What do you look for in a perfume review?

It’s important to know what the scent transform to and wears mostly as rather than just reading a list of notes. I don’t really care about what the scent evokes for the wearer myself, and most fragrances last pretty well on me, so lack of longevity on someone else doesn’t usually make me more or less interested.

— Christine


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Valerie Avatar

I’ve tried following perfume reviews but invariably smell is tough to articulate in a way that translates well across everyone’s unique experience of a scent.
I have bought perfumes based on reviews and have always regretted it. So now I test them out in person and ignore reviews.

Francesca Avatar

I love reading fragrance reviews, some of them are pure poetry! I can spend hours reading what a certain note evokes in an other person… But I do this more than as entertainment than to have suggestion for my purchase. Really fragrances are too different from one to an other, too personal. Moreover, unlike Christine on me fragrances have usually poor longevity. If O have to make a purchase, I seek for notes in the composition that I know I like and/or suggestion for fragrances that are said to be similar to something I know I would like; but then, once identified some candidates, I have to test them with my nose!

Lydia Avatar

I have a really hard time with fragrance reviews. Sometimes it’s fun to look them up for perfumes I’m interested in, but I just won’t know if I like something for sure until I smell it myself and ideally wear it around for a few hours. Perfume tends to disappear on me pretty quickly.

Mariella Avatar

Fragrance is such a personal issue (which explains why there are so many fragrances and those to which any of us is either drawn or totally repulsed) that I don’t think I’d ever be swayed one way or another by a fragrance review. I have to smell for myself (assuming I ever get my sense of smell back fully). I think the only time a fragrance review might sway me is if it drew comparisons to a scent I already love but can no longer get.

Ana Maria Avatar

For perfumes for me it’s enough to read the notes. Fragrances nare very personal and most perfumes smell and last totally different on me. Since my body chemistry totally transforms scents, it’s useless to read the opinion of someone else.

But somehow I love reading or watching fragrance reviews, people talking about how a fragrance smells, what memory or situation it evokes. But in a similar way I love reading a short story. 😅

C.Blossom Avatar

Knowing the top & bottom notes, strength and lasting power helps, but can’t really give a full impression, unless they use a reference fragrance I already know. That helps. Magazine samples are better and store testers are best. But I want a scent to interact with my body chemistry, not just lay on my clothes and hair, which complicates things.

Denise S. Avatar

I love reading perfume reviews but I take them with a grain of salt unless I know the person has similar fragrance taste as mine. Interpreting how the notes will smell when combined can be tricky. Listing fragrances that smell similar helps me to know if I’m on the right track. Sometimes I’ll gamble and do a blind buy based on several reviews if I feel confident that I have a fairly good idea how the fragrance will smell based on what I’ve read.

Gail Weiner Avatar

I love reading some people’s perfume reviews – my favorite is Victoria Frolova on her Bois de Jasmin site.
I like knowing all of it from a reviewer I trust – notes, longevity, projection, poetic descriptions & associations, comparisons to other perfumes. But almost every time I’ve risked buying without smelling the scent on me, I’ve been disappointed. So, no more.

Z Avatar

First – I need the notes, or at least the prominent ones. I’ve got a lot of experience with indie perfumes, single notes, and training an already good sense of smell. I know what to “look for” better than the average bear when it comes to scents.

Second – I need to know what the reviewer LOVES in terms of fragrance and their dislikes. That helps me to decide whether or not I can trust their reviews. My taste in fragrance is a lot different than most women (men too, if they fall in to the “cool water” camp. yuck).

Third – I like to know longevity and how much the perfume morphs, but at the end of the day my skin EATS fragrance so that doesn’t matter too much. My workaround is to apply to the base of the neck/hairline to help it last longer. Sometimes scarves or the neckline of a shirt help.

brendacr1 Avatar

Perfume is so personal that reviews are almost useless. Knowing the top notes and base notes can help as I know what I like. I follow Dave Lackie on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, his reviews are very helpful, he knows his perfumes, (skin care and make up brands too).

Susan Avatar

I have learned to remember the notes of both my favorite and disliked perfumes which has helped me make an educated guess as to what I like. That said, unless it’s a very small size, I still try before I buy. I apply the same ideas to home scents as well.

Jen Avatar

I don’t really pay attention to fragrance reviews. Not for any particular reason, it just doesn’t occur to me to actively look for them the way I might for a foundation or skincare. Although, I will read a few on the product page. I tend to lean more heavily on the perfume description itself and look for what notes I should expect to smell and how strongly. I also appreciate language that denotes a category, such as floral or woodsy, because that gives me an idea of an overall ‘feel’ of the scent.

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