as 'liquid emotion' by leading fragrance expert Michael Edwards, many women
say they feel completely naked if they're not wearing perfume. There are so
many fragrances on the beauty market these days, however, that choosing one
can be confusing and difficult, so use our fragrance-family guide to help
you find the perfect scent.
Every fragrance is as different as its name, although some share similar characteristics and have been grouped together to create what are known in the industry as fragrance families. Boots has devised its own six fragrance-family groups to help you select the scent that's right for you. The families have been created taking into account both the ingredients used and the character of the fragrance.
Fresh cut flowers
These scents are like a bouquet clustered around a single flower, such as rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, orchid or peony. Special Living Flower Technology often gives them freshness - like the smell of still-growing or freshly picked flowers. Character: fresh, summery. Perfect for: a warm-weather picnic.
Peach, apple, plum, blackcurrant and exotic fruits are upbeat scents that add juicy fullness and tangy freshness to light flowers, soft spices and woods. Character: rich, lively. Perfect for: a drink with the girls.
These scents are based on aromatic woods. Woody oriental scents blend patchouli and sandalwood with spices and vanilla. Mossy woods evoke damp, earthy, forest aromas. Dry woods include smoky tobacco and cedar. Character: warm, sophisticated. Perfect for: a walk in the woods.
Night-blooming flowers, vanilla and musk are key ingredients of this exotic fragrance family. Incense also adds cool softness to potent flowers, spices and amber. These are warm, sweet, powdery and very sexy after-dark scents. Character: exotic, seductive. Perfect for: a sexy evening out.
Citrus scents give off a zesty impression of oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and bergamot. Watery scents include melon and the sea-breeze synthetic ingredient known as calone. Green scents evoke crushed leaves and summer lawns. Character: breezy, exhilarating. Perfect for: an early morning wake-up
Soft, spicy florals
Scents in this family contain the highest proportion of floral ingredients. They often include aldehydes which are artificial ingredients inspired by nature that give them either a soft, powdery or vibrant feel. Some also contain spices and sweet, exotic ingredients such as vanilla and amber to give them an oriental flavour. Character: classic, feminine. Perfect for: a day at the office
Shopping for fragrance
The key to finding the right fragrance? Never buy on impulse and remember that the scent of a fragrance will change on your skin. First, pop to your local Boots store and ask the sales assistant to spray the perfume onto a blotter - an absorbent strip of blotting paper - so you can get an initial impression. If you like it, spray it onto your wrists and leave the shop. If you still like the fragrance after an hour, then it's the one for you.
How long will a fragrance last?
Each perfume has three layers of smell, referred to as 'notes' in the fragrance industry - the top note, middle note and bottom note. The top note is the scent you smell immediately after you spritz on the fragrance and evaporates after 15 minutes. The middle notes are referred to as the heart of a fragrance and last for up to an hour. The bottom notes linger for several hours.
There are four main fragrance 'strengths' that determines its essential oil content, how long it will last and, of course, the price.