How to: select the perfect fragrance

WORLD's purveyor of sensory delights shares his secrets to successfully procuring a signature scent.

Whilst there exists eons of literature on the subject, there are no generically accepted rules or fashions for fragrance – whether it be how to wear them or how to select them, making the choosing process a somewhat daunting and fraught affair. Here to ensure your next fragrance purchase results in a relationship like Marilyn Monroe’s with Chanel No.5, we’ve enlisted the expertise of WORLD’s Benny Castles.

How does it smell on your skin?
Take care not to overwhelm your senses with too many notes. It’s a good idea to initially smell from tester strips, before narrowing your choice down to two, and spraying one on each wrist. Like a thumbprint, each of us bears a slightly different chemical makeup which will affect how different notes are expressed on the skin. Pale skin more often than not, reacts poorly to a citrus scent as the acidic build up in the skin hampers the fragrance, whereas on more olive complexions, citrus should blossom and last beautifully. Allow the two sample scents to sit on your skin for up to ten minutes, making sure not to rub the fragrance which can bruise and distort the smell. This time will allow the different notes within the scent the chance to develop and express themselves fully.

How does it make you feel?
Our sense of smell is the most closely linked sense to our memory, and can have a fabulous effect on our mood, so it is important to choose fragrance with an occasion or function in mind. And, just as we do not define ourselves by one outfit, we shouldn’t define ourselves by one scent. Choose a perfume on how it makes you feel; you could have one for the day to make you feel content and comfortable, an evening scent to make you feel sexy and confident, and a weekend scent when you can be bolder and more esoteric. It’s also a great idea to select one specifically for a special occasion – like your wedding, a cocktail party, even a professional moment of importance; an interview, a presentation. The fragrance will not only lift you with excitement and reassurance, but will inevitably create a defining moment in your memory for years to come.

Get guidance
Listen to what the fragrance consultant is telling you, if they know what they are talking about they will be your greatest ally in finding the perfect scent. They should be able to elucidate the key notes and talk about the perfumer’s inspiration and the history behind it – all of these elements will create a character in your mind as to whether this fragrance is you or not. Like any luxury purchase from high-fashion to a piece of art or an automobile, you should ensure you understand the history and creation process so that you are able to take confidence and pride in their work and your taste. Let the authentic craftsmanship speak to you and don’t think it’s shallow to let the bottle itself inspire you either.

Where to wear it
When wearing fragrance, be sure to spray on areas of your skin where blood flows closest; hence the back of your neck, your wrists, your décolletage (but not too often at the base of your throat as your nose will become immune), and even the back of your knees where the scent rises slowly. Throughout the day, the fragrance resting on the back of your knees will continue to surprise and delight. Ideally apply as you just step out of the shower, whilst your skin is warm and your pores are open, helping the fragrance last longer.

When acquiring your next fragrance, we highly recommend you pay the experts at WORLD Beauty a visit and smell their masterfully curated selection of exceptional fragrances.

WORLD Beauty

60 Tyler Street

(09) 373 3034


4 reasons why you need to indulge in a CODAGE facial

Two of the simplest ways to add cult haircare brand Olaplex to your daily routine

10 products every man should have in his grooming arsenal