HOW TO decide how you feel about a fragrance, especially one you didn't pick out for yourself

Fragrance is possibly one of the most difficult things to gift because it's so personal. It's personal because it's linked to memory and emotion. However, fragrance remains a luxurious and intimate gift that is well received if a person knows you have gone to the effort to try and understand them on a deeper level. It's also a lovely gift for those who are open to self discovery. If you know a person really well, particularly the kinds of fragrances they usually go for (floral, spicy, green, woody, citrus), then an undiscovered fragrance from their scent family of choice is a thoughtful gift.

If you've ever received a fragrance and felt totally misunderstood through your repulsion towards it, or even just indifferent, you probably fretted over who to pass it on to. Next time, why not get a bit more curious?


Did you know that our experience of scent can be affected by our mood, the acidity of our skin at the time, the climate (temperature at the time), and even eating strongly spiced foods can change how a perfume reacts with your body chemistry.

Don't ditch the perfume or regift it, use the opportunity to experiment with a new scent that you perhaps wouldn't have chosen for yourself and you might be surprised at what you discover.

Try it when you feel like you're in the mood for it. I love florals but there certainly are times when I'm not in the mood for them. Perfume can be used as a way to delve deeper into a mood. If I'm feeling light and sensual I'll wear a fragrance like be with me or when I'm feeling edgy and creative I'll reach for Sun & I #1.

If you didn't reach for a fragrance the whole of summer, try it again in Autumn or winter. Sometimes heavy florals or balsams can make us feel hot and clammy but it's just the thing for a cozy winter dinner sipping on red wine.

Experiment a little and have fun. Try layering the fragrance. Layer a heavier scent with one of your lighter citrus ones or vice versa. You can also use a strongly scented vanilla body butter or a single note body oil to shift the profile of a fragrance on your skin. If you love your perfume just the way it is and want it to last longer on your skin, use a fragrance free moisturiser before applying your perfume.

Keep the scent with you the whole day without having it pasted onto your body, by spraying it on a scarf or sarong, depending what kind of outing you're on, so you can spend time with it while you're deciding if you want to use it on your skin. Also remember that perfume isn't a tattoo - you can wash it off!

The belief that one should have a signature scent is antiquated so don't feel limited by the need to use every fragrance you buy for the rest of your life as though it's an imprint on your soul. The fragrances you enjoy now may very well change completely in 30 years time.