The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Front Page - WORDS// CHANTAY LO­GAN

Per­fume is like cham­pagne and shoes – you can never have too much. That’s the mes­sage from The Pow­der Room di­rec­tor Samantha Tay­lor, who has worked for Floris & L’Oc­c­i­tane, Es­tee Lauder, Miller Har­ris and Pen­haligons in Aus­tralia and Europe, and is con­sid­ered one of the coun­try’s fore­most fra­grance ex­perts.

“I love how per­fume makes me feel. I can spray on an ori­en­tal fra­grance and be­come a se­duc­tress; a chypre per­fume will pre­pare me for a day where I have to be strong and a fresh cit­rus will be up­lift­ing on a Satur­day af­ter a big week,” she says.

“What turned it from a pas­sion into a ca­reer for me was learn­ing the his­tory of per­fume – it spans more than 4000 years and is fas­ci­nat­ing.

“Per­fume has played a part in some of the world’s great­est love sto­ries: King Solomon and Queen of Sheba, Cleopa­tra and Marc An­thony, Napoleon and Josephine.

“An­other thing I love is that the art of per­fume is a beautiful bal­ance be­tween art and sci­ence.”

Rather than just a sin­gle sig­na­ture scent, Samantha sug­gests build­ing a fra­grance wardrobe.

“I al­ways en­cour­age my clients to think of per­fume as a fi­nal ac­ces­sory, so you can choose a fra­grance based on how you feel, what you are wear­ing or even the weather,” she says.

“To build your fra­grance wardrobe, start with a day­time and an evening fra­grance, and grad­u­ally add in more fra­grances as you dis­cover them.

“When you are ready to be bold, in­vest in a se­duc­tion per­fume.”

At the heart of that fra­grance wardrobe should be your “lit­tle black dress”.

“I think ev­ery woman and man should have a fra­grance they al­ways re­turn to,” Samantha says.

“Your sig­na­ture scent should sit per­fectly on your skin, last and be one that oth­ers al­ways com­ment on.

“Con­trary to pop­u­lar opin­ion, the per­fect scent is not one you can’t smell on your­self.

“It just means your nose is ac­cus­tomed to the smell and is treat­ing it like white noise, so it can con­cen­trate on do­ing its job, smelling for dan­ger.” Take your time to find the right fit. “Cus­tomers are en­cour­aged to make their pur­chase too soon for my lik­ing – spray, smell and buy is not the way to shop for per­fume,” Samantha says.

“Fra­grance needs to sit on the skin for at least 30 min­utes be­fore you de­cide if you will in­vest.

“Spray it on to your skin (do not rub or dab) and go for a wan­der around the store.

“Make sure you keep smelling the per­fume ev­ery five min­utes so you can ex­pe­ri­ence the evo­lu­tion of the per­fume … think of it un­fold­ing on your skin like a flower.

“When you take it home, please, please don’t keep it in the bath­room.

“The en­emy of per­fume is heat and light, so it needs to be kept out of direct sun­light and away from any heat source.”

Have you ever no­ticed a scent you love on some­body else smells dif­fer­ent when you wear it?

“It’s all about the acid man­tle on your skin and how your per­fume in­ter­acts with that,” Samantha ex­plains.

“Per­fume con­tains nat­u­ral and syn­thetic raw ma­te­ri­als, some­times sun­screen along with the al­co­hol so, when you spray your per­fume on to your skin, a lit­tle chem­i­cal re­ac­tion hap­pens.

“Nat­u­ral raw ma­te­ri­als tend to change on the skin more than syn­thetic in­gre­di­ents.”

While Samantha shows stu­dents how to craft a cus­tom fra­grance, it is pos­si­ble to find your match on a depart­ment-store shelf.

“I tend to­wards ar­ti­san per­fume brands and I cher­ryp­ick from ranges such as Serge Lutens, Pro­fu­mum Roma and Memo Paris.

“How­ever, Tom Ford fra­grances are al­ways a good in­vest­ment and you can’t go wrong with Her­mes or Ba­len­ci­aga,” she says.

“I have a soft spot for Es­tee Lauder per­fumes, as that is where I started in the beauty in­dus­try many years ago.

“I am also lov­ing a new Australian per­fume brand called Goldfield and Banks.”

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