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Fragrance Notes: How to Find Your Signature Scent

Even if you love buying perfume, picking out a new fragrance is not an easy task. Unlike buying the latest gadget at the Apple store, perfume picking involves knowing the different types of scents — and that is just the beginning. Before you decide to venture out to the closest Sephora, make sure you read these 4 guidelines that will help you become a perfume pro. As a bonus, we have included a few of the newest and hottest fragrances to look into buying this season. 

The Fragrance Guide 

The amount of perfume oil in a fragrance dictates whether it's pure Perfume, an Eau de Parfum, an Eau de Toilette, an Eau de Cologne, and so forth. It also dictates how long each of these fragrances will last on the skin. As you may have guessed, a Perfume fragrance will last longer on the skin than any of its fragrant counterparts. With about 30 percent perfume oil concentration, the scent is meant to last 6-8 hours. On the other side of the scale, Eau de Cologne, with just 5 percent concentration, is only meant to last 2-3 hours. All of these numbers factor into another important variable when picking out your scent: price. The price of a fragrance depends on its strength (going back to the perfume oil concentration) and also on its bottle size. Meaning, the longer it lasts on your skin, the more you have to pay for it.

One of this year's biggest new fragrances includes Gucci Premiere by GUCCI Eau de Parfum $87, which features notes of white flowers, sexy musk, and smoky leather, is perfect for the girl who likes to show off her inner leading lady. 

The Different Notes

Now that you have mastered the different types of fragrances by their strength, you are now ready to tackle the different notes. No, not like a musical class, perfume notes are differentiated by the ingredients that have been used to make up a particular scent. The four main scents are:

  1. Citrus: A clean, tangy, aroma of citrus fruits.
  2. Floral: Fresh cut fragrance of flowers, soft and very feminine.
  3. Oriental: More powerful than the first two, includes notes of musk, vanilla, and oriental resins.
  4. Woodsy: Rich notes of sandalwood, patchouli, and potent woody scents.

Marc Jacob's latest fragrance Dot $89 became popular very quickly mainly due to its clean and modern scent which includes a delectable blend of honeysuckle, red berries, and dragon-fruit. As well as an addictive note of jasmine and creamy vanilla. 

Finding Your Scent 

Now comes the most important part of the lesson: finding your own signature scent, which is far more difficult than it sounds. Fortunately for you, I have a few key pointers that will make this task not only easy, but also fun to tackle. All you have to do is open your closet and determine your style persona. Just like your clothing style, whether its romantic, modern, clean, or classic, your perfume scent should follow suit. Thus, if you favor romantic and feminine designers like Valentino, Rebecca Taylor, and so forth, chances are you should be looking for a floral-scented fragrance. If your style is more sexy and you favor designers like Dolce & Gabbana and Roberto Cavalli, you should seek out woodsy fragrances. The minimalist who favors a clean cut style like Calvin Klein and Donna Karan, should procure a citrus-scented fragrance. And last, but certainly not least, the edgy fashion-forward persona who favors designers like Alexander Wang and Givenchy should seek out oriental-scented perfumes.

Jimmy Choo's Eau de Parfume $95 features an exotic combination of orchids, Indonesian patchouli and sweet toffee. Perfect for the sultry female who wants to convey her aura through a strong scent. 

Tackle the Designers

Now that you have determined your scent based on your style, it's time to do real damage: picking out the right fragrance. If you favor a certain designer's style, chances are you will also like their perfume. Usually, designers want to reflect their aesthetic via the perfume, from the smell all the way to the design of the bottle. So if you are a Marc Jacobs chick, it is highly likely that you will like either Lola or Daisy, two of Marc's most popular scents. Once you have discovered what scent you like, ask a perfume sales rep to point other fragrances in that same family which will further help you narrow down your quest until you find the lucky one.

Stella McCartney's latest fragrance, L.I.L.Y. $100, is ideal for the nature-loving gal with its soft floral notes including lily of the valley, as well as white musk, and pink pepper. Sensual but clean, this scent is appropriate for both day and evening. 

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