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Thing of Beauty

How to Pick a Perfume—and Get Its Scent to Stick Around

Thing of Beauty BY courtney conway 11/11/2017


As if landing on a scent you actually like that doesn’t smell too much like candy/campfires/your mom isn’t hard enough, there’s also a whole world of weird vocab words to navigate (what is “dry down,” anyway?). But it’s all second nature to Marie du Petit Thouars, the founder of Maison Louis Marie, whose musky-sweet-refreshing concoctions are inspired by her famous French botanist ancestor and gardening-obsessed mother. Which is all to say: Her tips for finding your way around eau de toilette are nothing to stiff at.



The best way to find a scent is by trial and error—because sometimes you just never know until you try. All skin reacts to smell differently because of pH levels, dryness, etc. So something you love on someone else might not work for you. When you’re just browsing, you may want to spray a scent on paper because it could be very unappealing—and you don’t want to smell like that all day. But once you are close to purchasing, always apply some to your skin and try it out for a day to make sure reacts well to your skin’s chemistry.”



“So, this can be a really involved, but I’ll boil it down to the basics: The top notes are the first thing you pick up, and then, with a little time, the mid notes come to the forefront. Throughout, the base notes are what bring solidity and depth to the overall fragrance. It’s complicated because the top, mid, and base notes all play off each other, so the existence of different elements affects how you experience everything as a whole. In essence, the overall fragrance is working together like an orchestra: Upon first listen, you might notice a certain instrument, but when played all together, they form something entirely different!”




In order to make your perfume last a long time, you have to make sure your skin is really hydrated since perfume sticks better to well-nourished skin.It’s also great to choose a moisturizer that smells like your perfume—if you can’t get the exact match, try something with similar notes.”



“As the seasons change, the pH levels of your skin change, so something musky and heavy smells much better in the winter not only because it’s more comforting but also because it reacts better to your skin in cooler weather. In all seasons, applying to warmer pulse points like your wrists and neck will help spread the perfume.”




The difference comes down to the bases used and the amount of fragrance included in the blend. For our eau de parfums, we use alcohol as a base and include about 20% fragrance. With the perfume oils, we use a safflower oil base and about 50% fragrance. As for which is better, it really comes down to personal preference and what you’re used to. The bottles of oil seem to last longer because there’s a higher concentration of fragrance and less waste because you’re applying via a roll-on applicator, so product doesn’t get left behind. With an eau de parfum, a lot gets sprayed into the air, but the alcohol technically allows the fragrance to live longer on your body. If you really love a product, my suggestion is to use a spray in the morning while getting ready and then take the oil with you to reapply throughout the day.”




“If you really want to get advanced, you can play around with mixing multiple perfumes together. Currently, I’m really into mixing our No.05 Kandilli, which has notes of ylang jasmine, tropical tuberose, white lily, and sandalwood, with No.09 Vallee de Farney, which has grapefruit, orange, black pepper, cedarwood, patchouli, geranium, vetiver, amber, musk, and benzoin. It’s a really great combination.”




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