Savvy-up your sense of scent

Savvy-up your sense of scent

FRAGRANT NOTE It is strange how hardly any of us Indians are aware of the technicalities that go into choosing the right perfume for ourselves, observes Anjana Sarin

In western countries you can have custom blended fragrances. An expert perfumer will ask you for your basic preference, whether you want floral, fruity/citrus, spicy, or woody scent. Then the selections are wafted under your nose and you will have to select the base note that most suits you. But in India, as yet the perfume market is hardly what you can call upscale or premium. As such it will take sometime for the Indian perfume market to buck up, but here are few pointers that might help you to select the perfect perfume for yourself.

Choosing a perfume, depends a lot on your age, and what kind of impression you want to make. If you are in your twenties, you may opt for a floral or fruity perfume. But in your thirties, you might find yourself more inclined towards oriental scents. For the working lady, the type of perfume trail you leave behind determines the good/ bad impressions with your colleagues. For parties and celebrations, it is essential that your perfume is recollected with subdued cordiality. It is surprising how many women believe in spraying their blouse or sarees prior to leaving for a function. Actually, you have to apply it on pulse points like wrists, behind knees, nape of the neck and inner ankles for the scent to be effective, just an hour before leaving the home.

Selecting a perfume is not just smelling the contents, and having it dabbed on you. It is a question of how far the perfume and your body match with each other. Some perfumes linger for long after they are sprayed while others may just fade away. This is because the scents have different reactions to the body chemistry of individuals. Naturally this puts a load on the way you select perfume. In many occasions you will find two different ladies wearing the same perfume but the fragrance may be different, based on their inherent body odour and chemistry.

First things first: our sense of smell is at its sharpest at the end of the day. Hence make the selections in the evening when you return from office.

The first thing to consider is the factor of your own natural body odour. If you want to check up as to whether any particular perfume is okay on this count, spray it on your wrist, allow the alcohol base to dry and then check up after ten minutes. Then you will get a clear indication as to whether your body odour has accepted the new perfume as its complement. Be careful that you test the perfume on your own wrist and not that of your companion’s.

Initially, just dab the perfume on the back of your hand to check that you are not allergic to it. Further do not try to check out more than one perfume at a time. The maximum you can check out at one session is four. Lastly wait for few minutes after the perfume is dabbed. Sometimes it take several minutes before you can experience the fragrance.
The second factor is as to whether you have an oily skin or not. If you have dry skin, then ensure that you put on an oil based lotion, before putting on the perfume to see what it smells like when you use it over your moisturiser. Then again, the weather counts a lot: as in winter, the intensity of perfumes get reduced. So, you’ll have to dab a stronger variety during the winter season.

If you use a particular perfume, it is important to ensure that the body wash and lotion are of the same category. Otherwise you will have to over perfume yourself for the same result. In western countries you can have custom blended soaps/body wash/lotions matching the perfumes you are currently using. In India, however, it is not as popular yet.
By and large it is expected that a good perfume will last 6 hours, cologne 3 hours, and eau de toilette three hours. So, do not forget a suitable mini-fragrance spray as well to put in your hand bag. You may require “ topping up” sometime or the other.