How to Wear Perfume Like a French Woman

How to Wear Perfume Like a French Woman


Elegance, confidence, seduction… the French woman’s allure is as difficult to define or capture as the gentle cloud of scent that stirs the air around her. It's imperative, if we are to uncover the “mystery” of the French woman, that we discuss her love affair with “le parfum.”

Rule #1: Perfume is not an accessory; it’s a wardrobe essential.

If I were to describe the American woman’s typical relationship with perfume, it would be like an expensive handbag… it sits on the shelf in the closet and comes out only on special occasions. Across the Atlantic, perfume is as essential to the French woman as a lace bra. In other words, she is not fully dressed until she has put on her fragrance. This shift in perspective is the first step to wearing perfume “a la francaise.”

Rule #2: Perfume is an intimate expression of a woman’s personality.

Perfume is one of the most intimate expressions of who you are. It’s an extension of your true self. What is your perfume personality? Maybe it has a flirty, pin-up, coquettish, Brigitte Bardot-like quality. Or perhaps it’s chic, nonchalant and refined. Or mysterious, complex and evasive. Or a deep, tantalizing blend of elegant cool and opulent sensuality. It’s time to find your inner “oh la la…” and pick your perfume to match.

Rule #3: Perfume is a method of seduction.

A woman is supremely seductive when she wears a fragrance that complements her essence. Perfume leaves an imprint on others, a touch of her self that lingers just long enough to enchant and to leave them wanting more. As writer and perfumer, Marian Bendeth has said: “Fragrance speaks the loudest on a subliminal level.”  Seduction is a game of engaging all the senses.

Rule #4: Location, location, location.

When applying perfume, the secret is in the “pulse points.” These points help the fragrance properly absorb into the skin… and stay there. Each one has a slightly different allure, so you’ll apply a little touch “here” for the day-to-day activities and a little “there" for dinner with your love.

As you dabble in the world of perfume, try dabbing a little on one of these top 10 key spots:

  1. Along the hairline, around the back of your neck
  2. Behind the ears and on the earlobes
  3. Under the chin
  4. Along the jawline
  5. All around the collar bone
  6. Along the back of the neck to the shoulder blades
  7. Between the breasts
  8. In the navel
  9. The pulse points at the inner wrist
  10. Inside the bend of the elbow

As a final rule, never ask a woman what perfume she is wearing, or reveal yours. A little mystery is very elegant… and very French.

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