Finding top perfumes to wear on your wedding day doesn't always rank very high on the on the wedding-planning list of things to do. Learn what a perfume expert has to say and make this choice a breeze. With all the other decisions you have to make, the last thing you need one more thing to stress out over. Don't go for any sample perfume you see at the department store… How you smell on your wedding day is an important part of your whole presentation. Plus, you'll be walking past all those people down that aisle so you know you'll definitely want to be smelling "fragrantly bridal".
What better way to get good guidance about selecting the best and top perfumes for you on your wedding day than to ask a perfume expert? I had the privilege of catching up one such expert, Maya Poulain, and she graciously allowed me to pick her brain" about perfumes in general and wedding day perfume selection as well.
Maya Poulain is editor of Precious-Womens-Perfumes.com, an online perfume shopping guide dedicated to provide you with the most important information about the top designer and celebrity women’s perfumes such as perfume reviews, perfume gift tips and other relevant perfume information. Visit her website directly Precious-Womens-Perfume.Com or on Facebook and find the best women’s perfume for your needs - for yourself or the precious lady in your life.
Getting To Know Maya
Maya, it is very evident from browsing on your website Precious-Womens-Perfumes.com that you are passionate, to say the least, about perfumes. You mention secretly trying on your mother’s perfumes as a little girl... When and how do you think your love of perfumes went from being a "little girl’s antics" to a serious life passion for scents and fragrances?
Yes, true, perfumes are one of my biggest passions in life. When I was a little girl I thought my mother was the most beautiful woman in the world; a fairy… So in between trying on her dresses, her high heel shoes, cosmetics and jewelry while she was away from home, there was this little shelf with a few exquisite bottles of perfumes that looked like jewels to me and made me feel like I was some kind of a princess. Funny, my mother never 'noticed' that I smelled like her perfumes, had traces of lipstick and other makeup on or that her wardrobe was all of a sudden in a mess. I've never asked her about this, but I guess she must have been so discrete and also quite amused by this little obsession of mine, because I was more of a tomboyish kind of a girl.
So yes, my first fascination with perfumes started with my mother’s perfumes. I can’t actually recall any of the perfume names, but I remember them as being fairly strong, sharp and bitter-sweet. Then throughout my youth, looking back, I’d always been quite picky about perfumes, I’d be commenting my friends’ perfume choices and whenever I’d go to the perfume shelves in shops I’d stay much longer than ‘normal’ customers. So, I can’t really explain, but perfumes crept under my skin slowly throughout the years and silently developed into a passion or obsession, I am not sure which one, really (smile). Now my friend always says to me with a very serious tone, when she sees me down or not feeling well, you need to go smell some perfumes as soon as possible! And I go and it helps!
So about 20 years after my mother’s perfumes I feel so lucky to have started my perfume website where I can share this passion of mine, meet new (perfume) friends and most of all hopefully help somebody with their perfume choices.
You do an excellent job of describing the fragrances and scents for your site visitors (very hard to do when one really needs their sense of smell to truly experience a perfume). What inspired you to create a website about perfumes (something so esoteric to experience on a computer)?
I was inspired by the websites built by somebody I knew who lives the saying: “Find your passion and live it till the rest of your life” and for this star dust sprinkled person it all started with writing about one of his greatest passions on his websites. And I said to myself why shouldn’t I try this as well; to write about my passion, something I’d do anyway – test and fantasize about perfumes, devour all the available information about perfumes and ruminate about it in my diaries, recommend my friends what perfume to wear at what occasion… And to be able to express myself better, my feminine nature, my feelings and fantasies, my creative side - and of course, to be able to meet new (perfume) friends.
I agree with you, it’s impossible to smell a perfume through the computers – at least for now, but who knows what the future might bring. But it is possible to conjure up the whole personal experience with a certain perfume. Perfume taste is like taste for wine or music very subjective, so the perfumes l like, somebody else might hate or won’t mix well with their skin chemistry. So yes, it’s quite a challenge to make a personal, completely subjective, experience as much objective and useful to others as possible, because you can easily go astray into ‘forcing’ your taste to somebody else.
So what I try to do is that I personally test a perfume for a longer period of time, usually several weeks, at different occasions... If the perfume doesn’t mix well with my skin chemistry, I ‘test’ it on my sisters or friends. I also collect opinions from test ‘bunnies’ around me, read lots of available information online and offline, and then try to comprehensively present the perfume from the point of view of an ‘average’ perfume customer. This would be somebody, who is not an extreme ‘perfumista’ (perfume nut), niche or vintage perfume lover.
I don’t think you need to have a supernatural gift of smelling to know the perfumes or to be able to say, this perfume is good. I mean, everybody knows what smells nice or horrible to them. So saying - or better said feeling - if you like the perfume or not, is not that hard and it comes natural, but detecting and describing every little nuance of the perfume notes can indeed be quite a challenge. I personally try to explain the perfume notes in my reviews as simple as possible and again, from the point of view of an ‘average’ perfume user point of view, not perfumista. And, because in me the perfumes evoke emotions, memories and fantasies, I like to sprinkle my reviews with some photos or videos that in my opinion best represent the nature and soul of the reviewed perfumes.
Maya Talks "Perfume Selection For Brides"
From the dress, to the hair, to the flowers, etc., brides today have so much to think about and organize in order to make sure their wedding day comes as close to perfect as they can get it. However, you hardly see anyone giving advice about how to pick the perfect perfume scent for that special day. What advice do you have for brides on how to select just the right fragrance for their wedding day?
Like with any wedding detail, it is the same with the wedding perfume choice; you can make a mountain out of a molehill! Google around a bit and you’ll get long, gazillion step bridezilla lists on how to choose a perfect wedding perfume. It is my personal opinion, but I think wedding perfume choice doesn’t have to be very complicated.
My suggestions to brides-to-be on how to select a perfect wedding perfume are very simple. Choose one of the following:
- Your signature perfume: a perfume a bride loves wearing the most. It will make her feel very comfortable and relaxed while dealing with all of the excitement and intense emotions of the wedding day. This is the safest and the easiest to implement option on choosing the perfect wedding perfume.
- Symbolic perfume: A perfume that symbolizes your (first) meeting your husband-to-be. Maybe your first date perfume, or his first perfume gift. Alternatively under this option, the couple can choose to wear the same perfume, be it women’s or men’s perfume… Or even better, unisex perfume, like Covet by Sarah Jessica Parker, for example. This is my favourite option for choosing the right wedding perfume as it symbolizes the union of the two hearts and is also relatively easy to implement.
- "Themed" perfume: If the wedding is theme-based to every detail, for example rockabilly or sporty - why not wear something in that direction (vintage, sporty perfumes, special color like pink)? Under this option go also the floral perfumes; they are perfectly wedding theme-based, because they can complement the flowers in the wedding bouquet, the color of the wedding gown, and symbolize life and love in bloom. This option might be quite time consuming, if the wedding theme is not straightforward.
- Unexpected, avant-garde perfume: Choose a contrasting, the ‘unexpected’ perfume, such as maybe unisex or gentlemen’s cologne or the perfume of the ‘unexpected’ notes, such as leathery or woody. This option can be time consuming and the results might not be well perceived by the audience (smile).
To my experience, the most common wedding perfumes are floral perfumes. Lots of flowers, soft, light, gauzy compositions, more on the sweet, romantic, maybe even glamorous side, such as Rose the One by Dolce & Gabbana, or Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker or the perfume line by the queen of wedding gowns, Vera Wang.
I would advise the brides-to-be to try wearing the perfume before their wedding day, if they are not familiar with it. This way they can test if they like it, how it mixes with their skin chemistry (e.g., avoid possible allergic reactions) and what is perfume’s staying power. If the perfume doesn’t stay on for the whole day, it should be re-applied during the wedding day, so you need to think about this as well, and ask somebody close (mum, sister, maid of honor) to have it on your request very near.
Most of all, I would suggest to brides-to-be not to obsess about the choice of their wedding perfume; they’ll have enough other worries on their mind. Even if they don’t wear the perfume on their wedding day either because they don’t wear it anyway or they have some allergies or similar, that’s perfectly fine. The scent of love and happiness surrounding the wedding is the most gorgeous scent you’d want and you can’t buy that anyway.
Would you recommend different perfume selections for different types of weddings e.g. evening vs. daytime weddings; beach, backyard or open air venues vs. enclosed venues, etc?
I would recommend considering the season and ‘style’ of the wedding, especially the clothing (as per my 3rd suggestion above), and wouldn’t worry about other factors, such as type of wedding venue. So, if you’re getting married in the warmer seasons choose lighter, fresher perfumes, for the colder days choose stronger, more aromatic perfumes with longer staying power. I also recommend to follow the rule ‘less is more’, so don’t exaggerate with the perfume, use it sparingly.
Even though perfumes aren't traditionally considered as wedding gifts, but for the person who wants to break out of the mold and is looking to give the bride-to-be perfume as a bridal shower gift... Can you make some suggestions or give some direction about how to select the right one as a gift? Any recommendations for a perfume gift set (and/or any advice on selecting one) for the new couple?
Great questions. Yes, it’s true, perfumes are overlooked as wedding or as bridal shower gifts, but hopefully this will change soon. What people usually forget is that there is really a huge price range for perfumes, so you can choose anything from a frugal to luxurious perfume gift; the most expensive perfumes can cost several thousand $ per ounce! Further, if chosen appropriately, perfumes make a very thoughtful, beautiful and useful (lasting for several years!) gift. If you’ll visit my website, you can read some general tips on how to choose the right perfume gift for different occasions. In a nutshell you won’t go wrong if you buy the signature perfume or the perfume in the same olfactory group, e.g. floral perfumes.
But since the wedding gifts are usually supposed to be something special or maybe of a higher value, you can consider also buying special limited editions of the perfumes, that can include perfume bottles adorned with gold, diamonds, crystals or that include special fragranced products (like mini sets, travel editions, different creams, lotions, etc.) and here for the price only the sky is the limit. For example, Clive Christian No.1 was priced at a staggering $2,150 an ounce (perfume bottle adorned with a hand-made crystal and a diamond)!
One of the very popular, timeless perfume gifts is also the most famous perfume in the world, the iconic Chanel No.5 perfume. It is still a mainstream fragrance, but on the more expensive end, and it is not an ordinary perfume gift, but more of a gift of history, art, mystery. And it actually never goes out of fashion, as the Chanel in-house perfumer Jacques Polge said every woman adds something of herself to it. If you want to give perfume gift to both, bride and groom, I’d first consider again their signature fragrance, and also maybe some unisex fragrance gift sets that both can use.
The limited editions of the perfumes are quite hard to get, so if you are planning to buy them as wedding or wedding shower gift, you should plan this in advance. They are no last minute gift.
Quite often, brides do a lot of the wedding planning on their own, or with minimal help from their grooms-to-be. Do you have any direction for them about picking out a fragrance for their grooms-to-be?
For grooms-to-be I would have exactly the same recommendations regarding the wedding perfume choice as for the brides-to-be. The best would be if the grooms-to-be would pick out their perfume on their own and ask somebody (ideally the same person, who will take care for the bride’s perfume), to have a bottle near on the wedding day in case re-application is needed.
Do you have any companies that you are affiliated with that you can direct our brides to check out their options?
Currently, if you visit Precious-Womens-Perfumes.com you can buy perfumes online through Amazon.com, the world's largest and probably also the most popular online retailer where you can buy safely and also enjoy some bonuses such as free shipping on orders over $25.
I always recommend to the readers to purchase perfumes online after they’ve tested the perfumes themselves. So, once they get the idea from reading my perfume reviews and information on what perfumes they would like to wear, I recommend them to visit the nearest perfume shop or department store and get some testers and try them on, so that they can decide better, if the perfume is ‘investment-worth’. This is the case if they buy the perfumes for themselves. If they’re buying a perfume for somebody else, they have to trust my recommendations and take a jump into the unknown (smile).
In the very near future I will publish information about how and where to get perfume samples and about online shopping for perfumes which will be, I believe, the main shopping channel for perfumes in the very near future if not already. So in closing, your readers are warmly welcome to visit my website very soon – that is of course if they don’t get married in between (smile). In that case, they can contact me through my website as soon as possible and I will do my best to find the perfect wedding perfume for them.
Thanks again to Maya for this eye-opening interview about perfumes and wedding day top perfumes selection. Please hop over and visit her website at Precious-Womens-Perfumes.com to get even more information about all things perfume-related.
- Chanel No.5 with Audrey Tautou standing by the window - SerenityF @ Flickr - Creative Commons
- Lovely by SJP - Amazon.com