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What are the important things to consider in choosing a fragrance

Updated on February 18, 2012
Fragrance gives confidence
Fragrance gives confidence

Next to the sense of sight, the sense of smell leaves the strongest influence on our "first impressions". After seeing a person for the first time and analyzing his or her looks, the way that he or she smells is usually the next thing that our brain processes. As a matter of fact, smell is one of the most important senses because it gives us information about an object that we are encountering. It even influences our sense of taste, which explains why we feel hungry whenever we smell the aroma of food being prepared in the kitchen. Like the way that the antennae of insects work, we survey our surroundings not only through what we see but more importantly through what we smell as well.

Because of the importance of the sense of smell in creating a lingering "impression", striving to smell good has been the desire of many people. Whether you are going to school, to work, to a party or to a business meeting, knowing that you smell good not only to yourself but to other people as well can greatly influence your confidence and self-esteem. A person who smells good often attracts the attention of other people around him and that impression sticks to the mind of people because of the lingering effect that the sense of smell possesses. If you dig the back of your memories, you will surely realize that there are times when your head turned because you smelled something or someone good.

If beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, then what about smell?

Many people have argued that beauty is relative, but the same cannot be said completely about smell. Although it is true that people can be conditioned to "ignore" the smell of an object once they get used to it, the fact that an object smells "good" or "bad" will not change no matter how long you are subjected to it. Because of this, we can safely assume that what smells good or bad is collectively the same among people. Although there might be some people who can tolerate the bad smell of an object, that doesn't mean that the object actually smells good.

Wearing fragrances can greatly influence the way you smell around people. Because the molecules of colognes, perfumes and other fragrances tend to stick around for a long time, wearing fragrances can alter your "aura" and add up to your self-esteem. The choice of what fragrance to wear is a bit tricky though. Depending on your age, looks and the image that you want to portray, choosing the right kind of fragrance can become a difficult task. To help you get the perfect fragrance for your personality, here are some pointers that you should remember.

Perfumes and Colognes
Perfumes and Colognes

Cologne? Perfume? Which one should you choose?

Depending on what you strive to accomplish, choosing between cologne and perfume can prove to be tricky. But as a rule, always remember that colognes generally have less "fragrance oils" compared to perfumes. Because of this, perfumes usually last longer compared to colognes. If you want to smell good for a longer period of time, you can opt to apply a perfume instead of a cologne. However, if you are just going on a quick engagement or an appointment that will last for a couple of hours, using a cologne would suffice. An advantage of cologne over perfumes is that they have less fragrance oils that can cause irritation to the skin. If you are allergic to perfumes, using a cologne can be an effective alternative.

Which one do you prefer, a cologne or a perfume?

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Top, Middle and Base Notes. What are they?

This is another thing to consider when choosing the right fragrance for you. The molecules of different fragrance oils in perfumes diffuse in the air differently. The lighter fragrance oils, also known as the top notes, are the sharper smelling fragrances but they usually die down quickly. Top note fragrances can create a quick effect upon wearing them but they should last for only an hour at most. Middle note fragrances tend to have a bit heavier feel and can last up to 6 hours upon wearing. The longest lasting fragrance oils, known as bass notes, are the ones with the heaviest molecules which do not wear out easily. Bass note fragrances can last up to 12 to 24 hours, but they do not smell as sharp as the middle and top note fragrances. If you want your fragrance to smell strongly, moderately or lightly, knowing what kind of notes your fragrance has is definitely something that you should think about.

Designer Perfumes
Designer Perfumes

Are expensive fragrances always better?

Like many things, not all expensive fragrances are better. Cheap perfumes are sometimes even at par with expensive perfumes. Usually, the price of fragrances depend on their place of origin and the ingredients used to create them. For example, if an exotic ingredient or a hard-to-acquire oil was used to create a designer perfume, it will usually command a greater price compared to other fragrances. The thing though is that people have different "taste" when it comes to smell. Although people collectively have a common notion of what smells good or bad, the subtlety of these notions will usually determine what kind of fragrances attracts a certain person. Age has an influence over the sense of smell too. Older people tend to lose their sense of smell as they age so they generally prefer designer fragrances that smell strong and sharp.

Although branded perfumes and designer fragrances usually command a higher price compared to normal colognes, knowing where to shop and when to shop can greatly reduce the costs of buying fragrances. During off-holiday months such as July and August, prices of perfume tend to go down because of the lack of demand. On the other hand, prices of perfumes and colognes can go up during February (Valentines) and December (Christmas) because they are used as gifts, so always shop during the off-months if you want to save a bit of money.

There are also discount fragrances and discount perfumes that you can buy over the web if you know where to look at. Different shopping websites such as offer good deals on discount perfumes so you can opt to purchase fragrances even during peak buying seasons. Choosing the perfect fragrance that would fit your personality is actually not an easy task, but by assessing the unique identity that you want to portray, smelling good is definitely not that hard to accomplish.


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