Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Finding a fragrance

Sometimes we want to branch out from that familiar fragrance we know and love. Sometimes we want to buy someone a fragrance gift and other times we just want to find out more about the fascinating world of perfume. Whatever your reason now is the time to discover more about fragrance and find the right one to suit you. We asked fragrance expert Will Andrews the important questions we had when it came to choosing a fragrance.

What are the different types of fragrance groups?
Female fragrances are mapped into five main olfactory families: citrus, floral, chypre, woody and oriental. Male fragrances into four main olfactory families: citrus, aromatic, woody and oriental.

How will I know which one suits me best?
If you wear a fragrance you absolutely love - pick your all time favourite - then you have more than likely picked the fragrance which is a perfect fit to your olfactory preferences. By logging on to osmoz.com, you can discover which family it's in. Then you can explore other fragrances, irrespective of brand, within that family. You should find many which would potentially suit you.

What are ‘fragrance notes'?
In perfumery, we often talk about top notes, heart notes and base notes. Put simply, these are the technical terms for fresh, bright smells, the core signature smells, and the deep, warm, sensual, base odours in the complex perfume.

What's the best advice when choosing a new fragrance?
You have to like how it smells on the skin, so if you've sprayed a few blotters in store, select your two favourites and spray each one on the back of each hand. Then see if you still like them, your skin odour will now be part of what you smell and can modify the scent character.

Are their any expensive fragrance notes I should look for when buying a good fragrance?
One person's favourite notes will be another's most disliked! So there are no rules on specific notes. Importantly, you should be searching for a complex mixture - a perfume that you really like, not notes.

If I'm buying a new perfume for someone else what should I consider?
Find out their preferred fragrance family. Sneak a look at their dressing table and make a note of the name of the fragrance, then look it up on osmoz.com - so that there is a high chance they will immediately like its scent. Also try to find out what concentration they wear such as an eau de toilette or a richer parfum version. And think about the brand - how suitable is the brand equity (its colours, style, character) for the recipient of the gift? For example Christina By Night (from £19) would be perfect for a younger girl and Ghost Luminous (£23) would suit an older woman.

I want to buy my man a new fragrance, where do I start?
Always buy him something you like as well! Think about when and where he might wear it - office, evening, after sport - since this will guide your choice. For example Boss Bottled (£23) or Lacoste Challenge (£24) are some of my favourites.

Is it OK to wear a fragrance along with the matching shower gel and body lotion or should they be worn separately?
Fragranced products are designed to be worn together and the resulting ‘layered' scent is deep and long-lasting - really lovely. You can however wear them separately and this is a very good way to wear a lighter version of the scent, for example just try using the shower gel.
Gift sets make a terrific gift, because not only are you buying a perfume, but also some scented toiletries such as shower gel or body lotion to go with it. Put simply, you are buying someone a luxurious pampering experience, rather than simply a new scent. The resulting smell in the bathroom after using them all is a fabulous way to mark your territory!


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