Wonderful whiff

PERFUMES HAVE been sought after as an essential element of personal grooming since time immemorial -- as aromatic balms or as heady attars. Perfumes have arrived in a big way.The romance with the vial goes on.

"Perfumes give you immense self confidence--when you smell good, you feel good, ," says Laila Kakade, Begums', (Chirag Ali Lane, Tel: 23203314, 11 a.m.-1 p.m).

Types of perfumes: The fragrances vary in terms of concentration, ranging from a slightly concentrated eau de cologne, eau de toilette, eau de parfum to the strong parfum. The scents essentially belong to a few major categories; florals— feminine and romantic blossom fragrance, greens— fresh energetic perfumes inspired by the outdoors, fruity— fragrance laced with fruit essence, orientals— intense perfumes with scent of musk, vanilla, spices and heavy florals and finally oceanic— modern perfumes that use synthetic elements to recreate the environs of the enigmatic sea. "Florals are in vogue this monsoon, reflecting the monsoon blooms around," says Laila.

Wonderful whiff

Selecting fragrance: Choose perfumes not because the lovely model in the commercial looked mind blowing. Perfumes are a reflection of you--your moods and your persona. "The same perfume smells different on different people owing to the different body odour. Also there are a few fragrances, which go well with certain skin types. Fragrances with predominant green notes are ideal for delicate fair complexion, while oriental perfumes are suitable for medium to dark skins," says Laila. Season wise: Select perfumes as per the season and the occasion. Make sure you keep the time of year in mind when you buy the fragrances. Opt for lighter scents such as citrus for summers and stronger oriental scents for the winter -- reason, heat increases the intensity of fragrances. When it comes to occasions, choose different scents, for the dawn and dusk. "Greens and florals are ideal for day wear while a strong oriental teams up well with the cocktail dress," says Laila.

Wear it right: "There are two ways to wear a perfume. Spray the perfume into the air and walk into the mist to get an all over fragrance. Second, apply a dab on the pulse points— wrist, neck and under the ear lobe. While the spray applied on pulse points evaporates soon, fragrance applied all over ensures that the scent lasts longer. Oily skin holds scents for a longer time than dry skin while those with the dry skin need to apply more often during the day," says Laila.

Purchasing perfumes: Always try out a perfume on your skin (you could keep the paper strips in the purse or use them as aromatic bookmarks). "Spray the perfume on the wrist near the vein, where the skin is warm and this would diffuse the scent. Try two perfumes, one at each wrist at a time, beyond this you will end up in confusion. It is a good idea to check out new fragrances each time you go shopping. Leading departmental stores are the right places to choose the perfumes," says Laila.

And caring: Fragrances are expensive. Heat destroys perfumes. "Store the bottles in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. The shelf life of a perfume is about 2-3 years from the date of manufacture," says Laila.

So, get ready to indulge. Perfumes make ideal gifts as well.

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