If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that almost anything can be bought online. But although we can hunt down a vintage designer handbag with ease, or find the exact lipstick shade Hailey Bieber wore on the red carpet, shopping for fragrance, in particular, still seems to give us pause.
It doesn’t have to be so daunting, as Michael Marzano, the National Education Manager at Libertine Parfumerie says. The expert explains there are a few insider tips and tricks that can make that experience not only seamless and easy but as enjoyable as all our other online shopping.
Here, Marzano shares the tricks of the trade to finding your signature scent (without actually smelling it).
“The first thing I suggest is getting to really understand what you like. If there’s a particular classification of fragrance — whether it’s woody, floral, etc — you need to identify it.”
To do exactly that, Marzano suggests looking to the fragrances already amongst your collection — be it a classic Jean Paul Gaultier or the iconic Flowerbomb by Viktor&Rolf — and checking to see what categories they fall under.
From there, the Libertine website makes it easy to search for other products in those categories, where each scent is classified by its different types of fragrance. As Marzano explains, if you are looking for a floral scent, the website will be able to show you its entire range of just floral fragrances.
“Next to each fragrance, shoppers will see a note that breaks it down further, so for example, next to a floral fragrance there could be a c style floral or a woody floral or a citrus floral.”
Thankfully most online perfumeries, including Libertine, offer unique sample packs to help narrow down the search.
“Once you’ve narrowed it down to four or five fragrances, a shopper can order samples of these,” explains Marzano, which means you can experiment with different scents until you find the right fit.
“You can test a lot of when you order a sample set, the sillage or depth of the fragrance, it's lasting power, and also how the fragrances evolve on the skin and how the fragrances then translates to the signature that the wearer is looking for."
As Marzano notes, floral fragrance is what more than 50 percent of women worldwide wear, so if you’re really unsure of where to start off, the floral family is always a good start. “If someone is looking for classics or scents that are a wearable as every day, floral is always a safe category to steer towards.”
“Ambery are distinctive fragrances,” says Marzano. “These are for the men and women that want to stand out in the crowd. They are very confident fragrances.”
Within this fragrance family lies a “very fill volume of scents”, including “frankincense, myrrh, incense, and the rich woods and spices as well, like cedar wood, those darker woods, and the beautiful sweet spices, like thyme and clove, even cinnamon.”
“Woods is a great general scent to lean on, and in particular, for women who don’t like florals," says Marzano. "I find woods are great gender neutral fragrances as well."
If you're looking for a "safe, all-rounder", Marzano says to look out for fragrances that sit in the fresh family. "You can wear it to work, wear it as a light weekend fragrance as a pick me up, and those refreshing citrus notes invigorate energy levels as well."
Believe it or not, the shape, colour and overall feeling of a perfume's packaging can actually give a little bit of insight into what the scent will be like.
“Opulent, heavy and Amber fragrances normally have quite ornate packaging with extra trimmings, gold and polished glass or matte glass, while lighter fragrances seem to be more transparent and allow light through, giving a beautiful luminosity and radiance," notes Marzano. "Floral generally, you look at packaging and you think pastel or deep red or something that's going to be reflective of a floral type that it's normally quite evident when you look at the packaging or the bottle what the fragrance inside it would smell like."
With each order places on Libertine Parfumerie, customers receive 10 complementary luxury samples.