Friday, March 4, 2011

The Importance of: Perfume

"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." 
- Coco Chanel

     I'm currently reading Karen Karabo's The Gospel According to Coco Chanel so my mind is filled with tons of Chanel quotes. This quote was the headliner of the chapter about femininity and she's absolutely right. Perfume is very much synonymous with womanhood as are handbags and high heels. But then again, this is coming from the woman who invented Chanel No. 5, a scent that I'm still trying to get used to. Sorry Coco! I don't know if it's an evolutionary thing that women do, but we like to smell just about everything. My boyfriend can attest to the fact that I smell everything around me, especially my food, my clean laundry, or my surroundings. Clean laundry smell is my favorite! Needless to say, I love scents, especially good scents like perfume. 

Science and Perfume 
     Picking your scent is as personal as finding the right foundation shade for your skin. It has a science behind it along with a touch of personal preference. Human biology 101: every single one of us produces a body chemical that's unique and are completely our own. It's not the kind of chemistry that you're thinking about that involves the attraction between two potential, compatible mates. In its face value, body temperature affects a fragrance's notes and each of us has our own specific skin chemistry. This point is very important because it's the combination between the chemicals that our bodies produce and the perfume that we choose that will ultimately determine if that specific scent suits us. In short, a perfume that may smell great on you will smell horrible on another woman. 

     Another point to remember is that a perfume has three notes -- the top, middle, and base notes. The base note of a perfume is the strongest and the most ever lasting of all three, with the middle note coming next, and the top note being the one that lasts the shortest and evaporates the fastest. The basic idea is to find a perfume that has a base note that smells great on you with a middle and top note that you wouldn't mind wearing, as its initial scent wears off, because regardless of the perfume brand and type, the first spray always smells very strong. So when picking a perfume scent, make sure to pay close attention to these three effects. 

How to Choose your Signature Scent
     You know how some people believe in love in first sight? Well in this instance, step #1 is love in first sniff. Your original and instinctual reaction to a scent is crucial in finding the perfect fragrance for you. Step #2 is that aforementioned hullabaloo about body chemistry and fragrance reaction that we have to take into account. Step #3 is the wrists only, no rubbing and no sample paper strips rule. When you're trying out a fragrance, make sure you spray directly on your wrist and DO NOT rub your wrists together. Doing so crushes the scent. And of course, spraying the perfume on a sample strip will only work for step #1 but completely violates step #2. So after spraying it on your wrist, wait for it to dry before smelling and determining if you like it or not. In addition, do not overlap and mix perfumes and wait for a little while before making a purchase to let the scent settle in for you to determine if it suits you or not. 

Pre-plan and Research 
     I've found that Sephora and is the best place to test drive and research a new perfume purchase. Unlike the fragrance department of upscale department stores like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Macy's, and Neiman Marcus where you feel intimidated to touch anything let alone ask a sales associate for help, Sephora stores have a very hands on, feel free to touch, try, and smell everything feel to it. And because of this, I've found it to be the best place to get perfume samples next to those little fragrance strips in glossy magazines. What's more is that their site has this feature called Fragrance Finder that can help you narrow down perfume options before purchasing. I've always like to research items before I go shopping, a habit that can be both good and bad. And since there are so many scents to choose from like floral, fruity, woody, earthy, natural, grassy, etc, this will make decision making much easier. 

   As for me, I typically go for very clean and light scent for my fragrance preference and I tend to go to the floral scent the most. Go figure right? Florals are my favorite print and scent! I've been wearing Dolce & Gabanna's Light Blue since high school. It has a very lively and colorful smell to it which I love. And during my junior year of college, I fell in love with the strong scent of Juicy Couture's Viva la Juicy, which has a very floral smell. My recent fragrance purchase is Miss Dior Cherie L'eau. I'm completely in love with this smell. It's a floral scent that's very light and playful, which suits my very personality. So if your'e in the mood for a new scent and a new change, I recommend hunting down your next favorite fragrance and keep these tips in mind! Happy smelling!

Love, KB
Miss Dior Cherie L'eau $85
Dolce &Gabbana Light Blue $87
Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy $67


  1. Your post is very well-written and sticks to the facts. Complete with all the information needed for the selection of perfume, your blog will be very helpful to people looking for things about perfume.

  2. Wow, I never imagined there was so much to consider when it comes to caring for perfume. Glad I read this post. Thanks! :)

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