The Secret to Finding Your Perfect Perfume

by Eden Univer

Courtesy of Dan DruryCourtesy of Dan Drury
The wall of scents that hits you when you approach a sea of perfume bottles is overwhelming to say the least. With so many notes lingering under your nose, it's hard to know where to start much less what will smell great on your skin. But with a few expert tricks, you can train yourself to sniff out your ideal perfume. Illuminum fragrance expert Bart Pawlak is breaking it down one whiff at a time.

Don't lock yourself into a certain scent.
"Never stop discovering new notes. As humans, we are naturally drawn to the familiar, so too often we end up with a lot of similar fragrances in different guises. Don't be afraid to explore different scents that you may not expect to like."

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Set limits on how much you smell, even if it means making a few trips.

"Smelling fragrances is difficult for the untrained nose, and when we're testing many at a time, we can get sensory overload," says Pawlak. "Try a maximum of six fragrances at once."

Use your arms to your advantage.
"It's best to spray it on your skin and not just a blotter. It takes contact for a fragrance to come alive, and each one will smell differently as it reacts with your individual PH levels, your body temperature, and your own personal scent."

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This is not the time for impulse buys.
"Let it develop on your skin throughout the day. If you still like it after all that wear, only then should you return to buy it."

You may want more than one.
"You don't have to (and sometimes shouldn't) wear the same fragrance all the time. Daytime scents are softer-think of florals. For night, you can wear a more intense perfume, like one with notes of thick amber or balsam. These will thrive where lighter scents would struggle to shine."

Now take your new smelling skills for a spin and sniff out some signature scents to wear this season.

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