Fashion isn’t just about wearing perfectly matching clothing. It also entails pairing the right pieces of jewelry, bag, shoes, and other accessories.
In fact, many women don’t consider their ensemble complete unless they’re also wearing the perfect fragrance to match. Because scents impact people’s memory and perception and trigger powerful emotions, they also contribute to a person’s overall look.
1. Learn about fragrance notes.
Perfumes are composed of different fragrance notes that complete the overall blend of the scent. Understanding these notes can help you better understand each product and know which ones are best suited for your outfit.
Fragrances are composed of three notes:
These are the notes you smell first after spraying perfume. Sometimes called “headnotes,” this layer is responsible for setting first impressions and directing the story of a fragrance.
Some common examples of top notes include citrus aromas and floral notes, such as rose and lavender.
Also called “heart notes,” middle notes emerge just as the top notes begin to fade. They last longer because they make up 70 percent of the perfume’s total fragrance concentration.
These notes are composed of aromatic, full-bodied floral oils like jasmine, ylang-ylang, geranium, and neroli. However, some women’s perfume brands also use herbal scents like pepper, cinnamon, pine, and lemongrass for the middle notes.
Following the heart notes are the base notes.
Considered the foundation of the fragrance, base notes are the scents that linger the longest. They work with the middle notes to establish the perfume’s unique smell.
Base notes are the scents that get absorbed into your skin when you use perfumes. This can include heavier aromas like amber, vanilla, moss, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, and cedarwood.
2. Categorize scents according to style.
After knowing the basics of perfume composition, the next thing you need to do is to categorize them according to different styles.
Like clothing, fragrances can be elegant and classy or sporty and preppy. Some even come off as sexy and exotic, while others tend to be more discreet.
Below are some examples you might find helpful when distinguishing different fashion styles and the matching scents:
- Classic: Classic fashion usually entails timeless and chic outfits like suits, trench coats, and pencil skirts. With this fashion style, you’ll want a perfume with notes along the lines of lavender, rose, moss, and vetiver.
- Preppy: This particular look is composed of trendy pieces like cashmere sweaters, satin scarves, and moccasins. It is perfect for fragrances in the aldehyde family, including floral, citrus, woody, and fruit scents (except peach, coconut, and raspberry).
- Sporty: Sporty fashion usually covers items made from comfortable materials with neutral colors. All these are laid-back and practical, which matches perfumes with green, fruity, and citrusy elements.
3. Consider the fabric you’re wearing.
Besides the overall style of your outfit, you also need to check the fabric the pieces you wear are made from when looking for suitable fragrances. Basically, you need to determine how the material makes you feel and what sort of appeal it gives off.
For example, cotton tees and blouses look effortless, relaxed, and versatile. In this case, you’ll want a scent that complements that light-hearted feel of the material, like the powdery notes of vanilla, iris, and jasmine.
On the other hand, silk offers a comfortable and luxurious vibe that goes very well with a spicy and sensual oriental fragrance.
For linen, you’ll want fragrances with that casual summer appeal that offers a sense of cleanliness and purity. For this, perfumes with cucumber water, white peony, and jasmine notes are your best choice.
Meanwhile, wool and cashmere have the same warmth you get from saffron, praline, and agarwood scents.
Finally, denim jeansor tops have that energetic vibe you can also find in aromas like fresh and earthy geranium, clover, moss, and wood. Denim also goes well with a botanical blend composed of geranium, ivy leaves, and green pepper.
4. Match the fragrances to the season.
Some perfumes also work better than others during specific seasons. Even if you don’t enjoy four seasons where you live, it pays to know the different scents you can choose according to the varying temperatures for the time of the year.
Summer and Spring
Warmth that begins in spring and extends throughout the summer goes well with scents with a cheery vibe, like sweet florals and tropical sun-soaked aromas.
Autumn and Winter
For the cooler months of autumn and winter, pick perfumes with spicy, woody, and musky notes and fruity and citrusy aromas to add coziness and warmth.
5. Recall what worked for you in the past.
Some general fragrance recommendations work for everyone. But just in case you want something more you,consider remembering what scents worked well for you in the past. It’s your olfactory heritage, so to speak.
Referring to the sum of all flavors and aromas recorded in your memory, your olfactory heritage comes from your collective experience in your lifetime. It begins before you turn seven and develops still as you grow older.
The environment you grew up in and the places you visit also affect your scent preferences. This means you might prefer something that reminds you of the countryside, the sea, the city, or the mountains when choosing a fragrance, depending on where you were raised and how you live.
Your olfactory heritage is one of the most important considerations when choosing fragrances that suit you. Using this as a guide will allow you to feel more comfortable with the perfumes you pick while still matching the clothes and accessories you wear.
6. Match perfume concentration according to the time of day.
Last but not least, you also need to think about the concentration of the fragrances you use as each level matches different times of the day.
You should have at least two perfumes: one for everyday clothes worn during the daytime and another for the evenings.
Most perfumers recommend something light and less concentrated during the day, like colognes and eau de toilette with two to four percent and four to eight percent concentration, respectively. This works well with casual outfits and office attires.
For evening dresses and formal ensembles, you need something longer-lasting and sophisticated at the same time. In this case, an eau de parfum (eight to 15 percent) with a diffusive and more pronounced fragrance should do the trick.
A Scent for Every Style
The sense of smell greatly affects people’s memory and emotions, but its influence goes even further. Fragrances can also make or break your fashion statement, so make sure you find the right scent to match your outfit and personality with this article as a guide.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2018. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.