The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - BODY & SOUL -

um­mer is the ideal time to ex­per­i­ment with scent. The sea­son ush­ers in lots of new re­leases in fra­grance that are per­fectly in tune with the weather. As tem­per­a­tures rise, light flo­rals and aquatic scents are launched; in colder weather, more in­tense fra­grances ap­pear with stronger flo­rals and notes of spice.

So, why is this? Partly it’s con­sumer de­mand. Women in gen­er­a­tions gone by tended to have a sig­na­ture scent for ev­ery­day use or spe­cial oc­ca­sions, whereas th­ese days we wear scent based on mood and own a num­ber of fra­grances. Among th­ese scents, most women will have one or two ab­so­lute favourites. If you’re shop­ping for a new scent, start with th­ese in mind but go and see if there is a new ver­sion for sum­mer. When a scent has a sea­sonal of­fer­ing, usu­ally the essence of the orig­i­nal is main­tained, but with some al­ter­ations made to the open­ing or fin­ish of the fra­grance to suit the time of year.

At the start of any fra­grance are the top notes — th­ese are light, airy and de­signed to at­tract you to the scent. They gen­er­ally last just 10 min­utes or so be­fore re­veal­ing the mid­dle, or ‘heart’ of the fra­grance. Th­ese mid­dle notes re­act with your skin’s chem­istry — and this point is when you will ei­ther love or loathe the scent! The fin­ish, or base notes, of the fra­grance are the lin­ger­ing scent left on the skin; th­ese are com­monly woods or spices. In a sum­mer fra­grances, the top notes might be more zesty with cit­rus ele­ments, or lifted by a new flo­ral note, but the heart may stay much the same for fans of the orig­i­nal scent. Heav­ier woods might have a less ob­vi­ous pres­ence in the base notes of sum­mer scents.

There are good rea­sons for choos­ing the lighter sum­mer ver­sion of a perfume. Wear­ers can en­joy their favourite scent with­out be­ing in­va­sive to oth­ers — higher body tem­per­a­tures pro­ject fra­grance more, es­pe­cially in stronger for­mu­la­tions like eau de par­fum, which can last four hours on the skin. When win­ter rolls around, our lack of body heat lim­its the throw of spicier scents so they re­main within our own per­sonal space. Sum­mer fra­grances are usu­ally re­leased as eau de toi­lettes that last just an hour or two on the skin: long enough for you to en­joy them, but short enough not to an­noy any­one around you!

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