When she was young, Dana Franco used to love navigating the cosmetic counters during shopping trips with her mother, smelling perfume samples along the way.
“My mom would stop and get me one of those perfume tester strips from anyone who had a bottle in her hands,” says Franco. “I would sit in the back seat of the car on the way home and pick my favorites.”
Fast forward 20 years and Franco still loves the process of choosing a fragrance. Only now, she feels overwhelmed by her options.
“I feel like I should know what works and what doesn’t, but I’m still clueless when it comes to the right perfume,” Franco says. “I have friends who find something and stick with it, but I can’t do that. I’d rather mix it up.”
But it’s the process of deciding how to mix it up that has Franco occasionally confused.
Kristyn Schiavone, author of the blog Simple Style, says you shouldn’t necessarily choose your perfume. Instead, your perfume should choose you.
Schiavone suggests that you shouldn’t decide right away on a perfume. Instead, you should try out samples until you find something you like.
“Don't feel bad about asking for tons of samples, because you really need them to decide what smells good on you,” says Schiavone. “Never impulse buy perfume, because it might smell great in the bottle but terrible on you, or vice versa.”
Also, perfume patrons should try to match their fashion sense.
“If you're always running around town in bright florals and polka dots, a spicy, musky scent probably doesn't fit with your fashion personality,” Schiavone says. “Like clothes, shoes or anything else you wear, a scent should reflect who you are.”
Spring should inspire you to freshen your fragrance but you will need to use a set of parameters before making your decision.
Floral perfumes fall into two categories: soft or fruity. If you love feminine flowers like rose, lilac, lavender, peony, gardenia, jasmine and orange blossom, you fall into the soft floral category.
For daywear try So Hooked on Carmella by Benefit. This floral vanilla is exquisitely feminine and sweetly sensual.
For evening try Versace Vanitas. A seductive mix of tiara flower, lime, freesia and cedar bring warmth and elegance to this fragrance.
If you like scents on the sweeter side with notes of ripened fruit like green apple, lychee, pineapple, honeydew and coconut, then fruity florals are a good fit.
For daytime try BCBGMAXAZRIA. A mix of kir royal, wild strawberry, and black cherry as well as notes of jasmine, lily, rose and violet create an elegant scent.
For evening try Justin Bieber Someday. An inviting and flirty mix of mandarin, juicy pear, wild berry, jasmine and vanilla make this as irresistible as the singer himself.
Do you love deep cleansing breaths? The fresh and clean perfume profile, with the tingle of citrus, the freshness of air-dried linens or sweet morning meadows, is for you. Two categories of this profile are green and citrus.
Earthy, energizing scents like fresh-cut grass, basil, cucumber, mint and pine are the hallmarks of the green perfume category.
For daytime try Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey. A sparkling scent with fresh, floral and woody notes reveal the pure scent of water.
For evening try Prada Infusion d’Iris Eau de Parfum: This fragrance includes iris, cedarwood, vetiver and incense notes for a traditional yet contemporary fragrance.
On the sunny side of the fresh and clean perfume profile is citrus. Evoking the smell of lemons, limes, grapefruits, bergamot and summer drinks, citrus fragrances are a great way to add a touch of summer all year round.
For daytime try Dior Addict Eau Fraiche. Notes of bergamot, grapefruit add to floral and musk to create a sparkling burst of femininity.
For evening try Dior Escale a Portofino. Evocative of the sunny Mediterranean, this lush combination of fruits and flowers of Italy includes almond and orange notes.
If you enjoy the mysterious and romantic scents of herbs, spices, flowers and woods, the spicy category of fragrances are for you. Spicy fragrances fall into the floriental and woodsy categories.
The sophisticated scents of amber, incense, clove, vanilla, cedar and ginger make up the florientals.
For daytime try Alien by Thierry Mugler. Mysterious warm wood scents are surprisingly soft and feminine.
For evening try Rebelle by Rihanna. This sweet and sassy fragrance reflects the Caribbean sun of Rihanna’s Barbados roots. Notes of strawberries, plums, ginger vanilla and heliotrope create a heady mix.
Patchouli, sandalwood, musk, pine and cedar are the alluring notes in the woody perfume category.
For daytime try: Cartier de Lune. Pink pepper, juniper berry, honeysuckle, lily of the valley and musk mix to create this graceful fragrance.
For evening try: Guerlain Samsara. Deep woods, sandalwood and patchouli combine to make this complex classic scent.Fragrance Finder Quiz.