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The Ultimate Guide to Fragrance – Superdrug
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The Ultimate Guide to Fragrance


When you start looking for a new scent, the feeling can be a little overwhelming. There's so much to choose from! Do you go with oriental or citrus? Fruity or floral? What's a base note? Where do I spray my perfume for it to last longest? The questions are seemingly endless... but we're here to simplify.

To help you on your quest to find your scented soulmate for any occasion, follow our ultimate fragrance guide - with sweet smelling tips and advice to make your decision easier.

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Name That Note - Top, Heart or Base?

In the world of fragrance, ‘notes’ are used by experts to describe different layers in a single fragrance. The magic formula of a fragrance should always include the perfect balance of ‘top’, ‘middle’ and ‘base’ notes – each adding its own unique blend to the final product.

But what do they mean?

Top Notes

Think: citrus, light fruits and herbs.

Fresh and light, these notes
are the layer of aroma you
would smell first. They tend to evaporate fairly quickly after
you’ve applied your perfume
or aftershave and are often considered the selling point
of a particular blend.

Heart Notes

Think: rose, lavender, geranium and neroli.

Unlike top notes, this layer
of the blend is the heart of
your scent and becomes
more apparent once the
top note has evaporated.

Base Notes

Think: vanilla, cedarwood, sandalwood and musk.

This layer of a fragrance is what
you can smell once the middle
note has worn off. These notes
last the longest and add real
depth to your scent. They are often considered the most memorable note in the scent.

Now you know there are three different layers, and ultimately three different experiences to a perfume, next time you are testing one out in a shop - let it sit on the skin for a while. Spray it onto a pulse point, and go for a walk. After time, the scent will develop and you will get a better understanding of what amazing smells the perfume contains.

Where to Apply Your Fragrance

Applying perfume should be pleasant and relaxing; a true "me moment". Follow our guide on where to spray your fragrance to get the optimum scent every single time. Once you've tried them all out, you can pick a few that work for you.


Neck and Collarbone: Spritz your neck and collarbone lightly, making sure your bottle is at least 30 cm away from your skin. This is to make sure the alcohol content in the perfume doesn't dry out your skin.


Behind Your Ears: Spray the perfume on each side behind your ears and on the side of your neck. This is where you will find your pulse points. Your blood is warmer in these places, so the scent will last longer.


Your Hair: Again, very gently, hold the perfume bottle at least 30 cm away from your hair, to prevent the alcohol content from drying it out.


Your Wrists: Back to the pulse points, gentle spray perfume to your wrists. If you opt for this area, do not rub your wrists together after -  as this can dull the scent - simply dab them together.


Back of Your Knees: This is especially great for summer when you can dare to bare when it comes to legs. The back of your knees is an area where the veins are close to the skin, therefore the blood is warmer and the skin is softer, emitting the scent more intensely.


Ankles and Feet: Again, a summer favourite - spritzing your ankles and feet will let the scent gently follow you wherever you go.

When To Wear Fragrances

Whether you’re going to work, the beach or dressing up for a birthday or wedding, the wide selection of fragrance families offer something for everyone. Fragrance families each complement certain seasons, moods or even outfits, so it’s worth thinking about which scent is suitable for each occasion. Here are a few examples of when you might wear a fragrance and their most popular notes.

Perfume At Work

We spend a lot of our time at work, so it’s essential to pick a scent that matches our work environment. Go for light, fresh and delicate fragrances from the floral or fruity families for example apple, green tea, mint and citrus, as these won’t come across as too overpowering during the day – and take care not to overspray at work.

For A Special Occasion

Whether you’re heading to a wedding, a first date or a night out, you want your scent to reflect your mood and surroundings. For formal occasions, light perfumes and aftershaves from the wooden families are a popular choice, with notes such as amber, musk and patchouli.

If you’re feeling flirty or romantic, scents from the floral and oriental fragrance families like orange blossom, jasmine and rose are an excellent choice as they give off a much richer and deeper aroma.

Scents For The Season

Summer: During the hotter months, opt for a scent with zesty, wooden or grassy notes to reflect the chilled out vibe. Fresh, aquatic notes from the marine family are also an excellent choice.

Spring: Everything feels a little fresher in the spring, so your scent should match the bright nature of the season! Think light, floral notes such as freesia, rose and geranium to put the spring back into your step.

Autumn: Embrace the change of the season by switching up your summer scents with woody, earthier fragrances to match the falling leaves bought on by autumn!

Winter: Shake off the winter blues and get ready for party season with a scent that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Think notes of blackberry, coffee and wintery amber accord to see you through the colder month.

Aftershave, Colgolne, EDT, EDP... Help! What's the difference? 

When purchasing a new fragrance, you have a few options to choose from. Not sure what all the acronyms mean? Well, here's the low-down:

Aftershave: Formulated to be used after shaving, an aftershave contains a small amount of alcohol designed to heal cuts or to close pores which have enlarged during shaving. It comes with a charming scent, but the fragrant concentration is very small -  so it's not designed to last very long.

Cologne: A light concentration of fragrance which contains around 2-5% essential oils which will usually last around 2 hours on the skin. Also known as EDC.

Eau de Toilette: A popular choice for both men and women to wear throughout the day, you will usually find an EDT to contain around 10% essential oil and to last around 4 hours. It's best to keep this in your bag for mid-day top ups if you want to enjoy the aroma all day long.

Eau de Parfum: With around 15-20% essential oil content., an EDP provides a longer-lasting, richer scent. You will not need to top this up as much as an EDT or EDC, as it as a longevity of around 5-6 hours when sprayed on the skin.

Parfum: The purest option of them all, a parfum is a truly luxurious options with between 20 and 30% essential oil content. There is no need to top this up throughout the day!


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