How to choose the right perfume for you

08.03.2023

How to choose the right perfume for you

Whether you are heading out for a first date or getting ready for a job interview, smelling good is part of what makes a solid first impression. It shows an employer that you value self-care and presentation and it can leave a lasting impact on your date who now can never stop thinking about you whenever they pass a garden of roses. Powerful stuff!

Knowing how to choose the right perfume for you can be difficult with different formulas, unfamiliar names and a plethora of notes to choose from. Some perfumes linger into the night while others offer more of a temporary burst of freshness. Some perfumes are perfect for the evening and some are better suited for daywear.

Woman spraying perfume

Types of perfume

Figuring out how to choose a new fragrance that is perfect for you starts with understanding the different types of perfume. Understanding the different types of perfume and their perfume oil concentrations will help you decide what is best for you personally and which perfumes are best for which occasions.

First and foremost is Parfum or Extrait, also known as ‘Pure Perfume’. These are the strongest and typically the most costly as they have the highest concentration of perfume oil and are designed to last. Their ability to linger makes them ideal for night time.

Then we move on to Eau de Parfum (EDP) which doesn’t last as long as perfume but still provides several hours of wear, making it a great option for a day-to-day go-to.

Next on the list is Eau de Toilette (EDT) which is a great daytime option for those wanting to make a great first impression. A spritz of this will emit a burst of fragrance that eventually fades. 

Then we have Eau de Cologne which usually has a refreshing smell as it is typically used for freshening up every few hours.

Finally, we end with Eau Fraiche which are generally marketed as body mists and products of that nature. They are great for anyone who is just starting out on their perfume journey, those with dry or sensitive skin or for those who want to smell nice without the investment or the intensity of a perfume.

Woman spraying perfume

How to find your perfect perfume scent

Now that you know the different types of perfume, it’s time to breakdown perfume scents, otherwise known as ‘notes’.

Fragrances are comprised of head/top, heart/middle and base/bottom notes. Head or top notes are the smells that you will detect quickest and evaporate fastest and these are usually citrus or aromatic scents like lemon, mandarin, bergamot or lavender. Heart or middle notes last around half an hour to one hour and these include your floral, fruity, green and spicy scents. Base or bottom notes linger around and last the longest. These notes are your amber or woody type notes such as cedar, patchouli, moss and vanilla.

According to the Michael Edwards’ Fragrance Wheel which was developed by an acclaimed fragrance expert, there are four main fragrance families. These are Floral (rose, jasmine, etc.), Oriental/Amber (cinnamon, anise, etc.), Woody (cedarwood, oakmoss, etc.) and Fresh (mandarin, fresh cut grass, etc.). Each fragrance family is divided into subfamilies (eg. Fresh fragrances can be further broken down into Citrus, Fruity, Green and Water).

Different fragrance families may be more suitable for different times of day or occasions. A lighter perfume comprised of fresh, citrus, water or soft floral notes may be better for a day time occasion such as a picnic or family lunch, whereas a darker fragrance with rich woody, oriental or spicy scents could be a better choice for nightwear or a romantic evening. At the end of the day though, choosing your perfect perfume scent really does come down to personal preference.

Woman spraying perfume

Our picks

If you are looking for a recommendation or just some example for inspiration, here are some of our picks to get you started:

For day time: Jennifer Lopez Live Luxe Eau De Parfum ($31.95) or Britney Spears Curious Eau De Parfum Spray ($35.95)

For night time: Rihanna Rebelle Eau De Parfum Spray ($42.95) or Rihanna Reb'l Fleur Love Always Eau De Parfum Spray ($28.95)

Browse through our selection of perfume fragrances by clicking here.

At Cosmetic Capital, find some of the best perfume for women from some of the best perfume brands including Agent Provocateur, Ariana GrandeCalvin Klein, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna.

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