When choosing perfume for yourself or as a gift for someone else, knowing your subject is key, says global fragrance expert Marian Bendeth, owner of Sixth Scents.

Bendeth specializes in creating signature fragrance wardrobes by matching personalities to perfumes, an approach her experience has shown also corresponds to body chemistry. Nifty, yes? Here’s her take on seven scents worth giving:

• Chloé Intense, the most sensual of the Chloé scent range, is a floral oriental fragrance of rose, pink pepper and sandalwood. Bendeth pegs this for “a warm-hearted woman, worldly yet maternal, with a sunny nature and down-to-earth values.” 50 ml, $90 at drug and department stores as well as Murale.

• Eau Mega from designers Viktor & Rolf is a fresh green floral, with violet leaf, basil and pear, as well as invigorating lemon and aquatic notes. Bendeth profiles this wearer as understated and relaxed, yet detail-oriented and thorough. 50 ml, $90 at The Bay.

• Féerie by Van Cleef & Arpels is a fanciful floral woody scent that beckons with violet, blackcurrant, Bulgarian rose and Egyptian jasmine. Bendeth characterizes this personality as exciting, highly creative and larger than life. “Constantly busy, she creates her own magic — she’s a woman a man has to keep up with,” she says. 50 ml, $145 at Murale, The Bay and Holt Renfrew.

• Idole d’Armani is a sparkling floral with a hint of spice, sophisticated and glamorous, without being overpowering. “The woman who wears this is self-assured and intuitive,” says Bendeth. “She’s a multi-tasker who loves to delegate and knows how to get things done.” 30 ml, $60 at department stores.

• Idylle is an ultra-feminine floral by Guerlain, lush with rose, lily of the valley, peony, freesia, jasmine and lilac. Youthful and chic, it’s a delightfully romantic fragrance (read: perfect for weddings) for the “savvy sophisticate who seeks out quality at every turn,” notes Bendeth. 35 ml, $82 at Guerlain boutiques and department stores.

• Lola Marc Jacobs, a warm floral with fruity topnotes, a peony heart, and a vanilla and musk drydown, is for the quirky, upbeat girl with a great sense of fun, says Bendeth. “She’s youthful, artistic and into fashion.” 50 ml, $79 at drug and department stores, Murale and Sephora.

• Tom Ford White Suede spins on a light modern musk, blended with smooth suede, leather, rose and amber. A unisex fragrance, it appeals to “a confident, laid-back trendspotter, a woman with a phenomenal, eclectic yet simple sense of style,” says Bendeth. Think minimalist approach with maximum impact. 50 ml, $210 at Harry Rosen.

Party perfume etiquette

If as you’re reading this on the way to the office you’re choking on someone’s too-strong, sexy perfume, your travel-neighbour is practicing poor perfume etiquette. According to Marian Bendeth, global fragrance expert and owner of a consulting business called Sixth Scents, there are a few rules to keep in mind when it comes to evening fragrance, especially this office-to-party time of year.

Do not apply your evening scent before 9 a.m.: “It’s too powerful for office wear,” says Bendeth. Instead, wear your everyday fragrance to work, then when prepping for after-five fun, use soap and water or a pre-packaged alcohol swab to remove it before putting on your evening selection. Alternatively, you might choose from a collection that has an eau de toilette version you can start with in the morning, and touch up with a headier, ‘Intense’ eau de parfum version of the same fragrance for night.

Apply perfume before you get dressed: “Hold the bottle six inches from your body and pump the atomizer just once,” advises Bendeth. Spraying your clothes could damage the fabric, as well as result in an over-powering application.

Think intimacy:
Fragrance is designed to be alluring, not to shout from the next room. “People further than an inch away from you shouldn’t be able to smell your perfume,” Bendeth says. If you’re applying a lot because you can’t smell it yourself anymore, it’s time to switch up your scent, to introduce your nose to something else.

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