3 Truths Every Fragrance Enthusiast Should Understand

For the better part of my few years in this life, I have been a fragrance enthusiast. Ever since I could first squeeze an atomizer, I have sprayed on and enjoyed everything (almost) from Armani to Zegna.

It is with the hope that this article guides new fragrance lovers, and that it entertains veteran fumeheads, that I compile this short list.

Please keep this in mind: This article is not written to dissuade or persuade; it is not declaring that you are wrong and that the author is right. The purpose, is to increase understanding.

The points discussed are simply insights; you may choose to follow the advice or ignore it. It is your choice at the end of the day, you know yourself, and your tastes, much better than I.

Here goes…

1. Avoid Blind-Buys

Blind-buying refers to buying a fragrance without testing it on your skin or even smelling it.  People generally blind-buy through others’ recommendation, or make a decision based on the published note breakdown and the inclusion of favored notes in the mystery bottles’ composition; regardless, do not bet on blind buys for a satisfying purchase. Two reasons: everyone’s skin chemistry is different and some notes combine with each other better than other. For example: I love vetiver (“vetyver”?) and I appreciate tonka bean; in theory, Hermes’ Vetiver Tonka should have been just my type. Nope. It reeked, simply did not mix well with me. Despite others’ praises, I didn’t enjoy it at all. And I tried it on multiple occasions. Not for me.

tester strips

Whatever cologne you are deciding on, use a sample or spray the display bottle next time you are in the perfume aisle. Test it out on your skin, multiple times, before buying, you’re going to be stuck with your purchase for a while, after all.

2.Niches May Disappoint You

Niches get less compliments than designers. Buy fragrances primarily for your own enjoyment, not for approval. Others’ feedback will disappoint you from time to time, but do not let that be the reason you get buyer’s remorse.If people like a scent on you, that is just a bonus.


With that said, it is perfectly fine to have so-called “panty droppers” (no such thing)  and compliment-getters in your arsenal; naturally, take into consideration the situation you will be entering.

There is a reason designer houses continually manufacture and market generic fresh-aquatics, because the majority of people like fragrances to smell that way, or rather, that is the idea that they conform to; anything that deviates, is snubbed. Think of it like McDonald’s and other fast-food franchises’ “food”. The meals themselves are often mediocre and not good for you in any way; despite that, people eat that stuff up in the millions of pounds per year. People do not always like what is fine and unique, they like what is accessible and recognizable. Not bashing designers as a whole, there are some kick-ass designer fragrances out there that Principles of Style and other fragrance aficionados and reviewers recommend and stand by.

Related: Fragrance/Cologne Reviews & Fragrance Shop & ScentSampler

3.Fragrances Don’t Really Expire After 3 Years

Fragrance Library 2016 (5)

Yup, it’s all lies, for the most part. Fragrances don’t exactly age as gracefully as wine, but  with proper storage in a cool, dark, and dry place, maybe keeping it in the original box inside your closet, fragrances can last upwards of a half-decade without much alteration to the perfume or the performance. Granted, if you don’t finish a standard 100ml fragrance in 10 years, it may be time to discard it, because you have probably found others you like enough not to bother with your vintage bottle. Another way to look at it is, if fragrance really did expire so quickly, salesmen would be losing a ton of money continually replace their expansive and expensive stock.

Thank you for reading Principles of Style. I hope you enjoy this post and found the blog useful. If you have any questions, feedback, or want to share some of your style and scent tips, tricks, and insights, please leave your input in the comments section below, or send me a PM.

Did I miss anything? Do you disagree? Do you love it? Have I changed your life?

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Stay dashing, my friends.


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