If there’s anything you should know about me, it’s that I love to smell good. Irresistibly good, even. Who else gets all giddy and proud when someone compliments their wonderful smell? Now, let me tell you something: smelling heavenly round the clock is no easy feat. And it involves a lot more than dousing myself in designer perfumes. There are layers to this process, literally.
Showering and doing your laundry regularly may seem like no-brainers, but there are other factors at play when it comes to producing a pleasant and long-lasting scent cocoon. Now, none of us naturally smell like a rose bouquet or freshly baked cinnamon rolls, but thoughtfully knowing what to put in and on our bodies without going overboard can help maximize your scent trail’s potential. Here are some tips to make a great scent your defining feature, so prepare yourself for a lifetime of compliments.
Shower on the Regs
Your hygiene is the foundation to smelling good as your body’s scent has a lot to do with cleanliness. This includes how you bathe, apply deodorant, and look after your teeth. Sweat and body odors are normal, however, we can curb their unpleasantness by adopting a sensible routine. Showering daily is crucial as our bodies build up sweat and oils throughout the day, which, when encountered by bacteria, break down causing bad odors. When you’re in the shower, use a cleansing soap bar, like Dove’s Beauty Bar, making sure you reach the right spots, particularly the sweat gland areas like your armpits and privates. Then use a scrub, a homemade sugar scrub that works well, to exfoliate any dead skin. Finish off with a scented body wash that lingers on the skin such as Lux’s Magical Spell.
Ever come back from an event with your hair smelling like cigarette smoke and bad decisions? Our hair can absorb the most pungent smells from our surroundings so it’s important to wash your hair as frequently as you can, without drying it out. For my hair type, 2-3 times a week works well, though other hair types may require more or fewer washes. Massage shampoo into your scalp and form a nice lather to eliminate any grease and dirt. After shampooing, apply the conditioner of your choice and let it do its thing before rinsing off with cold water. For your no-wash days, invest in a dry shampoo or apply baking soda to your scalp to neutralize odors and prevent grease buildup. Also, why not go the extra mile and consider buying a hair perfume, like Byredo’s Slow Dance or Mugler’s Alien hair perfumes? Scent your hair by concentrating the perfume at the top of your head, as the heat on your scalp will gradually activate the scent around you. Using a natural hair oil prior to misting your hair also helps hold the scent a bit longer.
Stop the Sweat
There are several products and methods that control sweat besides just deodorant. I recommend looking into Japanese refresh sheets, which are essentially powdered body wipes that target your sweaty bits. In terms of both sweat and odor control, some effective, long-lasting products that I used after birth (those postpartum night sweats are no joke) include Secret Clinical Strength and Dove’s Clinical Strength antiperspirant deodorants, which I applied in the morning, afternoon and night. For your feet, don’t stick to one pair of shoes for too long, and use a footwear deodorizer to fight any odors.
Learn to Layer Fragrances
You don’t want to be that person who invades people’s noses unprovoked with the most confusingly nauseating scent concoction. Layering is an art, after all. Nowadays, fragrances come in the form of soaps, lotions, creams, oils, butter, sprays, and of course, perfumes. However, you need to go easy on combining all the different scented items you own. The trick is to use no more than three complementary light and heavy scents that play well together, ensuring that scent layers don’t overpower each other, so always apply the heavier scent first. It’s best to have a moist base to allow your skin to hold the scents, so post-shower is the ideal time to let your scent profile shine. I personally go for warm, sensual scents like vanilla, amber, and coconut, using Laura Mercier’s Ambre Vanillé Soufflé Body Crème. I top it off by moisturizing my skin with L’Occitane’s Almond Oil as it has a subtle scent and is a perfect perfume base for the purpose of longevity, though you could also use good old Vaseline.
Applying Fragrance Correctly
Finally, you need to understand the ingredients you use as well as targeting your pulse points. If your goal is to smell delicious round the clock then a long-lasting fragrance is your go-to. Though they work amazingly during summer, citrusy perfumes and Eau de toilettes tend to dissipate rather quickly due to their light composition, so it’s best to opt for heavier base notes such as woods, vanilla, musks, and amber on your pulse points. Now, when it comes to your pulse points, you have to be specific. Fragrance rises from bottom to top, so make sure you’re hitting your hot spots, like ankles, behind the knees, chest, elbow crooks, behind your ears, and back of your neck. Remember that more is not always better, so don’t get too heavy-handed. Spray a sensible amount and let your body heat diffuse the lingering fragrance as it mixes with your body chemistry. Consider carrying a travel-sized bottle of your favorite perfume in your purse and reapply once or twice a day to maintain your scent’s strength.