Find Your Perfect Scent Match

Yves Saint Laurent: Parisienne

Perfume shopping can be a daunting process – we’re here to help.

Forget the scantily clad magazine ads or the seductive strip-tease commercials featuring Hollywood A (and D) Listers. Selecting the perfect scent has little to do with successful marketing campaigns and more to do with our individual scent chemistry. A perfume that’s alluringly sensual on one person may smell like dirty socks and Aquanet on another.

So before making the ultimate commitment of a full-bottle purchase, try out a few samples. If one can hold up to your lifestyle for a week – without causing others to hold their noses – you may have found your perfect match.

Here are a few test cases to get you started. (Don’t worry boys, we didn’t forget about you. Stay tuned for some cologne sampling.)

Yves Saint Laurent: Parisienne

Yves Saint Laurent: Parisienne

The Tag Says: The essence of a woman who is incredibly free — she is not from Paris, but Paris adopts her. She knows how to love, how to live. Parisienne is the fragrance of ultra-femininity and sensuality, built with notes of blackberry, damask rose and sandalwood. The grand floral with a woody structure is luminous even in its mystery.

Seattleite’s Take: We’ll admit that this bottle is as alluring as it sounds — but only if sprayed in the middle of an airy room and then briskly walked through. It’s incredibly potent. Spray it directly on in the morning and expect a headache by lunch. The guy’s take on it?  Nice, but a little overpowering. Classy and mysterious, this one’s for that black-dress-wearing, smoking-cigarettes-on-her-fire-escape-at-midnight, Francophile type girl.

1oz $39 | 1.6oz $65 | 3oz $85 | available at Sephora

Lolita Lempicka

Lolita Lempicka

The Tag Says: Lolita Lempicka is an enchanting and alluring fragrance that gently balances the sweetness of ivy leaves and aniseed with delicate violet and iris root, and finishes with a smooth hint of vanilla and musk. This sensual fragrance is pure, light and endearing.

Seattleite’s Take: Endearing indeed, this one wasn’t overpowering in its floral sugary-ness, smelling like candy and flowers. The guys even seemed to like it.  Even those who are sensitive to scents agreed — Lolita Lempicka smelled delicious. Light and giddy, this one’s for that quirky girl who plants wildflowers every spring and dresses in a haphazard clash of pattern and color.

1oz $47 | 1.7oz $69 | 3.3oz $89 | available at Sephora

Juicy Couture: Couture Couture

Juicy Couture: Couture Couture

The Tag Says: Juicy Couture’s ‘it girl’ fragrance. Where she goes, the party follows. Her rule? Do the don’ts — show off, be loud, spoil yourself, talk to strangers — and love life! This scent opens with a top of succulent pink grape accord frolicking in a field of natural orange flower and mandarin. A heart of blushed plum and honeysuckle flirts with bold star jasmine. At back, creamy sandalwood lazes with moist amber in a haze of rich vanilla. Mix it with love and make the world smell good.

Seattleite’s Take: The product description took a little extra creative license here. This sample smelled more like expensive track suits and sorority houses on a Saturday night. The smell was a touch strong, and we definitely had to be careful how much we used to avoid the standard scent headaches. The girls thought it smelled generic, but the guys liked it — saying it smelled like rich girls. Or strippers.

1oz $52 | 1.7oz $67 | 3.4 oz $87 | available at Amazon