The process of selecting a new scent could be one of the great experiences of your life. So keep in mind that is often better to travel than to arrive. Never rush: that ends in disaster. This is not an hour's quest, nor even a day's. It can take weeks, months, years. Enjoy your odyssey and what you learn en route. You may end up finding more than one prize on the way.
Try to shop when your body clock is right and you feel in the mood: relaxed, patient, instinctive and curious. This applies to online browsing as well as shopping in person. Don't make perfume selection a tiresome chore: make it your delight. You are shopping for a luxury, remember, not for a sack of potatoes: you are shopping for dreams and emotions.
Go forth alone upon your quest! Each of us perceives smells differently. The opinion of companions is irrelevant and will only distract and disturb you. You need to concentrate, think and feel - not listen to criticism. When you find the perfect scent it will fit and enhance you to a 'T'. You'll be delighted and so will everyone else.
But do decide in your own mind what you are buying the perfume for. Is it for every day / for work / a wedding / a holiday / a personal signature? How do you intend to use it? What mood are you seeking to create? What smells do you love...and loathe? Why are you buying scent? Hopefully it is exclusively for your own pleasure because if you are happy you will radiate joy in your circle!
Visit Les Senteurs for impartial advice from a knowledgeable, sympathetic but dispassionate sales assistant who knows her product. At Les Senteurs we have devised our unique SenteurSystem: an easy-to-read colour coding which assigns every product in the boutique to a broad and readily recognised perfume family - floral/oriental/leather etc. Use the system to help to identify and define the sort of scent that may appeal to you: invaluable if you are just starting out on the whole wonderful perfume adventure. Perfect for online shopping or, better yet, come by the boutique and spin the SenteurSystem Wheel! You may have as old favourite scent and wish to find something similar, or you’re looking for a completely different scent for the New Year, or perhaps you have no previous knowledge of fragrance and need to a simple way of exploring your preferences. In any case, the SenteurSystem is an ideal place to begin your olfactive exploration (incidentally, the SenteurSystem can also be an invaluable tool when shopping for a loved one, if you already have an idea of their fragrance preferences).
If in the shop, use a paper strip to make an initial acquaintance with each perfume. This will be enough to discover whether you wish to explore it in greater depth. And then you must try the scent on the skin. Paper strips are dead and cold; scent and your skin are alive and warm. Perfume and skin must be brought together to see how they will interact and react. Again, be very patient. Apply perfume then wait...and wait…and wait again. It can take hours for a fragrance to reveal its whole bag of tricks. Samples are really invaluable. Use them as an aid to selection. Your reaction to the same fragrance may well change over 24 hours so, if you can, use the sample to check the perfume on sequential days and in different spaces. If possible, try no more than one scent at a time so as not to confuse the nose. Wait it out before rushing to any decision. Take some air, drink some coffee, walk the dog, and while you do so, observe what is happening to you and the fragrance.
And don't neglect to use your instinct too. Perfume is all about emotion and feeling. Beware of excessive analysis. Trust to your inner animal and trust to instinct. Properly cultivated, instinct will never betray you. So, allow yourself to be guided by your own judgement above all else, as fragrance selection is always a uniquely personal journey.
Explore our carefully curated New Year, New Scent collection to discover some inspirational scents...