Whether you plan to dine by candlelight or “Netflix and chill,” we’ve got the perfect perfume for your date night shenanigans

A sexy perfume puts an essential last touch on your date-night beauty routine. After all, our sense of smell plays an integral role in emotion and memory, key ingredients in the obscure brew that is romance.

Here’s how it all works: The olfactory bulb (which controls smell) is part of the brain’s limbic system, which regulates memory and emotion, explains Erika Shumate, co-founder of luxury fragrance brand Pinrose. We humans are complex beings, and as we collect experiences, our emotional lives become richer and more complicated. “Because scent’s emotional impact is so powerful, it can help create context,” adds Demeter Fragrance Library CEO Mark Crames. “Sometimes scent can give us the clearest and strongest signals of all.”

In other words, the right fragrance worn on a first date, or on the night you first exchange “l” words, can enhance the romantic experience and create a memory that will live in your emotional brain forever.

Obviously, that’s a lot of pressure to put on your date-night perfume choice. So how do you go about the decision? According to Shumate, the most romantic perfumes are historically “floral forward,” and each note evokes a slightly different mood. For example, plumeria and jasmine are “more energetic romantic scents.” Earthier elements like patchouli and tobacco create darker, more sensual vibes.

To make your sexy perfume selection a little easier, we’ve rounded up the best picks for every kind of date. Whether you’re planning a hot night in or a casual day out, let this olfactory guide lead the way.

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