Find your best scent

Don’t hit the perfume counter without these sniff tips

Find your best scent

Source: Best Health Magazine, Spring 2008

“A new scent should inspire you to daydream, or wear different articles of clothing, or get you in the mood for an event,” says Toronto-based fragrance expert Marian Bendeth.

Of course, with so many options at the perfume counter, finding the scent that does all that isn’t always an easy task. Sure the nose knows, but sniffing out your next best scent is as much a science as it is an art.

The safest way to find a new scent is to look for one in a similar family to your true-blue classic, or where one ingredient or a combination “accord” dominates. A knowledgeable sales person at the fragrance counter can help steer you, once you tell her what scent you typically wear.

Benedeth also has some strategies to help ensure that your love for your new scent doesn’t fade like old perfume once you bring the bottle home from the store.

“Scent needs warm skin and an evolution of an hour to unfold,” says Bendeth. So, no snap decisions.

Here are Bendeth’s tips for assessing a new scent at the fragrance counter:

  • Spray inside of your wrist with one spritz.
  • Wait 30 seconds before you smell it.
  • To clear your nose of a scent, smell your sleeve—Bendeth prefers this over the coffee-bean method (some perfume counters provide jars of coffee beans to sniff).
  • To prevent olfactory overload, try three scents maximum at one time.
  • Don’t mix scents one on top of the other.
  • Leave the perfume counter and walk around; ideally, experience the scent on you in a “neutral air environment.”
  • Ask yourself, “Where would I wear this? How does it make me feel?”

If the scent doesn’t move you, move on.

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