Since ancient times, women have known that the right fragrance is that intangible something that pulls your ensemble together. On your wedding day, you’ll want a memorable scent that conveys your joyous, romantic mood and enhances. But one that doesn’t overpower, the environment you’ve carefully created.
Also, if you use a new smell your new spouse and yourself will always mentally associate it with the special day. You could even gift it as a surprise present for the groom.
Types of fragrance
Fragrances are generally classified into one of four groups: floral (roses, violets, etc.), oriental (amber, musk), woody (cedar, sandalwood) and fresh (grass, citrus). A fifth group, called fougère, combines certain elements of the other groups.
Floral fragrances, like Chanel No. 5, are traditionally considered to be soft and romantic — perfect for a wedding day — but they can also be bold and assertive, like Michael Kors. Oriental fragrances, like Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, are often considered to be “heavy” and more appropriate for evening or cold-weather use, but there are many light, spicy fragrances, like Anna Sui Dreams, that won’t overwhelm you.
Fresh scents such as Acqua di Parma and L’Eau d’Issey are popular with women who may not wear fragrances too often, while woody scents like Gucci Rush may evoke the perfect mood for an outdoor wedding. Just remember that for festive events, there’s really no “right” type of fragrance, so make sure you select something that speaks to you. If you’re unsure what general group of perfume you’re interested in, spend some time at the fragrance counter of your local department store, where the counterperson will explain to you the differences between them.
Discovering your scent
Selecting the right fragrance takes time. The fragrance is designed to change and develop while you wear it. The first whiff you take contains the “top notes” of a scent, which disappear quickly after application. Just as the top notes fade, you’ll start smelling the middle note, or the “heart” of the perfume. The base notes, which give a fragrance its depth, generally emerge about a half-hour after application.
For instance, the classic floral fragrance Beautiful by Estée Lauder contains top notes of rose, mandarin, lily, tuberose and marigold; middle notes of orange flower, muguet, jasmine and ylang-ylang; and heavier base notes of sandalwood, vetiver and amber.
When you try out a fragrance, pay attention to how it develops over the day, and how much staying power it has. Most importantly, you’ll want to see how the fragrance reacts with your skin chemistry. Just because you love the way a particular scent smells on someone else doesn’t mean it will smell the same on you.
When shopping for a fragrance, don’t overwhelm your nose by trying out too many scents at once: Plan on testing just a couple at a time.
Once you fall in love with a scent, make sure to run it by your groom for approval. He’ll be the one closest to you all day!
You’ll want a fragrance with staying power to last throughout the day. The strongest (and most expensive) form of fragrance is perfume extract, followed by Eau de parfum. Eau de toilette is the most diluted form of a fragrance, and generally is half the strength of perfume extract.
When considering the strength of your fragrance, keep in mind the setting of your event. You can generally get away with a stronger scent in outdoor settings, while intimate, indoor events with plenty of flowers may require you to tone it down a bit.
If you have a favourite fragrance that you wear as an Eau de parfum or Eau de toilette and are thinking of switching to the perfume extract version for a big event, make sure that you try out the perfume extract first. The notes of a fragrance and the way they interact with your skin can vary significantly between concentrations.
To increase the staying power of your fragrance, consider “layering” the scent by also using a shower gel and/or body cream from the fragrance line. Oilier skin also retains scent better than dry skin, so make sure you always moisturize your skin before applying a fragrance.
How to apply
Fragrance is released by body heat, so when applying a scent, you’ll want to focus on your pulse points: behind your ears, the crook of your elbows, the base of your neck and your wrists, as well as your cleavage. Don’t forget to add a dab to the backs of your knees — the scent will rise with your body heat.
While spraying a fragrance in front of you and stepping through the mist may seem to be a romantic way to apply a scent, it’s also very wasteful. Instead, spritz the scent directly onto your body. If your fragrance comes in a bottle without an atomizer, tip the bottle so the stopper becomes coated with fragrance and then apply the scent to your skin with the stopper. This prevents the scent from becoming contaminated with the natural oils from your fingers.
Storing your fragrance
A scent will last for a year or two when stored in a cool, dry place, like a dresser drawer or even a refrigerator. Avoid keeping fragrance in the bathroom, where heat and humidity will accelerate its breakdown.
Your big day
Some fragrances can stain, so be sure to apply your scent before putting on any clothing. Fragrance can also damage jewellery, so keep your scent away from important pieces and be especially careful when touching up your fragrance after you’re dressed. If you’ll want to reapply your scent during the wedding, ask the salesperson where you purchase your fragrance for couple of sample vials. They’ll be more than happy to accommodate you for your wedding day!