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The How-To Lounge: Shopping for Perfume

Wearing a signature scent is one way to express yourself, but finding the perfect perfume or scented oil takes a lot of trial and error. Some women enjoy wearing one perfume that best expresses their personality, while other women prefer choices for different occasions, moods, or changes in their lives. Coco Chanel famously said that “a women who doesn't wear perfume has no future." Now that might be a slight exaggeration, but if you want a few tools for scent shopping, I think I can help.


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  • Avoid eating spicy food and garlic the night before trying on perfumes
  • The morning of your shopping trip, shower with unscented soap and use unscented lotions
  • Talk to the sales associate and describe which fragrance class you prefer (woody, floral, fresh, etc)
  • When testing a scent, spray perfume on pulse points but don't rub in the oils. Let the scent penetrate your skin naturally, as rubbing will break down the molecules, which alters the scent
  • Don't test too many scents at a time. Smelling coffee beans can refresh your nose, or you can step outside for some fresh air. As a rule of thumb, don't try on more than 6 perfumes per shopping trip
  • Don't impulse buy. Walk around for a day and allow the scent to respond to your body. Remember: perfumes behave uniquely on each person, and a perfumed testing strip isn't a good indication of how the scent will smell on your skin
  • Keep your perfumes and oils away from direct sunlight, heat and moisture. Find a dark, dry spot for them

The most common places to apply scent include the wrist, the back of your neck, the crease of the elbow, the back of the knee and along your cleavage. Tho CoCo believed we should wear perfume "wherever one want[ed] to be kissed."

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