• Have you been using the same fragrance for years? Maybe it’s time to consider a change.

    Remember that what smelled good on you in your twenties may not smell the same anymore. Our individual body chemistry plays the biggest role, and that has probably changed over time.  Even pregnant women will notice that their favorite perfume doesn’t smell the same on their skin during those nine months, simply because of hormonal changes. During and after menopause, skin may become thinner and drier so that a scent will not last as long. The fluctuating estrogen and testosterone levels also change how a perfume smells. In addition, just as in fashion, there are trends in fragrances. They are longer term trends than those in clothing, but the style of fragrances does change with the decades.

    Stimulating your senses, including the sense of smell is interesting and refreshing.  How to begin looking for a new perfume? Here are some tips to get started.

    1. When testing a perfume on a paper fragrance stick, smell it at different points in its drying time – when it’s still wet, when it dries, and then a few minutes after it has set in. Scents are a lot like wines and tend to “open up” after prolonged exposure to air. The notes that linger after a perfume has aired out a bit is what that scent will smell like when you’re wearing it throughout the day.

    2. If it’s available, smell coffee in between testing fragrances. The coffee cleanses your nose of the previous scent. Some fragrance shops have coffee beans readily available for perfume testing.

    3. Don’t test more than three to five perfumes at a time. After being exposed to too many scents, your smell receptors will become muddled and you won’t get as accurate an idea of whether or not a perfume works for you.

    4. The only way to know for sure how a perfume will smell on you is to test it on your skin. Be very selective and narrow it down to your favorite three scents, then test them on different parts of your arm. Like the paper fragrance stick, wait a few minutes to see how the perfume will smell in the long-run. Don’t test more than three on yourself at a time or else the smells will start to mingle with each other.

    5. Don’t judge a perfume simply by smelling the bottle or cap. You will most likely smell the alcohol notes rather than the fragrance itself since it has not had time to breathe.

    6. Try oriental and/or musky scents. Experts tend to say they work better on women over 50 than they do on younger women who are usually better suited for green, floral notes.

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    Article by: Lauren Malamala

    Lauren is ZestNow's assistant editor with a background in music, beauty, fashion, and writing. She was born in Hawaii, grew up in Seattle, lived in London for four years, and now resides in NYC. Read more from her at her blog, Halela & 5th.

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