Much like amassing a gorgeous shoe collection, curating a perfume collection is an art, taking time and careful selection. Knowing where and how to begin is the hard part. In order to get you one step closer to the fun part, which involves spritzing as many divine scents as you please, we caught up with Patti Kapla, perfume expert and vice president of development for FragranceNet.com. Scroll through for her tips on building a fragrance library that’s uniquely yours!
People tend to gravitate towards one, overarching fragrance category (common fragrance families include floral, oriental, citrus, marine, and exotic, spicy scents), so don’t fight it. “When shopping, it’s best to stick within that same general family and experiment with different notes,” Kapla says. “If your go-to is a rosy fragrance, try one with jasmine or violet—different kinds of florals.”
Think about fragrance as an accessory. “Just as you wouldn’t wear the same outfit every day, having a fragrance wardrobe allows for diversity on a daily basis, seasonally, or with your mood,” Kapla says. There are a few basic scents every woman should have in her collection—one for work, for evening, for every day, and of course, a special signature fragrance.
“Picking an office-friendly fragrance can be difficult, especially if you want a nice, crisp scent, but don’t want to offend any of your coworkers,” Kapla says. “Citrus notes combined with florals are an excellent choice for the office as they are energetic, yet soft and subtle.” Kapla’s pick? Gucci Flora Gracious Tuberose ($72). “Featuring an elegant white floral character with a moderate sillage, this eau de parfum combines peach, tuberose, rose, and violet leaf with exotic base notes of African orange flower and French labdanum for a fresh aroma that will add a touch of femininity to your style.”
For a big night out, you should have a scent that excites you. “It’s easy to make heads turn and leave a lasting impression with a well-chosen perfume,” Kapla says. “Rich scents with woody, musky, and flowery combinations are best. These types of fragrances, like Versace Crystal Noir ($55), are classic and elegant, yet still fun! This perfume features hints of pepper, ginger, gardenia, and amber to create a sensual scent that is sure to bring you compliments.”
Your everyday fragrance should be a scent that makes you feel more beautiful—something a little more fun than your workday scent. “A daytime fragrance that will keep you feeling great throughout the day should be simple with fruit, floral, and outdoorsy clean notes,” Kapla says. Her choice is Clinique Happy ($49). “This sublime fragrance bursts with light, mood-enhancing fruit and floral notes, including apple and bergamot.”
“Finally, make sure to include your signature scent along with seasonal favorites, mood-enhancers, and both daytime and evening fragrances,” Kapla says. “Just as you have your own sense of style, what makes a scent uniquely yours is ultimately how it makes you feel and how it expresses who you are.” Your signature scent is the one you can always turn to no matter what the occasion.
“Just like your taste in foods and clothing changes as you age, your fragrance will most likely change as well,” Kapla says. And it’s not just your preferences that evolve. As you age, your body chemistry also changes. Kapla says medications, pregnancy, diet, and even environment can alter your olfactory receptors. “The best part of building a fragrance collection is trying out new things, so remember to have fun and step outside of your comfort zone,” Kapla says. “Although there is continuous change in your scent preference, you can accrue numerous fragrances for your wardrobe that you may want to alternate day to day, or simply keep in your collection for when you want to change things up a bit!”
What scents make up your collection? Tell us below!