Picking a signature fragrance – for you or someone else – can be tricky. You want the fragrance you choose to perfectly capture the essence of the person who will wear it. Plus you want the fragrance to smell amazing.
There are some basic things to consider when selecting a fragrance. They include the personality of the person it’s for, their taste in food, their favorite smells, and even their movie and music preferences.
“Long gone are the days of having a signature scent” says Kat Fay, a beauty analyst for Mintel Oxygen, a market-research company. Some women change it up every few years, while others make a switch depending on their mood. “Many of us have a wardrobe of fragrances to suit our ever-changing lives” says Terry Molnar, executive director of The Fragrance Foundation and the Sense of Smell Institute.
With so many choices, it can be hard to commit to anything these days—including a scent, says Molnar. Another explanation: Studies show that our sense of smell evolves over time, which affects our fragrance preferences. Hoarding can be a pricey, dust-gathering habit, so find your age range here and let it inspire your scent selection.
When you were 15, you probably found comfort in smelling more like a cupcake than a camellia flower. (A recent Psychology of Perfume report confirmed that teen girls have an affinity for sweet smells.) According to a Duke University study, teens sport sweet scents to form their personal identity, define their territory, and fit in socially. Also on their agenda? Masking body odor. “Teens wear what’s popular, but they also like scents with deodorant benefits to fit their active lifestyles,” explains Molnar.
suggestion: Lavanila Healthy Fragrance in Vanilla Grapefruit
When Coco Chanel famously said, “Wear perfume wherever you want to be kissed” she was obviously aware of the attractant properties of fragrance. According to the Psychology of Perfume report, the biggest reason twenty-somethings get their spray on is to feel more attractive to others. And experts say women in this age-group, who are typically taking home entry-level paychecks, are more drawn to luxury brands. “The average woman in her twenties might not be able to buy designer clothes, but she can afford a designer fragrance, which will make her feel as if she’s part of the high-end lifestyle“.
suggestion: Miss Dior Cherry
At this age, a woman uses scent to feel sexy and secure—and if she’s coupled up, to tantalize her man. By the time a woman hits 30, she is “more established in her career and relationship, and is looking for a scent to reflect that,” says Craig Warren, Ph.D., director of scientific affairs for the Sense of Smell Institute.
suggestion: Gucci Guilty
Call them the “me” decades. “In their forties and fifties, women choose fragrances that please themselves,” says Molnar. Research also shows they use scent to feel elegant.
And the 40-plus set likes their fragrance strong: The olfactory system weakens with age, making it harder to detect subtle smells, explains Warren. “Scents with a high concentration of perfume oil—which younger women may find overpowering—appeal to older women,” he says.
suggestion: Prada Infusion de Rose
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