First, consider the weather. Much like a woollen knit befits a crisp autumn day, each perfume has a perfect seasonal pairing. Hot temperatures go well with light, airy scents: think bright citruses, delicate florals, fluffy musks. (If that sounds right up your alley, consider sampling Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Aqua Universalis.) As it gets colder out, you might catch yourself seeking warmth and weight in your fragrances, which can be found in spices, woods and resins. (One standout in this category is Sycamore from Les Exclusifs de CHANEL.)
Fragrance notes aside, you might want to look at concentration — as in, the ratio of fragrance oils to alcohol in a perfume — which has an impact on a scent’s longevity as well as its projection. Concentration is the difference between an eau de toilette (often around 5–15% aromatic compounds), an eau de parfum (15–25%) and an extrait de parfum (25%+). Generally speaking, the lighter the concentration, the easier a fragrance is to wear in hot weather.
Another factor is the context in which you’ll be wearing the fragrance. Professional settings call for pleated slacks, dressier shoes and subtle, discreet fragrances. Depending on where you work, you might want to opt for a quiet and intimate scent — something that doesn’t balloon in an elevator. (The Jo Malone fragrance collection is a great starting point for this scent brief; try the Wood Sage & Sea Salt.) In personal spaces, you have the flexibility of reaching for fragrances with more heft and projection, scents that announce your arrival and make your presence known. (Armani Code scents, for women and for men, are cult classics.)