Perfume has been around for millennia. The human tradition of cleanliness and anointing oneself with scent dates back perhaps earlier than ancient Egypt. The reason we wear perfume is twofold: to attract those around us, and to have a heightened sense of self. Early perfumes were simply essential oils and other natural materials rubbed onto the skin or hair.
Over the centuries, the french refined the extraction of perfume oils, mixing them into endless combinations and stabilizing them with distilled alcohol. This reflect the modern perfume we wear. A stable product, perfected by a master with decades of experience, decanted into a finely crafted bottle.
The term perfume refers simply to fragrance in a bottle. No gender is implied, except by modern marketing, and a good fragrance can be worn by anybody that chooses it. Certain keywords can help you when choosing a perfume, specifically what concentration you are purchasing. We start very low, with Aftershaves and Waters which last often under an hour. Eau de Toilette and Eau de Cologne can see a life-span reaching for a couple of hours, while cologne can cover you for several. Finally, Eau de Parfum often lingers all day, with Parfum being the strongest, and rarely seen on shelves.
With that knowledge, and the rest which I am about to impart, you can easily choose the ideal scents to suit your style and persona.
The choice of fragrance should be entirely decided by what appeals to you. Most passionate fans of fragrance end up with a proper collection, with scents ranging from light to heavy, floral to woody, with the perfect choice for each occasion.
What perfume suits the moment, can be decided by many factors. I pick from my collection based on weather, time of day, mood, outfit colour, or one of many other factors. I choose what feels right.
Often lighter scents will be worn for daytime and warm weather. Think Neroli, Lemon, Rose, fragrances that refresh. For evenings or winter, often Vetiver, spices, or smoke are more popular choices. These lend a feeling of warmth and often have a more intellectual quality.
One of the most important elements to choosing a fragrance if how it interacts with the chemistry of your skin. You will find that certain scents truly come to life when they contact your skin, and this is always the greatest way to make your decision. So play, experiment, and have fun.
How to wear it
Once you have the right scent picked, consider how you or the people around you will perceive it. Never go for the "teenage shower" method of dousing yourself, but think about the strength you want. Most scents only need to be sprayed onto the body once or twice. Those who prefer an even lighter dose can spritz a cloud in front of them and walk through it.
When I wear a scent, I want to enjoy it so I apply it to my chest. If you only want others to detect it, down the back is best. You can also dictate how long the scent lasts by choosing where you spray it. Fragrance disappears faster on skin, while it can cling to hair or clothing much faster.
Armed with this knowledge, you can now choose and wear perfume like a pro! Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone, you never know what may strike your fancy. A truly great fragrance will make you feel distinct, and inspire the same wonderful feeling every time you wear it.