Let's face it….the right personal scent can be downright sexy. Marilyn Monroe illustrated this concept perfectly, making men weak at the knees with her famous quote: 'What do I wear to bed? Why, Chanel No. 5 of course'.

There's a reason why men turn to mush at a glorious scent on an attractive woman – it's called pheromones. Those are the scent messages we produce to attract the opposite sex, and within them are all sorts of signals about our sexual attractiveness and availability. Put bluntly, they're what leads to that very basic of human instincts, attraction and mating.

But, biology aside, what every bride wants above all is the perfect wedding day; one where the wedding attire is impeccable, the hair and makeup faultless and there's a groom that can't wait to marry her. And the scent we choose is a crucial element in making that day complete.

The Basics

Knowing a few of the basics can make purchasing a perfume easier and more fun. For instance, parfum is always the strongest concentration so its scent lasts longest, while eau de parfum is slightly weaker, but stronger than eau de toilette. After these come the body lotions, body creams, and shower and bath gels, which have just a hint of fragrance to them.

Then there's classification. Fragrance falls into six major categories: floral, oriental, citrus, green, chypre (woodsymossy) and gougere (fern-like). Within each you'll find more descriptive subcategories such as fresh, woody, spicy or fruity, which are the kind of aromas you notice straight away when you sniff a delectable scent. As a general guide, sheer florals are described as romantic, while orientals are more sophisticated, and citrus or fruity scents more casual, crisp or professional. If you have a vague ideas of where your preference lies within these groups, it's easier to know where to start.

Taking it a little further, within each perfume is a careful balance of different 'notes'. The top note is the first impression you get of the scent when you put it on your skin. The middle note is the scent of the perfume fine to 30 minutes after you apply it and the lasting, or base, note is the final lingering scent.

Knowing something about notes and fragrance families can be helpful but perfume assistants are very knowledgeable, all you really need to do is tell them your story. Tell them when the wedding is, what you are doing and what you have worn in the past. A store assistant can't just pick the perfect fragrance for you out of the air, so you need to be able to tell them what you are used to, what you enjoy and what you feel comfortable in.

Choosing your personal scent

You may already have a few favourite perfumes that you like to pull out on different occasions. No one scent will suit all your moods, so note down a few key pointers about your big day to help you narrow down a scent that will match the mood and tone of your wedding. Firstly, is it a winter wedding, summer wedding or spring wedding?

If it's a winter wedding, you might consider a deeper, more oriental fragrance, whereas a lighter fragrance would be a better option for a spring or summer wedding. A floral citrusy scent is great for early spring, while for summer, rose fragrances have a really beautiful, summery smell that is totally romantic.

As well as the time of year, there may be other considerations in choosing your fragrance.

• Is your wedding indoors or outdoors?
• What flowers are you having? Do they have a heavy scent?
• What scent will your bridesmaids be wearing?
• What scent is your groom planning to wear?

If you're choosing a fragrance, you don't want to drown out the congregation. You want to be a focus point, but you want the focus around you, not for the fragrance to race ahead and say, "Here she comes!" So think about the mood you are trying to get across. If your wedding is clean-lined and elegant, look for something similar, like Gucci Envy.