrances underwent a drastic change. I have worn perfumes from Christian Dior, Estee Lauder, some signature styles like Celine Dion, J’Adore, and Chanel. My all-time favorites are Chanel and J’Adore.

I personally would love spraying the perfume into the air and walking into the mist, but it’s a pity I can’t afford it. The perfect areas to dab on the perfume are the pulse points, behind the ears, wrist, both sides of the neck, back side of the elbows, and behind the knees. I also like to keep my wardrobe perfumed, for this, I just spray mildly on to one of my ironed clothes and let the fragrance spread from there. During my window shopping trips to the malls, I collect the paper blotters with perfume testers and store it my handbag. This all may make me seem like a perfume fanatic, but I am not, I just like pleasant smells around me.

FRAGRANCE FAMILIES:

  • Each fragrance can be put into a fragrance family, grouping it with many other similar fragrances.
  • Commonly there are Four main groups (Citrus, Fougere, Oriental and Chypre), which are then divided into sub groups.
  • Feminine fragrances have floral tones and male fragrances have Fougere style fragrances.

Perfume 1

The common fragrance family groups are listed below


  • Fougère (pronounced ‘foo-jer’): Fougere fragrances are one of the most popular men’s families. These will often contain Lavender and Oakmoss. Examples include: Masculine: Polo Sport by Ralph Lauren, Platinum Egoiste by Chanel, Cool Water by Davidoff, Jazz by YSL, Paco Rabanne pour homme.
  • Floral: The majority of feminine fragrances are floral. Some are a bouquet of different flowers, with each individual flower complementing the others; some use one main flower and complement it with other notes and accords; others are very simple and can just be the scent of a flower alone, which are also called single-note scents. Examples include: Masculine: Agua Lavanda by Puig, Insensé by Givenchy Feminine: Chanel No 19, Anaïs Anaïs by Cacharel, L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci, Charlie by Revlon.
  • Oriental fragrances are common in both male and female fragrances. They are often warm, spicy and sweet and contain ingredients such as Vanilla and Tonka bean. Sandalwood is also common in these fragrances. Examples include: Masculine: Obsession for Men by Calvin Klein, Joop! Homme by Joop!, Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier, Equipage by Hermes, Egoiste by Chanel Feminine: Jean Paul Gaultier “Classique”, Angel, Opium by Yves Saint Laurent
  • Chypre (pronounced ‘sheep-r’): A Chypre fragrance contains woody, mossy, and floral notes. This kind of fragrance will also contain Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Bergamot, and Vetiver. Examples include: Masculine: Givenchy Gentleman, Fendi Uomo, Vetiver by Guerlain, Aramis, Van Cleef and Arpels, Quorum by Puig, Antaeus by Chanel, 212 Men by Carolina Herrera. Feminine: Cuir de Russe by Chanel, Mitsouko by Guerlain, Chypre de Coty.
  • Marine: The Marine fragrance family is relatively new and is used to describe scents that evoke a feeling of the sea air. An ingredient called calone is used to give the marine scent.Examples include: Masculine: Kenzo Pour Homme, L’Eau D’Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake, New West for Him by Aramis Feminine: Escape by Calvin Klein, Inis by Fragrances of Ireland, Aquawoman by Rochas.
  • Citrus: The earliest colognes were in the citrus family. Citrus scents are fresh and very enlivening. Examples include: Masculine: Eau Sauvage by Dior, D&G Masculine by Dolce & Gabbana, Happy by Clinique. Feminine: Cristalle by Chanel, Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden, Diorella by Christian Dior.

CATEGORIES OF PERFUMES:

Eau De Toilette, Eau De Parfum, Eau De Colonge are the most famous categories into which fragrances are usually classified. These terms refer to the strength of the fragrance or how much high grade alcohol or water has been added to the fragrance oils.

  1. Eau De Parfum. Generally, the most concentrated form you can buy. This type of perfume has 15%-25% perfume oil dissolved in alcohol. Any mixture with a lower proportion of oil to alcohol is an eau (water).
  2. Eau Fraiche (Usually 3% or less perfume oil).
  3. Eau de Cologne (2%–5% perfume oil).
  4. Eau de Toilette (4%– 10% perfume oil).
  5. Eau de Parfum (8%–15% perfume oil).
  6. Soie de Parfum (15%–18% perfume oil).
  7. Parfum or perfume (15%-25% — also sometimes referred to as extract or extrait). Perfume oil (15-30% perfume oil in an oil rather than alcohol base).
  8. Eau De Toilette. Used to describe a concentration that is either the same as Eau De Parfum or between Eau De Parfum and Parfum.

TOP, MIDDLE, AND BASE NOTES:

Top notes provide the first scent impression of a fragrance once it has been applied to the skin. They are usually lighter, more volatile aromas that evaporate readily. Their scent usually lingers for between 5 and 30 minutes. Middle notes are referred to as “heart notes.” Middle notes make up the body of the blend. They may be evident from the start, but will usually take 10-30 minutes to fully develop on the skin. They are the notes that classify the fragrance family (floral, oriental, chypre, etc). Base notes are those with the greatest molecular weight. They last the longest and are also important as fixatives and slow down the evaporation rates of the lighter notes, giving the fragrance holding power. Common base notes include oakmoss, patchouli, woods, musk and vanilla.

SOME OF THE TRIED AND TESTED PERFUMES BY ME:

1. Christian Dior J’Adore Summer Fragrance Alcohol-Free Moisturizing Spray 100ml/3.4oz.
For: women. Designer: Dior. Olfactive Group: Floral Fruity.

Christian Dior J'Adore Summer Fragrance

PRICE: Rs. 3185 (Indian Rupees).

DESCRIPTION:

J`Adore Summer Fragrance by Dior is a floral fruity fragrance for women. The fragrance features Champaca flower, mandarin, crystallized orchid, jasmine, muguet, violet, Damascus plum, Amaranth Wood and blackberry musk. Summer limited edition.

  • Top Notes: Champaca, Mandarin orange.
  • Middle Notes: Orchid, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Violet.
  • Base Notes: Plum, Woodsy Notes, Blackberry.

PERSONAL VERDICT:

It smells lovely, one of my favorite scents. Its very light, summery, floral, feminine, and romantic.

2. Celine Dion Perfume by Celine Dion Eau De Toilette Spray 3.3 Oz.

For: women Designer: Celine Dion Olfactive Group: Floral Fruity

Celine Dion Perfume by Celine Dion Eau De Toilette Spray

PRICE: Rs. 2021.

DESCRIPTION:
Celine Dione is a translucent and dewy fragrance with floral and fruity notes. The perfume starts with floral notes combined with warm amber, musk and woody notes. It is good for everyday use, but due to its refined and complex composition, it could be used in special occasions, too. Its main notes are red fruit, heliotrope, bergamot, lily, cyclamen, violet, mandarin orange, jasmine, sandalwood, amber and musk. The nose behind this fragrance is Patricia Bilodeau.

  • Top Notes: Orange Blossom, Tiare Flower, Yellow Rose, White Peach.
  • Middle Notes: Cyclamen, Lily of the valley, Red berries.
  • Base Notes: Sandalwood, Amber, Musk, White Woods.

PERSONAL VERDICT:

Light, good for causal and daily use, not overpowering, not a party-wear kind of perfume.

3. Opium Oriental Limited Edition by Yves Saint Laurent 50 ml-1.6 fl.oz.
For:
women. Designer: Yves Saint Laurent Olfactive Group: Oriental Floral.

Opium Oriental Limited Edition by Yves Saint Laurent

PRICE: Approximately 2500.

DESCRIPTION:Opium Oriental Limited Edition by Yves Saint Laurent is an oriental floral fragrance for women. The fragrance has the mains notes of mandarin orange, apricot blossom, osmanthus, jasmine and vanilla.

PERSONAL VERDICT: A big no-no for me, not my kind of scent, did not work at all for me, very overpowering, good for spraying in handbags and wardrobe, I am not going for it again.

4. Eternal Love Elegance for Women 3.4 fl oz/100 mL.
For: Women. Designer: Eternal Love. Olfactive Group: Floral.

Elegance

PRICE: Approximately 1500 (not sure).

PERSONAL VERDICT: Very light, lovely fragrance, best for causal and daily use.

5. Coco Mademoiselle Eau de toilette by Chanel.
For: women. Designer: Chanel. Olfactive Group: Chypre Fruity.

Coco Mademoiselle Eau de toilette by Chanel

PRICE: Rs. 3953.

DESCRIPTION: Lighter and sweeter, it starts with cooling citrus freshness, the orange of Sicily and Calabrian bergamot united with aromatic note of Sicilian grapefruit. Sparkling litchi gives a beautiful fruity nuance and brightens the classical floral duo: rose and jasmine. The gentler notes of patchouli, vetiver, Bourbon vanilla and white musk are balanced in a new way and create a sweet and soft base.

  • Top Notes: Orange, Grapefruit, Bergamot.
  • Middle Notes: Litchi, Italian Jasmine, Rose.
  • Base Notes: Patchouli, Tahitian Vetiver, Bourbon Vanilla, White Musk.

PERSONAL VERDICT:

I am in love with this fragrance, it is so delightful. Its very feminine, it’s a light lingering scent. Gives me confidence. Good for day wear and night wear. Seductive. Not overpowering and not over the top……delicious too.

6. Fahrenheit by Dior.
Christian Dior Fahrenheit Eau De Toilette Spray 100ml/3.4oz
For: men Designer: Dior Olfactive Group: Woody Floral Musk.

Christian Dior Fahrenheit Eau De Toilette Spray

PRICE: Rs. 4301.

  • Top Notes: Lavender, Mandarin Orange, Hawthorn, Nutmeg Flower, Cedar, Bergamot, Chamomile, Lemon.
  • Middle Notes: Nutmeg, Honeysuckle, Carnation, Sandalwood, Violet Leaf, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Cedar.
  • Base Notes: Leather, Tonka Bean, Amber, Patchouli, Musk, Vetiver. Classified as a intense and sensual fragrance.

PERSONAL VERDICT:

Begged from my brother-in-law, when he denied, stole it, but was not worth all that effort. It is very masculine, very in-your-face kind of perfume. Works only for men. Big goof-up by me.

7. Pure White Linen by Estee Lauder.
For: women Designer: Estee Lauder Olfactive Group: Floral Aldehyde.

PRICE: Pure White Linen Eau De Parfum Spray Rs. 4088 for 100ml/3.4 oz.

Pure White Linen by Estee Lauder

DESCRIPTION: Pure White Linen has aldehydes that are included in the composition to give an impression of white cleanliness. In addition to aldehydes, a plentiful of exotic flowers have been used. The main notes are grapefruit, mandarin, raspberry, pear, green Granny Smith apple, white ginger, cardamom, red tulips, rose absolute, honeysuckle, gardenia, tuberose, jasmine, iris, osmanthus, cedar wood and heliotrope.
PERSONAL VERDICT:
It’s a clean, fresh, daytime scent, its spring and summery kind of perfume, very airy, light, and wearable at all occasions. Not at all overpowering.
Fragrance Notes:

  • Top Notes: Raspberry, Grapefruit, Apple, Pear, Italian Mandarin.
  • Middle Notes: Honeysuckle, Red Tulip, Tuberose, Gardenia, Jasmine, Rose.
  • Base Notes: Patchouli, White Heliotrope, Cedar.

8. CHARLIE RED BY REVLON.
For: women Designer: Revlon Olfactive Group: Oriental Floral.

CHARLIE RED BY REVLON

PRICE: Rs. 350 for 3.4 oz/100 mL.
DESCRIPTION: Charlie Red by Revlon is an oriental floral fragrance for women. Top notes are orange blossom, gardenia, plum, black currant, violet and peach; middle notes are carnation, tuberose, orchid, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and rose; base notes are honey, sandalwood, amber, musk and cedar.

  • Top Notes: Orange Blossom, Gardenia, Plum, Black Currant, Violet, Peach.
  • Middle Notes: Carnation, Tuberose, Orchid, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Lily of the Valley, Rose.
  • Bottom Notes: Honey, Sandalwood, Amber, Musk, Cedar.

PERSONAL VERDICT:
Though it’s much cheaper than any of the perfumes mentioned above, it can give the others a stiff competition. The perfume is very strong, but very pleasant. Great confidence booster, seductive, and recommended use is in the evenings.

Smelling good is as important as looking good. Even if your makeup is flawless, your hair is in place, and you look bodylicious, smelling pungent and obnoxious can take away everything from you, so look good and smell right.

STOP PRESS: Today’s Pick is a Glam Rock Watch

https://makeupandbeauty.com/tips-on-choosing-perfume-from-the-legendary-perfume-makers-guerlain/

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86 thoughts on “How To Choose The Right Perfume

  1. Absolutely agree with your last line..

    And the love of spraying perfumes into air and walking through is so me….haha.

    I love perfumes, but generally I don’t buy too many due to certain personal reasons..

    Otherwise I adore fragrances which are very light- floral, citrusy and some woody ones too 🙂

    My sis is an absolute perfume freak..and she buys a lot too..And like you, she doesn’t mind getting perfumes as gifts 😉
    .-= Poornima´s last blog ..Nail Style – Lavender =-.

  2. 🙂 so I am not alone, I have company……. :laugh: with regards to the perfume fetish. Which one is your favorite Poornima?

  3. I loved the idea of collecting the paper blotters with perfume testers and store it my handbag. Guess I’ll do so soon. I was thinking of buying the EL perfume but after their rubbish behaviour, I guess I will look out for something. I loved every bit of this article. Guess I’ll sit and learn it. 😛

      1. Oh no, Jomol. No secrets. It’s just that I don’t buy perfumes at the same speed as I buy makeup. 😀 I like Cool water david off and that is supposedly a male perfume. :rotfl: I use deos mostly- fa, dove, etc. I also like Zero one by archies. After reading this post, I am surely going to invest in a good perfume. 🙂

  4. Wow you are big time into perfumes. My sister is just like you she has so many fragrances but she likes to buy them for herself she doesnt likes other people gifting her perfumes. She likes it if people gift her bags and clothes because she feels she can make them work for her no matter what but if a fragrance is not her type, its a total waste of money.

    Im totally into fresh citrusy scents but i do like some oriental and woody ones also. My all time fave remains Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden since its so fresh and all but it doesnt has a very good staying power, So im like spraying it all the time. But right now Im using Burberry Brit and it is the most awesome fragrance i have ever used.

    I have never ever bought a single perfume. When my sister was unmarried i used her collection and now that she is married, she gifts me perfumes on almost every occasion birthdays, kanjak, valentine day, diwali and so many more.

    1. Priyanka, can you please tell me how much Burberry Brit costs, I would love to go for Greentea, Victoria’s, and Burberry since I have heard so much about them.

      1. Jomol, as i said i have never ever bought a single perfume in my whole life. My sis gifts them to me and so was the case with Burberry Brit.. but i’ll definitely ask her and let you know.
        I am happy she gifted me all these perfumes because after reading your list of perfumes and their prices i just realized how expensive perfumes are and i’m sure i would have never spent 2000+ bucks for a perfume myself.

        1. Jomol, the brit was for Rs.3500+. she doesn’t remembers the exact price now. I asked her the price and she was like y r u asking, “tune kya karna hai jitne marzi ka ho”.. and i was like hahaah main tujhe kaun sa paise de rahi hu.

  5. Quite an education on Perfumes, I enjoyed reading the article, personally I’ve never been much of a perfume fan because I tend to get a headache with most strong smells… have never ever bought perfume, the one I am currently using now is Elizabeth Arden’s Provocative woman and have been using it for last 3 years on a regular basis (just shows how often I go out I guess…lol), but I like the idea of using different ones for different occassions ..never thought of that before, so maybe its time I opened the other 2 perfumes my husband gifted me..lol (just hope they arent strong) …Ill check out the perfumes you gals like in my next window shopping visit and keep the swatches in my bag :giggle:

  6. Wow that is all we need to know about perfumes!! I love love love Coco Mademoiselle. My absolute favorite..no matter how many perfumes I buy this one is always my staple. I like woody and flowery fragrances but not too fond of the fruity scents….gives me a mild headacheI like Burberrys and Dior’s J’adore too….not tried Celine Dion though..

    1. @ Smitha……. 🙂 Celine Dion was the first gift that my husband gave, I loved it. Coco is my all-time favorite too.

  7. This was educational…… :nerd: I had to read it thrice to take in everything….. :-))
    I am a perfume fanatic too… :rose:
    I love Elizabeth Arden’ Green Tea, Calvin Klein’s Eternity and Estee Lauder’s Pleasures…… :inlove: :inlove:
    Pleasures is my night time perfume while EA and CK are daytimers….

    1. Mrunmayee, I think most of the readers here into Greentea by Elizabeth Arden, but I havn’t got one yet, guess its time now. I love CK scents too.

  8. Nice post Jomol! I am totally into Oriental fragrences!.. I love vanilla & Burberry & Victoris’s secret are my fav brands for perfumes.

    🙂 Currently I am using BB Weekend, Victoria’s Secret Tahitian Vanilla as well as Victoria’s Secret – Coconut & Vanilla Splash

  9. Juhi,….you can get everything related to makeup in Kathiwar Stores, Parklane, Secunderabad. Makeup brushes and many other accesories are available there. 🙂

  10. wow!u luv perfumes ? Me too . Currently i m using gucci perfume its very nice. Nd u have sooo much of education about perfumes jomol i like it . :-))

  11. Interesting! I love perfumes but it’s too expensive for me to buy a new one every few weeks.
    I like Anaïs Anaïs by Cacharel and L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci for every day and for special occasions I like Couture by Moschino. My other favorites are Light blue by Dolce & Gabbana and Rush by Gucci. I would like to try Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle and J’adore summer fragrance sounds lovely too.
    .-= sunaina´s last blog ..Cheap and cheerful =-.

  12. I love Kenzo flower by Kenzo… It is the best perfume, I have ever use.
    2nd Best is stee Lauder’s Pleasures…

  13. I quiey liked this article……. wud like to add a few more names……
    chance chanel, ricci ricci by nina ricci,
    My burberry, ch212

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