Wondering how to pick a perfume? Whether you’re looking for a new signature scent or you’ve never used perfume before, this guide is here to help.
When shopping for a perfume, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the scents, names, and talk of “notes.” Don’t worry—we’ll explain fragrance notes later on! Before you choose your new scent, take a breath and read this post.
eau de what?
All perfumes are not created equal. Different names on perfume bottles actually do mean that they’re different fragrance concentrations.
From lowest fragrance concentration to highest, the scale goes from the light eau de cologne to eau de toilette to eau de parfum to the strongest perfume/parfum.
The more concentrated the fragrance, the longer it’ll last and the stronger it’ll be. Keep this in mind when shopping.
choose your scent profile (and don’t forget about those notes!)
Perfumes are typically categorized by four general scent profiles: floral, citrus, musky, and woody. A citrus profile is brighter and fresher while a woody scent deeper and warmer.
But that’s not all. All perfumes have a top, middle, and base note. These notes can mix and match scent profiles; this layering builds a more complex, rich fragrance.
Top notes are the first impression you get of a perfume. They’re what you smell right away. Common top notes are citrusy like orange or grapefruit. Middle notes become apparent after the top notes dissipate; middle notes are typically mellow scents like rose and lavender. Base notes are what stick with you after the top and middle notes emerge. They are usually muskier and deeper.
other tips to keep in mind
- If you’re shopping for a new fragrance in stores, ask a salesperson if there are small sample bottles to take home with you.
- Don’t sample too many perfumes at once, since you can become desensitized to smell.
- Smell something neutral like your shirt between perfume samples.
- Remember that you don’t have to just pick one! You can have a different perfume for different seasons or have an everyday fragrance and another for special occasions.
ready to find your fragrance?
Explore Stage’s collection of perfumes now.