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By: Maggie Young

When it comes to beauty, we rarely talk about fragrance and what goes into choosing one that uniquely fits you and your vibe. We’ve all been there – you’re at the store spraying and sniffing all of the varied perfumes and colognes trying to find something that not only smells pleasant but suits you and your personality. Luckily, Lively will help you find your perfect fragrance fit. 

Fragrance Factors to Consider

When choosing a fragrance, it’s important to know what defines you and what you want your scent to represent. “Always think of what defines that person and how that might translate olfactively,” says Sarah Warth, a perfumer at Jean Niel Fragrances. For example, if you have an eclectic style, you may prefer something that is unique. If you lean toward the more sophisticated side, you may be more suited toward a classical or sophisticated scent. Further, it’s important to think about the types of environments you’re in on a daily basis. “If you like strong fragrances and work in tight quarters with a lot of colleagues, maybe spritz a bit of fragrance on your wrists before spraying your entire body,” Warth shares with Lively. “Or have a daytime fragrance that is easy-breezy.”

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There are many categories that scents can fall into, and these can help you match up your defining characteristic traits or the vibe that you want to emulate with a fragrance. For example, there are fruity and citrus and more alerting scents such as hints of lemons or apples. There are sweet smells (think hints of vanilla or caramel), and more woody scents such as hints of pine or sandalwood. In many ways, each person’s perception of a scent is unique based on their associations with it, personal preferences and how it makes them feel. What you think smells delightful may give someone else a headache, which is what makes this choice so personal. “A fig could smell elegant, but a strawberry can smell cheap,” says Warth. “It’s the same category, but maybe some people will view each note differently."

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How to Apply Your New Fragrance

Warth recommends applying fragrances to pulse points of the neck and inner wrists. “That way when friends come in for an embrace, they get that subtle smell that defines you,” Warth tells Lively. It’s better to be more pointed about where you apply vs. spraying all over your body and clothing.

More Tips for Picking Your Perfect Scent

It’s important to ask a lot of questions before buying a fragrance, but Warth says it’s critical to test a fragrance on your own skin before purchasing it (not just spraying and sniffing the air). “While a fragrance may smell great in the store, it takes on a slightly different scent when mixed with your body’s chemistry,” says Warth, adding: “And you can then see how the scent evolves throughout the day, without the odors of the other scents in the store.”