You plus a busy department store needn't be a fragrance headache. Here's how to find the ultimate bridal perfume:

Alamy

1. Figure out your perfume personality

Look at your scents at home; is there a unifying thread? Perhaps they're all citrusy colognes, or rich and spicy, or maybe you've got half a dozen versions of rose. Condense this style into three key words. For instance: pink, pretty and floral; or big, bold and glamorous; modern, clean and fresh.

BRIDAL FRAGRANCE INSPIRATION

2. Time your shopping  

Hit the store in the morning, before it gets filled with the fog of 1,000 sprays. Choose four favourite brands with a big scent selection (some ideas: Chanel, Guerlain, Annick Goutal, Dior, Tom Ford, Lancôme and YSL).

THE LITTLE WHITE BOOK OF PERFUME BOUTIQUES

3. Start a conversation

Remember: the counter staff will know their fragrance portfolio inside out, so tell them all about your wedding and your scent preferences. Ask them to select three options for you to try (on blotters), and then edit these down to a single 'potential'. Head to the other counters and repeat the process.

THE LATEST BRIDAL BEAUTY BUZZ

4. Step away from the sprays...

Then go shopping, have a walk, spend time away from the store to cleanse your senses. An hour later, smell the blotters again. Pick your favourite two, and return to have your upper arms sprayed in the scent (the porous hair will make it last longer than on your wrists). If there's a hands-down winner, get your wallet out! If not, come back another time and start again with new brands.

Want something a bit more unique? See Acting Beauty Director Alice du Parcq's pick of the most beautiful independent perfume boutiques from around the country here