Step1 Research your personal taste in fragrance. Do you like to smell lemons, vanilla, roses, musk?
Step2 Ask the woman wearing the intriguing scent of freesia what her perfume is called.
Step3 Think of fragrances the same way you think of music: top, middle and base notes. Note that a top note is what you smell first; citrus and light spices are the first smells to evaporate.
Step4 Focus on your favorite smells and take that knowledge to the fragrance counter, where a skillful salesperson will lead you in the right direction. Clean linens, tea, grapefruit, citronella candles, vanilla beans, or even rainwater will be hints.
Step5 Apply a scent and wait 10 minutes. Remember to spray on pulse points, where skin is warmest, for best diffusion of scent.
Step6 Sniff the test spot again. Still like it? Chances are you'll like it tomorrow, but keep in mind that as the top and middle notes evaporate, you're left with the heaviest oils.
Step7 Ask for a wrapped package when you make your decision.