Perfume Ingredients – What Works for You?

Most people have a favourite perfume, which they tend to use day in, day out. If your fragrance hasn’t changed in the last decade or so, it’s definitely time to start searching for a new one!

However, perfume shopping can be a bewildering experience. There are so many designer options out there, and they all feature different ingredients. Here’s a quick guide to help you make the right choice.

The lowdown on perfume ingredients

Scientists have proven that scent can have a powerful impact on our emotions. Some fragrances can transport the wearer back to another place and time, while others can immediately lift the mood and even boost productivity.

Before committing to a perfume purchase, it’s a good idea to think about you want from your fragrance. Do you want to be invigorated? Relaxed? Empowered? It’s useful to know, so you are aware of what ingredients to search for.

Here’s some of the more common options:

  • Fruity. Many of the top designer perfumes (notably bestselling fragrances like Aventus for Her) feature fruity notes. Often these are citrus-based, which isn’t surprising, as lemon, grapefruit and lime are zesty and enlivening. Some are sweeter (such as apple), while others are a bit more exotic and decadent, like pineapple. Coconut is a great one to look out for if you want to be reminded of a desert island.


  • Floral. Floral-based fragrances can feel very indulgent and pampering (just what you need after a long winter, when your skin is dry and tired). Flowers like ylang ylang, lavender and rose are all quite dense and potent, which is great if you want to create impact. They’re well suited to evening wear. If you’re looking for something lighter and fresher, search for fragrances with jasmine blossom, violet or lilac.


  • Sensual. Going on a hot date? You’ll want an eau de parfum that sets the mood. There are lots of sexy, enticing fragrances out there, featuring ingredients like patchouli, amber and vanilla. If you want a serious kick of sensuality, look for a perfume with oud oil in it. This ingredient has been used by perfume-makers for centuries, and it is the ultimate in tantalising, sexual scents!


  • Unexpected. If you like to stand out from the crowd, it’s worthwhile seeking out a perfume with an unusual array of ingredients. For example, pink pepper creates a snap of tanginess, which is immediately recognisable. Ambergris has a more sea-salty aroma (perfect for those who love the great outdoors) and if you’re happy to wear masculine fragrances, look out for brands that feature tobacco flower or leather. They pack a real punch.


  • Woody. Many perfumes use wood as a base note, and some let it dominate as a central aroma. Cedarwood is smooth and calming, while rosewood is more fragrant. A few fragrances use pine, which is a known mood-lifter.

Test them out!

The best way to get to grips with perfume is to put them to the test. Either visit your nearest perfume store and ask for samples, or order some tester bottles online. This is a great way to ‘try before you buy’ and work out which one is ideal for you.


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