When you wear any extra scent, you have to think about how your body will express it. I like to discuss scent in musical terms.
Try to keep in the following facts in mind when wearing scent:
1. What your natural odor is – musky, sweet, spicy, sour – these tones will affect the way scents smell on you. Think of your natural body odor as the core note in changing chords made through all of the scents you use. Like clothing, many people like the way something smells “objectively,” on a piece of paper, in a bottle or subjectively on a friend, a lover or even a stranger. You should wear the scent, and not let the scent wear you.
2. Soaps, lotions, hair-products, make-up, fabric, clothing detergent, the things you cook, eat and drink along with any odors in your home have scent, even if they claim to be “fragrance-free.” These items will produce notes in your scent ensemble.
3. What kind of a chord are you creating? Do you prefer perfect harmony or some dissonance? Pay attention to whether or not certain scent notes stick out or blend and which are stronger or fainter.
4. Remember that other people experience your scent differently than you. This is obvious when we get into a crowded train or bus, but your application of scents might be announcing yourself to strangers blocks away. Is this something you want to achieve? Don’t be afraid to ask friends if they can smell you or your scent. You might not care at all how you smell to others or you might care a lot.
5. Scent changes throughout the day and in different environments. The quality of the air around you will impact your own scent song like an ever-changing orchestra or symphony. As one perfume expert remarked recently, the same perfume on the same person at the same time of day will smell different in San Francisco and in LA, again different in Paris, Kerala, Lubbock, and Dorset.
This is my habitual way of wearing my signature scent when I’m not feeling a particular mood:
spray left wrist, then right wrist from about 4 inches away (not one then rubbing wrists together – who taught that technique anyway? It’s a waste of good perfume!)
spray behind left then right ear also 4 inches away
spray chest (décolletage) about a foot away
spray one foot in front at about neck level, then walk through, repeat one more time
Note: I have normal-dry skin and wear medium-light scents. For anything heavier, I only spray my wrists or neck.
Tips for creative scent use:
1. Blend your scents together with awareness:
your natural odor (sweet) your shampoo (green apple) + body wash (almond) + moisturizer (honeysuckle) = one pretty harmonious chord.
Adding a floral oriental like Obsession would probably clash, but also overpower all of the other notes. You might choose CKONE instead to keep a consistent green fruity song.
2. Apply perfume to only certain areas of your body for effect. The closer you apply to warm, oily areas (behind ears, nape of neck, cleavage, wrists and inside of elbows), the longer scent will last. Try applying only to wrists or to neck or just to your hair. For subtler scent, apply only to your knees or ankles!
3. Mix perfume. Experiment with two scents (either perfume or perfume and soap, lotion, etc) you like. You can spray them on separate sheets of paper or one on each wrist and smell them side by side. Put one scent on your wrists, another on your neck or both on the same spot. Don’t over apply with this technique!
4. Evaluate the potency of different scents. If your soap is strong-smelling, wear lighter perfume or apply less. Perfumes also come in a range of power. In order from strongest to weakest:
eau de parfum
eau de toilette
Liquid spray, oil or solid, even these versions of the same scent, will smell differently because of concentration and the chemicals in alcohol and oils used as their base.
5. Keep a log that records your reactions to your own scent. What do you learn about your natural odor regarding your preferences, you friends and loved ones preferences for your scent? How do you respond to a perfume at first spray (top notes), after several minutes (middle notes) and after several hours (base notes)? How does your perfume change after intense activity outside or at the gym? And at the very end of the day? Record the range of feelings that the scents you wear cause in you.
6. Write your own scent journal or story about your personal adventures in scent! Enjoy the myriad of smells at play around you during your travels and in everyday life.