Buying fragrance for yourself can be a tricky task, never mind buying attempting to buy a new scent for someone special. With Christmas just around the corner, we asked Mary Hayward, the training and education manager for Coty Luxury Australia and New Zealand, to explain what attracts us to certain scents and how to buy fragrance for someone else.
Fragrance and sense of smell seem much more personal than say other senses such as taste. What things dictate which we love and which scents we donâ€™t?
Our sense of smell is often taken for granted and underestimated as one of our most important senses, and it is not until we may lose this sense that we truly understand its value. Our sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than any other of our senses and recognition of smell is immediate. From birth we store every smell in the olfactory bulbs sensory receptors area of the brain, like a computer, the smells are stored for life and are reawakened when we experience them again, sometimes surprisingly, many years later.
They can take us back to a good and happy memory or equally to a moment we would prefer to forget. We are naturally and usually unaware that we are attracted to specific styles of fragrance and ingredients. These can be associated with pleasant and happy memories, it may be a note that unconsciously reminds us of something or someone special from our past and present. If we look at the different fragrances we wear, often there is a common theme, common style and particular note â€“ a flower, a wood, a spice.
Why do certain fragrances smell wonderful on some people and completely different on others?
Fragrance will never smell the same on two people, we all have our own individual body scent â€“ pheromones – and body chemistry, which will interact with the fragrance we apply in its own independent way. Additionally different skin types and even cultural heritage can also alter the fragrance, so that it may smell sweet on you and quite sharp on me. Other factors such as medications I may be taking, hormonal changes in females, if I smoke or even eat spicy foods, all will change how my skin reacts and takes on the scent applied.
Because our sense of smell is so unique, is it possible to buy the perfect fragrance for someone else?
The more you know about the person you are buying for the easier to make the right choice, Seeking the advice of the in store fragrance consultant, who should, using your information about the receiver of the fragrance gift, point you in the right direction. Things to know and share with the sales consultant are things like, their favourite or previous fragrances they have worn, their taste in clothing/fashion – casual or more formal, are they a beauty junky and up with latest trends, their personality type, the more information you have the easier and better choice you can make. If in doubt, purchase the most luxurious you can afford, a great example as a gift is Tiffany Eau de Parfum â€“ who could ever resist that little Blue Box!