To the men who lovingly purchased Meg at Midnight lingerie for their partners, and to the women planning an intimate surprise for their lovers this holiday, all the best! We wish you a festive holiday season and twice as much bliss in the coming year.
Scent is just as powerful as visual stimulus. This is because scent affects our mood and can sometimes trigger an emotional response. According to the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, UK, we associate scents not only to our knowledge of odours but also to the emotions attached with our knowledge of odours. For instance, we know that the smell of fresh laundry comes from fabric conditioner. Yet there is someone out there who doesn't think of Lenor when she gets a whiff of freshly-washed clothes. She instead thinks of a lover from a distant past who put excessive amounts of fabric softener in his laundry and he as a result always smelled of clean linen. Wouldn't it be nice to leave a lasting (and hopefully) positive memory to someone just by owning a scent?
Here's a crash course in fragrances to help you brand yourself or simply help you in choosing a scentsational present for that lovely someone.
NOTE THE NOTES. Perfumes are made with head notes, heart notes and base notes. The head note or top note is the initial scent our nose picks up. It has light molecules that evaporate quickly. When the head note has evaporated, the heart note or middle note then emerges - this can happen within two minutes to an hour. The heart note is usually the identifier on which 'family' a fragrance belongs to. Lastly, there is the base note which allows the fragrance to linger on the skin, providing a lasting impression.
When choosing a scent, spray the fragrance onto your skin instead of clothes and wait a few hours to see how you like it. Take your time, try a few, and don't rush into purchasing one. Fragrances react differently on different people.
FAMILY MATTERS. Scents are easily identified by their groups or families. Those that come from the Floral family are scents with a hint of a single flower or a full bouquet or fruits. Fresh scents are those that smell of citrus, greens (grass, meadows, cucumber) and water (sea breeze, rain, ice). Oriental scents have a hint of incense or musk or spices (cinnamon, clove, patchouli) or other Gourmand smells such as vanilla, chocolate and honey. Woody scents are reminiscent of sandalwood, oakmoss, tobacco and/or leather.
Most perfumes are made up of a combination of several scents from the same or different families. If you are choosing a fragrance as a present for someone, try and match the scents to the personalities of the recipient.
PICK THE POTENCY. The concentration of a fragrance determines its longevity as well as its price. Extrait de Parfum (perfume) is the strongest kind and therefore lasts the longest and requires less application; it has 15 to 40% concentration. Eau de Parfum has 7 to 15% concentration and Eau de Toilette at 1 to 6%. The most diluted ones are Eau de Cologne (similar to aftershave) and Eau Fraiche (body mist).
Apply the perfume where the blood vessels are closest to your skin to boost the effect of the fragrance. This is because our pulse points give off heat, allowing the scent to evaporate from our skin. Pulse points are the wrist, behind the ear, crook of the arm and knee, and the base of the throat. Spraying perfume onto the hair helps too, though it is best to apply it on freshly-washed hair as oils or product residue will affect the scent.
In the Broadway musical Annie, there's a song called You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile. We agree. But we also like to say that you are never fully dressed without a scent...or beautiful lingerie underneath!
Further reading: The Smell Report | Wikipedia | About