WHETHER it's the food we fancy or the perfume we pick, our sense of smell plays a vital role in deciding whether we find something attractive – or repulsive.
Certain smells can trigger particular memories and emotions too, and many of us have a go-to signature scent.
But pick the wrong perfume, and you could potentially end up smelling cheap – and here's why.
Know your nose
There are two main issues with perfume that can cheapen the smell.
Huib Maat, from Pairfum London, says: “Typically, the reasons why a perfume smells cheap are the following…
"Cheap ingredients – if the ingredient itself does not smell nice.
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"This could be because the ingredient is of low quality, it might be a bad natural batch or it might have expired, i.e. gone off.
"Good ingredients but badly combined [could also cause an issue].
"A perfumer must combine excellent ingredients into a wonderful accord for the perfume to be pleasing to the nose.
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"It is similar to food or music.
"If you can't play an instrument well the music that comes out of the instrument are bad, or if the ingredients are bad or cheap that go into a meal, it will never taste good."
When choosing the right scent however, there is no 'right or wrong' and a lot of it does simply come down to personal taste.
Huib says: "I personally love perfumes with high amounts of 'musks' on ladies. Musks for me are very sensuous, enveloping and intoxicating.
"For men, I really enjoy 'ginger' at the moment.
"It is both spicy, hot and strong on the one hand and on the other fresh and zingy.
"In spring or summer when the weather is warmer, most people tend to switch to fresher perfumes, for example citrus, aquatic, floral, aromatic notes.
"For autumn and winter when it gets colder, we naturally drift towards fragrances that we find warming.
"For example vanilla, spices and woods."
A special scent
It is quite similar when you're looking for a perfume for a special occasion.
Huib says: "For an evening out like going for dinner or to a party, most people will pick something elegant, perhaps even timeless like a Chanel No. 5.
"When doing sport or outdoors, the fragrance needs to be able to keep up with the action and citrus, green, aquatic and aromatic notes come to the fore.
"In the morning, a nice fragrance with a 'pick-me-up' kick will be appropriate, and citrus notes with their invigorating zing are ideal.
"For shopping or the school run, you need something uncomplicated that you can simply wear without having to worry.
"Aquatic, floral and aromatic fragrances are ideal.
"For work, these perfumes need a bit more backbone but should not be polarising.
"This is the forte of unisex fragrances and in particular aromatic, aquatic, 'fougere' (meaning fern-like in French) and woody accords."
While there's no set formula, there are certain types of fragrances people tend to gravitate towards depending on their age and gender too.
Huib says: "Anecdotally, children & teenagers tend to love perfumes that contain food inspired fruity notes, for example peach, strawberries, cherry.
"Young adults tend to become more sophisticated and start switching to 'fruity floral' fragrances while young gents may opt for 'fruity aromatic' or 'fruity woody' perfumes.
"From 30 upwards, both women and men expect more complex perfume creations with many different facettes.
"Over the past five years we have spotted a new trend in women and men over 40 and both seem to be very comfortable wearing fragrances containing nuances that would have traditionally been the reserved for the opposite sex.
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"For example, women wearing very aromatic or woody perfumes and men wearing more floral notes."
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