How to Find Your New Favorite Fragrance

Finding the right perfume seems pretty easy--you just have to smell it and like it, right? Actually, there's a lot more to think about than that. There are different levels and types of notes that you want to make sure you love before you invest in your new scent. 

There are three important levels to a fragrance that you should keep in mind.

  1. The Top Notes: This is the first thing you smell when trying out a perfume. It will fade rather quickly, so you should enjoy this smell but make sure you like the undertones just as much.
  2. The Heart Notes: This is the smell that really makes up the most of your fragrance, so you want to make sure this is your favorite part of the smell.
  3. The Base Notes: This is the last scent in the perfume and will add depth to the smell. You never want to buy a perfume before you get to the very last note, and love each one.

Another thing to consider when shopping for a fragrance is the types of scents that are used. There are a few main types of scent families, with subfamilies, that can help you find the perfect scent for you. Once you nail down your favorite type of scent, it's easy to find the smell that has the notes that speak to you.


The four main groups are:

  • Floral/Sweet, a popular smell for women who want a soft, feminine scent.
  • Citrus/Fruity/Fresh, an energizing zesty smell that's great for day or summer wear.
  • Oriental/Spicy, a warm type of scent with an exotic twist.
  • Woody/Chypre, a deep, sometimes musky scent.

When you begin to shop, you don't want to overload your nostrils, so here are a few tips on how to actually go about picking the right perfume.

  • Go later in the day, when your sense of smell is at its height.
  • Spray the perfume on a card and let it sit for a while, getting to at least the second note, before putting it on yourself. If you hate the scent, you don't want to have it stuck on your body!
  • Once you think you like a smell, spray it on yourself, because skin types can make a big difference in the way a certain scent smells.
  • Make sure you don't spray too many scents on yourself in the same shopping trip, because they'll intermingle, and you won't be able to tell which is which.

Now that you're armed with some extra knowledge, it's time to go out there and start sniffing!