If you find the idea of a department store beauty area a bit intimidating (and we don’t blame you – some of them look like they’re staffed by oompah-loompahs solely trained to spray you in the eye with the latest Nina Ricci perfume), then the chances are you won’t want to embarrass yourself when you do have to make your way into one. That’s fine – just avoid making one of the following mistakes, and you’ll be in and out with no bother. Hopefully you’ll have a nice perfume to be going on with, too.
Don’t overspray. Not only is this a bad idea because it could be dangerous (you don’t want to kill an asthmatic oompah-loompah), but because it will mean you’re actually unable to make informed decisions. After smelling three perfumes – give or take – your nose will begin to suffer from what’s known as ‘smell fatigue’ (no, we haven’t just made that up), and you’ll be unable to tell the difference between one scent and the other. If you get to this point, just go home. God knows what you’ll back up with if you don’t.
Give it ten. When giving a perfume bottle a sniff and discovering you really quite like the scent, it can be tempting to give a ‘woop’ and run up to the counter to pay. Don’t. Breathe in (not too hard – it is a perfume shop). Relax and take five. Once perfume has connected with the skin, the smell will actually change over five minutes or so as it mixes with your own unique scent (yes, you have one). That means that what you smell in the bottle isn’t going to be what other people smell once you’ve been wearing it for an hour.
Don’t forget the occasion. If you’re buying a special perfume, for a special night in, with a special chap, then for pete’s sake don’t buy a fragrance that’s advertised as being ‘for summer days on the beach.’ All perfumes are designed for different occasions, meaning that there will be the perfect scent out there for your perfect night. Unless of course you want to remind him of the beach that he went to with his ex.