Lifestyle / Home

Leigh Crymble
2 minute read
17 Oct 2013
6:00 am

The Lo down: your perfume personality

Leigh Crymble

Floral. Woody. Fruity. Oceanic. These are just some of the olfactory families that fragrances are classified into, with modern perfumes and colognes tending to belong to two, sometimes three, of these groups.

This said, choosing a fragrance can be an overwhelming process. But, rather than following the latest fragrance trend, it is important to know your perfume personality: what you like and what suits your skin.

Picking your perfume

A lot goes into choosing a fragrance that suits you. What is your taste in food? What are your favourite smells? Even your music preference can play a role in the perfect scent selection. Here are some considerations when selecting your signature scent:

1. When will it be worn?

Certain fragrances work better at certain times of the day so it’s not uncommon to have a daytime fragrance and one for the night. Lighter scents such as an eau de cologne or toilette work better during the day (especially if you work in an office environment) whereas an eau de parfum has a higher concentration of perfume oil and alcohol which makes it heavier and more fragrant. Also, keep the season in mind. Fragrances last longer on our skin in warmer weather than when it’s cooler; mainly due to our skin being more hydrated and better able to retain the scent. So, lighter scents work better during spring and summer than heavier ones.

2. How should you trial it?

What smells great on someone else may not smell the same on you. This is because a fragrance reacts with the chemical makeup of our skin so if you have an oily skin, you are more likely to hold onto a scent than if you have drier skin. When scent shopping, arrive without any scented lotion or perfume already on as this can distract you from the scents you’re trying. Also, do not try out more than three scents in one go as your nose becomes desensitised (think smell fatigue). It is a good idea to take a sample home to try out for a day.

3. How much do you want to spend?

Before visiting the beauty counter, decide how much you are prepared to spend on your new fragrance. A 30ml bottle of perfume can range in price from R200 to R 2 000 depending on the brand you opt for but try to forget the celeb endorsement, the pretty packaging, and the cool designer name, and choose a scent that you enjoy.

When chatting to a friend recently about picking the right perfume, he had some sage advice: “You know you’ve found your ideal fragrance when you hardly smell it but everyone else compliments you on it.” And that’s love at first spritz.

Follow Leigh Crymble on Twitter (@Le1ghLo) or read her blog (