Fragrance Q&A

Friday, 5 October 2012

Fragrance Q&ANot many women have just one perfume. No doubt over the year you’ve amassed a collection of treasured scents perfect for every occasion. But can you ever wear your Dior with our Gucci? And what’s the best way to build up your scent for a special night out? BeautySA has all your fragrance layering questions answered!

Q: Should I change my fragrance for the season?

A: Who says you can’t wear fruity-florals in winter? Some women like to wear lighter, fresher scents in spring and summer and some don’t. There are no rules here. If you like the way something smells and want to wear it, then wear it.

Q: I’m in love to two perfumes – can I wear them together? How can I layer them right?

A: You’re not going to like the answer here, but unless the fragrance company concerned creates fragrance specifically so they can be layered (like Jo Malone), don’t go there – wear your beloved scents on different days. Perfumer and owner of Frazer Parfums Tammy Frazer, explains it like this: ‘No, one should not layer fragrance. The only house that offers this as part of the fragrance composition design is Jo Malone. The scents are built to layer.’

Q: How can I get my perfume to last longer on my skin so the smell doesn’t disappear?

A: ‘Foremost the skin needs to be moisturised as a good base,’ says Frazer. ‘If the skin is dry, then fragrance does not last long at all – it needs the oily skin to bind to. I would advise a thematic layering, if you wear a rose perfume, then use a light rose scented moisturiser first,’ she explains.

Q: Why does the ‘juice’ in some bottles of perfume I own smell stronger than others? And when should I wear softer or stronger smelling fragrance?

A: The concentration of the ‘juice’ is stronger in some formulations than in others. And it’s all got to do with the how much perfume oil is in your bottle of scent. For instance eau de toilette (EDT) is around 10% perfume oil whereas eau de parfum (EDP) has around 15% to 18% in it. Stronger concentrations are great for date night (when seduction is on the cards) whereas a gentler EDT will work for the office when you don’t want your fragrance to come on too strong.

Confused by a fragrance description you’ve never heard of before? ‘Occasionally, just to maintain the mystique, fragrance houses spring strange names on you: parfum de toilette is generally the same as eau de parfum, body sprays and eaux de cologne are usually lighter than eau de toilette, and for everything else you will probably have to ask and get the wrong answer,’ says fragrance writers and experts Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez in their book, Perfumes The Guide.

Image: Action Studio/Shutterstock.com

Written by

Julia Hunter is a freelance lifestyle writer, editor and stylist with a special interest in beauty. She’s written for Marie Claire, Women’s Health, and Fresh Living magazines. When not writing about lipstick, she can be found tweeting about other very important topics such as which nail polishes really live up to their long-wear claims! She lives in Cape Town with her husband and far too many beauty products.

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  1. Angelisha

    Great to re read these articles… Always a help to know these tips…

    5 years ago •

  1. mahomed

    Please recommend a summery fragrance

    5 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    Insightful information. Thank you.

    5 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    wow never knew about the good base thing

    5 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    i love collecting perfumes and testing new ones so i am constantly changing

    5 years ago •

  1. Chicara

    I wear my perfume all year round. I definitely prefer a more spicy/musky scent. :)

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Needed to know Answers :) Thanks for the tips!

    5 years ago •

  1. Tanya

    Great,just what I needed to know,thanks

    5 years ago •

  1. BeautyBloggess

    I’ve tried layering fragrances and sometimes it can be quite nice. Make sure you keep the fragrances in the same family though – ie florals with florals and orientals with orientals.

    5 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    I like this a lot! Very helpful and informative. Thanks!

    5 years ago •

  1. Noma

    I love the answer to Q1. Always wondered why when people describe a scent.. It’s best worn in summer”..

    5 years ago •

  1. Cat

    Great article thank you, always wear my fragrances on different days

    5 years ago •

  1. CharlieW

    I agree, if I like, I wear it. I can’t imagine wearing 2 fragrances together will be a good idea, especially not the ones I have.

    5 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    This is a great guide to understanding smells!

    5 years ago •

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