Fragrance – a voyage of discovery

Perfume, like fashion, should be all about self-expression: experimenting with different scents will mean you will find and collect perfumes to suit different moods, styles, seasons, and occasions.

HOW TO BE A SCENT EXPLORER

So, what’s the best way to find new perfumes without making expensive mistakes?

The key is to give it some time and attention and enjoy the olfactory journey. Learn how to sample, evaluate and ‘smell’ perfumes to help you choose the perfect scent.

Learn about how fragrances evolve, how to smell them, tips and ticks to understanding perfume better in this ‘HOW TO’ blog.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with perfume, find a signature scent and stick to it. But perfume, like fashion, should be all about self-expression: experimenting with different scents will mean you will find and collect perfumes to suit different moods, styles, seasons, and occasions. (Our Discovery Sample Set is a good place to start.)

We are wired to respond instinctively and emotionally to our sense of smell and that reaction is instantaneous, but scents evolve and change completely over time, so taking some time to slow down and listen to our noses is the key to finding a fragrance you love.

Perfume is one of the most powerful tools of self-expression. You should play with it, get joy out of it, use it: to uplift, comfort and empower you. For the days when you don’t feel it, perfume is a powerful tool to make you feel taller, sexier, more confidant.

Claire Sokell Thompson, Creative Director, electimuss

WHY?

Fragrances are made from a number of notes carefully blended to make an accord. An accord is the unique identifying impression of a scent, created by perfumers carefully blending and harmonising different scent ingredients. Some are simple in structure with individual ingredients easy to recognise and others so complex it is almost impossible for most people to identify any individual ingredients.

We think of these similar to musical notes and chords working together to create harmony, discord, stories, rhythm, pace and emotions across time.

Perfume ingredients, whether natural or artificial, vary in volatility and molecular size and structure, meaning the scents release from the skin at different times. These are commonly categorised as top, middle or base notes represented in a fragrance pyramid.

Fragrance pyramid

TOP notes are most apparent in the first 15 minutes.

MID or HEART notes also known as HEART notes come into play 20-60 minutes after being sprayed.

BASE notes projecting between 1 and 12 hours depending on the quality and concentration of the perfume.

When you first smell a fragrance, keep in mind that you are smelling the entire fragrance, and over time the notes will fade and evolve as the perfumer intended. This development is one of the great joys of perfume appreciation.

PERFUME QUALITY

Perfumes differs in quality of ingredients, composition and strength of dilution. Concentration: are you smelling an:

  • Eau Fraiche (1-4%),
  • Eau de Cologne (2-4%),
  • Eau de Toilette (5-15%),
  • Eau de Parfum (15-20%),
  • Parfum or Pure Parfum (20-30%).

The stronger the perfume the stronger the projection (how far away from you can it be smelled) and frequently the greater the LONGEVITY (how long the perfume lasts on your skin). Most niche perfumes will be Parfum or Pure Parfum. Some people prefer a subtle scent and should look for an Eau de Cologne or Eau de Toilette instead.

TOP TIP: all perfumes are not made equal

All Electimuss perfumes are pure parfums with a concentration of 20-30, made with the highest quality oils and ingredients, meaning they project beautifully and are very long lasting. 

CONSIDER WHAT, WHY, WHEN?

Most people have moved away from the concept of a signature scent in preference of a collection of scents. Season, time of day, what you are doing and who’s around you will all affect your choice of fragrance.

  • Do you want a scent for special occasions and parties?
  • Are you looking for a versatile scent to take you from dawn to dusk?
  • What mood are you in, are you looking for a sensual, comforting scent or something bright and breezy?
  • Are you buying it for you to enjoy on your own skin or are you looking to project a message?
  • Any scent wardrobe has room for all different types of scents to suit the different versions of you.

Perfume should be about self-expression, and some days you will want to wrap up in warm woody spices, and other days you might need a punchier scent to empower you and project a sense of strength to the outside world.

TOP TIP: make sure you aren’t wearing any perfume, strongly scented body products and move any candles or reed diffusers away before you begin.

And if you want a scent that makes you irresistible, consider choosing a scent with your partner. One of our favourite things to do is choose a “wear to share” perfume, a scent that connects you with a partner like a delicious invisible secret you share.

The most important thing is to express yourself!

HOW TO TEST AND ASSESS SCENTS

Take time, close your eyes, and allow the scents to transport you.

To truly enjoy and savour the process of perfume analysis, you should be slow and considered when smelling. Making it feel almost ritualistic transcends the process of choosing a scent to a sensual experience and an activity in its own right, rather than a means to an end. The majority of people are visually dominant so tune into your olfactory senses: turn down the lights, close your eyes and find a quiet space and time.

Enjoying each fragrance over the course of a day (or several days) allows you to experience the unique dry down of each scent and how it unfolds.

We suggest you make some notes while you smell on what you think you can smell or a description of the impression of the scent. It’s also great to do this with someone else so that you can compare notes and impressions.

To deepen your experience and improve your descriptive language when talking about fragrance it is useful to think of your emotions and other senses, and which words from those you might use to describe the scent.

HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Respond emotionally. Scent is a powerful ruler of the emotions and memory, be led by how it makes you feel and also engage your other senses:

  • Does it comfort you or make you feel bolder and standing a little taller? Does it remind you of somewhere or somebody?
  • Does the fragrance have a colour? What colour is it? Is it bright, or dark? Is it pastel, or neon? Does it feel like lights or shadows?
  • What kind of sound would this fragrance make? Does it sound like an instrument, or a vocal? Is it loud or quiet? Is it high or low pitched?
  • What about texture and touch – does this fragrance feel like a fabric? What kind of fabric? Silk, cotton, denim, velvet, fur? Is it smooth, or rough?
  • Does it have a shape or form? Is it warm or cool in temperature?
  • How would it taste? Is it sweet, or more savoury and saltier? Is it sour and sharp, or bitter and green? Is it spicy, vibrant, pungent?
  • Do any of these properties change over time?

And remember, there is no wrong answer.

BLOTTER BEFORE SKIN

We recommend you try scents with blotters (also known as scent sticks, strips or mouillettes) first and then choose the ones you like the most to try on your skin later.

TOP TIPS: Use a different blotter for each scent and write the name of the scent on the blotter before you spray it, so that you remember what you are smelling. It’s also a good idea to lay a piece of paper on the table or surface for the blotters to sit on between smelling them, so the scent doesn’t stay on your furniture.

SPRITZ AND WAIT

If you are trying several scents (or our entire Discovery Set) we recommend you evaluate them in batches no larger than two or three at a time . Read about the scents on our website, read some reviews online and on social media and choose several you like the sound of.

Hold the blotter with the wide round end and spray the narrow end with the perfume bottle 5-15 cm away from the blotter.

Leave the blotter for 20 seconds before smelling to avoid the initial rush of alcohol. Perfume ingredients are suspended in a formula including alcohol for dilution and stability. Let this pass.

Now it’s time to smell, but don’t be tempted to put the blotter right up to your nose. If you inhale too strongly you risk desensitising your nose and if it touches your nose you won’t be able to smell anything else. Hold the blotter about 20cm from your nose and waft the stick towards your nose.

1-15 minutes

What you will smell first at this stage are the top notes. Their main purpose is to give a scent an initial scent and then transition smoothly into the next part of the fragrance. These are generally lighter and smaller molecules. Some common top notes are citrus scents like bergamot, lemon, orange, lime, as well as some herbs and spices like basil and star anise. Bear in mind that this is only the first impression and mostly you will be the only one to smell the top notes, they will be gone as you leave the front door.

15 – 60 minutes

Mid or heart notes as the name suggests make up the heart of the fragrance. Their function is to retain some of the top notes while introducing new scents to add depth to the perfume. They tend to remain for the duration of the scent, providing some balance and harmony to base notes which can often be more challenging. Typical heart notes are florals like rose, geranium, jasmine and neroli as well as some light woods like pine, sandalwood, cedar and spices like pink pepper or cardamom.

They typically make up around 70% of the fragrance so take your time to judge the heart notes. Try to pick up individual ingredients. Think about how it makes you feel. Does it remind you of something or someone? Put it down and come back to it several times so that you don’t ‘over smell’ it.

TOP TIP: if you are smelling several scents you can become ‘smell blind’. Some people recommend smelling coffee beans in between to refresh your nose, but we recommend smelling the nook of your elbow or your sleeve or taking a break and getting some fresh air. Your own scent is neutral to you, so it’s like returning to home base. If you are testing several perfumes, walk away from the other blotters so you don’t end up contaminating / combining the scents.

TOP TIP: if you are smelling several scents you can become ‘smell blind’. Some people recommend smelling coffee beans in between to refresh your nose, but we recommend smelling the nook of your elbow or your sleeve or taking a break and getting some fresh air. Your own scent is neutral to you, so it’s like returning to home base. If you are testing several perfumes, walk away from the other blotters so you don’t end up contaminating / combining the scents.

1-12 hours

Base notes are the foundation of a perfume, they are rich, heavy, and long lasting. They begin to emerge towards the end of the first hour working with the heart notes to create the main accord for a perfume. They generally add depth, complexity, and resonance to a fragrance with typical base notes including darker and sweeter scents like amber, vanilla, ambergris, oud, musk, and patchouli.

NOW IT’S TIME TO BARE YOUR SKIN

Blotters are a great way to explore a number of different scents to find ones you think you like; they can’t predict how a perfume reacts to your skin. Different skin tones, acidity levels, hormones, temperatures, humidity, skin oils / condition and natural odours, all affect the way a scent evolves, making each scent unique to you.

We recommend you start with the inside of your arm slightly above your wrist. Electimuss scents are very high in concentration and quality with excellent projection and longevity, so we advise you to start with 1 spray. Hold the spray about 15-20 cm away and spray once or twice.

TOP TIP: To avoid nose fatigue don’t try several perfumes on your skin on the same day. It can be overwhelming and hard to distinguish them. Trying a scent a day allows you to savour the scent and when you wake up the next morning and you want to spray it again, you know you’ve found a scent to add to your collection.

TRUST YOURSELF

Perfume is one of the most powerful tools of self-expression. You should play with it, get joy out of it, use it for uplift you, comfort you and on days when you don’t quite have it in the tank, you can use it to empower you by making you feel taller, sexier, confidant. You’re never going to please everyone. Scent is intimate and personal, it exists in your personal space, on your skin, your clothes and your aura so it has to be something you gain pleasure from. And like choosing different outfits for season, occasion and mood, the same applies to perfume.

Whether one day you need something soft and intimate, comforting, playful, light-hearted, powerful or sexy, it’s up to you perfume is one of the most powerful forms of self-expression. Dare to be. Explore our collections.

PS If you find more than one Electimuss fragrance don’t forget to take advantage of our bundles and luxury boxes, they come with free travel sprays and other great gifts.


FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE for orders over £95 UNTIL 31 DECEMBER 2022
Four free samples of your choice plus FREE Luxury Gift Wrapping Service

Electimuss roundel

By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. We use cookies to provide you with a great experience and to help our website run effectively.