What Perfume Should I Get?

So many perfumes to choose from. Walk into a department store and the fragrance consultants will stampede you with their well-known designer fragrances. Chanel, Guerlain, Yves Saint Laurent, Elie Saab, Tom Ford, Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, Jo Malone, Tory Burch, Dior, Prada, Narciso Rodriguez, Burberry, Kate Spade, Bvlgari…the list is endless and if you’re not aware of the juice inside that bottle, well, each representative of their line will tell you that their perfume is the best-sellingthe most-popular, the favorite of all the IT girls and your headache begins.

So now you walk into an actual perfume store  in the mall, you know, one of those shops that only carries perfumes, some that you may have heard of and some that you can’t even pronounce. The owner or sales assistants may let you dicker a bit with price, but not much. The prices are outstandingly high, but, as the SA’s tell you, that’s because they only carry the one or two of the very best of the very best out there for you to choose from. And that’s where you think, in whose opinion is the very best? Because if that’s all they really carried, wouldn’t there be armed guards at the door?

Okay, so now where to go? Wait, someone told you that perfumes made by cosmetic companies are always good, right? After all, if you’ve worn those cosmetics for years and liked them, then the perfumes they produce must be quality too. That makes sense…or does it? Not really, perfumes are just another money-maker as an aside for the company. Just because you like how their cosmetics perform on your face does not equal how their perfumes will interact with your bodies chemistry.

Back to Square One. How about Drugstore Perfumes? Dare you walk inside a cheaper store and actually look at what they carry? Would any of those inexpensive bottles be any good? Some of those inexpensive perfumes have been around for decades and there’s a reason why. Because they are good.  Pleasing to the nose, pleasing to the pocketbook and a no-hassle purchase. That’s what Drugstore Perfumes are all about.

You’ve heard about Celebrity Perfumes. So many of your friends wear them, so why not you? There are many testers available at local stores, so give them a spritz. You might like them. Some are inexpensive, some are not. Elizabeth Taylor, Cher, Alexis and Krystle from the tv show Dynasty started this craze years ago. There are quite a few decent ones on the market to sample.

Niche perfumes. What exactly are these? And why are they so expensive? Niche houses don’t necessarily advertise their products. You can’t find them in department stores. They usually have only one perfumer. They don’t market to the masses, so their perfumes will cater to singular scents rather than a broader appeal. For example, instead of the ever-popular “fruity”, a niche house would market perfumes that would address a scent that might smell like “fire” or “thunder” or  “rain”. You can buy them usually on their own website and occasionally through a store that they will allow to market their product. They are very different perfumes than the standard fare, but that doesn’t mean they are of better or lesser quality.

Vintages are always an option. You’ll see these in thrift shops and online on auction shops. Beware, some of them might have turned and buying them are usually for the saavy perfume buyer. Once you’ve become well-acquainted with perfumes, this is an area that all perfume lovers should explore.

The best way to find your perfume is to read about perfumes. There are a number of sites online that talk about perfume. Online readers that belong to the sites offer their own opinions on various scents. That’s where you can begin to get ideas about different perfumes and what might pique your interest.

You can follow different blogs about perfume to read the reviews on different perfumes. Learn what each perfume brings to the table. As you read about each perfume, take a few notes and then go sample that perfume at a local store. See if you agree with the reviewer. You’ll find yourself learning more and more and becoming acquainted with perfumery. Before you realize it, you’ll start to find favorites within the perfume world.

A few Perfume sites online that give valuable information are (in alphabetical order): Basenotes; Fragrantica;  Parfumo. Google for more.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.




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