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Tammy Violet Frazer
02 Oct 2014 12:43
The more oil-filled your skin is (often helped by a Mediterranean diet), the more oil the perfume has to cling to, and last longer with. (Darren Staples, Reuters)
People ask whether their perfume will smell different on another person’s skin. It will, but usually I answer: “It
Fragrances – especially natural scents,
which are more subtle and nuanced than chemicals – smell different on different
skins because of skin chemistry and factors such as fat content, diet and even
The more oil-filled your skin is (often helped by a Mediterranean
diet), the more oil the perfume has to cling to, and last longer with.
If you have dry skin, your perfume will
last longer if you moisturise it frequently. Remember, the warmer your body
temperature, the quicker your fragrance will evaporate. In summer, buy a
spritzer for frequent invigorating hits throughout the day. A current scent
trend is basil notes.
Also remember that skin is an organ and it
secretes through the pores. So if we eat spicy foods, some compounds from these
spices will make their way out of our skin and mingle with the applied
fragrance – and change the overall scent profile.
But there is more than just biology and
chemistry at work. At a recent scentmaker session, one of my attendees
exclaimed that she felt naked leaving the house without a perfume. The
fragrance is her armour, her refuge, she said.
Scents affect our mood and emotions.
Aromatherapy uses the art of harnessing fragrant essential oils to enhance how
we feel. Peppermint makes us alert, sandalwood is grounding and floral notes
such as rose are calming.
According to studies by psychologist and
sociologist Dr Joachim Mensing at the Research Institute for Applied Aesthetics
in Freiburg, Germany, extroverts look for stimulation from the environment and
tend to find fresh, green fragrances activating. Introverts, who prefer less
stimulation, find orientals harmonious, and emotionally ambivalent people –
dreamers – prefer floral, powdery scents.
The study used a small sample, but its
findings are intriguing.
Scent artist Sissel Tolaas suggests that
the bacteria on our bodies may be a key ingredient in the smells of the future:
“Recently products have utilised bacteria for producing food, so we made
teas from human body sweat, and it got a lot of attention.
“The body is a big subject – what the
body can do beyond what we think it can do. Science is so much further along
than the commercial world, and our notions of ‘bad’ and ‘good’ have to be
rediscussed and re-valued.”
For me, it’s rather simple. It makes me
happy when I spend time considering not only what to wear, but also what scent
to wear. The process of adorning myself with an oil for a purpose as dearly
felt as my client’s need for “armour”, or for a whimsical reason such
as “I want this pink nail polish to ‘pop’ when someone smells me” is an
expression as valid as any avant-garde fashion and a form of communication as
noble as any other creativity.
Wearing a fragrance is so intimate, and yet
so exposing. Thank goodness scent is invisible – otherwise it would be too
overwhelming for our conservative senses to bear.
Follow Tammy Violet Frazer on Twitter: @frazerparfum
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