how to : shop for perfume

perfume shopping guide

Buying perfume is something that you either love or hate. I know people who have used the same perfume since they are 15 but then there's people like me who are always on the hunt for perfume newness. Picking a new perfume can be such a daunting task but also quite simple when you get to grips with how to perfume shop! Today I’ll be talking you through the best practices when buying a new scent and how not to get lumbered with a EDP you’ll used once!

Know what you like

Knowing what scents you like is easy - oriental, woody, floral etc. You will often find you're instantly attracted to perfumes you’ve liked in the past. Most of the time they are linked to memories. Personally I like woody, earthy fragrances that are quite crisp. I also like citrus perfumes but only ones that aren’t overly sweet or synthetic. I stay away from ones that are candy or sweet inspired as it doesn’t do it for me. I adore coconut, sandalwood and tuberose notes.

Note Decoding

Like music, scents can evoke memories. Think about your favourite places and scents during that time period. English country garden? Freshly baked cakes? Walking in the woods? Our human connection to scents is intimate, mysterious and difficult to explain. But thinking about the things that make you happy or inspire you and the scents connected to those feelings will help you tap into notes you might enjoy.  Refer back to my post on “What are Fragrance Notes?” for more information on decoding perfume jargon!


The newest or most popular perfume on the market might not be the one for you. BUT it's always worth doing a little bit of digging into the market before committing to a fragrance. My favourite perfume site is Fragrantica, what it lacks in design it makes up for in information. It’s super helpful at decoding perfumes and tons of user reviews on things like longevity and notes.

Take your time

The key to shopping for a new scent is to not make snap decisions or you could end up with a bottle you don't like all that much. When you open a fragrance and spray it, you’re most likely going to get astrong whiff of alcohol and all the overpowering top notes. The correct way to test a perfume is not on those rubbish little card things you get in perfumeries but actually applying it. Perfume smells different on everyone, so I recommend is popping on the scent and allow it time to settle. This can take about 15 minutes and you can see how it reacts to your body.

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