The strength and profile of the fragrance are the two most important points to be kept in mind while choosing a perfume, explains perfume curator Sheetal Desai.
Desai has been in the industry for almost three decades and is the founder of wiSDom Fragrances, an independent fragrance design house.
The expert shares a few tips and tricks related to using perfumes, and speaks about the different aspects to keep in mind while selecting fragrances.
Excerpts from the interview: How do you curate perfumes? What are the points you look for?
Desai: To curate perfumes, I mainly dive deeper to understand the personality of the person and his/her nature, whether he/she is joyful or a workaholic etc. I also understand the dominating mood and preferences of people and also the occasions that he/she is looking forward to wear the perfumes at.
Tell us the process behind the making of a customised perfume?
Desai: Customising a fragrance is like customising a suit for a man or a dress for a woman. Fragrances are customised for your personality. It's important to understand the person and their sensitivities and preferences. At the same time, it's all a trial-and-error process. As fragrances are very subjective and two different persons can react completely differently to the same fragrance. We all perceive fragrances differently. Once we are on the same page, I understand what kind of notes the person likes and how far are they open to trying or experimenting with new notes. Based on that, I start the designing process and its many trials and errors before I decide on sampling the fragrance to the customer. The client then wears it for a couple of days before they come back on how well it suits their skin and how they felt about the fragrance. If any modifications are required then that will be incorporated and the bottle is supplied with their name and formulation. This fragrance actually becomes their signature fragrance.
What points should be kept in mind while choosing a perfume that suits a personality?
Desai: Strength and the profile of the fragrance are the two most important factors. If you are a young bubbly personality, your fragrance should be a vivacious fruity floral or citrus fougere. If you are a person with mature and classic taste you select from florals or woody notes and if you are more of an adventurous person than the world is your playground! Also some personalities can carry loud fragrances whereas others are more tuned towards subtle intensity.
What is a layered fragrance and why is it different?
Desai: Layering of fragrances is when you mix 2 or 3 fragrances to curate your own unique scent. Layering helps you discover your scent, makes it unique and you can wear it as per your mood or occasion or your outfit.
Tell us some tips and tricks related to perfumes.
* Use fragrance on your hair (not scalp). It makes your hair smell heavenly and also stays for a long time.
* Never rub your wrist when using a fragrance unless it is ittar.
* If you like the stronger fragrance then look at the concentration of the fragrance, usually anything that is 20 percent and above is very rich and long lasting. Also, the profile matters. I often hear people want long lasting and that also depends on the profile. So, most fragrances that have gourmand notes, woody notes or musky last much longer.
* Strong fragrances do not always mean they are very high in quality. Fine fragrances need a beautiful balance of notes.
* Before buying a big bottle always go for the miniature to see how it suits your skin.
* Buy fragrances based on what suits you and not what you smell on others. That can be a cue to your liking but it does not mean it will smell the same on you.