The sense of smell triggers more emotional memories than any of the other five senses, which is why it is extremely important to always make the right scent impression. I love a wonderful perfume, and the older I get, the more I appreciate its impact on my overall presence. I’ll switch up my scent from day to day, night to night, depending on my mood or the occasion. There are a few classics that are part of the constant rotation like Byredo Gypsy Water, Kai perfume oil and Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower. Some of my new discoveries include, Kilian Good Girl Gone Bad, Jouer Perfume Oil and Carven Le Parfum.
But let’s back up a bit. How do you choose a perfume that you love and will last forever?
My first job was at Chanel Beaute and Fragrance, where I was surrounded by some of the world’s most renowned beauty professionals. While I was there, they shared with me their simple secret: Find a fragrance you love. Always take a bath or shower before applying, because your skin absorbs more when it’s wet. Most importantly—and this is KEY—wear the same lotion as your scent! Last, but not least, spritz your pulse points.
In researching this story, I went to my good friend Mimi Hoesley who worked for a year at Bond No. 9 in marketing and three years at Batallure Beauty. Now, Mimi works as the Beauty Manager at Net-A-Porter, which is why I consider her the authority on all things beauty. She is literally the girl who chooses what makes it into Net’s beauty buy. These are her best tips for finding and wearing fragrance.
How to buy fragrance:
– When you’re testing a new fragrance in store, don’t smell fragrance out of the bottle. It’s always best to spray it directly on your skin (or a blotter). This will give you the truest rendition of the fragrance and how it works with you.
– The fragrance will develop and change as you wear it. Smell it a few seconds after you first spray and then throughout the day. Don’t buy it after only smelling it for a few minutes.
– If you can’t spray on your skin, then spray on a blotter. Ask for a sample if you think you like it and wear it for a few days.
– Always wait a few seconds to smell after applying (whether you spray on skin or use a blotter), so you don’t just smell the alcohol on the top.
– If you’re smelling a lot of fragrances, smell coffee beans in between. But don’t try to smell too many at one time—your nose will fatigue.
How to apply fragrance:
– Fragrance can stain clothes, so it’s best to apply to skin directly. Apply fragrance to warm, clean skin, preferably just after a shower. I usually spray across the nape of the neck, on the inside of the forearms, and on the wrists, but you can spray anywhere. Liv Tyler has some great advice as well: “I put little drops on my fingers and put some under my arms and in my belly button. My dad taught me that—if you put it where you heat up, the smell stays with you.”
– Use a corresponding body lotion and fragrance. For example, use Chanel Chance body lotion with Chanel Chance eu de parfum (EDP).
– If you can’t use a corresponding body wash/body lotion, use an unscented body wash and body lotion.
– After spraying, don’t rub your arms together. Let the fragrance dry naturally.
– Higher concentration fragrances (aka EDPs) will last longer so you won’t need to reapply as often.
Now try this, and tell me that you don’t receive compliments. I always do.
Photos by my lovely friend and Nylon’s bookings editor Beth Garrabrant. See more of her work at www.bethgarrabrant.com.