Buying a fragrance for a loved one is such a wonderful, intimate gift.
You're expressing a kind of desire — how you want your partner to smell — and at the same time, you're trying to find something she'll love herself. Which means you can't just pick something that smells nice to you. You really have to dig into who she is.
What's her style?
This is your starting point to figure out the general vibe of what fragrance she might like.
Does she wear more feminine clothes, like floral prints and sun dresses? Steer towards floral notes like rose, jasmine, or iris. Anything that's light, fresh, and reminds you of being in a garden.
Does she pick Chuck Taylors over heels, and prefer hiking to art openings? Go for a subtle woodsy note, like cedar or vetiver. You want something that's got a slight outdoorsy feel, but isn't too in-your-face with a rugged aroma.
Does she rock a black leather jacket and dark makeup? Something more minimal is probably your best bet. Look for aquatic or clean citrus notes.
What else does she use?
Scope out what other products she uses in her daily routine. Your perfume pick can complement any lasting scents from products already in her morning routine. Even if it's something simple like hand soap or face wash, they'll at least give you an idea of the fragrances she's partial to.
Does she use a coconut scented moisturizer? Look for a fragrance that packs tropical floral notes. If she's got lavender shower oil, try to find a perfume with the same note. Or if she likes to steal a splash of your cologne, try to find something that leans more masculine, like woodsy and spicy blends.
What kind of décor does she like?
This one can be a little hit-or-miss, but take a close look at perfume packaging. Perfume designers try to make their bottle and packaging a representation of what's inside, so if you think your lady might like the way a fragrance looks, she may resonate with the way it smells.
If her apartment is filled with colorful knickknacks, you might have luck with a bottle that looks like it would fit right in on her shelves. Or if her space is more pared down, try a minimal bottle that'll vibe with her decorations while also (hopefully) packing an aroma that she'll love to wear.