Buying perfume can be a headache (pun intended). In fact, I’ve whittled down my perfume-purchasing routine to sniffing a few different bottles—preferably ones that look pretty or have appealing names—and picking the first halfway decent one I inhale before my head starts swimming. If I’m honest with myself, I’m not picking a scent based on any research, thought process, or personality matching. It sounds ridiculous; personality matching to find a perfume? But it’s not, I promise. As much as you may hate waving sniff-test strips around like an idiot, it pays to know something about what you’re buying.
First, a little history lesson on perfumes: All perfumes have what are known as top notes, middle notes, and base notes. Top notes are the scents that you smell when you first spritz the perfume. They evaporate the fastest. Middle notes serve to mask the harshness of the base notes, which last longest and smell more pleasant with time. The basic perfume categories consist primarily of floral, oriental, fresh, and woody (some sources list more categories, but these are staples). Each of these categories has hundreds of possibilities when you consider the innumerable combinations of scents as well as top, middle, and base notes that can be paired.
So, what do you do with this information? Be aware. First, be aware that fragrances can appeal to you differently at different times. You may be more of a floral person in the spring, and by winter you may be drawn to woody scents. However, everyone has a unique personality, and it’s worth looking into which scents may be the most appealing to you. This quiz incorporates personality questions as well as preference questions to attempt to match you with your perfect perfume; it also gives you some examples of perfumes (in several price ranges) that match your personality. Happy perfume hunting!
1. Which of the following descriptions best matches your style?
[a] Feminine and elegant.
[b] Cozy and inviting.
[c] Bohemian and chic.
[d] Casual and comfortable.
2. Describe your preferred makeup style.
[a] I typically prefer to wear a full face of makeup.
[b] I almost always wear basics such as liquid foundation and concealer, but I only add a little extra such as bronzer, mascara, and/or lip color.
[c] (Whether or not I wear makeup), I care most about my skin’s health and using organic products on my face.
[d] I rarely wear makeup and/or only wear the bare minimum.
3. Which of the following would be your ideal vacation destination?
[a] Somewhere like Paris with romance, fashion, and delicious food.
[b] My parents/grandparents’ house; somewhere with family, warmth, and grandma’s signature apple pie.
[c] A tropical resort with a private beach, beautiful gardens, and fruity drinks.
[d] A mountain resort with log cabins, sparkling lakes, and lots of fresh air.
4. Which of these combinations appeals to you most?
[a] Roses and lace.
[b] Cinnamon apples and campfires.
[c] Fruit juice and the ocean.
[d] Wood and moss.
5. Which of the following most closely resembles your perfect day off?
[a] Shopping, reading magazines, or baking sweets.
[b] Reading novels, visiting coffee shops, or taking a walk.
[c] Spending time outside in the sun, such as by a pool or at a beach.
[d] Enjoying nature with activities such as hiking, canoeing, or rock climbing.
6. Which scent would be most appealing to you?
[d] Pine needles.
7. Which of the following color combinations is most appealing to you?
[a] Pastels (soft pink, pearl, lavender).
[b] Jewel tones (maroon, emerald, navy blue).
[c] Tropical (coral, bright yellow, light blue).
[d] Earth tones (greens, browns, warm grays).
Mostly A’s: Your perfume personality is a floral! You are best matched with any floral scents, whether a single note such as rose or a combination of flowers. Floral personalities are typically sweet and girly, and like you, the perfumes are classic, elegant, and timeless. Some popular floral perfumes are Chanel No. 5, Pleasures Flower by Estee Lauder, or Japanese Cherry Blossom by Bath and Body Works.
Mostly B’s: Your perfume personality is oriental! Oriental perfumes are made often made of spices, vanillas, and ambers. Oriental personalities are warm and inviting; like you, oriental scents are homey and comforting. Some popular oriental perfumes are Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel, Heavenly by Victoria’s Secret, and Cashmere Glow by Bath and Body Works.
Mostly C’s: Your perfume personality is fresh! Fresh scents encompass multiple categories: you may be drawn to water scents, citruses, or greens. Fresh personalities are typically easygoing and laid back, similar to the light scents and less harsh tones. Some popular fresh perfumes include Tory Burch by Tory Burch, Glow by J.Lo, and Coconut Lime Verbena by Bath and Body Works.
Mostly D’s: Your perfume personality is woody! Woody scents are usually made of…well…woods. Woody personalities are typically drawn to adventure and nature, and the deep sensual smells will match this. Some popular woody perfumes include Prada Amber by Prada, Rapture by Victoria’s Secret, and Sensual Amber by Bath and Body Works.
Did you end in a tie? Don’t worry! Most fragrances don’t belong to one category only. For example, Generous Violet by Gucci is a floral/woody scent and Candy L’Eau by Prada is a combination of oriental and fresh. A quick Google search will yield tons of results; don’t be afraid to give “floral fresh oriental women’s perfume” a look. It’s worth understanding your personality and how a perfume can compliment your uniqueness.
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