Control Your Signature Scent

By Vicki Nisbett
Posted On Jul 22, 2014

Identity Crisis

FRAGRANCES INTERACT WITH YOUR BODY’S INDIVIDUAL CHEMISTRY. THE INEVTIABLE RESULT? YOUR FAVORITE PERFUME WILL CHANGE, DEPENDING ON DIET, ENVIRONMENT,AND—YES—YOUR AGE.

By MELISSA FOSS

Soon  after her last birthday, Houston-based executive recruiter Kristin Lindquist grabbed a smooth, familiar bottle from her vanity table, misting her neck and wrists on her way out the door. Suddenly, she sensed that something was off. “It didn’t have its usual musky scent,” she says. “Especially an hour or so later. I was pretty upset. People identify me by that perfume and have for years.”

Ah, change. Some of us embrace it; others fight it tooth and nail. (And let’s not forget good old denial). One fact we all must face: Every part of you, from the color of your hair to the way your eau de toilette expresses itself on your skin, is influenced by the passage of time. Scent changes are impacted by many factors—what you eat, hormones, overall health, the hydration level of your skin, and the number of candles on your cake. l Here are steps you can take to keep control of your Chanel #5:

Diet After a delicious dinner of garlic-laden pasta, your skin emanates a different odor than it would had you stuck to blander fare. The spicier choice may keep vampires away, but it will do the same with everyone else. The odor usually lasts about 48 hours, as it slowly exits your body through your pores. Other olfactory offenders include cumin, red meat, and broccoli. While your natural scent may mask an offending aroma to some degree, don’t expect too much. The good news: offending odors fade soon enough, and your go-to cologne will behave like its lovely old self once again.

Hormones

Birth control, hormone therapy, pregnancy, and supplementation wreak havoc on your metabolism and affect how you smell to other people. These life events diminish your “nose,” causing you to suddenly dislike your long-time favorite scent—or feel the need to apply too much to get the same effect you did in the past. In both cases, it’s best to ask a friend’s opinion, according to June Jacobs, the creator of product line June Jacobs Spa Collection. It’s the same as asking whether or not you look good in an old pair of jeans. Honesty is key, says Jacobs, “even if the news is not good.”

Birthdays

Fragrance molecules interact with moisture in the epidermis, and that helps create the scents we love. As we age, our skin changes—the primary issue being that our skin gets drier. With less natural moisture, molecules have less to bond to, and evaporate more quickly. They behave like long-lost acquaintances rather than best friends.

Scent Solutions

1) For longer staying power, layer your bath product, body cream, and eau de toilette, eau de parfum, or perfume (all from your signature scent)—moving towards a stronger concentration over time.

2) “Spray your scent onto your clothes, rather than your skin,” suggests Jacobs. This pertains especially to natural fragrances that contain essential oils rather than ones laden with chemicals, which may stain certain fabrics.

3) Head to the perfume aisle every few years. Experiment with new launches and brands. Make sure that your favorite fragrance is still your favorite. Go with the fragrance flow.