Some people seem to have been born with a signature perfume, others spend their lives searching for the elusive ‘one’. Here’s how to go about it…

Accept that it’s a personal and emotional decision

Choosing a fragrance is a delicate dance. There are many factors to be considered, so you should think about what you want from your fragrance.

Do you want a strong, confidence-boosting scent? Something fresh and breezy? Do you prefer a sweet scent, or something classic and elegant?

Since scent is so closely connected to memory, perfume is able to affect your mood and emotions

I wear specific perfumes when I’m getting ready for difficult days/situations as I’m convinced they give me an extra confidence and courage boost, and others when I’m heading out on a date or a night with the girls.

In the same vein, negative memories can ruin a fragrance. I can no longer use my favourite scented shower oil because of a catastrophic holiday two years ago.

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There is one specific air freshener that causes a physical response when I smell it (again, terrible memory) – so also know which scents you don’t want to wear.

Luca Bertolli –


Fragrances generally come in two intensities, with a third added in some cases. Eau de Toilette is the mildest, Eau de Parfum is more intense and has longer staying power, and Parfum is the strongest. Not all mainstream brands have Parfum versions.

Stronger doesn’t always mean better. In my perfume collection I have a good mix between EDT and EDP, with a few Parfums in between.

If you run hot (you’ll know if you do, trust me) and you tend to perspire more than average, EDT is a good option, especially for summer. The scent gets ‘carried’ much further when there’s more body heat involved, so you’re gaining an additional perk.

teodora1 –


Perfume lingo 101

To kick you off, fancy pants people tend to refer to bottles of the smelly stuff as fragrance, not perfume (it’s the equivalent of base VS foundation but don’t ask me why, I don’t make the rules). Now that we have the pretentious bit out of the way, I’ve put some descriptive words together that will help make the process of buying a fragrance easier.

If you like clean scents that are crisp, fresh, light, airy and young, you should look into aqua scents.

If you like deep, sultry, rich, spicy, aromatic scents that envelop you, oriental is your word for the day.

If you like slightly soapy, feminine, clean, classic scents, you’re probably looking for something floral (especially white florals).

If you’re a fan of sweet, daring, playful, unexpected scents, try something gourmand.

The above are just the main classifications and they also come in various combinations, but the key words should be a starting point to help you find a magical fragrance.

Our favourite under R500 fragrances for summer