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Perfume 101

Fragrance is magical; it has the ability to lift our spirits and enhance our mood. Be aware of the fragrances you select, and why you choose one over another. Learn to use fragrance for its maximum benefit. Think of the positive effects fragrance can have in your daily life, and in turn, the lives of those around you. Use fragrance in your home, bath, car and office. Let us show you how.

Be Your Best: Benefits of Fragrance

Did you know that fragrance can be used for the following benefits?:

To relax
To increase efficiency and alertness
To raise test scores
To shed weight
To project an image
To inspire confidence
To improve your mood
To entice a partner (but you knew that!)

Overwhelmed?: Fragrance Categories

Did you know that you can select fragrance by scent categories, just as you would select a fine bottle of wine? Popular fragrance categories are:

Oriental (or spicy)
Chypre (or mossy woods)
Fougère (meaning fern) well-balanced
Marine (or water or oceanic)

Use these categories to guide you in wardrobing your fragrances.

To Each Her (or His) Own: Skin Chemistry

Have you ever purchased a fragrance that was wonderful in the store, or on your best friend, but when you tried it at home it didn't mix with your skin chemistry? Each of us is unique, and so is our skin chemistry. This is explained in Fabulous Fragrances II:

"Just as the sound of a symphony varies when performed on different instruments, a fragrance differs when worn by different individuals.

"Why? The answer is varying skin chemistry. Diet, acid balance, medication, skin oil, pigmentation, mood, and environmental factors influence how a fragrance develops on the skin as well as its staying power. You may notice a change in the way your favorite fragrances smell if you have changed your diet, moved to a new climate, began taking a new medication, or if you are under more stress than usual. Perhaps you have become so accustomed to your regular perfume that you simply can't detect it. This is called olfactory fatigue. If so, ask friends before you put more on–it may already be strong enough. It might also be time to experiment with new fragrances."

Hers, His & Unisex Scents

I'm often asked if the principals of fragrance selection are the same for women and men. Basically yes, because skin is skin and fragrance is fragrance. While women's perfumes tend to have more floral and men's colognes tend to have more citrus, woods, and lavender, times have changed. The lines today are often crossed.

People often ask me if it's okay to wear a fragrance made for the opposite sex. Why not? If it mixes well with your skin chemistry, try it. Remember that fragrance changes with each person's skin chemistry. Chances are that it will be unique on you, too. Unisex fragrances are hot, and the battle of the sexes often heats up at the bathroom counter, where women grab their man's favorite scent, and vice versa. Many women enjoy the zesty citrus or warm woods in men's fragrances, and many men like the sensuality of women's spicy oriental or woody scents.

One final word of advice for couples: Coordinate your fragrances so that one does not overwhelm the other. Complementary scents are the key. Follow your nose and use the fragrance categories noted above.

Variety is the Spice of Life: Wardrobing Fragrance

To add spice to your life, consider these suggestions from Fabulous Fragrances II:

"A fragrance wardrobe is like a clothing wardrobe. You will want fragrances for different occasions, moods, and climates. Some people wear just one fragrance, like the Balanchine and Russian ballerinas who were assigned one perfume to wear at all times (and intensely on stage). Most people, however, will enjoy the diversity of wardrobing. Why, even the French King Louis XV was a devout believer in fragrance wardrobes–he insisted his court wear a different perfume for every day of the week.

"The Fragrance Foundation, an industry association, suggests a minimum of four scent types to start a wardrobe: a floral, a spicy Oriental, a chypre (or mossy-woody), and a green. These will carry you through various climates and occasions, and you can enhance your wardrobe from there."

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