Picking the perfect scent isn’t easy – especially if you’re shopping for someone else, but there are a few handy thing to consider when scent shopping for a special someone.


Potency: Not all scents are created equal in this regard so ask yourself if the person you’re shopping for would like their scent on the mild or on the strong side. Eau de Cologne is the lightest scent concentration. Next is Eau de Toilette with a slightly higher percentage of perfume oil. Eau de Parfum is next and then Perfume is the most potent, which is why it tends to come in the smallest bottle as only a few small drops are needed.


Personality: A person’s character traits can tell you a lot about the kind of scent they’d like. Think about their favorite pastimes, their favorite foods, whether they’re sporty etc. and it should give you a sense of whether to look for a woody scent, an oriental, a floral, a fruity or a fresh scent (i.e. someone into sports will probably go for a fresh citrus scent whereas an oriental would be a better fit for someone who tends to like things refined).


Season: Ask yourself if you’re trying to find a scent that will work for this season or one that will work just as well now as it will in the summer as this will dictate just how many floral notes, for example, you’ll want in your scent. If you’re looking for a scent that will work best around Valentine’s Day ask the sales associate you’re working with for a woodsy or oriental scent as these tend to be heavier and more appropriate for the cold weather than their floral, fruit, and fresh counterparts.


Test on Skin: You’ll also want to remember to always go shopping with bare skin so you’re testing on a “clean” palette. It’s very important to test each scent you’re considering on yourself and not just on a piece of blotting paper as it won’t smell the same when sprayed on skin as it did on the piece of paper.


To get you started here’s a look at a current top pick for each fragrance category and a description of what you can expect from these olfactory groups:


Oriental: In this family you’ll find spicy notes often associated with the Middle and Far Eastern side of the world – think cinnamon, pepper, amber, nutmeg, vanilla, and clove. An example would be The One by Dolce & Gabbana

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Woodsy: In this category you’ll find notes like musk, agarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, cedarwood, and vetiver. White Woods by CLEAN is a good reflection of a fragrance in this category.


Fresh: Fragrances in this category are crisp and clean and include notes like fresh cut grass, fresh herbs, vines and other leafy scents. An example of one such scent would be Un Jardin Sur Le Toit by Hermes.


Citrus: Citrus scents, like Tory Burch by Tory Burch, have lemon, orange, bergamot, grapefruit or mandarin as part of their scent profile.


Floral: The most common fragrance group is floral and as the name indicates you’ll find either a note of a single flower or a composition of various floral notes. Roses, iris, and peonies are among the most common. A good example of a floral forward scent is Flowerbomb by Victor & Rolf.


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