Step Outside Your Comfort Zone & Try Something New
Ask perfumer Bruno Jovanovic, a senior perfumer at Firmenich, about the current state of perfumery and he’ll tell you there has been a big jump in overall quality. He’s observed firsthand in the development of mass and mid-level brand scents and says there are some very well-composed scents. What’s more, he says that ingredient development now allows perfumers even greater freedom to be creative. Classic fragrances are being re-imagined using new twists on notes. For example, there is a raspberry note that has an icy, frosted accord to create a tart, chilled character to a scent. Oud, the smoky resin of the agarwood tree, is now much lighter and fresher than scents even a decade ago.
“My best advice is to try something new,” he says. “If you like florals, maybe try a floral fragrance with a woody character or a green one. Or go spicy or aromatic.” Discovery kits are one of the best ways to step outside your comfort zone. You may find something new that you truly love.
Rotate Your Fragrances Regularly
Our sense of smell is tasked with identifying literally thousands of aromas each day. So it makes sense that once our nose has identified a common smell, it will focus on new smells and basically block out the familiar. It’s called “scent fatigue”. It’s a way for the body to prevent becoming overwhelmed with smelling the same scent over and over again. This is why some people who wear the same signature scent every day will say they can’t smell the fragrance anymore. They will often mistakenly say that their eau de parfum no longer has longevity. It isn’t the fragrance, but our sense of smell causing this phenomenon.
Perfumer Olivier Cresp has a simple solution to this problem: rotate five fragrances regularly. If you can wear a different fragrance regularly, your nose doesn’t become accustomed to it and you’ll actually smell it consistently. He says the number five seems to be the magical formula.
Wear What Makes You Feel Confident
“How do you want to feel today?” is the question fragrance expert Melanie Caplan often asks when meeting a client for a scent consultation. “Fragrance has the ability to make you feel confident, sexy, romantic and stylish,” she says. “So I try to get clients to think about how certain scents make you feel. You want to feel good the moment you spray it in the morning.” So when it comes to deciding on what fragrances to buy, she asks, “which one makes you feel most confident. That is the scent for you.”
Get To Know Perfumers
When it comes to buying clothing, many of us have a favourite designer or brand. It’s the same when we shop for a good quality wine. We know which brand we like best. So it makes sense that perfumery would be the same. If you have a little spare time some afternoon, you might want to look up the perfumers behind your favourite scents. We bet you’ll be amazed to learn that several of your favourites were created by the same perfumer. That’s because perfumers have their own style, their own creativity that goes into each composition. The notes may be different but how they blend a fragrance and how they finish them is often very similar. This might be a fascinating way to discover a new signature scent.