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How To Finally Find Your Signature Scent

5 perfume buying tips that can help you finally find the one.

It’s not just the sheer number of fragrances out there that can make perfume shopping feel daunting. Should you choose an Eau de Parfum or an Eau de Toilette? Will a perfume that smells great on a tester strip translate to your skin? Which fragrance notes are best for which season? The world of perfume is full of subtleties that make finding just one "signature scent” difficult for all but the most seasoned scent aficionados. To make the process easier, here are five fragrance tips from Lancôme that will ensure your next scent is a perfect match.

Tip#1 Your nose knows: choose a fragrance family

Perfumes can be divided into 'scent families’—floral, citrus, oriental, woody, etc. (Most scents belong to more than one.) When testing fragrances, start paying attention to which of these scent profiles appeal to you most at first sniff. Over time, a pattern will emerge that can help better orient your search. Here are some of the fragrance families Lancôme scents belong to:

The Floral Scents
Miracle Eau de Parfum – fragrance notes of peony, rose, freesia
Idôle Eau de Parfum – fragrance notes of jasmine, four kinds of roses

The Floriental Scents
La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum – fragrance notes of iris, vanilla, patchouli

The Floriental fruity Scents
Trésor Eau de Parfum – fragrance notes of peach, rose, sandalwood

The Citrus Scents
Ô de Lancôme Eau de Toilette – fragrance notes of lemon, honeysuckle, sandalwood

Tip#2 Forget blotters—test fragrances on your skin

Once you’ve narrowed your selection down to one or two fragrances, test them on your skin rather than on a paper blotter, to figure out how to choose the right perfume for your body chemistry. Tip: don’t make the call immediately! After testing a perfume on yourself, give it about a half hour to see how its profile develops on your skin. (Just enough time to grab a coffee or have a walk around.)

Tip#3 Three is key: do not test too many perfumes at the same time

If you’re unsure of what you like, it’s best to try no more than three perfumes at a time. Beyond that, your senses will be overwhelmed, and you’ll be less able to distinguish between scents. (A trick used by perfumers: to help ‘reset’ your nose between tests, try sniffing the crook of your elbow.) And of course, it’s always a good idea to ask for advice from counter staff. It’s their job to be intimately familiar with a wide range of scents—so chances are good they’ll be able to help you narrow down your search. Visit your local Lancôme counter to find a perfume you love with help from an expert.

Tip#4 Concentration counts

As a general rule, it’s the concentration of essential oils in a perfume that determines how long it will last. Absolu de Parfum contains the highest concentration, followed by Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, and finally, Eau Fraîche.

Tip#5 Can’t choose just one? Choose two fragrances!

Go ahead and choose two scents—one for spring and summer, and one for fall and winter. In warmer temperatures, you can opt for lighter fragrances since scent diffuses more easily through the air. In cold weather, when scent loses some of its strength, spicy, musky, and oriental fragrances with higher concentrations tend to work best.

Ready to begin the search for your signature scent? Shop Lancôme fragrances here.

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