Traditionally, women found a perfume they loved and that was their signature scent. These days however, fragrances are commonly treated as an accessory - mixed and changed to suit our shifting moods and varied lifestyles.
While it's always good to have options, the vast array of perfumes now available can make it very tricky to decide what scent to opt for on any given day or occasion.
Here is an interesting video on how to pick your scent.
The following guide will help to make your life easier by outlining the eight most common fragrance categories and providing tips on when to wear them. This key know-how will also make it simpler to choose intricate blends of essential oils that span different fragrance families, such as perfumes from Jo Malone.
This category of scent is distinguished by a fresh tangy essence of citrus fruits. Citrus dominant perfumes are energetically lively, so they are best spritzed on in the mornings to wake you up. They are perfect for every day wear, such as meeting friends for brunch, or doing weekend shop.
Classically feminine, floral fragrances are sweet and romantic, as opposed to sexy and heavy. You could call this category the “good girl” of the fragrance aisle. While some people enjoy a the essential oil of a single floral fragrance such as lavender or rose, more commonly floral perfumes contain a combination of scents from different flowers to produce a beautiful symphonic blend, in the same way as what you would smell when sitting in a garden that is bursting with a wide variety of flora. This category of perfume is best worn when you want to highlight your innocently sweet girly side - it would perfectly suit occasions such as meeting your boyfriend’s parents or attending a daytime wedding.
Fruity perfumes stand out for being both bright and a little spicy, they delight the senses with the fresh and familiar fond scents of juicy fruits such as apples, berries, mangos and peaches. In addition to an expert blend of fruity essential oils, expert perfumers frequently combine them with floral scents, creating an ideal perfume for most any general occasion, particularly during the day. Fruity fragrances are meant to be light rather than overwhelmingly cloying, so do take care to apply them sparingly.
When one thinks of the colour green, wonderful scents such as newly cut grass or fresh summer leaves come to mind. The green fragrance category is natural and energetic, making it perfectly suited to both men and women. It is also best worn during the day, since the modern, sporty appeal of green perfumes/colognes fits perfectly with casual or outdoor events.
Unlike many of the other fragrance categories that are derived from the essential oils of flowers and spices, oceanic perfumes are a modern invention. This type of scent was first introduced by Christian Dior in 1991 - their Dune perfume fairly flew off the shelves. As the name infers, oceanic fragrances use a blend of synthetic compounds to evoke wonderful natural aromas such as the ocean, mountain air or clean linen. This perfume category is delightfully crisp and fresh, lending an air of efficiency. This makes it a superb choice for office or at job interviews, not to mention while on a beach holiday getaway.
Oriental perfumes are both exotic and feminine - a perfect analogy would be the cleavage and stiletto heels of the fragrance aisle. This fragrance category features wonderfully sensual blends, such as musk or ambergris create an earthy base scent, combined with amber to add appealing warm notes. Some perfumers mix oriental scents with floral, effectively forming a new subcategory known as â€˜floriental' perfume. Overall, this outstandingly seductive fragrance category gives the wearer an aura of bold confidence and alluring mystery, making it ideal if you want to be noticed for all the right reasons at a cocktail party.
If your mother of grandmother loved baking, you will adore spicy perfumes as they will transport you back in time to a kitchen bursting with the mouth-watering aroma of cinnamon rolls and gingerbread turning golden in the oven. Spicy fragrances feature gorgeous essential oils such as cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and pepper - they are both comforting and alluring in a timelessly vintage way. This makes them perfect for occasions such as having lunch with a handsome office colleague, visiting the in-laws or attending a parent-teacher event.
Also known as chypre, the woody fragrance category is centred on grounding natural bass notes that bring to mind bark, moss and charming forest paths. Like oceanic scents, woody fragrances lend well to unisex wear, but when worn by ladies they evoke a no-nonsense femininity that commands respect (think Katharine Hepburn). Their strong yet classic allure makes woody perfumes or colognes perfect for the corporate environment.
Armed with the above guidance, you can now choose three or four perfumes to suit your moods and perfectly match every occasion. Now that you understand the eight major fragrance categories, you will also be able to pick up expert blends which subtly combine a number of scents to create something truly unique, such as perfume from Jo Malone.