How Do You Decide What Perfume To Wear?




Hey APJ,

Sometimes I look at my collection and the size is completely overwhelming, making it really hard to choose what fragrance to wear that day. Does this ever happen to you? Happens around here with monotonous regularity.

How Do You Decide What Perfume To Wear?

So, there are a few ways I use to combat the “Too Many Blues” like grabbing a random sample and spritzing away, using an old favourite like Guerlain Shalimar, Parfums DelRay Amoureuse or Cacharel Liberté. Other times I do what I did today, walked over to me desk and grabbed the fist thing my eyes rest on. It was

Le Jardin de Monsieur Li by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès 2015

Le Jardin de Monsieur Li Hermes FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Kumquat, jasmine, mint

It’s high summer here and raining so a perfect fit. All that gorgeous oily citrus offset with refreshing mint. Wears so easily in the hot or cold and though I’m hardly a One Bottle Guy, Monsieur Li could very easily fit the bill if I had to become one. I wore it to dinner the other night with a bunch of mates and got two random compliments. Very happy with that. especially because I feel it is such an under the radar scent.

Below is the last of us on that night, there were 10 more but this pic are the ones who stayed and drank Turkish Coffee. OMG! That was definitely a new experience. From left: Me, Jin, Jocelyn Fullerton of Cult Of Scent, TinaG, Craig, Scott, Paul.

From Hermès:
“I remembered the smell of ponds, the smell of jasmine, the smell of wet stones, of plum trees, kumquats and giant bamboo. It was all there, and in the ponds there were even carp steadily working towards their hundredth birthday.” Jean-Claude Ellena
Le Jardin de Monsieur Li describes a Chinese garden somewhere between reality and imagination. A place for meditation where strolling is allied to thought, and every step sets the imagination free.

Back in 2015 when Monsieur Li was released I talked about it on Australian Perfume Junkies. You can get it at most department stores and even on the online discounters.

So what do you do when confronted by this conundrum?
How Do You Decide What Perfume To Wear?
Portia xx

31 thoughts on “How Do You Decide What Perfume To Wear?

  1. A number of things influence my perfume choice – what I’m wearing, what the weather is like, time of day, where I’m heading and my mood. When I put it all together, the perfect fragrance usually just pops into my head 🙂


  2. I’d say the most basic thing is the temperature. I have my cold weather fragrances and my hot weather fragrances. But although it’s cold here now in New York City and northern Connecticut, the other night I doused myself in Quartz (cheapie but *very* goodie) before bed because I have a zealous landlord and my apartment is hot as hell. Then my mood: grievously depressed after he who shall not be named stole our election, I opted for some generous dabs of the Preciousssss—Amouage Hommage Attar; I was still bloody depressed, but damn, I smelled good. Then, there is armor; facing a difficult day, I might wear vintage Mitsy. Once, when I knew I had a meeting with an editor I can’t stand, I wore The Party in Manhattan. Yes! To work! I tend to wear spicy rose fragrances to Shakespeare performances, and try to match other fragrances to other plays or musical events I’m seeing (discreetly, of course—I respect the close quarters situation, although once I was wearing the late lamented MPeG George Sand to Henry V and the woman sitting next to me commented on it at intermission. “Oh, no, I hope it’s not too much!” She said, “not at all, it’s really lovely.” So I pulled it out of my handbag and offered her some. I hope everyone else areound us liked it.


  3. Weather, mood and plans for the day like doctor appointments definitely influence my choices but usually I can wear whatever I want. When ennui sets in, I’ll pick random untried samples or decants. This winter I’m trying something new to me, choosing something I think of as off season. I’m really liking Monyette Paris right now and it’s very cold here. Enjoy your winter weather, Portia!


    • Hey Rosarita313,
      Summer weather here. VERY hot, and humid today.
      We have similar ways of dealing with ennui.
      Portia xxx


  4. I go by how I feel. I grab what I am in the mood for that day. That’s making it tough to get through samples since I have so many full bottles.


  5. Great question. I tend to wear the newest thing until the novelty wears off. Today it’s gin&Tonic by Art de Parfum. Thing is, I don’t think the novelty ever will wear off as I love it so. Sometimes I have “cosy” perfumes and in my younger days “hangover perfumes” – Eau de Cartier was one.

    What can I say? When it comes to scent I’m promiscuous and flighty!
    love Sam xxx


  6. Ugh. Sometimes I just say screw it, and walk away to wait until inspriation hits, often hours later. The worst part are some of the amazing perfumes that I adore get shuffled to the back as new bottles are added in front of them. Looks like I need a lazy-susan or some other kind of rotating shelf. Arrrg! First world problems….xoxox


    • Hiya RobertH,
      Just because the problems are first world doesn’t diminish the struggle, he he he.
      Lazy susans rock, excellent idea.
      Portia xx


  7. Mood, weather, and what else I have going on that day 🙂 I try not to wear anything too loud if I have a lot of meetings in small enclosed spaces. But then again, some days I don’t care and just go for it!


      • Not at my new job, yet! I did get busted at my old job, though I wish I had gotten busted sooner to be honest. It turned out my boss hated my perfume but never told me (explains how badly the meetings always went!). I finally heard it from a coworker who heard it from the boss 😦 It’s ironic because I’d always get so nervous before meetings that I’d reapply perfume, not knowing that would probably make things worse!

        On the bright side, I am generally most thoughtful about my sillage at my new job. I’ve asked several people to let me know if I ever do stink up the place too much!


  8. This past week I decided to simp!ify my morning routine by wearing the same scent every day. I enjoyed having my mind made up ahead of time, the experience was a bit like the days when I would choose my work wardrobe for the whole week on Sunday. Less dilly-dallying, more peace of mind.


  9. While my collection was much smaller, I usually decided on what to wear the night before while falling asleep. But as my collection grew, I either go through my database trying to figure out what speaks to me, or look on the shelves, or read NST’s SOTD posts in the morning and see if it inspires me. But I never wear perfumes from samples, only from bottles and decants – so the choices are slightly simpler.


      • Well, “never” is not exactly correct: I do wear perfumes from samples if I’m almost certain I want to buy more (a decant or a bottle) and need to do a full wear before making the final decision. Other than that, I have so many perfumes I actually bought to wear because I loved them that it makes absolutely no sense to wear “maybes” when I don’t have enough days in month to wear definite “yes'” 🙂


  10. On my shelf I have only a few perfumes that match the season, maybe 4 or 5 so the choice is actually not too big. When I feel the need to change them, mostly when the season changes somehow, then I put them away in a cool dark place and take out some other loves.
    Then there are samples which I wear in between and I try to use them up in one day so I can throw the empty vials away asap. My New Year’s resolution 😉


  11. If I smell it and my heart makes a little flip or I sigh, that’s the one for the day.
    I have a few on rotation to just grab.

    Or just wear cologne (morning or a hot day). Or of course if I’m making perfume.
    For every other time I’m stuck; Mitsouko.

    It took me a while for figure out whee that delicious, tantalising fragrance was coming from at dinner. You smelled amazing!



  12. In my mind there are different perfumes for different occasions, weddings funerals work etc…Then at other times I will not care and just wear what I like. I always admire your choices Portia xo💕


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