Picking Out a Fragrance? Here Is Some Handy Advice!

fragrance bottles

Smell is one of the most powerful senses there is, which explains why fragrance means so much to people. Many childhood memories are often attached to certain smells, like a grandfather smelling of mint or fresh grass from a garden. This is also a large part of why flowers are so beautifully impressive.

Needless to say, picking out a fragrance for oneself or to give out as a gift can be somewhat overwhelming. There are many popular scents to go with; there's the floral kind, the fruity kind, the earthy kind, and so on.

What’s the Best Way to Determine Fragrance Compatibility?

Most people know the trick of spraying a sample on the wrist and sniffing from there. However, there's a key step here that can make all the difference: letting the fragrance sit on the skin for a while. During this conventional method, the initial smell people take in involves alcohol alongside top notes. Ideally, the fragrance should be tried out using a blotter. While the coronavirus has taken away testers, personal ones may be a different story, depending on the store in question. 

It takes a few minutes for the smell to shift as a whole as the opening notes fade away. In order to get the middle notes, sometimes known as the heart notes, let the scent sit in your skin for 20 minutes. The base notes can take several hours, so a decision can likely be made best from the heart notes alone.

Smelling the blotters or testers after several minutes, as the top notes subside, should help the selection process along. However, a good rule of thumb is to take note of the middle or 'heart' notes on the skin. Blotters or testers can move things along, but the skin is still the best medium. 

The nose should not be overwhelmed at any point. A good cap is to test around 4-5 fragrances at a time. Doing a "reset" isn't that tough; it just takes a whiff of fresh air outside or that of bare skin. There is a popular misconception that smelling coffee will do the trick. In truth, all it does is fill the nose with the smell of coffee, which is yet another fragrance. If anything, that "hack" can do more harm than good.

Take note of how each fragrance hits, even just a few words at a time. Associate it with a memory or an emotion, like a trip to the spa or falling in love. 

What’s the Best Way to Choose for Someone Else?

It can be a bit tough to pick a fragrance as a gift for someone if their preferences are unknown. This is especially true if there's a surprise element, meaning they can't just be asked outright. Helpful hints can be found through taking note of the person's character, fashion sense, and decor. Interests, like sports or the arts, can also serve as key pointers.


Fragrances play a key role in everyone's lives; smells are incredibly powerful. To pick one on a personal level, the scent should sit on the skin for longer than a few minutes. The middle or heart notes should be the core basis for the choices made. When picking for someone else, take their character, interests, and decor into account.

Whether you’re searching for a classic scent reminiscent of Chanel No. 5 or something more modern, Alexandria Fragrances has you covered! We carry fragrances both for women and men alike. Shop with us today!

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