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How to Evaluate, Sample, Smell or Test Perfume

We are often asked how to evaluate, sample, smell or test Perfume.

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It may seem like a strange question “How do you smell Perfume” ?

However it really is not as strange as it seems, some people would say “Just open a bottle spray and take a sniff”

Incredible Facts About Your Sense of smell, people can detect one trillion distinct scents.

Finding the right fragrance is not quite as straight forward as it may seem, at times it would appear that there can be no logic behind your choice of perfumes because your emotions are so intrinsically linked to your sense of smell.

Perfumer Nose Smelling Strip Evaluate Scent

We are conditioned to have smell preferences, and our response to a particular odour or note could be based partially on our individual genetic make-up, and partially on our life experiences.

Dark Chocolate Cake Fragrance Home Natural

So what do we mean by this?

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In simple terms it means that we all have an ‘olfactory blueprint’, which like us is totally unique. Think of it as your life’s experiences or life’s road map all happily recorded in our smell memory.

Our Olfactory Road Map

No two individuals are alike and just as we respond differently to different situations, colours, music, art, clothes, food or wine, we also react differently to something that we smell.

Self Talk Day Positive Fragrance Aromatherapy

We here at PAIRFUM London are delighted that this is the case, could you just imagine for a moment how boring the World would be if we all liked the same thing… colour, food, wine, clothes..

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Taking this idea a step further it would also mean that we would all, be attracted to the same type of partner, scientists have already proven that mice can and do, detect compatibility genes by smell, and that certain fish choose their mates by their colour. How this works in humans, is still not fully understood.

Sculpture Thinker Museum Famous Rodin The Thinker

However it is such a fascinating topic, it deserves a post all to itself – so that is one for another time.

Clock Big Ben

So! how should we Evaluate, Sample, Test or Smell Perfume..

Well, the Perfume World is divided into families, and then divided yet again into sub-family’s. Technically, ‘fragrance families’ are a classification system that the perfume industry has used for years. In the language of scent a ‘Family’ is used to place individual perfumes into olfactory groups, based on their more dominant characteristics.

Olfactory Family's

When choosing which scent or perfume to wear we often without even realising it, gravitate to the same ‘fragrance family’ time and again. Instinctively, we prefer scents from some fragrance families and dislike others.

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However this may vary or alter slightly with a change in temperature or weather, for colder months we may prefer a warmer note and a lighter, fresher note for Spring or Summer.

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The in-house perfumer here at PAIRFUM London, Huib Maat has just written a more in depth article on how to evaluate, sample, test or smell Perfume. If you would like to find out more, and learn how to do it like a professional then please click here