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Notas de fragancias: How to Select Your Signature Scent and The Best Smelling Perfume for You

Learn how to select the best smelling perfume and fragrance notes to find your signature scent. Find the best perfume and fragrance for you at Lancôme.


It's not just the sheer number of fragrances out there that can make perfume shopping feel daunting. You may find yourself confused between choosing an eau de parfum or an eau de toilette. Or perhaps you wish to know which fragrance notes are best for which season?. The world of perfume is full of subtleties that make finding just one "signature scent" difficult. To make the process easier here are five fragrance tips from the Lancôme perfume and fragrance team that will ensure your next scent is a perfect match.

Tip #1 Your nose knows: choose a fragrance family

Perfumes can be divided into ‘scent families' that contain a number of fragrance notes. Lancôme fragrances come in a variety of different scent families including floral, fruity, and fresh through to warm and spicy. When testing fragrances start paying attention to which of these scent profiles appeal to you most at first try. Over time a pattern will emerge that can help you better select the best smelling perfume based on your preferences. Here are some of the fragrance families Lancôme perfume belong to:

Scent Families

Aromas florales:
Romantic flower inspired perfumes often containing fragrance notes such as rose, magnolia, jasmine, gardenia, and freesia. These perfumes hold a feminine allure and are great for spring.

Miracle Eau de Parfum— fragrance notes of freesia, magnolia and jasmine
Idôle Eau de Parfum- fragrance notes of jasmine and a unique selection of four different rose variations

The Floramber Scents - Warm and Spicy Scents

Perfume with a collection of “amber” scents -- intense warm and spicy notes. Warm fragrance notes typically include vanilla musk and sandalwood. These heady notes diffuse a warmth and sensuality provided from woody and spicy sources and when combined with floral they create an alluring and romantic scent.

La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum: fragrance notes of iris, vanilla, patchouli

The Fruity Citrus Scents
Perfume with fruity citrus based notes typically sourced from orange blossom, lemon, mandarin, or berries. With a light freshness these scents are perfect for outdoor activities and summer.

Figues & Agrumes Eau de Parfum - fragrance notes of mandarin, fig, orange blossom, cedarwood

The Floral Fruity Amber Scents

These perfumes are a combination of the best notes in the floral, fruity, and warm categories. Think of these as providing you with a refreshing burst of scent without too much heaviness or sweetness.

Trésor Eau de Parfum - fragrance notes of peach, rose, apricot blossom, sandalwood, vanilla, musk

Tip#2 Forget blotters — test fragrances on your skin

Once you've narrowed your selection down to one or two fragrances test them on your skin rather than on a paper blotter. This will allow you to recognize how the fragrance notes interact with your skin so you can choose the best perfume and signature scent for your body chemistry. Consejo: Don’t make the call immediately! After testing a perfume on yourself give it about a half hour to see how its profile develops on your skin.

Tip #3 Do not test too many perfumes at the same time

If you're unsure of what you like it's best to try no more than three perfumes at a time. Beyond that your senses will be overwhelmed and you may have difficulty trying to distinguish between scents. (Some tricks used by perfumers to help ‘reset’ your nose between tests include sniffing the crook of your elbow, a clean tissue or coffee beans!) It’s always a good idea to ask for advice from a fragrance expert or counter staff. It's their job to be intimately familiar with a wide range of scents — so chances are good they'll be able to help you narrow down your search and find the best smelling perfume for you. Visit your local Lancôme counter to find a Lancôme perfume you love with help from an expert.

Tip #4 Fragrance concentration counts

As a general rule it's the concentration of essential oils in a perfume that determines how intense the fragrance notes are and long the perfume will last. Absolu de parfum contains the highest concentration followed by eau de parfum, eau de toilette and finally eau fraiche.

Tip #5 Can't choose just one? Choose two fragrances!

There’s no rule that you need to stick to one fragrance year-round for your signature scent. Go ahead and choose two scents — one for spring and summer and one for fall and winter. In warmer temperatures you may like to choose lighter floral, fruit or citrus fragrances since their scent diffuses more easily through the air. In cold weather when scent loses some of its strength: spicy musky and amber fragrances with higher concentrations tend to work best. This will help you to pick the best smelling perfume depending on your mood and environment rather than just sticking to one fragrance.

Ready to begin the search for your signature scent? Shop Lancôme fragrances here.

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