Scent-sational Gifts: Tips for Selecting the Perfect Perfume as a Present

Perfume is a popular gift for special occasions like Valentines or Christmas, but it is hard to get right. Fragrance is incredibly personal: it’s applied directly to your body, it can influence how other people see you and it can even impact how you feel. Choose the right perfume and it can be transformational, but how do you find a perfume they will like? You don’t want to spend a lot of money on the wrong scent, but a bit of planning can ensure the sweet smell of success.

Image from Canva Pro showing a range of perfumes
Perfume makes a great gift, find out how to choose the right one in this guide

How To Choose A Perfume Gift They Will Love

Understanding Perfume

Before you even start to think about which perfume to buy from parfumdreams it helps to understand a bit about perfume starting with the different types. The words on perfume bottles aren’t just marketing, they are technical terms which describe how diluted the scented perfume ingredients are in the fragrance. The less diluted versions will normally cost more, but they also last longer after applying. 

Cologne, Perfume, Eau de Toilette - what do they mean?

While different sources suggest different concentrations as a general rule Perfume or Parfum should be over 20% oil or scent compound ingredients, Eau de Perfume around 15%, Eau de Toilette 10% and Cologne even less. ‘Eau’ or ‘eaux’ means water in French and while the perfume is often mixed with alcohol it is useful to remember that if ‘eau’ is included in the description it is more diluted.  If they want a perfume they can apply in the morning that lasts all day maybe avoid the Eau de Toilette, but if they like a more subtle smell or they like to have a little bottle of perfume in their bag and apply throughout the day you will want to go for the milder fragrance.

Different layers of perfume

Perfumes are all about the blend of scents creating the ideal fragrance, but they are not just the initial smell you experience when you apply it. A perfume is generally considered to have 3 notes: the top note, the heart or middle note and the base note. The top notes are the most delicate. They are what you smell first when you first put perfume on, but they can fade quickly. The heart notes provide the full rounded scent, while the deeper base notes remain the longest.

Each smell is unique

You can smell a perfume in store, spray it from the bottle on to those bits of card, but that doesn’t really tell you what it will smell like when worn. When someone applies perfume to their skin it warms, mixes with the wearers other smells (deodorant, shower gel, body odour etc) and creates something subtly different. Even the pH of their skin can alter the smell. 

Scent Categories

While perfumes often contain many different scents they can generally be categorised by the dominant scent. This is key to choosing a new perfume as a gift. Different websites and companies will categorise the scents differently, but they will include descriptions like: floral, oriental, woody or fresh with subcategories like spicy, citrus or fruity.

Types of Application

The final key difference between perfumes to understand is the way they are applied. This is often linked to the type of perfume eg pure Parfum is more likely to be applied by a dabber or in a splash bottle. Many people prefer to apply fragrance using an atomiser spray because not only does it mean you are less likely to accidentally spill the perfume, but you can cover a wider area of the body with a fine layer of scent.

How To Choose A New Perfume As A Gift

What do they wear now?

It’s an obvious starting point, but first you want to make sure they actually wear perfume. Not everyone does, if they don’t it might be that they struggle with strong smells or simply that they don’t have any and it would be something they would appreciate as a gift. 

If they do wear perfume investigate what they currently wear. If you live with them you will probably see what they put on each morning. If they have lots of bottles, what is their signature scent that they wear most? Is there one that they wear on special occasions. Don’t buy them another bottle of what they have unless they are nearly out. If you aren’t able to see the bottle you can always ask eg “hmm you smell nice, what perfume is that?”. 

Choose Something Similar, but Not The Same

The perfumes that they wear regularly will hold the key to what to buy for their new scent. You can also look at what sort of scents they choose for cleaning products or air fresheners. Most people tend to like similar smells, but not always. No one wants to smell like pine disinfectant. 

Most women will tend to choose perfumes from a similar category so if their favourite perfume is floral with fragrances of orange blossom then look for another floral based fragrance rather than something with woody scents. Often the same Perfume House will have variations of a fragrance with slightly different scent combination which can make a good option to buy.

If they always wear the same perfume without fail and they have plenty left in the bottle then check for related products. Many of the most popular brands will have products like body lotion or shower gel. A gift set can also make a great, well, gift. There is normally a fantastic selection of gift sets available in the run up to Christmas and they can be good value (also keep an eye out in the January sales if you want to buy one for Valentine’s Day).

If you are buying for a vegan make sure the perfume is vegan, many aren’t, but those that are will normally state it. A vegan will also value a choice which is cruelty free and where none of the ingredients have been tested on animals.

When You Are Ready To Buy

Shopping online for perfume can be really helpful as many websites give you a good description of the scent. You might not be able to spot that musk undertone, but the website description will tell you, making it easier to find a perfume they will love. Online is also a great way to buy as it’s often cheaper, and it is definitely easier to compare prices. Make sure you remember to check what size bottle it comes in and the type of perfume to ensure you really have got a good deal though. 

Good luck investigating and finding the perfect gift.

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