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Fragrance buying guide

Fragrance Buying Guide

Finding your ideal perfume or a perfume for a friend is much more than choosing the right brand. Your perfume should represent your personality, your unique style and mood. With so many brands offering eau de parfum or eau de toilette and talking about top notes, base notes, floral tones and perfume extract, it can be hard to understand what it all means. To help you we've put together a useful guide to get you onto the right scent.

Fragrance Concentrate
Fragrance Concentrate

Fragrances come in four different concentrations: Perfume Extract, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette or Eau de Cologne. The amount of solvent mixed with perfume oils determines which of the four fragrances you're buying.

Perfume / Perfume Extract

The highest concentrate that contains 20-40% of aromatic compounds and can last between 4-6 hours.

Eau de Parfum

Contains 10-30% of aromatic compounds and can last between 4-6 hours.

Eau de Toilette

Contains 5-20% of aromatic compounds and can last between 4-6 hours.


Contains 2-3% aromatic compounds and can last between 1-4 hours.

Types of Fragrances
Types of Fragrances

Perfumes and aftershaves can be identified by their families. Here we've explained the major categories from floral and fruity through to spicy and oriental.

Floral scented perfume


These fragrances use some of nature's loveliest blooms including roses, gardenias and jasmine, to create the ultimate feminine fragrances. For men, fragrances combine notes such as lavender and orange blossom.

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Fresh scented perfume


These fragrances use uplifting green notes like leaves, herbs and cut grass to make the scent cool, crisp and sharp. Green notes can be found in sporty fragrances.

Shop fresh fragrances
Fruity scented perfume


Mouthwatering fragrances. The luscious notes of ripe, berried fruits are combined with hints of spice to develop scents that are warm and individual.

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Citrus scented perfume


The fragrances are zesty and includes zingy motes of lemon, mandarin and sparkling grapefruit.

Shop citrus fragrances
Oriental scented perfrume


Rich and seductive. For women, oriental fragrances are a mix of exotic notes combined with florals to create a sexy scent. For men, oriental fragrances blend warm, spicy notes with clove, musk and cardamom to create sensual aromas.

Shop oriental fragrances
Woody scented perfume


A natural fragrance family that is rich with woody, smoky aromas of sandalwood, musk, cedar and leather. Think forest floors and mossy banks.

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Spicy scented perfume


Rich and sensual fragrances that uses exotic spices including musk, sandalwood and pepper help to create the most potent scents.

Shop spicy fragrances
Fragrance Notes
Fragrance Notes

Fragrances and perfumes are often referred to as top notes, heart notes or base notes. When you spray or dab on a perfume the heat from your body causes the solvent to evaporate. The rate of evaporation and the strength of the perfume odour determines the note classification of the fragrance.

Top Notes

These are the scents that you can smell as soon as you apply them. They instantly give you an initial impression of the perfume, but it lasts for a very short time. The scents of this note class are usually described as sharp and assertive.

Heart or Middle Notes

These describe the smells that emerge after the top notes have disappeared. The heart note complements the sharpness from the top notes and they are usually more mellow and smoother. Typical heart notes are lavender and rose scents.

Base Notes

These are the smells that develop slowly and will linger until the end of the day. When you choose a perfume make sure you wait until the base notes have developed so that you are sure you like the whole scent and not the initial top notes.

Top Tips & Advice
Top Tips & Advice
  • • When applying perfume, spray onto your 'pulse points'. These are the areas where your heart rate can be felt and includes your wrists, neckline, inside your elbows, behind the ear and back of your knees.
  • • Don't rub your wrists together as this breaks the notes.
  • • Keep your perfumes and aftershaves away from sunlight to prolong it's shelf life. Typically fragrances can last up to 6 years.
  • • Don't try to test out too many fragrances or perfumes in one go, your nose will get confused.
  • • When sampling perfumes and aftershaves in store, request for them to be sprayed onto blotting strips. This means you can sample as many perfumes as you like and the scents won't clash together. Once you have found a scent you like ask for a test spray on your skin.
  • • Take your time trying out perfumes or aftershaves; let the base notes have time to develop and don't just buy a perfume for the scent of the initial top notes.