Signature Scents for Day and Night

Lovers of fine fragrances know that it’s possible to achieve the scent trifecta: wearing a perfume at the right time, in the right place, and for the right mood. Being thoughtful about what you dab or spritz on before you head out the door can open you up to a whole world of possibilities.

Traditionally, perfumes have been categorized into day and night fragrances. Day scents tend to have a fresher and lighter profile: for men, this tends to include aquatic, green, fresh, and herbal notes that call to mind emerging clean from the shower. For women, day scents include a wide array of floral, citrus, and powdery notes that sit like a breath on the skin. Zesty bergamot, mint, violet leaf, pink peppercorn, iris, sage, apple, moss, orange blossom, and cedarwood are all lovely daytime notes that boost your mood and promote clarity and calm.

These uplifting olfactive notes can be appropriate for the workplace where the strength of the fragrance should not be overpowering to others: day perfumes should murmur, not shout. Anyone who has ever been stuck riding in an elevator with someone wearing a headache-inducing cologne can attest to the fact that some things are better in moderation.

Consider a daytime fragrance with a low to medium sillage – the distance over which your scent carries. Intimate sillage sits right on the skin, so someone would have to stand very close to you to detect it, while moderate sillage radiates approximately an arm’s length away from the wearer. Any stronger – for example, a fragrance that projects out several feet or even fills a room, much to the annoyance of your coworkers – is more appropriate for after sundown.

One caveat to the old adage that one should divide their precious perfumes into daytime and nighttime scents: not every day is spent working tirelessly in the office. When you’re relaxing over the weekend, out to lunch with friends, or touring around on vacation, you have a lot more freedom to wear intense and distinctive scents that reflect your unique personality.

Finding a signature nighttime fragrance is a coup for any perfume connoisseur. The rich and sensual scents are built upon long-lasting base notes such as amber, musk, and vanilla. For men, these include ozonic, aromatic, and woody notes that pair with spicy top notes like saffron and cardamom. Night perfumes for women are commonly warmer and sweeter than their daytime counterparts, including musk, vanilla, amber, and sultry animalic base notes for a come-hither effect.

Studies have found that people are attracted to gourmand scents such as praline and tonka bean, making these confections a favorite for romantic occasions. Find the elements that resonate with you for a nighttime fragrance that exudes strength, confidence, and sensuality. The best part? Stronger sillage ensures that the heady scent trails seductively after the wearer, leaving a lingering memory even after you’re gone.