Cupid's Pulse Article: Choose the Perfect Perfume for Your GuyCupid's Pulse Article: Choose the Perfect Perfume for Your Guy

By Sarah Ellis

A smell can ignite a flood of memories.  Your mom’s perfume may remind you of snuggling with her as a child, and your fruity body splash may remind you of awkward middle school days where you passed notes to your best friend and giggled about your crush. Your first boyfriend’s cologne may remind you of your first kiss and innocent love.  And like these memories all hold a special place in your heart, you want your perfume to be a sort of signature, right?

Perfume is personal.  It’s meant to be an intimate adornment – something that’s noticed when your guy leans in to give you a kiss or gets a whiff when he whispers in your ear.  And I’m here to tell you there’s more to buying perfume than choosing it by how it smells in the bottle.

Have you ever noticed how you’ll spritz a perfume sample in the air at the store, fall in LOVE with it, make the purchase, but later realize that it doesn’t smell quite as good as you remember?  Perfume actually reacts with your body chemistry, which can affect the way it smells after you wear it.

There’s one rule you MUST follow when choosing a scent: Don’t choose a perfume based on which celebrity endorses it or by how adorable the product packaging is, no matter HOW posh they make the bottle look!  If you’re investing in perfume, you don’t want to be wasting money on a scent that you’ll end up hating.  Trial and error is crucial.

The most common scent categories:

  • Musky
  • Floral
  • Fruity
  • Fresh
  • Amber or Oriental
  • Wood or Pine
  • Citrus
  • Gourmand (a fancy term for dessert fragrances, typically vanilla, cake, or other decadent treats)

Perfumes are pretty complex in nature, as they’re made up of “notes” that take on different layers.  There are top, middle and base notes that, when played together properly, mix into a lovely scent.  The top notes are immediately recognizable when you apply the perfume.  The middle notes will emerge right after the top note dissipates, and you may not notice the base notes for up to 30 minutes after you’ve applied the scent.  Different combinations of these categories make up different fragrances.  Mixologists spend their days playing with different essential oils and finding unique combinations.

If you’re unsure of what type of fragrance you prefer, get playful!  Although most of us run away from perfume counters while shopping, discussing fragrance with an expert is truly fascinating.  Take a shopping pal and ask some questions!  Have fun playing, but don’t be pressured to purchase immediately. Spritz the fragrance in key areas: wrists, neck, decolletage (because it sounds classier than cleavage), or behind the ears.  But don’t overdo it!  Perfume is meant to be intimate, not overpowering.

And ask your guy what kind of scent he prefers. Everyone has different tastes, and while you should ALWAYS choose for yourself first, it’s fun to indulge your guy in this way.  My high school boyfriend loved vanilla perfume, and it was fun to get compliments on how lovely I smelled!

Find your signature scent, and it will serve you through the years.  It will also bring back a flood of memories as you grow and change.

While Sarah Ellis wouldn’t exactly label herself as a perfume expert, her time spent working the beauty counter certainly did give her a one up on the average shopper!  In her day job, she enjoys sharing style advice for pairing affordable handbags with equally fabulous ensembles at Handbag Heaven.  And she’s always on the lookout for affordable ways to be more fabulous.