Fragrances: Your Questions Answered

The wonderful world of fragrances can be overwhelming if you’re a newcomer. But before you start exploring, you probably have a few questions. In today’s blog, our fragrance experts show you the ropes!

Where do I start?

OK, so if you’re reading this article you’re probably already interested in perfumes. Maybe you have a couple at home that you received as gifts, or perhaps you already have a favourite fragrance and just want to try something different. First of all, think about perfumes you like – either yours, or a friend’s or family member’s. Figure out if there’s a specific scent you like within that perfume, then search for the fragrance online. You’ll be met with a list of the perfume’s different notes, and its fragrance family.  You’re more likely to enjoy fragrances in the same family with similar notes.

Hold on, what are notes?

Notes are individual scents within a fragrance that emerge at different stages of application. Top notes are what you smell first – they might be citrussy or herby. These evaporate quickly to leave the middle, or heart notes. Heart notes last much longer than top notes and tend to be floral, fruity, or spicy. Finally, the base notes emerge and combine with the remaining heart notes. Base notes like musk, amber, and sandalwood can last for hours.

What about fragrance families?

Fragrance families are groups of perfumes which share similar characteristics. There’s lots of different families out there. Here are the most prominent.

  • Fresh (ocean, citrus)
  • Floral
  • Oriental  (warm and spicy)
  • Gourmand (vanilla, honey, chocolate etc.)
  • Woody (warm, dry, earthy)

These labels have many sub-categories, but if you’re just starting out the above families are all you need.

Are natural fragrances better than synthetic fragrances?

Natural fragrances contain ingredients that are physically obtained from raw materials (plants and animals). Synthetic ingredients are produced partly or solely in a lab, and can mimic natural ingredients or form entirely new scents.

Natural fragrances tend to be more expensive as they’re more difficult to manufacture at scale, but they are often more complex than artificial perfumes. Synthetic fragrances tend to be more consistent than their natural counterparts.

The synthetic vs. natural debate has been ongoing in the world of fragrances for some time, but we don’t think one is necessarily better than the other!

How can I make perfume last longer once applied?

In short, don’t rub your wrists together, and apply to your hair rather than your pulse points. Read our complete guide to improving perfume longevity for more tips! And don’t forget that your perfume won’t last forever…

What’s a perfume’s shelf life?

It depends on the fragrance, but if you keep your perfume out of direct sunlight and away from humidity, it should last three to five years.

Do I need different fragrances for each season?

Not necessarily, but it’s important to note that fragrances do respond differently depending on the weather. In hot weather, fragrances will evaporate more quickly, meaning that heavier fragrances may become overwhelming or cloying. Lighter fragrances are a better choice for summer. If you do want to use a heavier fragrance in summer, be sure to spray less generously than you might in winter!

More questions?

Please leave them in the comments! We’ll do our best to answer them.

Inspired to start on your fragrance adventure? Our selection of affordable top brand fragrances is the perfect place to begin!

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