There's more to a perfume than just smelling good, a renowned fragrance expert maintained on Friday.
"Fragrance is the true reflection of one's essence, indeed one's soul," Mumbai-based Saswati Lahiri contended at a fragrance appreciation workshop on the third day of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WLIFW) here.
According to Lahiri, "The enjoyment of a fragrance lasts the longest when a unified and layered regime is followed through the soap, body lotion, deodorant and perfume chain."
Thus, it becomes incumbent for both women and men to develop their individual "signature lines that make them identifiable the moment they walk into a room", Lahiri maintained.
Noting that perfumes are the "most personal products you can buy", Lahiri lamented that nine of 10 individuals wore a mishmash of fragrances.
"Fragrance is about you; about what you believe in. You have to develop your own brand (from what is available on the market). In doing so, you have to choose with care," she asserted.
And how should one go about this?
"By first selecting a brand that offers you the entire range - from the soap to the perfume. Then try out a variety of essences, not on a blotter but on the pressure points (under the palms).
"Then check for the three levels: does the top note attract immediately, does the heart flow within minutes from the top note, and finally, is the base really the essence that lingers - for as long as eight hours," she suggested.
This made it incumbent on the individual to make the choice not immediately but on the next day.
"Only in this way can you gauge whether the fragrance lingers for as long as you want it to," Lahiri maintained.
What also had to be kept in mind was that the same perfume would smell different on different people.
"Perfume reacts differently to different skin types, depending on the skin chemistry," Lahiri explained.
"Also, don't get carried away by what the sales people push. It doesn't matter if a particular line is moving fast. It might not suit you. Take your time and make a wise choice," she advised.
Storage is equally important because under the right conditions a bottle of perfume could have a shelf life of as much as five years.
"Finally, always keep in mind that a perfume that is right for the office might not be appropriate for an evening do," Lahiri stated.
Was there a rule of thumb to resolve this?
"Yes. Day fragrances should be soft and floral; the evening ones should be oriental and woody," the expert suggested.