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How to build your perfume collection
Much like amassing an impressive collection of shoes, curating a fragrance wardrobe takes time and requires thoughtful consideration. Knowing where and how to begin compiling one can be a tricky task, so with the help of Michael Edwards, founder of Fragrances of the World, here are the best tips on how to choose perfume.
KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE
Typically, “our response to fragrance and odour is partly learned and partly genetic”, says Michael. “We are born with likes and dislikes, as well as sensitivity to certain smells. [Our experiences] build up a complex ‘smell bank’ of memories and associations”, he says. This means we tend to gravitate towards one, overarching fragrance ‘family’ (ie. floral, oriental, citrus or spicy scents). So wherever your nose takes you, don’t fight it.
“When you classify the fragrances you have worn, you’ll probably find that they fall mostly into just two or three families”, says Michael. Once you know the families you like, stick within them and experiment with different overarching notes. If your go-to is a rosy fragrance, try ones with similar floral accords.
BUILD YOUR BASICS
Think of your fragrances as accessories - just like a piece of jewellery or pair of shoes, having a fragrance wardrobe allows for diversity on a daily basis, seasonally or with your change in mood or occasion. If you’re looking to start your fragrance collection, consider the basics: you’ll need one for work, one for everyday, one for winter and one for summer, and of course, a signature fragrance.
Picking a fragrance to wear around the office can be tricky - you want something to make a statement, without offending or distracting your co-workers. Elegant white floral accords like tuberose and rose combined with exotic notes offer a fresh aroma that will add a touch of femininity to your style.
FOR A GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT
For a night out on the town with your bffs in tow, spritz a scent that’s flirty and exciting. “The sense of confidence the right perfume can give, plus the attractive chemical cocktail it helps create can certainly be a great turn-on,” says Michael. Rich scents with woody, musky, spicy and floral combinations are a surefire way to turn a few heads.
bh loves: Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Blush EDP, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Eau de Toilette
FOR EVERYDAY WEAR
Your everyday scent should be one that makes you feel more beautiful, fresh and totally revived. Something that bursts with light and mood-enhancing notes which match your personal style. If you find a fragrance that speaks to you, you know you’ve found the right one. According to Fragrances of the World, studies carried out in Germany found that “extroverts look for stimulation from the environment and tend to find fresh, green fragrances more captivating”, whereas “introverts generally find oriental fragrances more harmonious and emotionally ambivalent people prefer floral, powdery scents.”
While there’s some merit to having a signature scent, the idea of giving off a whiff of white vanilla musk 24/7 seems like too strong a commitment. Consider this: Just as much as you love your skinny jeans, you’re not going to want to wear them every day, right? Nor are you going to sport the same coloured lipstick, either. Changing what you wear throughout the year doesn’t mean you’ve lost your signature scent. In fact, it might do some good to give that rose and patchouli mix a rest. To settle the argument, opt for a couple of signature scents that can be rotated throughout the year. Ultimately, what makes a scent uniquely yours is how it makes you feel, and expresses who you are. A signature scent (or scents) should be one(s) you can always turn to, no matter what the occasion.
bh loves: Clinique Happy Heart Perfume Spray, Calvin Klein ck2, Aerin Lauder Mediterranean Honeysuckle EDP, Tom Ford Private Blend Fleur De Portofino EDP
SPREAD THE LOVE
Who says your fragrance library has to stop at perfume? These days, it’s not uncommon to find your favourite scent comes in a wax form. If you’re in love with a fragrance - but don’t want to commit to wearing it - owning a candle that matches the scent of your favourite perfume makes sense, really. Pun intended.
Try these scentsational-smelling candles…
Palm Beach Collection X The Flower Drum candle
Byredo Burning Rose, Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt Home Candle
ECOYA Lotus Flower Metro Jar, Diptyque Orange Amber Candle
Acqua Di Parma’s Fruit and Flower Lavender Candle
Which scents make up your fragrance collection?