Besides the fact that they smell good, you might not know a lot about perfumes. There is no doubt that your nose is an important organ. Our sense of smell is the most primitive sense we have: you can smell up to 10,000 different smells! Your sense of smell is located in the same part of our brain that effects emotions, memory, and creativity. It is safe to assume that picking the right perfume can be important.


Before we get into which smells trigger what responses in people, let’s explore the basics of perfume to help you shop. Have you ever noticed that when professionals describe perfume they use terms like “top notes,” the “heart notes,” and the “base notes”?


“Notes” is just fancy terminology perfume makers use to describe individual smells, but they also refer to when you smell them. The “top notes” are the smells you experience in the first 15 minutes. These are the chemicals that are evaporated off your skin first.


You smell the “heart notes” after about three to four hours, as these chemicals evaporate more slowly than the top notes. This is also the smell that people remember most: if you have a flowery perfume, this is when you will start to smell the floral fragrances.


The “base notes” are experienced about five to eight hours after you spritz it on. This is the most stubborn part of the perfume that clings to your skin the longest. The really musky and earthy smells you experience are usually in the base notes of the perfume.


One thing to keep in mind is that the perfumes you find near the make-up counters at Nordstrom and Macy’s are perfumes that have been carefully designed to produce these layered smells. The reason you simply are not aware of the changing smells is because it is such a slow change, your brain does not necessarily register it (just as you never truly can smell your unique scent, but other people might). Other people will, however, smell you differently than when you first spritzed on your perfume in the morning.


Now that you know the basics, you are ready to pick out your perfume!


For all the ladies out there, you might be wondering what scents attract the opposite sex. This can be a little complicated, as everyone has different preferences for smell. There has been some research to suggest that there are certain smells that trigger a general response in men.


According to Cosmo, “…floral odors — especially rose, lily of the valley, and gardenia — lead men to remember events in an especially positive light, according to a study by the Human Emotions Lab at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey.” This is perfect for a first date, as he will remember your night more fondly the next day.


Cosmo also suggests, “[f]or nights when you want to be seriously seductive, wear yummy-sweet notes like pumpkin and vanilla. They actually can increase the blood flow to his sexual organs and boost his libido.” This is perfect for anyone trying to spice up their love life with a long-term partner. Try changing your perfume every once in a while to keep things interesting and trigger new responses in your man.


In the end, however, there has been significant research that suggest it all comes down to what makes you feel most confident. When you are browsing around for perfume, make sure that whatever perfume you choose makes you feel best, and the rest should work itself out.


A few quick tips to live by: when spritzing on your perfume, apply it to places that are the warmest parts of your body: your wrists, neck, behind your knees, and your ankles. If your perfume does not linger as long as you would like it to, try rubbing on some unscented lotion and then spritzing your perfume on that. Also try it in your hair, as it holds scents the longest.


What do you think of these tips? What perfume do you like to wear? Share in the comments below or tweet me @kateeb790!