Navigating your way through the crowded fragrance market in search of the one can seem like a daunting task. Just like clothing or accessories, the scent you choose reflects your style, taste and personality.
Given the vast array of choice, from celebrity fragrances with gargantuan marketing budgets to lesser-known olfactory concoctions, it could seem easier to just stick with what you know (or don’t know). However, with a little knowledge and a fair amount of spritzing, finding your new fragrance should be an experience to remember
“Perfume is like an invisible aura, it speaks volumes about who we are,” says Eva Carlo, training manager at Creed. “First, you have to decide what you want to say with your perfume then you can experiment with the different fragrance families. The most important thing is to find a perfume that makes you feel wonderful and lifts your mood.”
So how do you find the perfect perfume, the ‘signature scent’ representing your personality, character and style that works for any mood, season or occasion and has staying power? At the start of your fragrance journey, it’s key to understand how various fragrant notes play their part in your choice.
“The weight of the raw material depends on where it falls in the perfume pyramid – head, heart or base,” says Eva. “Think of the head notes as the greeting; they are friendly and fleeting and draw us in to discover more. They are mostly composed of citruses and fruity notes. The heart notes are the theme of the story, they have more persistence and body and are mostly composed of floral and spicy notes. The base notes are the soul of the composition - they last the longest on the skin and tend to be deep and rich.”
It’s also important to understand which ‘fragrance families’ you’re most drawn to and why. The four standard families are floral, oriental, woody and fresh (encompassing citrus and green). Each fragrance family has a unique personality and, instinctively, you will prefer fragrances from some and dislike ones from others.
“Florals are the most varied family and can express a variety of moods, from elegance or purity to indulgence and seduction. Orientals are seductive and luxurious, while woods are assertive and resilient. Citruses are noted for being transparent, simple and elegant and green fragrances can be formal and timeless or fresh and sporty," says Eva.
Don’t forget that fragrances smell differently on everyone, so something that you love to smell on others might not work on you. Test them on your own skin and give the fragrance time to breathe and settle.
“Certain natural notes suit us and some will not, this depends on our skin’s PH balance,” explains Eva. “Oud is a perfect example - it can smell like gentle leather, rich and opulent, or it can smell dirty, wild and unpleasant depending on the wearer. Synthetics tend to smell the same on all skins, but natural ingredients are multifaceted and every individual will bring out a different one.
“This means that trying it on a blotter is not sufficient. Once it’s on the skin, do not rush the decision. Ideally you want at least half an hour, or the duration of the perfume on your skin before you commit, this can take up to eight hours.”
Scents can also be associated with certain types of people. You may imagine a powerful woman to wear a rich, heady scent, while a delicate floral may be more suited to a more romantic person. As Eva explains, the wearer is often drawn to notes that match their personality and character, which is something to bear in mind when selecting your own scent.
“The Creed brand tends to appeal to discerning, sophisticated people who look for the best quality and original propositions,” says Eva. “They don’t like to follow trends and have a very definite idea of their own personal style and appreciate the finer things in life.
“For example, Royal Oud and Royal Princess Oud are powerful, sophisticated and give status, which reflects the wearer. On the other hand, Love in White is feminine, romantic and sensual. It’s perfect for brides and confident, feminine women.
“Our latest perfume, Aventus for Her, also embodies the wearer – she radiates power, beauty and poise, she knows what she wants and takes life as she finds it. The welcome notes of bergamot and apple are delicious, bright and full of energy. The heart of the scent is powerful, rich and immensely confident - the majestic rose note is empowered by Mysore Sandalwood and patchouli. The base is irresistible, exotic and intoxicating. Mouth-watering notes of peach play with ylang ylang and the house’s signature ambergris, which adds luxury and nobility.”
If it all seems too much to tackle on your own, why not seek advice from the experts before you make your final decision? At the Creed boutique on London's Mount Street, enjoy a bespoke consultation where you’ll learn about the history of the brand and be guided to your perfect match