3 Secrets to Smelling Irresistible
You probably already realize it, but people smell. Some smell fantastic. So good in fact that you follow them down the hall, down the street, into their car...
Okay, that is stalking.
And some people, well they don't smell so good. You have to hold your breath when you walk past. Better yet, no passing.
Have you ever wondered, "what the hell do I smell like?"
When I walk in the room, do people get a whiff of floral scented sugar plums or urine soaked corn chips?
Let us not leave it to fate. If you are not crafting your own signature statement, then most likely you are walking in a room smelling like cereal and milk meets last night french fries and pizza, with some generic soapy deodorant scent on top.
If you live in America, then you know we have a culture that values a clean scent. From being "Zestfully Clean" to "Raising your hand if you're Sure," we Cosmetic and Household product companies have bombarded Americans with advertisements reminding us we stink and we need a scentervention (you like that word, don't you). Traditionally done with soap and deodorant.
If you are like me and are obsessed with fragrance, you know that simple suds and duds will not do. No, you need an exotic Tiare flower, with cactus blossom sprinkled with jasmine buds, amber, and 1000-year-old musk. Oh, just me?
Fragrance is like art. It is personal and each one of us is blessed to have a natural unique signature scent.
We already come with the musk. The key to crafting a signature scent is finding natural and sometimes artificial elements to enhance our odor.
Here are my 3 Secrets to Smelling Irresistible, otherwise known as choosing (or creating) a signature scent:
1. Start with what you like - Simple enough, but not really. Do you know what you like? No, do you really know what you like?
I'll give you an example, I'm an 80s/90s baby and I always loved the scent of singer Debbie Gibson's (think Britney Spears, before Britney Spears) signature perfume Electric Youth.
Cue title song.
For me, Electric Youth captures my early teenage years in a bottle. Every time I smell it, I am transported to a dreaded middle school dance where I am wondering if my hair has frizzed inappropriately. I looked up the notes on Fragrantica (a perfume lovers best friend) and apparently, Electric Youth's actual composition has been described as containing fruity notes, floral notes, woodsy notes, sugary notes, and amber. That tells me absolutely nothing about what I like and possibly if it was a more contemporary fragrance its ingredients wouldn't be a national secret, but I don't stop my search there. No, I am a researcher and I spend way too much on the internet time seeking the unseekable. I stumbled upon a 1994 Revlon perfume blog post which to my joy had the top, middle and base notes of Electric Youth listed. Drumroll, please.
Top notes: aldehydes, grapefruit, other citrus notes
Middle notes: ylang-ylang, watermelon, red berries
Base notes: musk, woods, amber
Everything is fairly recognizable. But how do you read this so you can get an idea of how to find your signature?
First, you must know how top, middle, and base notes function in the compilation of a perfume.
Top notes are the first thing you smell: they are usually citrus and herbal smells.
Middle notes, make up the bulk of the scent, here you will find your strong florals and more familiar scents.
Base notes are what you smell last, they also are in the dry-down or what's left on your skin after time has passed.
The Base note is what you want to pay the most attention to. It's what you smell an hour after the cosmetics lady sprayed you on your way through the mall. You were mad at first because it initially smelled like floral putrefaction, but now it has a creamy mellow yellow smell and you want it.
That will be the foundation of your signature scent. In my Electric Youth example, for me, it's most likely amber.
You will look up the notes for a minimum of three fragrances that you can you remember that you don't have to google the name for. Look for the common ingredient and now you will know what you like.
2. Basic is good.
Being called "basic" is an insult, but not when you are choosing a signature scent. For your masterpiece, the 2nd secret requires finding a basic application of what you like.
Do you prefer oil or lotion, body butter or mist? Some applications smell better on different people. You ever notice why your best friend's perfume makes her smell like an exotic goddess, but on you, it smells like you just baked apple pie?
My body chemistry works better with oil based perfumes. My friend smells outstanding with alcohol based perfumes. It's a preference, but attempt to find out how your body processes a scent application. If your skin is overall more dry alcohol does better, I have oily skin so perfume oils usually smell great on me. Once you have chosen your basic application, it's time to move on to the next secret.
3. The special sauce.
Contrary to what people think, your signature scent is not actually one fragrance, or perfume, or lotion, or anything. It is, in fact, a combination of distinct elements. I like to call it my secret sauce.
My fragrance routine goes something like this;
I shower using Dr. Bronner's Castille Almond Hemp Soap - It has a delightful Almond, cherry scent that leaves you smelling fresh and clean, but it is not overpowering, so it won't interfere with my main fragrance.
Next, I use an unscented moisturizing lotion with salicylic acid. No scent, so it doesn't mingle but treats my skin.
My scent layering is seasonal.
For spring & summer, I wear simpler perfume - Bvlgari Splendida Iris D'or Eau De Parfum. I bought this for my birthday and I love it. I love iris scents, and Bvlgari did the damn thing with this fragrance.
To top it off, I wear a hair perfume for shine and scent that I created myself. It's a mixture of musk and carnation. If you want to try it, it is available in the store.
For fall & winter I like Mat Chocolat by Masaki Matsushima Eau De Parfum. Smelling like chocolate goes a long way to making people like you. Chocolate is a pleasant alternative to vanilla, which is a very common note. Also, for winter the deep bitter elements blend nicely with my personal scent, creating a warm and enveloping complex scent.
I wear body sprays and oils daily. I change those like a menu. I also make my own blends. The best blends, I sell. You can find those here.