NZ Woman's Weekly

Summer fragrance guide

In the lead up to Christmas there’s a dizzying choice of fragrances available on the beauty counters. James Habbershaw-Ross is the fragrance buyer for Farmers and has sniffed pretty much everything out there. Here is his expert guide to help you choose what to spritz:

“The hottest new fragrance around right now is Lady Gaga’s Fame 30ml Eau De Parfum $81. The black juice contains floral and fruity notes that fuse together to create a feminine and sweet fragrance. I think a lot of women will be pleasantly surprised at how wearable this one is.

My picks of the fresher fragrances being launched in time for summer are Viva La Juicy La Fleur by Juicy Couture 40ml Eau De Toilette $106, Marc Jacobs Dot by Marc Jacobs 30ml Eau De Parfum $97, La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme 30ml Eau De Parfum $107 and Green Tea Cherry Blossom by Elizabeth Arden 50ml Eau De Toilette $53.

What I love about them all is that they can be worn easily either during the day or evening. If you’re looking for a longer lasting fragrance, I recommend you choose to buy the eau de parfum version instead of eau de toilette.

For a more sophisticated, timeless scent, try Elie Saab 30ml Eau De Toilette $104. This is a subtle, fresh, floral and woody scent. It has top notes of mandarin, mid notes of orange blossom and gardenia and base notes containing honey rose. When you’re testing fragrance, it’s important to spray onto your skin rather than a spray card.

Fragrances adapt to people’s skin differently – give it time to develop so you can experience the notes and decide if it’s the right one for you. I recently attended a Fragrance Masterclass in Sydney led by the world renowned Michael Edwards. Over the course of one day, I experienced 75 fragrances. It was very intense and involved sniffing a lot of coffee beans. Now I can really drill down into the notes when being presented with a new scent.

The training also taught me that when testing fragrances you wouldn’t want to try any more than four – unless there are coffee beans to smell in between! Fragrances can go off easily so be sure to store them away from damp rooms and out of direct sunlight. Also you should avoid keeping your fragrances near warm lighting in order to help them last longer.”

Testing tip:
When trying a fragrance, it ’s better to test it out on your skin than on the cards provided. Perfumes will react differently to each person’s skin and need time to develop.

About Nicky Pellegrino

Nicky Pellegrino has been a journalist for over 20 years, both here and in the UK, and is a former editor of New Zealand Woman's Weekly. These days, as well as working on the magazine's beauty pages, she writes popular novels like Recipe For LIfe, The Italian Wedding and The Villa Girls. For more about Nicky check out her website

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