Combining and Blending


How Do I Know What I Like? 

Follow your nose! Not everyone likes the same thing, that's what makes bespoke design so intriguing. However, there are some themes, that *generally* apply.

The Gender Divide - Male and female preferences tend to be distinct, male fragrance choices are more sporty, more bitter, more sharp whilst female selections are more floral, more sweet, more gentle, more elegant. However there are some fragrances which are distinctly unisex - citrus, amber and some of the orientals tend to bridge the gender divide.

The 30s Rule - When we are young, our taste buds are most focused on sweet or sour. As we grow older we begin to appreciate bitter, salty, spicy, hot tastes. So too our noses become more aware of more aromas and our preferences and palettes expand. We tend to find our under 30's like quite sweet, fruity perfumes, whilst the 30 somethings' choices are french vanilla, aldehydes and woods, the more complex components.

Fragrant Memories - Perfume is an evocateur. When we smell things it brings back former memories or provokes emotional reponses. Just ponder for a moment on these aromas -
  • Fresh cut grass,
  • meadow flowers,
  • furniture polish,
  • wood smoke,
  • mossy forest floors,
  • strawberries,
  • salty sea breeze,
  • orange blossom,
  • coconut
The chances are some, if not all, of those brought back quite vivid memories or stirred emotions, probably mostly good.

Sexual Chemistry - We use smell in general and perfume in particular to attract our mates. Whilst many pheromones are odourless, there are certain aromas we link with attraction. Musky and amber smells and also mossy and patchouli bases, act on our subconscious and appeal to our animalistic nature. So those in love or looking for love will often choose these elements in fragrance selection.

Generation Gap - Pulling on both the 30's rule and the fragrant memory themes, there are observable generation divides. Those who formative years were the war/post-war 1940s and 50s have different fragrance memories than those who grew up in the liberal 60s and 70s, and different again those who grew up in the bustling 80s and sterile 90s (the allergy generation?). Lavender is often a signpost, as are pine and patchouli, rose and jasmine fragrances. The reactions to these elements an be quite marked between generations!

That said, everyone is individual. You may have found some pointers from above, but the key rule is follow your own nose.