Choosing the right fragrance is an art, and it's a deeply personal decision. But here's the good news: it's not complicated. Anyone can learn how to test fragrances, scents and perfumes. Here's how to find your perfect scent.
Start with a scent blotter
The fastest way to test a fragrance is with a paper blotter - those thin sticks of paper which you see at perfume counters. Some people test fragrances by sniffing the atomizer on the fragrance bottle, but this won't give you a good idea of the real scent.
To use a paper blotter correctly, take the fragrance and spray it a couple of times with the nozzle pointing downwards. Then wave the blotter through the spray. Always use a fresh blotter for a new fragrance.
Testing a fragrance on a blotter like this won't show you how the fragrance interacts with your body chemistry. But it can help you pick a few top fragrances to try, and eliminate the options you don't like.
Take your time
Now you've picked out a few fragrances using paper blotters, you can test them on yourself. Spray the fragrance lightly on your wrist, or the back of your hand. Just one pump will be enough!
After that, the key is to wait. Perfumes are complex scents which take time to develop. Ideally, you should wait at least thirty minutes before checking how the fragrance smells. Remember, everyone's body chemistry is unique - so two people might have a very different experience with the same fragrance.
Don't mix scents
We've already mentioned that you should use paper blotters to pick a short list of fragrances to try. That's because if you test too many fragrances at once, they'll get confused.
For the best results when you go perfume shopping, try to avoid scented soap or moisturizer. You don't want any other scents to interfere with your fragrance test.
Similarly, when you do test fragrances on your skin, try to keep them separate. You could test one fragrance on each wrist, for example.