Want to smell great? The right perfume can really liven up your look and set you apart from the crowd. We’ve put together this easy how-to guide on choosing, applying, and caring for perfume to help you get started on the right foot with smelling good! Follow these four steps the next time you want to spray on some perfume and enjoy an even better looking version of yourself when you step out into the world.

Steps to Great Smelling Perfume

The world of perfume is big, complicated and intimidating. With all those scents, it’s easy to just opt for a bottle based on its name and smell. But, like wine and whiskey, there’s a world of nuance and difference between scents, with so many variations within each family. It’s important to find something that you not only love but that complements your body’s natural oils. Here are four steps to help you get good smelling perfume.

Step 1: Know Your Scent Type

One of your first steps should be to take a little quiz to determine what type of fragrance you prefer. This will help you narrow down your choices and make it easier for you to pick something that smells good on you, instead of going with whatever smell happens to tickle your fancy at a given moment. Your scent can change depending on the time of day, or even how your body chemistry is reacting to certain foods—and we want our perfume to match our personality, not confuse it! Take a look at these options if you’d like some assistance in figuring out what sort of scent best represents who you are and what mood you want people to associate with it.

Step 2: Choose a Top, Middle, And Base Note

Once you’ve got a rough idea of what you want to smell like, it’s time to pick out your top note, middle note, and base note fragrances. A top note is usually lighter and most recognizable—think: citrus or bergamot. The middle note or heart is what ties all your scents together; it sits at the core of your fragrance composition. Think: rose or cinnamon. And then there are base notes—the bottom scents that linger on your skin after you spray yourself down with something new. Base notes are typically warm, earthy, musky smells like vanilla or sandalwood.

Step 3: Take Time Applying The Scent

You may have heard about a little thing called scent diffusion. Scent diffusion, in a nutshell, means that your fragrance can smell stronger or weaker depending on how long you take to apply it. When applying perfume, let it sit for at least 10 minutes before getting dressed. If you’d like a subtle scent, apply it closer to your body rather than spraying in big bursts. You should also avoid applying scent directly under your arms. Wherever you apply it is where people will smell first, so keep that area clean and exfoliated—you want people thinking of a vanilla cupcake, not stale chocolate chip cookies!

Step 4: Keep it with you at all times

The last thing you want is to set down your perfume and forget to bring it with you. If you think you’ll be likely to forget, try storing it in a bag or area that’s easily accessible. That way, you can also use it throughout your day as needed. If it’s too large to carry around with you all day, keep a smaller sized bottle of it at work for touch ups. This way, if your perfume isn’t perfectly mixed throughout your day (and some scents are more prone to separating than others), you can always apply more later on when you need a refresher!