A trip to the perfume section of the department store can be a heady experience. Picking out the ideal perfume is often an involved, if not long, process. Finding the right fragrance for your personality takes time. So when you finally find the right scent, it is a legitimate cause for celebration. But what happens when you make your perfume purchase only to find out that your scent has two scent profiles? For some reason during the trip from the store to your home, your perfume morphed into some other scent. Is such a stark contrast in scent even possible for just one certain fragrance?
Most of us are familiar with the rule of thumb that no one perfume smells the same on different people. The difference in the body chemistry of individuals accounts for the changing nuances of a scent from one person to another. But what accounts for the drastic changes in the scent perception of one particular fragrance? As it turns out, there are a few key factors that may wrap up the mystery of this change.
The most likely culprit of your perfume's drastic change in smell is the weather around you. Compared to most places, the inside of a department store is climate-controlled to ensure ideal comfort for customers. Fragrances are sensitive to weather and should not be stored in any place too cold or hot and exposed to direct sunlight. Exposure to one or more of these conditions causes a slight alteration in the balance of a perfume, which can result in a changed scent. If your house temperature (or even car temperature during transport) is not ideal, you can expect it to influence the scent of your perfume.
You should also take into account that different climates cause a perfume's scent to develop in differing ways. Cold weather causes perfume to contract, so expect a lighter scent than usual. Hot weather, on the other hand, causes perfume to expand, delivering a perfume's notes more intensely and quickly than normal.
One other reason your perfume smells different is that your skin chemistry has changed. Your diet, food intake, and lifestyle have an impact on your skin chemistry. Consequently, your skin chemistry determines how a perfume will develop on your skin. Recent changes in your diet or your hormonal balance will translate into how you perceive the scent of your perfume.
It is not a fact that the perfume industry likes to publicize, but every once in a while, fragrances get a revamp through chemical reformulations. Because of their longevity, classic fragrances are the most likely candidate for these reformulations. Therefore, the difference that you noticed in your perfume's scent in the store and at home may be due to the fact that the tester bottle contained a different perfume formulation than the one you took home.
If reformulations are not the culprit for the changed profile of your scent, it may be that you tested out an eau de toilette version of your perfume but purchased an eau de parfum version. The common assumption is that the difference between the two versions is only the concentration of the perfume. In reality, certain fragrances produce completely different scent formulations for their EDT and EDP versions of one scent.
One last explanation for the change in your scent with regards to formulation is the origin of perfume itself. In order to cater to the different scent preferences of various cultures, international perfume companies often release their signature fragrance lines with formulations altered to appeal to a regional market. Or it may be to comply with chemical law in certain region.
If you're normally used to buying the French release of Chanel No. 5, for example, you may be surprised to find that the American release is different from your expectations.
Quality control is something a majority of perfume companies aspire to, especially the more expensive brands. There is, however, no guarantee that a new batch of a particular scent will consistently live up to the previous batch's outcome. So, what you're smelling at home is "off" when compared to the one from the store, it is a possibility that you may have purchased a bottle from the "bad batch" of that perfume. Fortunately, returning a perfume from a bad batch is an option.