Everyday around the world, women arm themselves for the day ahead. They getup, stretch and begin the routine of dipping into their arsenals – choosing the weapons that best prepare them for whatever kind of day they anticipate. This routine of strengthening is built on something that is fundamentally delicate but equally formidable – fragrance.
How a woman smells is very important to her. From the dynamic, ambitious go-getter to the more demure, subdued wallflower – from a woman’s perspective, her scent is the very definition of who she is and what she wants to say. Just as important as what shade of lipstick and how to wear her hair, fragrance is the unspoken battle cry that a woman uses to set herself apart. Even if a hundred women wore the same perfume, they would each carry it uniquely. And that’s what a woman wants – to be special.
Perfumes – past, present and future
In the olden days, how a woman scented herself was in layers – a fragrant bath simmer, a light dusting of scented talc and a smoothing touch of perfumed cream, with a heady spritz of perfume to complete the ensemble. While a woman may have had one signature scent, she still had a battalion of supporting fragrance options to suit every mood, day and occasion. Scenting and perfume is serious business and even today, with annual profit margins in the billions, you can understand how important fragrance is to a woman.
Luckily, there now exist more options than ever before as far as perfumes are concerned. Perfumes are easily accessible and run the gamut from extremely cheap to extremely expensive – and everywhere in between. You can spend hundreds of dollars on the more expensive eau de parfums or redeem Bath and Body Works coupons for comparably high quality mists and fragrance waters. Whatever you choose, building your ultimate fragrance wardrobe simply means understanding a few basic scent fundamentals. Match what you like with what is available and you’ll have a scent-ual experience to carry you throughout the day.
Three Basic Fragrance Profiles You Should Know
FLORALS: This is the fragrance industry’s leading inspiration. Since the dawn of perfume-making, perfumeries drew encouragement from the very essence of flowers. The essential oils of roses, orange blossoms, lavender flowers, water lilies, jasmines and gardenias are all extracted and distilled to lend their complex tones to various popular perfumes. Requiring thousands of flowers to produce a mere gram of oil, pure floral oils contribute to the staying power and end cost of higher-end perfumes.
ORIENTALS: Imagine baskets overflowing with dried exotic herbs from the Far East…mounds of ground spices…vials of heady resins. These comprise the base for what are considered oriental fragrances. They are potent, musky, sharp and lingering, usually considered warm and sometimes even peppery. Some popular sources are cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, tonka bean, myrrh, nutmeg, clove, anise, ginger and even tobacco.
CITRUS: Citrus fragrances are most sought after by the younger demographic. Conjuring expressions of energy, vitality and freshness, citrus based perfumes are light most suited for day wear. Some sources of essential citrus oils come from lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, bergamot, limes, tangelos and kumquats to name a few.
Image: THE WOMAN’S SCENT-UAL WAR PHOTO