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  1. #1

    Default how do you choose a fragrance

    Just out of curiosity....I was wondering how other people choose fragrances. It seems the more I see , the more I smell, the more I try....the more I WANT...Right now! So....what is your system or formula for choosing a fragrance?

  2. #2

    Shycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    I try to get samples and sniff a bit, and then wear it a day. If it makes me happy, and happy enough, it's in.

  3. #3

    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    Impulsively. And I find that the more I try, the less I want. As a result my wishlist is limited to only those items that have obscene prices. I am not one to resist a good impulse purchase, however, and as a result of this behavior have bottles of things I dislike after two wearings.

    Other than this, I have a terrible habit of going through a decant, deciding some perfume is a complete necessity, and then hating it after two wearings. I no longer trust my instincts. I have decided that the reason for this brash rejection of things I thought I had liked is due to three factors:

    1. Too long a time has gone by between the initial admiration and the purchase. I may no longer be in a soapy incense semester. I might have moved to itchy vetiver. It's unpredictable.

    2. The more I smell, the more I recognize dribs and drabs of things that I dislike, buried in the middle of something new. This can ruin an entire house's worth of perfume or it might just ruin an individual fragrance. For instance, Insolence was ruined by Meteorites.


    2b. Anything related to or living in a cozy neighborly fashion with JPG Classique, Bandit, Chinatown, anything Estee Lauder, is immediately rejected. This also applies to scents with a "coconut" sandalwood note, all of which I relate to MPG Santal Noble.

    I suppose these very random idiosyncrasies work both for and against me.

  4. #4

    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    I am of the very firm belief that perfumes, like books, choose US and not the other way around.
    When something beckons you to lean down and sniff and close your eyes and inhale deeply, and after that it stays at the back of your mind and makes its presence known, it's a eureka moment. It has chosen you.
    It doesn't happen all the time...

  5. #5

    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    When I first began exploring fragrance, I tried each perfume on my skin, two at a time, per day. Then I looked up the notes in the Directory on this site to figure out which notes were appealing. (It didn't take long to determine that I am not friends with jasmine or patchouli. )

    Now I limit my sniffing to fragrances which contain the notes I know work on my skin. Then I test the scent several different times over a month or so, by itself, and live with it for a day. I only buy a full bottle if the scent melds into my skin and becomes part of me; almost an extension of who I am.

  6. #6
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    Quarry's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    tdi: Congratulations on asking "the forgotten question." Simply brilliant.

    To answer: Sample, sample; sample, sample; sample, sample; sample, sample. Mostly from vials bought and/or swapped. I don't know if it's my limited olfactory receptors or an inherently hard-to-please nature, but so few scents make it through to the next round, which is "decant." Methodically, if I empty a decant, then and only then I'll go to a bottle--a virtually foolproof system for avoiding buyer's remorse. The whole scent-location process, and my related paperwork and online files, look like a laboratory study.

    What did I hear you all say, "We've got to get this girl to cut loose and let her hair down"?
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  7. #7

    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    80% of my collection is fron buying blind...I love the gamble....I won't stop!
    I don't endorse such foolishness, but it really works for me !

  8. #8

    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    I used to buy blind a long time ago, but that left me both empty and with regrets, so now i only and exclusively test my frags on my skin and let them stay for a day, then i would decide wether i would buy them or not.
    When i am in a hurry i ask for samples, i always get samples.
    I never go for the scented strip or card.
    Even if i have tested a frag a while ago, i would give it a second go in diferent seasons or situations so i can see if my perception of the scent changed or if it's more suitable for another time/place/etc.
    And most of all, have fun while doing it, i never see it as something i have to do, or as a task.
    I was a very competitive person (still am, but less so) and i used to infiltrate those thoughts into my frag spending/testing that resulted in changes in perceptions. Now it's very different!
    Only after i tested or bought the frag, i go into the net and check reviews or thoughts on it, again, i do this as a way to not influence -in a bad or good way- my desicions on a fragrance.
    I do read the Notes posted on a frag, so i would like to have at least some "basic" info on it, but that still doesn't contribute a lot to a buy-or-no-buy decision.

  9. #9

    Default Only one fragrance per day!

    Squirt. Sniff. Sniffsniffsniff. Consider (or rush to sink and begin scrubbing wrists frantically). Repeat. Examine budget. Mope.

    It is more difficult to decide what to try in the first place. If I really like the way a bottle looks, I'll usually give the juice inside a go, partly to from hopeful optimism, partly to satisfy my curiosity. I actually bought Lolita Lempicka--although it always dries down to a fried chicken accord on me--because I liked the bottle so much, but that is NOT something I'm likely to do again

    I do look at reviews, mostly for specific details that are given, such as something smelling like cold stone, or blood ("Anarchist" sounds frightful--menthol and orange are about the worst partners I can imagine--but I STILL want to see what it is like), than how much a fragrance is liked or disliked. I enthusiastically try anything by "Comme des Garçons"; I don't like all of them, but they are almost always interesting. I gravitate toward fragrances that are described as masculine, and often go to the men's section of fragrance counters when I am seriously looking for something I might like, as these are less likely to dry down to an oversweet powdery-ness than more traditionally feminine scents (I think my very dry skin brings out this accord).

  10. #10

    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    I usually get a sample first if I can, and if I finish it and can't live with the thought of not having it around, I would get a full bottle.

    If you want more tips about choosing a fragrance, you can read my article about it on my blog:
    http://ayalasmellyblog.blogspot.com/...art-of_01.html
    Ayala Moriel, Perfumer
    Ayala Moriel Parfums http://www.ayalamoriel.com/
    Visit my SmellyBlog: http://www.smellyblog.com/

  11. #11
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    Quarry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Only one fragrance per day!

    Quote Originally Posted by mysteriousmongoose
    Squirt. Sniff... Examine budget. Mope.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  12. #12

    Post Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    I don't have a set method of choosing fragrances. I sample, impulse buy, try on my wrist instore a lot, blind buy rarely. Trying samples at home first works best for me because I'm in my own environment where I can be more aware of a new scent in my space. Trying instore is always fun but I end up confused from spraying too many scents, always happens!
    I can never rely on topnotes attracting me to a fragrance because with most of my favourite scents the topnotes really put me off at first. Likewise if topnotes attract me to a scent I find that the frag usually bores me quite quickly. Weird conclusion: if I really don't like the topnotes it is a good sign for me that I will love the fragrance!

  13. #13

    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    1. I read reviews on Basenotes and Makeupalley and also on the blogs. I look for notes that I know are good on me, or olfactive families that work for me. Write down the names of the perfumes, listing the top, middle, and base notes that go into each.
    2. Order a batch of similar samples. For example: roses, sandalwoods, patchoulis, Orientals, Greens, or fragrances from the same house.
    3. Test them blind. (From bottle and on skin.) The element of surprise keeps you honest. Number them in the order of your preference before you open your eyes.
    4. Buy a full bottle of the winner.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 21st October 2006 at 10:58 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by chaelaran1008
    I can never rely on topnotes attracting me to a fragrance because with most of my favourite scents the topnotes really put me off at first. Likewise if topnotes attract me to a scent I find that the frag usually bores me quite quickly. Weird conclusion: if I really don't like the topnotes it is a good sign for me that I will love the fragrance!
    I can relate to that. Do others feel this is true more often than not?
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  15. #15

    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    Thanks to Basenotes, I have narrowed down my search for new fragrances by reading all the lists you wonderful people write down. If I find a couple of my current (or ex-) favorites included on the list, I want to try the others on the list - often I succeed in finding something really nice. So a big thank you to you all!

  16. #16

    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarry
    I can relate to that. Do others feel this is true more often than not?
    I agree. But to buy a whole bottle, I have to like the whole fragrance, top to bottom. I do own and frequently wear Carolina (Carolina Herrera) whose opening edges very close to overly fruity. It's the only one in my collection I feel is slightly less than perfect top to bottom, but then I only gave $24.99 for it at Marshall's.

  17. #17

    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    Oh, forgot this link. Osmoz explains the olfactive families and sorts them by name for you.
    http://www.osmoz.com/encyclo/familles.asp
    And this is a poster showing the families. If you like one, you might try others in the same group.
    http://www.leffingwell.com/h%26rfrag...ie_feminin.pdf
    Last edited by purplebird7; 22nd October 2006 at 02:40 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: how do you choose a fragrance

    For me sampling is equivalent to buying... I am really not all that hard to please when it comes to fragrances... there is just so much out there that I like, enjoy and know that eventually will fall in love with, even if I don't instantly like/love it the moment I've tried it...

    I do fall in and out of love with some of my collection... and when in love I do outrageous things like buy two, three bottles at a time... yeah I know that may be weird but if I even don't love it I can always find a good home for it
    "Of the five senses, the sense of smell is incontestably the one that best conveys a sense of immortality."

    Salvador Dali

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