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What do you look for in a perfume?

What do you look for in a perfume? 9 years ago
When deciding if you want a perfume, is it a positive reaction to all the levels of the notes, or some combination (for example: you really don't care about the top and middle, but if you love the base/dry-down then you want it)?

I'm experiencing a lot of mixed feelings about perfumes mostly because I will not love the top two levels of notes, but love the dry-down. After all one has to get through the first two stages, but that takes a couple hours at least, so do I want to smell like crap for a while?

Or do you just wait until you find one where you love all three levels?

Thank you all!
9 years ago
I usually look for something I can enjoy on all levels; I'm not very patient in waiting for a good dry down if the top notes don't smell great to me.
9 years ago
I second Hayven -- if there is something about a perfume that is just off-putting, I won't get it.

Also I look for perfumes that aren't too similar to the ones I already own, or have some quality about them that makes them stand out from the rest of my collection.
9 years ago
I'd say I look at the notes of a perfume first. They have to agree with me. If they don't, I'm outta there. There's no point in going any further. If I like the the majority, then I'll start reading the reviews. I need to know what most folks say are the dominant notes of a perfume, altho I do realize on me, it may be very different. As long as I am happy with the majority of the notes, there's a good chance I should like it.
I happen to love benzoin, tonka bean, patch and vanilla. If I see those notes, my head will turn. But I need to look at what else is in there, too. What balances it out? Can I live with what else is in there? And of course, the ultimate is in the test. But that's not always possible. So back to reading reviews. To be honest, a lot of times, I'll base a buy on a conglomeration of reviews. And many of them were against a perfume. But what others didn't like, happened to be something that I was expressly looking for. Sometimes you have to read between the lines to figure out what you want in a perfume.
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