How to choose (and wear) the perfect fragrance

February 19, 2020 1:58 PM

Perfumes are an essential part of how one present themselves. It's undeniable. It is almost as all the effort in putting an outfit together is in vain when we don't wear a perfume or worst, when we don't know where to place it.

The fragrance you wear is your way of saying; 'Hey here's who I am". But there are a couple of very important things to consider when choosing your signature fragrance.

First and foremost what scent to choose in the midst of a myriad of fragrances out there as well as how to wear it, which is extremely important so that we can exhale a pleasant sensation as opposed to an intoxicating one. It has to translate who you are, your inner essence.

It has to make you memorable, but in saying that, you don't want your perfume to arrive before you or change its composition.

I grew up in a family where everyone had their signature perfume. I can recall many stories of my mom and grandpa around their favourite fragrances that were their signature, I still can smell their perfume in the room.

They were loyal to a particular fragrance and that was their trademark. They couldn't stand the thought of being caught wearing something different. I haven't inherited this trait, I have collected a number of perfumes over the years. However, I have a few perfumes that I always go back to, and one of them is Chanel 5.

But choosing a perfume can be daunting and confusing.

How to choose your perfume

Firstly, you have to consider the fragrance options there are:

- Florals
- Citrus
- Fruity
- Spicy
- Musky

Which ones attract you most? I also consider the time you're going to wear. Is it mostly day or evening? Summer or winter?

Secondly, think about the intensity and power of fixation from lighter to heavier. Here are the options:

- Eau fraiche: An eau fraiche is the lightest concentration of fragrance and it has an oil concentration of one to three per cent. Because it has low alcohol concentration and high water content, it’s a great option if you have sensitive skin.

- Eau de cologne: It contains two to four per cent oil and normally fades within an hour or two. it's mostly worn by men.

- Eau de toilette: Normally it has five to 15 per cent oil and lasts for about three hours. It is one of the most popular fragrance choices because it lasts longer and is more cost effective.

- Eau de parfum: It has 15 to 20 per cent oil and lasts up to five hours.

- Parfum: Also known as extrait de parfum, pure perfume or sometimes simply perfume, is the most concentrated scent therefore the most expensive and rare of them all. It contains 20 to 40 per cent oil and can last from six to eight hours.They are also great for sensitive skin types as they contain a low concentration of alcohol, therefore are less likely to dry out skin.

How to wear your perfume

Wearing perfume is also an art to be finessed. Where and how to apply it depends entirely on both the environment in which it’s worn and the outfit for which it accessorises.

You should apply in the 'hot' parts of your body, inner elbow, wrist, behind the knees, behind your ears.

Do not rub as you change the chemistry of the fragrance. A fragrance smells different in a different person because it reacts with the person's own chemistry. So it's best to try on your skin as opposed to on someone else or a piece of paper.

Another fact that contributed to my love for fragrances is having lived in the Middle East. Their love of perfume is huge and they go for the best.

There I had access to the best brands there are which of course, refined my taste further. They were mostly french and made by real parfumeurs.

Below is my list of favourite brands and fragrances for both Summer/day and Winter/evening scents:

Floral fragrances for me are the most pleasant as they resemble nature like this beautiful Bergamote by Lelabo.
Perfumes to wear at the office have to be light otherwise it can disturb others which is not a business etiquette attitude.
Above: Fresh and feminine like these Fransipani Flower from Jo Malone, limited edition, Tory Burch Eau de Parfum and Acqua Allegoria Pera Granita by Guerlain, Chat Perche by Anick Goutal and Flowerhead by Byredo are perfect for Summer days when you are wearing a beautiful summer dress and strolling down the beach...
Oils have their space in my cabinet. I wear them specially after my shower or bath as they hydrate the skin and leave a soft fragrance. Here is this amazing rose scent Huille Antique by L'Officine Universelle Buly a Paris.
Above: More robust Winter and evening fragrances for those days when you want to be remarkable: Woman in Gold by Killian Perfume, Chanel Le Beige Les Exclusifts de Chanel, Rojas Parfum Paris, Chamise Blanche by Laurent Mazzone and Lady Blanche by Penhaligon's

For more info or to book your personal fragrance consultation, email: