Scents are powerful and can provoke different thoughts in people. A good fragrance defines that invisible part of our personal style and can influence how people see and remember us. There are dozens of scents, each with a different appeal. For men, your fragrance determines how attracted you are to people around you, especially the ladies. The thing is, looking for a signature scent is not easy. With the countless fragrances in the market that smell equally good, where do you even start? If you want a signature scent that stands out and leaves a lasting impression, read on to learn how to do it.
What Personality Do You Want to Showcase?
The first question that you should ask yourself before heading to the scented store is, “What's your end goal?” “What personality or character do you want to exude?” As noted earlier, scents vary greatly, each depicting a unique set of thoughts and emotions on other people's minds.
Sensual scents are more sexually appealing and more sophisticated.
Citrus scents are said to be more inviting.
Spicy and woody scents depict a serious side of you.
If you go shopping for your fragrance with an end goal in mind, you’ll eliminate all the unnecessary scents from consideration.
How Long Should the Scent Last?
For a long time, there has been a misconception that perfumes are for ladies and colognes for men. This is not accurate. Chandler Burr, a former perfume critic for the New York Times and a leading fragrance expert, says that “fragrance is gender-less”. These terms differentiate the perfume extract and concentration levels in the sprays. When choosing perfumes, you’ll be introduced to various terms that might seem complex. There are four main categories of perfumes:
Parfum – has a concentration level ranging from 20 – 30 percent. It’s the highest concentration of perfume and also the priciest. A small dab can last 24 hours.
Eau de Parfum – has a 15-20 percent fragrance and is usually used to describe both men’s and women’s products. It’s the most common dilution and will last between five and eight hours.
Eau de Toilette – contains 5-15 percent fragrance. This perfume extract is dissolved in alcohol and is cheaper than Eau de Parfum. It lasts only a couple of hours.
Eau de Cologne – contains a 2-5 percent perfume concentration and doesn’t last that long either. In the 20th century, perfume companies started offering cheaper, diluted versions of their existing fragrances and labeled them eau de cologne. Due to the low price, it caught the attention of men. That explains why cologne is still associated with fragrances worn by men.
With such details in mind, you can select a scent depending on how long you want it to last. In short, when you see perfume, it means it will last longer than cologne. Additionally, the amount of perfume you’d need to use is much smaller than the amount of cologne you’d use.
Study the Notes
The thing is, a fragrance isn’t just one single smell. It's more sophisticated, with some scents evolving more than others. That’s why you should perform a test to analyze the scents. There’s a lot to consider about how a scent is structured. However, there two major considerations:
One – every fragrance has three scent notes:
Top Note – this is what you smell upon application of the fragrance. It's usually made from the sweetest and lighter ingredients like citrus, flowers (lavender), and aromatics like anise. This scent usually disappears within a couple of hours.
Middle Note – lasts a little longer (three to five hours) and is the fragrance’s heart or theme. It's usually comprised of extracts from fruits, spices, greens, and heavier floral ingredients like jasmine.
Base/Foundational Note – is the most prominent and lasts the longest (five to ten hours). It's composed of woody scents, such as tobacco, musk, sandalwood, cedarwood, etc. The base scent is normally unpleasant on its own. But thanks to the top and middle notes evolving first, the base softens before it starts lingering on your nose.
For a truly magnificent fragrance, each note doesn’t just make way for the next but complements the others to create an exotic and cohesive narrative.
Two – the notes change from one season to another, with the heavier notes dominating in winter fragrances.
Understand the Scent Family
There are different types of scent families, each suiting a specific season. For example, if you're looking for something for summer, consider herbal, citrus, floral, and green scents. If it's for the colder months, go for something heavier like woody or oriental scents.
The main scent families include:
You’ll need to smell and experiment with a few scents before figuring out which is best for you.
Go for Quality Brands
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a perfume brand. Not all of them offer quality products. That’s why most people prefer to go with recommendations from people they trust. Keep in mind that a brand name suggests the quality of fragrance you should expect. It also determines how much you're going to pay for their products.
Start by trying out popular and familiar brands like Hugo Boss, Dolce and Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ferragamo, to name a few. The good thing with established brands is that they have already been tested, and people trust them. However, this doesn’t mean that the less famous brands are not of high quality. It's all a matter of trust and quality when it comes to products like perfumes.
While you can ask good-smelling people for advice, what smells good on them doesn’t mean will smell good on you. Everyone has unique preferences. That’s why you should visit the store and try out all the fragrances you're interested in.
The best way to know a fragrance is to spray on a blotter paper and smell how each scent evolves throughout its lifecycle. Smell the blotter papers at five minutes, half an hour, an hour, two hours, five hours, and so on. This will give you a distinctive scent of each fragrance, making it easier for you to identify what fits you best for different occasions.
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