Fragrance Buying Guide
What is the difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette?
Eau de Parfum is more concentrated and generally lasts for up to 4-5 hours on the skin. It contains less alcohol and so may be more suitable for people with sensitive skin types, for whom alcohol can sometimes be an irritant.
Eau de Toilette is more diluted and therefore less expensive, so is generally more popular for everyday wear. It usually lasts for up to 2-3 hours on the skin.
Eau de Cologne is quite weak in strength for a more subtle, understated scent and usually lasts for 1-4 hours.
What types of fragrances are there?
Fragrances are generally divided into one of four families of scents:
Floral/Fruity - eg. Viktor and Rolf "Flowerbomb"
Fresh/ Zesty - eg. Hugo Boss "Boss Orange Sunset"
Oriental/Spicy - eg. YSL "Opium"
Musk/Woody - eg. "Gucci" by Gucci
What are 'notes'?
Fragrances develop over time and the smell changes after it has been applied to the skin. This happens in three stages, which form the three main "notes" of a fragrance. These are called the Top Note, The Heart (or Middle Note) and the Base Note.
The Top Note is the initial smell that you get from a perfume, normally lasting only approximately 8-15 minutes. These are normally citrus, light florals or powdery scents.
The Heart Note is the main body of the fragrance and usually a more mellow scent, most often they consist of heavier florals such as rose or lavender. These notes normally develop approximately 30 minutes after the perfume is sprayed, after the top note has cleared.
The Base Note is the last part of the perfume to develop and usually contains the bolder scents such as leathers and musks. These notes help to anchor the fragrance and linger for hours on the skin.
Tips on buying a new perfume:
Fragrances smell different on each individual due to the chemical makeup of our skin. Don't buy a perfume just because you have smelt it on someone else, it may smell entirely different on you.
Before you decide on a perfume, test it on your skin rather than a fragrance card. Perfumes release notes of fragrance as they warm on the skin, which give you the full scent.
Don't make a decision on a new perfume based on the first spray, as you will only smell the "top" notes of the fragrance. The "heart" and "base" notes take further time to develop, after which the perfume could smell completely different.
Always keep perfume bottles in a cool, dark place, out of direct sunlight and away from extreme temperatures.
Use a scented body lotion of the same fragrance, or a complementary scent, to make your perfume last all day long.
To get the most scent out of your perfume, spritz it onto your favourite scarf or into your hair.