*This post was updated on July 1st, 2019.
We all remember the scene from one of the greatest shows of all times, Sex and the City when Carrie and her gal pals stood in an expensive store smelling perfumes with the intention to either buy or contemplate deep life meanings during the process. According to Carrie, “A single gal spends most of her life searching for the perfect male. Second only to the search of the perfect male, is the search for the perfect fragrance.” She was not wrong. Picking the right fragrance takes years and like your personal style, your preference evolves as you evolve.
We can tell our life story about the way we smell. So it is critical you consider your hygiene and personal smell when deciding on making an impression. Do you want to smell like you are freshly showered? Then maybe some coconut smelling shampoo or conditioner or a rose smelling moisturizer can work. But what about special days or dates or those days when you are just too darn lazy or tired or busy to get into the shower? What do you do instead of JUST gliding on some powder fresh deodorant? Well, you spray on some perfume and try to smell like roses. Your smell reflects your personal style. So how do you start reflecting on your personal style? By choosing a perfume that truly smells like you too well, YOU.
Throughout my life, I went through phases when selecting my personal style (that’s a whole other post, lol) and personal smell. During my teens, I would buy those fruity spray bottles or just went out with a powder-fresh deodorant. I did dapple in some perfume experiments where I sprayed my best friend’s ‘Tommy Girl’ perfume on me and spent the day in high school smelling like a bouquet of roses. Unfortunately, I couldn’t spend the $40 (hey, it was the 1990’s) to actually buy it. So I spent my high school, college, and some post-college years going without a perfume and just using Secret powder fresh deodorant (please reserve judgments for my other life mistakes). So if you are in this age group, I would go for an age-appropriate light, fresh, and fruity or floral smell. Ladies, this is not the time to go for Chanel No. 5.
Then in my 20’s, after I nailed my first job interview and began working, I started looking into more work-appropriate smells. I was a teacher so I didn’t feel the need to wear expensive perfumes like Jean Paul Gaultier, which I loved BTW. During this fun period, I would go for a medium price-range Clinique’s ‘Happy’. Other brand options are Estee Lauder as well. I would go for smells that truly reflect where you are in life rather than who you want to be 10 years from now. If you want to smell like a beach, go for Ralph Lauren; if you want to smell young, fresh, and flowery than Clinique is the way to go. The point is to smell your age. No woodsy, musky smells at this stage-trust me you will smell older than you are.
In my 30’s, I really established my personal style and smell. I feel like I am old and experienced enough to not smell like flowers, but young enough not to smell like patchouli. If you are in your 50’s and 60’s then go for those woodsy, musky smells. I would even say go for some male colognes and your presence will be as graceful yet strong as ever. In your 30’s, you can go for stronger smells like Burberry London instead. These fragrances have floral and earthy smells mixed together.
Here are some tips when picking the right fragrance.
- Test them on a piece of paper rather than your wrist to really know the smell. Then instinctively decide whether it will smell good on you. Spray it on yourself if you need to. Ask the question, what does this perfume say about me? What story does it tell? If it rings true to where you are in life and how you feel, then buy it!
- Remember this; think of perfumes like fabrics. The fruity, fresh or vanilla type perfumes are classic, whimsical and romantic. What fabric does it remind me of? Tulle. If that is the image you want to invoke then buy that smell. If you go for woodsy kind of smell, think silk. That kind of woman is sleek, stylish, and successful. When going for muskier earthy smells, think plaid. This kind of woman is experienced, grounded, and wise.