The One Thing You Wear Which Says More About You Than Anything Else

In this post I’m going slightly off piste from my usual scribbles but it’s about something we wear everyday and says so much about us.  I’m chatting about fragrance and sharing some of my top tips on picking the right one for you.

article by That New Dress


I will happily hold my hands up and say I’m a fragrance snob.  I think how you smell and the scents we choose say so much about who we are.  The world of fragrance is such a fascinating one, as well as a very personal one.  I felt I had to write a post about it, as it’s the one thing we wear everything single day.  If I don’t have perfume on, I honestly feel naked! 

The everyday perfume jargon we often here thrown about can be a bit confusing, so I hope in this post will break it down and to help you identify which type of scents you should be looking for.  


Fragrance Family

Oriental: Warm richness lingering on the skin.  A return to the earliest days of perfumery, with warm spices such as vanilla, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.  Plus, musks and resins such as amber and benzoin.

Floreintal: Sensual and addictive, warm and spicy!  A sophisticated blend of florals and orientals such as jasmine, gardenia, freesia with warm musks and resins.  

Fresh: Zesty & Citrusy, light and refreshing.  This is great for splashing on in the summer.  Often contains notes of lemon, bergamot, orange and grapefruit.


Chypre: Dry and woody and refreshingly green!  The French word for Cyprus, where these key ingredients flourish.  Accords of bergamot, oakmoss, labdanum and patchouli.  

Floral: A celebration of blossoms and bouquets.  This is the most popular family in fragrance creation!  Think notes of peony, rose, gardenia, jasmine and mimosa.


Woody: A celebration of sandalwood, cedar and agarwood.  This fragrance family is mostly masculine, with patchouli and vetiver for intensity.  

Fougere: Green and mossy.  The French word for fern with compositions featuring lavender, vetiver, oakmoss, geranium and coumarin.  


Gourmand: Temptingly delicious! Think caramel, toffee, chocolate, rich vanilla, addictive coffee and creamy desserts.

Oud: Technically not a fragrance family but should be!  Cultivated in small batches from the agar tree in South-East Asia, oud is one of the most expensive natural ingredients in the world.  It has become the cornerstone of many fragrances, having staked its claim in modern day perfumery.

I personally tend to lean towards either woody, chypre or floral fragrances but whatever your preference here are a few final tips for finding the right scent.

1) Avoid buying in a rush.  Fragrances need time to develop, so wait for the heart and base notes to emerge.  The character of the fragrance will gradually evolve the longer it’s on your skin.

2) Fragrances can smell very different on someone else so don’t be swayed by what smells great on a friend. 


3) Three is key.  Avoid sampling more than three fragrances at a time.  There’s only so much your brain and nose can compute.  Give your senses time to adjust. 

4) Your sense of small is much fresher in the morning.  Also, stores tend to calmer first thing, so you’ll be able to explore in a quieter environment too.  

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