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Whiff it: How to pick your signature scent

Whiff it: How to pick your signature scent

When the temperature goes up, our fragrance of choice diffuses into nothing more quickly. So while there has been a spate of afternoon downpours recently, how do we choose the best scents for day and night, given our ever humid climate? And how do we make them last longer?

Good smelling, long wearing
If it’s longevity you’re after, it’s better to pick an eau de parfum, which has a higher concentration of oils, instead of an eau de toilette. Pick a scent that is also heavy on the base notes, as these stay longest on the skin; think musk, woods, leather, and amber.

Of course, scents are very much highly personal preferences. If you don’t like musk in the first place, you won’t enjoy spritzing on something with such a heavy scent in the morning then getting a whiff of it all day. If your nose prefers something lighter, such as floral or citrus fragrances, it’d be better to layer them on top of one another, as these scents stay on the skin for a maximum of 15 minutes. If it’s possible, buy a shower gel and a body lotion with the same scent as your preferred perfume to keep the fragrance lasting longer on your skin.

A sense for scents
Take stock of what your agenda is for the day as well when picking out what fragrance to wear. “Determine your activity levels and your environment,” advises photographer and fragrance buff Shaira Luna. “If it’s a formal or business setting in a cool place, you can do deeper scents, like aromas that lean towards musk and the push-pull of sweet and spicy. If you’ll be on the go, zingy fresh splashes and eau de toilettes will keep you refreshed throughout the day.”

Rule of thumb: For daytime use, scents that use citrusy notes like bergamot (the perfumer’s go-to), all things flowery (with just the right amount of evergreen), or mild musks and woods are all great to spritz on. The exception can be stronger scents that are already proven to be compatible with your body chemistry, as they settle into something more balanced even in the heat of the summer. If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a perfume like this, you can wear it all year round.

Image by Alex Sajan for Unsplash

But where to start when the choices are overwhelming? Start with a perfume’s packaging. Appearances aren’t always reliable, but when it comes to perfume, color is a pretty good indication if it’s meant to be worn during the day or at night, for work or for play. For picnics and other outdoorsy activities, think of sunshine and open fields: yellows, greens, and citrusy hues. Blue, meanwhile, is usually the color used on scents that are best worn on days with a sporty, active agenda.

See Also

Acqua di Parma Colonia has the Sicilian citrus fruit as a top note, lavender, rosemary, verbena, and damask rose as heart notes, and base notes of vetiver, sandalwood, and patchouli.
Desire Blue Ocean by dunhill contrasts the tonic citrus and icy peppermint appeal of the original Desire Bue with the powerful bitter sea breeze. Available at Rustan’s.

A good perfume isn’t inexpensive, so get the most mileage out of your bottle of signature scent by keeping it in a cool and dark place. Sunlight and heat can affect the quality of your perfume, so think of other spots (other than the cabinet in your humid bathroom) to store it.


Header image by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

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