Guide to Perfume & Finding the Right Type for Anyone

Image: Mongkolchon Akesin /

The very sole reason why anyone would apply a fragrance to themselves in the first place is to smell better.  The choice of fragrance is a tricky one – It’s either gaming the attraction game with how you smell or things can go completely wrong and you end up stinking.

So how do you pick the right fragrance that’ll appeal to others and more importantly, keep you coming back for more?

fragrances how to choose
Image Credit: Vetiver Aromatics | Flickr

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Price Point

aventus creed niche cologne
Image Credit: Alan Farhadi | Flickr

Firstly, decide on a price point and delve in from there on. There are the $10 for 500ml ones from the corner store, the designer fragrances and at the complete other end of the spectrum, niche fragrance brands that could cost up to a couple thousand bucks for a sophisticated blend.

Fortunately, the price point of a particular fragrance does not necessarily dictate it’s quality. Extravagantly-priced fragrances could reflect the quality of the fragrance oils used in the concoction, but apart from that, how it smells is greatly subjective to each individual.

A bottle of Creed’s Aventus could cost up to $1300, but there’s no way to guarantee that it’s a good smelling or mass-appealing fragrance. At the end of the day, you are the boss of how you smell, no matter you achieve that through a bottle of fragrance from the corner store or not.

Weather, Climate, Time of the Day etc

acquia di gio fragrance summer
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Hot Day Out/Summer: Citrus or “Fresh” Fragrances

For an evergreen summer weather like Malaysia’s, citrusy or ‘fresh’ fragrances work best under this sweltering heat. Due to the one dimension climate that we’re exposed to at this part of the world, fragrances with citrusy notes such as lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit would perform exceptionally well.

versace pour homme fragrance
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Fragrances are essentially just molecules of oil and under the effect of heat, they evaporate. Lighter fragrance oil molecules are commonly found in citrus fragrance oils which explains why they are more prevalent in a hot climate like Malaysia’s.

The rule of thumb generally is to avoid musky fragrances with top notes like tobacco or leather, under a hot climate. These fragrance notes comprise of bigger oil molecules and undertones the entirety of a fragrance. In a hot weather, musky fragrance molecules might just bloom into something that is too overwhelming, or even choking.

Despite that, when the temperature drops (which rarely ever happens in our context) at night, this is when  ‘spicy’ or ‘musky’ fragrances perform exceptionally well.

Night Out/Spring & Winter: Musky Fragrances

spice bomb cold weather fragrance
Image Credit: Lazada MY

When the temperature is low/cold, air turns dense and thus, the nature of the fragrance has to be ‘piercing’ in such weather condition. Cool weather fragrances are generally heavier, spicier and richer. Which explains why they could be overwhelming if you wore fragrances under this category in a warm climate.

An example of a fragrance that would work well in the cold weather would be Spice Bomb by Viktor&Rolf. Sweet and spicy, it’s the perfect recipe to a boozy cold night. But again, every scent is subjective, which brings us to our next point.

Try it Before You Buy it

chanel perfume try
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This is also the reason why many gifted scents remain shelved and unused – they are simply not for you. There might be tons of YouTube videos out there recommending the ‘top 10 fragrances for men or women’ yada yada, but every nose is different and what smells good is subjective. There might be existing scents that are of  ‘mass appealing’ fragrance genetics but ultimately, you want the scent that you wear to be a part of your personal style.

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EDP, EDT, Parfum and What They Mean

fragrance concentration guide
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To put it simply, they just mean the the different fragrance concentration across the board. And logically, the higher the concentration, the costlier a bottle of fragrance can get. While a cologne or perfume that is highly concentrated translates to a longer lasting scent, there are formulations with lower fragrance concentration that would do just as well as a Parfum, due to the nature of certain scent notes.

Scent Notes

jasmine flower scent note
Image Credit: Jevgēnijs Šlihto | Flickr

Fragrances are how they smell because of this complex concoction of fragrance oils of different notes. Anything that has a scent profile can be produced into a fragrance note.

Notes like vanilla, tobacco, leather and oud are generally found in musky and spicy fragrances whereas notes of citrus and fruits are found in fresh fragrances.

One easy way to have a rough idea of what you’ll like is to simply list down the scents of things that you like. If you like the floral scent of jasmine flower, filter through fragrances online that have jasmine flower note in them.

How to Find Your Signature Scent

It all boils down to personal preference and really knowing how the fragrance smells like before making a purchase. It is also not uncommon to have different fragrances to perfume each occasion that you’re attending appropriately. It might take you multiple tries or bottles to truly find your signature scent but what’s important is that you enjoy how you smell above everything else.

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