Fragrance Seasons

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How important is it, when choosing perfumes, that they are appropriate for certain seasons and times of the day? Or does it even really matter?

Well, would you wear a bikini outside in the dead of winter? Or a wool peacoat to a summer baseball game? Probably not!  But with perfumes it’s not as obvious until you get a little more experience with the notes. But yes! It does (kind of) matter!

Temperatures and humidity affect perfumes much more than we think they would.  During the hotter seasons, the heat warms up perfume and ‘burns’ it off much faster than in the winter because warm air is less dense than cold air. Think of water in a pot.  The hotter you warm it up the faster it evaporates, but if you put the pot in the freezer, the water does the opposite, becoming more dense, and freezes. 

 Perfume in the summer evaporates faster but in the winter its’ rate of evaporation is much less.  So perfumes that are very strong (think oudh) will be cloying monsters in the summer but in the winter, the cold tames the beast. 

And the opposite applies to warm weather frags.  Light and airy perfumes need the warmer seasons to warm up the fragrance so you can actually smell it.  If you wore it in the cold you might barely smell it OR you would need to apply much more to get the same effect.    

It also applies to the time of day as well because evenings are typically cooler than during the day.  This all gives rise to the more complicated notion of trying to figure out what the difference between a fall day perfume vs a fall evening perfume and etc. for the other seasons. 

The good news is that Fragrantica has a handy guide for each perfume in its database that users can vote on for which season and time of day the perfume works best.  Over time and with more experience with perfumes, you will get a feel for the different fragrance seasons though, so don’t worry about it too much.  Nothing will teach you better than trying out your wardrobe year round and seeing for yourself, how they wear.

Perfumes are subjective and very personal. And really, there are no written laws for their proper use, much less a ‘fragrance police force’ to fine you for fumigating an elevator with 15 sprays of Angel in the middle of July lol.  It all comes down to personal tastes and prefrences, just like anything else in fashion.  But there ARE ‘recommended’ guidelines, that arose naturally from many peoples experiences, to follow if you want to get the best use and value of your perfume. 

The most important thing though, is that YOU are happy!  No matter what fragrance you wear or when you wear it, as long as you feel good about yourself and are confident, you can rock anything anytime because confidence is just sexy!  😉

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