Celebrate the Joy of Fragrance

It’s summer time and you want to feel fresh, clean and cool with a fragrance of your favourite cut flowers, so let’s start your search for that perfect scent to match your own unique style and personality.

Fragrance is made up of extraordinary notes and ingredients from the traditional to the exotic.

Here is a quick guide to navigating the perfume counter with ease:

What is a fragrance note?

Notes in perfumery are descriptors of scents that can be detected upon the application of a perfume. Notes are separated into three classes: top notes, middle notes and base notes. These notes determine the overall scent and they all work in synergy to create a specific aroma.

Top notes: This is what you smell with your first mist. These notes are usually light, bright and citrusy

Middle notes: Also known as the heart, this comes through once the top note disappears and is the main character of the fragrance.

Base notes: Often woods, moss and musk, this determines the longevity and strength of the fragrance on your skin.

Some perfumes would be considered floral and contain different scent notes like gardenia or geranium. Rose promotes a sense of comfort and Lily of the valley increases alertness. Others may be a bit fruitier, with undertones of citrus or apple. Exotic perfumes contain spicy notes like star anise or even cinnamon.

Do a fragrance test

Fragrances come in different levels of concentrations. The highest concentration is simply called perfume or parfum. “This level of concentration will last all day with just one application to the wrists or pulse points” says Jenny McGowan, Cosmetic Manager at HBC Kelowna. “Other levels of concentration such as Eau de Parfum or Eau de Toilette, require more applications throughout the day to get it to last.”

Before buying any fragrance, sniff the perfume bottle first to get the main idea of what the fragrance smells like, next, sample a spritz test on a blotter card, then you may choose to apply it to your skin. Wait a few minutes to smell the scent on your skin to decide if it’s right for you and fits your personal style.

Fragrance Tips:

Apply fragrances to pulse points – wrists, crook of elbow, behind the knees, small of the back, behind the neck under your hair. As your body heats up the scent is released into the air.

Layering is a practice to ensure your fragrance lasts, and using layering (a lotion or cream) with a fragrance allows the scent to release at different points throughout the day.

Storing Fragrances

Perfume should be kept away from direct light, humid areas and varying temperatures. In general, perfumes tend to last longer when stored in darker places, like a closet or a drawer. You want to store your perfume in an area that is not subject to dramatic temperature changes.

Spray fragrances last longer, about a year, dab-on fragrances are more fragile due to exposure to air, skin, and oil from fingertips.

Perfume is meant to be used and enjoyed. There is an unending world of new, innovative scents to explore. What’s trending now is to create a fragrance “wardrobe”. For the warmer months, go with light and fresh fragrances and for colder temperatures, try a perfume with more prominent aromas.

Add a spritz of new fragrance as a finishing touch to your daily routine and it will make you feel special!

There is an unending world of new, innovative scents to explore.

Elvia Picco

Okanagan lifestyle, wellness and business, freelance writer

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