Love at first whiff: Fragrance testing with Dior

Love at first whiff: Fragrance testing with Dior

Let's get personal

Text: Renée Batchelor

Ever wanted to find the perfect fragrance that's undeniably you? We tried a blind testing at Dior's counter to discover the scent of our dreams

Is anything more personal than fragrance? Other than a tattoo, I can't think of anything else that is worn so closely on the skin and becomes inextricably intertwined with ones sense of identity. Fortunately, unlike a tattoo, you have the luxury of changing your fragrance, as and when you please. But when it comes to finding a signature scent though, it has to be something you truly love and can fall in love with every day. While Dior is known for its fragrance pillars like J'adore and Miss Dior, it actually has up to 46 scents on offer — a number that is not to be sniffed at. Besides classic scents like Dune and Diorissimo which are not obviously flaunted at the counters but are still available, the brand also offers its La Collection Privee of 17 fragrances at selected counters. These niche scents feature luxurious ingredients and unique, almost quirky compositions as compared to the more mainstream offerings. So the question remained. Under a blind fragrance test, which scent would my nose pick out?

Dior counter at Tangs
If you are scheduling a blind fragrance test, set aside at least 30-45 minutes of your time and make a booking at the counter if possible, as the specialised Dior fragrance consultant will actually go through quite a few rounds of scents with you, before you're asked to pick your favourite. The last thing you want is a rushed experience. Being in the beauty industry, I had some idea of the kind of scents that I liked: warm, vanilla-based and sensual. But if you're a bit iffy on the details or are not knowledgeable on fragrance categorisations, allow your nose to make the decisions for you.

The basic idea of fragrance testing is that through speaking to the specialist on the kinds of scents that you like and don't like, the kind of perfume and occasion you're looking for, and then testing them on plain, blotting strips, you nail the essence of your perfect scent without distraction. This helps cut out any pre-conceived notions, preferences for price, bottle designs or any other external factors that might be influencing your decision. Your specialist will narrow your choices down to three or so scents, to be smelled on the blotter, and try to decipher via your language and responses the kinds of scents that might appeal to you. Finally you will be asked to try them out on your skin. This is when the decision got clearer for me, as each scent does smell slightly different depending on your skin's natural oils. For me there was a clear winner, and lo and behold, it wasn't a niche scent I had picked — or secretly hoped for — but an offshoot of Dior's vintage and revolutionary Poison fragrance. It turns out I'm quite the creature of habit as the scent I chose bore many of the notes I often gravitate towards: Tuberose, vanilla and musk. So it was with a bottle of Dior Hypnotic Poison Eau de Toilette that I was sent home with, and over the past month or so of using the scent, I do love my final decision. Finding the right scent might take some time and investment, but when you do, it smells just like coming home.

The fragrance I chose was Dior Hypnotic Poison Eau de Toilette

Make your fragrance consultation booking at a Dior counter