Women's Perfume Buying Guide

Your signature fragrance is a scent that you wear every day and a scent that others will associate with you. While some women wear the same perfume for years, others prefer wearing something a little different each day. You should consider the strength and the notes featured in those scents when choosing a new perfume.

Types of Women's Perfume

While types in perfume can refer to the scents or notes that you notice in each spray, it usually refers to the name listed on the product itself. Extrait is one of the rarest and most expensive types of perfume because it contains more nature oils than other products do. Some have as much as 40% natural oil in their formulas, but these products are more expensive and harder to find.

Eau de parfum, also known as just perfume, includes the bottles that you see in your favorite department stores. Most contain at least 20% natural oils, which gives you the concentrated scent that you want. Perfumes of this type last longer than other types do when applied to the skin.

If you want a great scent without spending a lot of money, search for an eau de toilette. Some of these fragrances may have as much as 20% oil in its base. If you want a scent that lasts longer, you can layer the perfume with other products.

Women like yourself also find affordable cologne scents for sale. Unlike colognes designed for men, these bottles feature less than 10% natural oil in their formulas but have a lighter and more refreshing scent that some women like.

Another option is a body mist, which has a much smaller concentration of oil. These are best for women who want a light scent and those who reapply their perfume throughout the day. Similar to a body mist is a body splash. Mists and splashes are the cheapest type of perfume and usually come in plastic bottles.

Pay Attention to

Notes

Note is a term that manufacturers use when describing the scents found in a single bottle. Woodsy notes may include cedar and sandalwood, while floral notes include traces of rose, iris and daffodil. Perfumes for women may also include notes that designers describe as sweet, aromatic, oriental, aquatic, green or citrus.

Concentration

Concentration strength refers to the amount of natural oils that the manufacturer uses. The more oils and the higher concentration, the longer that scent will last. An eau de parfum can last for up to 12 hours, but a cologne, body mist or body spray may wear off after just a few hours or less.

Bottle size

Perfumes typically come in one of three standard sizes, which will give you an idea of how much use you will get out of a single bottle. The mini size is around .11 ounces and has up to 50 or 60 sprays. The larger 1.7 ounce bottles can last for more than 400 applications. If you opt for a 3.4 ounce bottle, which is the largest that many designers offer, you'll get up to 2,000 applications.

Body chemistry

Before choosing a perfume, try applying a small sample to your skin. Your body chemistry and the way your body reacts to the ingredients in that fragrance will determine how it smells and how long it lasts.

Price

The cost of a single bottle of perfume can range from just a few dollars to well over $100. Designer perfumes from companies like Burberry and Chanel typically cost more. The price may also depend on where you shop. Boutiques and department stores often charge more for the same fragrances that you can buy online and from big box stores.

Optional products

After finding a new fragrance, check for other products that are available in the same scent. This lets you layer the perfume to provide a long lasting scent that can last all day or night. Many companies now make body washes, body sprays, shampoos, soaps, lotions and even deodorants in matching fragrances.

Top Brands and Product Lines

Calvin Klein

CK One: One of the first scents introduced by the designer, CK One is unisex fragrance that features sweet and softer base notes with some floral notes on the top.

Eternity: Since its initial release in the late 1980s, Eternity became the top selling cologne from Calvin Klein. Its features a blend of hearty greens, rosewood, jasmine and fresh herbs.

Obsession: Calvin Klein released Obsession in 1985 for men, but it became a hit with women as well because of its rich combination of clove, orange and lavender.

Burberry

My Burberry: Designed with the company's iconic trench coat in mind, My Burberry brings to mind the scents you associate with a recent storm. This light fragrance also has some soft floral notes.

Burberry Brit: The strongest perfume from the company, Burberry Brit combines rock and roll with classic music. It features notes of lavender and orange.

Chanel

Chanel No. 5: Since its introduction in 1921, Chanel No. 5 became the best selling perfume of all time. Celebrities like Nicole Kidman even admit to wearing it. Designed by Coco Chanel herself, the perfume features a bold and intoxicating blend of floral notes.

Coco Mademoiselle: Inspired by the founder of the company, Coco Mademoiselle comes in a pale pink shade that matches its iconic suits. Some of the main notes found in this scent include patchouli, lemon, flowers and cool water.

Chance: Chanel created its Chance perfume for women who want to take risks in life. It features sweet floral notes with richer woodsy and spicy ingredients.