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Fragrance: top 10

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Got a question about fragrance? Expert Michael Edwards* answers your top queries.

1 HOW MANY FRAGRANCES SHOULD I TRY?

Three. Although you will find your sense of smell tires more quickly from similar fragrances than fragrances of very different character, you risk confusing your sense if you test more than three different scents at one time.

2 How can I make my fragrance last longer?

Build up layers of scent on the skin by using different forms of the same fragrance – perfumed soap, bath oil or gel, body lotion or cream, dusting powder and eau de toilette. Each reinforces the impact of the other to quadruple the life of your favourite scent. Layering, or “fragrance dressing” as it’s sometimes called, is also a clever way to wear a fragrance that’s too overpowering for daytime use.

3 Can I wear two fragrances at once?

Preferably not, because each perfume is a balanced, complete creation. If you wear one fragrance on top of another, you may create a sensation but, more likely, you’ll produce an odour.

4 Where are my pulse points?

Inside the wrists. Inside the elbows. At the temple. Below the ear lobes, not behind. At the base of the throat. Behind the knees. And anywhere else you feel a heartbeat.

5 How accurate is the fragrance on a ScentStrip® sample?

Today, it is completely accurate because you are experiencing the real perfume, encapsulated into tiny bubbles that break as you stroke your wrist across the strip.

6 Is it true that antibiotics may change my fragrance?

Yes. First, because many antibiotics change the smell of your skin. And second, because their action decimates the bacteria on your skin, which, in turn blend with your skin oils to produce a fragrance that is distinctive to you.

7 How many different smells can I distinguish?

Depending on your individual sense of smell, between 5,000 and 10,000.

8 How can I tell if my fragrance is overpowering?

Ask a friend. Since we can’t smell the fragrance we’re wearing after a while, we have to rely on the opinions of friends and family. If you regularly receive compliments, that’s probably the surest sign that you’re wearing the right fragrance. On the other hand, if people ask which fragrance you’re wearing but make no other comment, beware!

9 At what age do we begin to appreciate scent?

From the moment we are born. At 2 days old, babies already turn to the recognisable scent of their mothers and show arousal or aversion to other smells.

10 If I apply fragrance in the morning, should I expect it to last all day long?

No. A fragrance is not designed to last all day. You’ll probably need to refresh it every three to four hours.

*Michael Edwards is author of Fragrances of the World which is now in its 16th year. Michael is renowned for his significant contributions to the fragrance industry over the past three decades.

To order a copy of the 2016 edition, visit here, or for the chance to win a copy click here