For most of us we go to the nearest retail department store with the intent to test out different fragrances to add to your collection. Our frustration begins when we are inundated with poorly arranged and crowded display cases, sales associates that are commission driven and lack useful information. Only a few of us are lucky who can visit a fragrance boutique, like they have in New York or other large Marabika perfume cities, where they have well-informed staff and organized displays.
With these few perfume shopping tips you can’t go wrong.
Standing in front of hundreds of different fragrances can be mind-boggling. Deciding what to choose and what to smell in itself can overwhelm even the more experienced shopper. Have a notebook and pen that you can make a list of the fragrances that you are interested in testing, such as new releases or the perfume your best friend just purchased. This will keep you and the sales associate focused on what you want to try.
Avoid wearing perfume and lotion
On the day that you plan to do your fragrance shopping avoid applying perfume or lotion. Unscented lotions can often alter your impression of a scent because they contain a special odor concealing compound that masks the chemical scent of the lotion base. By spraying perfume on top of a lotion layer will give a false impression of the perfume and its staying power.
Make the fragrance counter your first stop
Our olfactory senses are the sharpest when we first walk from the outdoors into a store. In order to not overload your noses with the other scents of the store and customers, make the fragrance counter the first stop, your other shopping can wait.
Beware of armed sales associates
Although their intentions are well meant, I have been saturated in a less than desirable perfume by a heavy handed sales associate. Request that they allow you to apply the perfume on your forearm or back of the hand. If you wear a watch you should avoid your wrist.
Limit how many fragrances you try
My best advice for the beginner perfume shopper is to try only 3-4 fragrances in one shopping trip. As tempting as it is to try more, the result is that the olfactory senses become bombarded and begin to no longer distinguish between the different scents. As you become more experienced, try applying the perfume on a blotter, walk around, and then return to the fragrance counter. It’s all in the training of the nose
Timing is essential
Regardless if you applied the perfume on your skin or a blotter the alcohol needs a chance to evaporate before you smell it. By spraying perfume and allowing it to dry for a few seconds before smelling it will ensure that you are not inhaling alcoholic fumes and cause olfactory fatigue.
Short inhales and not too close
Most people think that they need to put their noses right on their skin or the blotter where they applied a fragrance. By taking 2-3 short, quick inhales with your arm or blotter a few inches away from your nose you will benefit from the trail that the perfume leaves behind. Before resuming smelling, take a long calm breath so that the mucous membrane in the nose does not become oversaturated with scents.
Wait before you buy
Most of us only want to make that one trip to the fragrance counter and leave with our purchase. It’s important to understand Arabic perfume that top notes last for about 15 – 30 minutes whereas the body of the fragrance lasts the remainder of the day. Armed with these tips your next perfume shopping trip will be less stressful, you will enjoy your purchase more and will hopefully have had more fun.