Whether it’s for Valentine’s Day, her birthday – or for your mother, buying fragrance for the woman in your life can be fraught with indecision. Here’s what you need to know.
Of course, the mere thought of buying perfume is enough to make you think a card and flowers is good enough. This year, however, we believe that you can pull off purchasing the perfect scent. That’s why we spoke to Victoria’s Secret Beauty’s VP of Fragrance, Mark Knitowski, for his expert advice.
A lot of men don’t understand the relationship between the notes of a perfume and its place in a woman’s life. For example, what notes (like floral or leather) are best suited for day? For night? For Valentine’s Day?
Mark Knitowski: Fragrance is very personal and transformative. It is very dependent on the person – what she likes and how she likes to wear it. Fruity, floral, citrus, and fresh green notes are considered more for day – they are more bright, wet, dewy, and crisp. Musks, woods (cedarwood, sandalwood), suede notes, and vanilla are usually considered more for evening – they are large molecules that project longer due to the way they adhere and interact with the skin.
I believe the notes aren’t the reason it is day or night; it is more about the person. Women who wear floral scents in the evening say they feel more seductive. Women who wear a vanilla- and wood-based scent during the day say it makes them feel good. It is really personal. It will help you tell how well you know your woman and where you are in your relationship if you pick a fragrance that is right for her.
Will her body chemistry change the way the scent smells on her? If so, how should a man navigate this if he’s surprising her with perfume as a gift?
Mark Knitowski: Certainly. Just because it smells good on a friend, it may not smell good on her. The warmth of the skin, what she eats, what beauty body products she uses all play a role in how a fragrance will smell on her skin. Some women may push green notes more, others the warmth. You really need to try it on your own skin.
For men to navigate to the right scent for a gift, they need to be observant and in tune with their woman. What does she wear now? Ask her why, what is it about the fragrance that she loves? When she looks through magazines and smells, what does she like? When you go shopping and you go through the fragrance section, what does she try and what makes her smile? Get a few ideas of what she likes, and why she likes it. This should help guide you through the massive array of scents out there to find one that will connect with her. Plus, it is a gift from you. She may love it just because you gave it to her, regardless if it is a scent she normally would wear.