You've Been Shopping for Fragrance All Wrong

How to Shop for Fragrance
Photo: Art by Elysia Bermn

Whether you're a total fragrance-phile in need of her next fix or courting a new signature scent, the process of finding those perfect notes can be overwhelming. By the third fragrance everything is starting to smell the same and you're likely feeling a headache coming on. So. Many. Sniffs.


When those coffee beans you've been reaching for just aren't cutting it, take a deep (fresh) breath and consult the experts, like we did. After all, as Geza Schoen the founder of Escentric Molecules told us, "a signature fragrance is an invisible part of our personal style, and it has a powerful effect on how people see and remember you."


"When you sample perfume or colognes you can experience what they call nasal fatigue, where your senses are over whelmed and cannot identify different scents," explains Schoen. "There is of course the most well-known antidote -- coffee, which has been researched extensively as a nasal cleanser but yet to be 100 percent confirmed. I would recommend utilizing your time while sampling and allowing breaks in between to clear your nasal receptors. Yes, coffee may work as it's a counterpart to the numerous notes in a fragrance but nothing can beat breathing in fresh air between trials and time."

If you're worried that coffee might actually filter its way into your senses and influence the way in which you experience the next scent (because, coffee), Kerri Nau, an Account Executive and Trainer with Aromatherapy Associates suggests smelling cotton (who knew?). "It is a great neutralizer and helps to reset your sense of smell," she explains.


Nau also recommends applying just one fragrance to your pulse points where the skin tends to be just a touch warmer, allowing it to linger there so that you can get a true reading of the fragrance after about an hour. Ultimately what we really need to do is give fragrance shopping good, old-fashioned time. So hard to do in our fast-paced society where we want everything 10 minutes ago, but completely worth it for the purposes of choosing the next scent that everyone will remember you by.

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