First of all. It is good if you know what you want (oriental, woody, flower fragrance etc.). But it is really not a problem if you don’t. You just have to decide why do you need a perfume.
For example, to emphasize your femininity, or status, or may be just for office not to annoy somebody with your fragrance. It is a very important step. The more honest you are with yourself, the better purchase you will make.
Second step is your budget. There will not be “cheap and good”. Perfume is a luxury rather than a necessity. Buy one bottle of good perfume and you will enjoy it for a long time.
Third, do not be afraid of shop assistants – they are your friends when choosing perfume. Just explain them what you need “I want rich luxury perfume, but it should not be very expensive”. It is impossible to try all the testers in the shop, your sense of smell will let you down.
Now, several important issues.
90% of the time you will not smell as you did in the shop. You should not choose the “upper notes”, but the base fragrance which is after one or two hours after using.
You can “take” from the shop four fragrances on each of your hands: both sides of wrist and forearm. Keep in mind where you smelt the fragrance and forget about blotters – you will smell this fragrance, not the piece of paper.
When you have free time, try some new fragrances. Sometimes they have new interesting components, after a year of two the same fragrance could be a little bit restyled and will not be such an interesting any more.
Try to purchase a perfume by yourself. It is only you who makes the last decision.