How Did You Choose Your Perfume Today?

Once you pass the five-perfume mark, choosing which perfume to wear every day starts getting trickier. Once you pass the Dear-God-you’re-like-the-hoarder-woman-from-Labyrinth perfume mark, it’s damn near impossible.

Why was this a children’s movie???


So today I thought that I would share my perfume decision-making process, and ask y’all to share yours in the comments!

My daily perfume choice is usually based on the day’s activities. If it’s going to be a big study day, I look for perfumes that will help keep me sharp and focused, such as peppery perfumes like L’Artisan Poivre Piquant or Lolita Lempicka Si Lolita. If the occasion calls for human interaction and sociability, I reach for my most charming, effervescent scents; Tokyo Milk Gin & Rosewater or Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise usually do the trick.

If a friend comments positively on a particular perfume, I make sure to wear that perfume when I’m around her. Unfortunately, this strategy does occasionally backfire. One of my closest friends loved Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille when she sniffed it from the bottle. When I wore it the next time I saw her, however, she innocently asked, “What smells like a Yankee Candle?”

I also have certain outfits that I always pair with the same perfume. For example, I have this terribly summery dress from Anthropologie that I can’t imagine wearing with anything other than Kai.

Then there’s the basic black H&M dress that just doesn’t feel right without a spritz of Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille.


I always wear this umbrella shirt with Guerlain Après l’Ondée, because I like to pretend I’m clever.

34 thoughts on “How Did You Choose Your Perfume Today?

  1. Hey ari,
    Mornings are usually for me and afternoons the blog. That way I get to wear a fave and a newby. Sometimes 2 newbies or 2 faves, depending. Utterly selfish and planless when it comes to friends or outfits.
    Portia xx

  2. You’re really pretty 🙂 Such a wonderful system. I usually pick out my scent the night before and try to match my outfit to it. Hehehe. #priorities
    Just out of curiosity, where were you in the picture with the black dress? =D Is that a perfumer’s organ? I’ve always wanted to play with one. \^^/ YOU LUCKY GIRL! ❤

    1. Oh, you stop that! Flattery will get you HUNDREDS OF PERFUME SAMPLES.
      That perfume organ was at the International Museum of Perfume in Grasse! (Not the same thing as the Osmotheque, unfortunately.)

      1. Haha well it’s true. =D Ohh that’s cool! I’ll be in Paris next April/May & was thinking about a quick trip to Grasse but I was worried the journey would be too long for an 19 year old girl to make on her own. Would love the see all the museums someday, hopefully when my family can actually come with me. Hehe.

    1. Ohh, weather is another very important consideration that I completely neglected to mention! Wearing heavier perfumes in the Maryland summer is a truly terrible idea.

        1. That’s the traditional strategy, but I don’t have any citruses!! Well, I have exactly one, TokyoMilk Gin and Rosewater, but I don’t want to be restricted to only one perfume the whole summer! #perfumistaproblems

        2. I need to acquire a bottle of Eau d’Hadrien and Ninfeo Mio for next summer season. This summer I relied only on some samples

  3. I behave like a medium. Close my eyes and wait for the spirits to tell me what to wear. And then it just pops in! With really daring choices every now and then. Like Rykiel not-for-men + Karan Black Cashmere + Etro Messe de Minuit. And then proceed to gather compliments the whole day through (really! ain’t that unbelievable? That’s why I always listen to the gods. They just know better.)

    1. Dang, your spirits have great taste! My spirits mostly just tell me to buy more Tupac bobbleheads. I don’t dare to layer perfumes at all, and that sounds like a particularly daring layering combination!

  4. no flattery at all- you are really, really pretty
    I choose by mood- the dfificult part is finding the sample/decant at 6:30 in the morning, a minute before I have to leave for work

  5. I choose it different ways. Sometimes I just “know.” Other times I want to test something new.

    Today, I wanted to wear this orangey-brown dress I have and it seemed right to wear Tauer Orange Star to complement it. I think clothes do have a lot to do with it for me, as well as what I have on my plate for work for the day.

  6. That umbrella shirt is adorable-where’d you get it? I also like the ever present hair tie on your wrist. I do the exact same thing: I’ve had the same white hair tie on my wrist for over a month now.
    I tend to choose perfumes base on my mood and the weather, which often go hand in hand. It’s rainy and gloomy here, so I’m having trouble choosing between a smokey clove scent, lolita lempicka, or Chanel no 5 eau premiere, all which have a warmth and coziness this day is lacking. I sometimes wear perfumes to match my outfits, but since I choose my outfits based on my mood, I’m not sure that it really counts.

  7. Like others, mood, time of year, and activities help decide what I will wear. Many of my fragrances work in multiple situations. (At least, I think they do). Makes the decision process easier. That and the fact that I don’t have such a huge collection. (20-25 full bottles is my estimate).

  8. Like others have mentioned, my choices depend on 1) season 2) my current mood or 3) the mood I’m hoping to get in exchange for the mood I presently have. And also whether or not I’m jumping-up-and-down excited about new samples to try, or would rather enjoy a love.

    And in terms of Labryinth, I admit “This is a kid’s movie?” also crossed my mind, but it had to do more with seeing David Bowie in tights. Oy. (Or as Bones, my oldest, puts it, “AAAHHHHH! My virgin eyes!!!”)

  9. Weather and mood are my two determining factors. Sometimes when my daughter is home on break I’ll ask her what to wear. Occasionally, when I’ve narrowed it down to a few, I’ll give DH a choice of A, B or C to choose from, especially if we are going out together that day.

  10. The database i created to store my fragrance testing notes also has a “Choose for me” Randomizer that i built into it. Some days i just cant decide for myself.

    1. I’m thinking about building something like that into my database! But I’m still trying to figure out what factores to take into the account since I want it to be random but within some parameters (season? temperature? last time worn?)

  11. I love when my outfit seems to suggest a certain perfume! It makes choosing so much easier. For example I love to wear Rossy de Palma or another bright rose (such as L’Arte di Gucci) with a red dress.

    Like you I do consider the company I’ll be in — I wear perfume mostly for myself but I don’t want to actively piss anyone off if I can avoid it, because I prefer to act as a public advocate for perfume, converting people who think they don’t like it towards the cause …

    Today, I decided I wanted to wear Flower by Kenzo — I figured that I’d get to enjoy its baby-powder top notes by myself while working from home, and only the beautiful woody-vanillic drydown would remain when I teach a poetry class this evening. BUT, alas, I’ve become hyper-sensitized to some synthetic musk recently, and today I discovered it’s in Flower, which I normally love, and now it’s all I smell!! GAH! I hope it goes away after a while. Needless to say, I washed most of it off and still need to choose a replacement scent…..

  12. When I can’t fall asleep I’m thinking about what perfume I will be wearing tomorrow. When I fall asleep before I made that decision, next morning in the shower is another window of opportunity. If no – then after I’m dressed up I’ll stand in front of my drawers with perfumes and try to negotiate with myself what I want to wear. With more perfumes in the collection it becomes harder and harder. So a randomizer for the database might be a way to go.

  13. Weather’s the biggie for me. Then mood.

    And I have this… *thing* about choosing clothes. Sssshhhhh. I am about to tell you my most secret secret: I start with my underwear. I *have* white underwear, sure, but I like different colors. And I cannot wear, say, pink undies with a tomato-red blouse. Now, I could wear the tomato-red blouse if I am wearing the royal blue undies, or the gray ones, or the black ones – but not pink or mint green.

    And if I ‘splain that I like to pick my perfume before I pick out my underwear color, I’m quite certain that you will understand precisely how I match my scent to my panties and thus to the rest of my outfit. (L’Arte di Gucci is great with black panties. winkwink.)

  14. If a friend comments positively on a particular perfume, I make sure to wear that perfume when I’m around her. Unfortunately, this strategy does occasionally backfire. One of my closest friends loved Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille when she sniffed it from the bottle. When I wore it the next time I saw her, however, she innocently asked, “What smells like a Yankee Candle?”

    AWW!! HAHAH that was me. whoops. you know yankee candle smells quite lovely around christmastime……… :))))))

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