Finding a signature scent that suits you or choosing a fragrance to buy for someone else can be a deeply personal and intimate task.
When worn on a special occasion, spritzing the same scent can re-evoke some of your favourite memories. And even without wearing makeup or dressing up in your most fabulous clothes, a luxurious perfume can completely lift one's mood for the rest of the day.
But it's rare to find a perfume that fits every occasion. Heavier scents are more appropriate for the outdoors or nighttime, whilst lighter perfumes are better suited for the day and places like work.
Perfume houses divide smells into four distinct scents that are either fresh, with backnotes of citrus, floral for a feminine feel, oriental notes which are perfect for the evening or woody scents for the super sophisticated.
The categories that determine the concentration of a product can often seem quite confusing. But, to put it simply, an Eau de parfum is much more concentrated than the lighter Eau de toilette which is often sold at a lower price and frequently referred to as a cologne.
So, which one is best?
Whilst an Eau de toilette is refreshing when applied it tends to fade quickly compared to the longer lasting Eau de parfum which is perfect for those all-night events.
Perfume also naturally lasts longer on people with oily skin. So if your skin is very dry, you may want to choose a more concentrated scent or think about purchasing a matching lotion or body wash to make your scent last throughout the day.
It's easy to be drawn in by pretty bottles and celebrity endorsements but when combined with the heat and the unique pheromones on a person's skin, perfumes can altogether smell quite different than straight from the bottle.
When browsing the shop floor, avoid using the paper testers and instead spray a sample at your pulse points such as the wrist, throat, behind the ears, the inside of the elbows.
Then, let the fragrance warm into your skin for a few hours to decide if the product complements your natural tones before returning for a purchase.
• D&G, La Roue de La Fortune, 100ml for £39 • Marc Jacobs, Daisy, 50ml for £45
• Prada, Infusion d'Iris, 30ml for £40
• DKNY, Be Delicious, 30ml for £35 • Jo Malone, Sweet Lime & Cedar Cologne, 100ml for £76
• Chanel, No.5, 35ml for £46