I know that there’s the unwritten law that beauty and pain can sometimes, go hand-in-hand (i.e. waxing, tweezing and other beauty basics that women go through to preserve their sexy), but nowhere in that statement does it say frustration is OK, too. While it seems like fragrance shopping is an easy process, there are many who find it tedious.

Advice for Shopping
1. Know which fragrance family you prefer.
To really gain an understanding of how to find your perfect fragrance, there are some basic classifications that can help you narrow down your search. Fragrances always come in three notes. There are top notes which evaporates first, middle notes which evaporate shortly after top and the base, the true scent which is the most dominating of the three.

These notes are all a part of different fragrance “families” or “groupings.” Here’s a quick overview of some of the most frequently used groupings:

· Bright Florals are usually dominated by the smell of one particular flower.
· Gourmand scents smell good enough to eat containing ingredients like vanilla.
· Green is a more delicate, fresh scent with green ingredients such as leafy grasses or green vegetables such as cucumbers.
· Citrus scents look to fruits such as oranges and tangerines to exude freshness.
· Aquatic/ Oceanic/ Ozonic fragrances have more of a clean smell that complements oriental, floral and woody scents.
· Fruity fragrances are sweet-smelling and draw from fruits such as mango, passion fruit, strawberries and more.

Each fragrance can be put into a fragrance family, grouping it with many other similar fragrances.
Once you have a general understanding of the terms used to describe the composition of the scent, the shopping process becomes more fun and engaging. The more knowledgeable you are, the easier fragrance shopping becomes.

Try an iPhone App
If you still need a little extra help with picking the right scent for you there are phone apps such as iPerfumer and Ascent, both of which play the role of personal assistant using images, sound and video to provide information about perfumes that could work best for you.

Advice for Wearing
The perfume shopping world is two-fold because once you find a product that’s pleasing to your senses, you have to know how to use it. Check out these basic rules that will help improve your perfume-wearing experience.

Don’t Rub Your Wrists Together
One of the biggest mistakes women make when spraying a scent is rubbing their wrists together. The friction causes the scent to settle in a different way than the maker intended. Instead, just spray and let it dry.

Perfume and Hair Don’t Mix
I have friends who are quick to spritz their hair with a hint of their favorite scent! While this is not completely detrimental to your hair, it could still have adverse affects. There are several potentially harmful chemicals used to create scents such as dye, alcohol and blends of different fragrances. In addition, the shampoo, conditioner and even the natural oils that your scalp produces could alter the aesthetic of the fragrance.

Focus on Hitting Pulse Points
More ideal pulse points to target with your favorite perfume is the base of the throat, behind the ear lobes, between your breasts, the backside of the elbows and along the collarbones. If you’re rocking a fab skirt, dress or pair of shorts during a night on the town, aim for the back of your knees.

Just Because It’s Right For Your Friend Doesn’t Mean It’s Right For You
Have you ever felt like your favorite perfume suddenly stopped smelling the same on your skin? Well, chances are, you’re not hallucinating. Your hormones can affect the way a fragrance reacts, especially if you’re stressed, menstruating or pregnant. The way a skin reacts with your skin can be a gift and a curse. It’s a gift because as human beings we all have our very own unique body chemistry and ph balance, so even if we all buy the same scent, it will smell different on each of our skin giving us our own signature smell with every application.

Don’t Forget Perfume Has a Shelf Life
Perfume has a shelf life of about three years. To me this is just an industry rule of thumb because I have some bottles on my vanity that I’ve held onto for a little longer than that. They don’t smell different to me, but maybe they have changed over time. Also, avoid storing them near direct sunlight or areas with high temperature.

Climate Matters
If you’re in a warm climate the smell of your perfume may be intensified as your body heats up, so you might want to wear lighter scents. Heat will cause the scent to evaporate more quickly and cooler weather aids with longevity.

-Margaret Francois

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