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Top Tips on Getting the Most out of your Perfume

How diet, skin type and where you wear the perfume influence final fragrance

A perfume’s final scent is more than just the perfume itself. Where you place the perfume, the condition of your skin, and also your diet will have an effect on the end fragrance.

Way back in 1952, a platinum blond icon said that all she wore is „five drops of Chanel No. 5”. Of course, she only did this on certain occasions, but the fact that perfume can be like a dress is meant to demonstrate how important smell is for human beings.

“Chanel No. 5 Fragrance” By Austin Calhoon – Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons,

However, a perfume’s final fragrance isn’t just about the product itself; it is a reaction between the perfume and your skin. Several factors can have an influence – many of which have nothing to do with the perfume itself.

Where you put the perfume: our pulse points

There are some areas on our body where these five drops work in the best possible way. These areas are called our pulse points, for example behind the ears, the back of the neck, the insides of our wrists, elbows and knees. This is because our pulse points warm the perfume, which causes it to constantly release its scent. Sophia Grojsman (the creator of perfumes like Bvlgari Pour Femme (1994), Calvin Klein Eternity (1988), Lancôme Trésor (1990) and Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne (2009)) thinks that the best places are on the insides of our knees, because the fragrance can even grow.

“Illustration from Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site” By OpenStax College. Licensed under CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons,

The natural scent of our own skin

The scent of our own skin is also one of the most influential factors to have an impact on a perfume’s final fragrance. If this scent plays well with the flavour of the perfume, the end combination will be great. But do we have an influence on this natural smell – or our “personal fragrance fingerprint”? It turns out that we do.

Our personal fragrance fingerprint: Diet, medication, lifestyle

The way our skin smells is influenced by a number of factors, some of which are within our control. For example, if a person’s diet contains a lot of spicy ingredients and is fatty, the fragrance will end up more intense. If they change their diet dramatically, then skin chemistry may also change, and their everyday perfume will smell different on them. The use of medication can also affect the character of our personal fragrance bouquet, as does skin type: for example, oily skin retains scent longer than dry skin.

“An image of a fingerprint created by the friction ridge structure” By Cyrillic at the English language Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons,

The fact is we all have our own fragrance fingerprint that is influenced by a broad range of factors, including our genes, skin, hair colour, diet, medication, stress, working and living environment. As a consequence, if we want to change the way we smell, then there’s more to it than simply choosing a new perfume; we need to make some changes to our lifestyle, too. In turn, making these changes and finding the right scent can have a knock-on effect, improving our lives even further and having an effect on the people who smell us.

Scents can influence our moods and the people around us

„Scents can have positive effects on mood, stress reduction, sleep enhancement, self-confidence, and physical and cognitive performance,” says Theresa Molnar, executive director of the Sense of Smell Institute, the scientific and educational section of the perfume industry’s Fragrance Foundation. This non-profit organisation, founded in 1949 in New York, is a resource for industry expertise, innovation and education. According to research, if we know the way certain aromas influence our personality, we can improve our health and general well-being.

But how?

Picking Perfume : How Perfume Influences Mood

Vanilla and peppermint fragrances can improve our lifestyles

Sweet smells, for example, may even work like pain killers. „Sweet tastes reduce pain by activating opioid systems (which control pain, reward and addictive behaviours) in the brain, and the odour comes to activate the same systems,” Australian psychologist John Prescott said in an article published by Psychology Today.

Vanilla, according to Brown University neuroscientist Rachel Herz, acts like a substitute for the pleasure that we would get from eating sweets, but without any calories. „This is not a scent you would use if you had an empty stomach, because it’s likely to just make you hungrier. But if you’ve had a healthy lunch, it can help curb the craving for a candy bar afterward”, she says.

Psychology of Scent by Rachel Herz.

Finally, if you find it hard getting up in the morning, peppermint could become your best friend because of its zippy effect. „Peppermint scent increases activity in the brain area that wakes us up in the morning,” suggests Bryan Raudenbush, a psychologist at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. In accordance with his studies, sportsmen run faster and can do more push-ups when they have been exposed to the scent. So maybe it’s worth adding some drops of peppermint oil on your sweatband!

In any case, choosing your perfume among the dozens of available fragrances should be done with care. After all, as Sean Combs says, “it communicates who you are.”