I mentioned in the Office Gifts thread below that I don't recommend giving fragrance gifts when you don't know a person's likes or dislikes. Fragrance is highly personal, and it's so true that a scent that is fabulous on one person can be horrible on another. On a couple of occasions, I've been given fragrances because the giver liked how they smelled on the little paper stick, and both times I've hated them.
But I will admit to being very picky about my scents. I've tried several that I love for a few minutes, but after they've reacted with my body chemistry for an hour or so, I can hardly wait to scrub them off. I don't like anything that's too cloyingly sweet (and a lot of florals that are lovely "on the stick" turn sickly sweet on me), or conversely so "sharp" that it smells like men's cologne. I don't have a single signature scent; I like to match my fragrance to the season and to my mood.
Currently in my rotation are:
Chanel. No. 5 and Chance. I really like Chance as a workday scent in the cooler months. It's warm but crisp, and not overpowering.
Marc Jacobs. The original. Nice for evenings out.
Serge Lutens. Clare de Musc. A soft, more casual scent. I wear this during the day on weekends.
Two new favorites, both from Hermés: Un Jardin sur le Nil, and Kelly Caleche. Jardin is supposedly a unisex scent, but I find it very feminine. I like to wear it during the day in warmer months. The citrus top note when I first put it on makes me happy. Kelly Caleche I just discovered a few days ago. It's floral, but with a little bit of woodsiness, not cloying.
When it comes to fragrance, it's easy to cross over into too much of a good thing. I tend to use the "spray, delay, then walk away" method of application (thanks, Queer Eye Guys!) for most daytime use. (This goes for you men, too!) If I'm going out at night, I will apply more directly to the décollete and wrists.
What are your favorites? Any tricks and tips for application?