We all know shopping for shoes is super-easy, but buying a fragrance can seriously drive a girl batty. There are so many to choose from and there’s no equivalent rush like when you spot a Prada wedge from afar. With time and a few thoughtful sniffs, however, you’ll find your scent and crave it just as much as your new Louboutins. Don’t know where to begin? New York City-based perfume pro Pascal Gaurin of International Flavors & Fragrances—a leading fragrance manufacturing firm—shares his smarts:
• Start your fragrance search in the morning, while your sense of smell is still fresh and before the beauty department gets too heady with different scents. Take your time; you’ll want the fragrance to evolve and react with you over time.
• Avoid fragrance interference and refrain from wearing any scented lotion—unless it’s one you wear 24/7. In that case, be sure to wear it so you can see how it reacts with your new fragrance options.
• While doing your initial walk-through, first smell the bottle. If it interests you, spray some on a paper scent strip. Once you’ve selected your top four, see how they mix with your skin’s chemistry by spraying two samples on each forearm. Try not to overlap!
• Don’t judge the scent in the first 10–15 seconds. Relax and take a break from the fragrance department for an hour. This will let your scents begin to dry down (a fragrance always smells different once it sets) and you’ll get a clearer idea of how the perfumes really smell on you.
• While the search for a signature scent is a personal one, if you’ve got a mate, consider getting his opinion on what scent he thinks smells most delish on you.
• But, remember, in fragrance there are no rules. There is no right or wrong. Trust your instincts. If you think it’s the fragrance, then nobody else can tell you it’s not.