By Kayleigh Donahue, REDBOOK
The right fragrance can lift your mood, entice your guy, and boost a blah workday. Just follow these steps to find the best perfume for you.
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1. SPRITZ CONTROL!
Apply fragrance to pulse points like your neck, inner wrists, and behind your ears; these areas give off heat, which diffuses the scent. Also, consider the concentration: One or two drops of perfume and three to five sprays of eau de parfum or eau de toilette are plenty. If you over-douse, rub the area with a wet, soapy washcloth or a little unscented baby powder; it'll absorb the smell.
2. SMELL SEXY (NOT VAMPY)
For a soft, sultry fragrance, "try a mix of light florals, such as orchid and lavender, with musk or woody notes," says Laurent Le Guernec, a senior perfumer at International Flavors and Fragrances. He likes Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker ($65 for 3.4 oz). Yann Vasnier, a senior perfumer at Givaudan fragrance house, says that "men find food notes, like grapefruit and vanilla, attractive." Try Prada Candy ($80 for 1.7 oz) and Marc Jacobs Lola ($88 for 3.4 oz), or find more affordable options at your local department store.
And why do we love pink grapefruit? A study found that men thought women wearing it were six years younger than their actual age.
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3. LET IT LINGER
Heading out after work but hesitant to re-spritz? Make your fragrance last all day (and then some) with this a.m. trick from Vasnier: Rub an unscented body lotion where you plan to mist. "It captures the scent so it stays on the skin without evaporating," he says.
4. GO FRESH AND CLEAN FOR DAY
Unless you work on, say, the Macy's beauty floor, you may wonder whether it's appropriate to wear fragrance to the office. After all, you don't want to be the coworker leaving a thick trail of tuberose in her wake. But stick with gentle or crisp fragrances and you'll be golden. "Studies show that people feel safe around the scent of baby powder, while the smells of green apple and cucumber help decrease anxiety," says Alan Hirsch, M.D., founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.
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For an understated option, DKNY Be Delicious, $70 for 3.4 oz, has notes of both green apple and cucumber. Or try the more afforable Demeter Baby Powder (which smells exactly like a baby's clean skin), $20 for 1 oz.
5. STILL NERVOUS?
Instead of wearing full-on fragrance, buy a body lotion from a perfume collection and smooth it on only your arms or décolletage. These formulas are infused with just a dash of the notes-plus, at about half the cost of the actual juice, it'll save you some cash.
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Permissions: Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.