Fragrances, Perfumes & Colognes
Why Do Some Fragrances Smell Bad on You But Not Someone Else?
Choosing a fragrance is almost like a chemistry
experiment. You have a hypothesis: A fragrance smells
great in the bottle, but will it smell equally as good once
to your skin chemistry? The results could be inconclusive unless
you do a lot of experimenting of new perfumes and fragrances.
You see, it takes time for a fragrance to really interact with
your skin. First impressions of a fragrance don't really count
when choosing your perfume. It's those lasting impressions,
or base notes in fragrance terms, that you are aiming for.
The simplest response that answers the question of why some
fragrances stink on some people and some don't are basically
that everyone's skin is different. Skin chemistry is unusual
and unique. Even a person's own skin chemistry can change on
them from time to time. These changes can occur without apparent
warning to the wearer of the fragrance. One day you could be
wearing your favorite fragrance that smells heavenly and the
next day, it could stink.
There are a number
of factors that can cause your skin's chemistry
to change. The biggest factor is plain old stress. If you are
anxious about something, your heart rate could change and you
could develop clammy hands or start to sweat more. Stress can
easily alter your body chemistry and affect how a fragrances
smells on you. You may have heard the phrase, "You are what
you eat." This ties in closely to the second factor that affects
how fragrances smell on your body. Your diet, the foods you
eat, can drastically change the smell of various scents on
your skin. One extreme example is if you enjoy garlic with
your meals. As most people know, if you eat too much garlic,
you can smell a faint garlic aroma coming from your skin pores
when you sweat. How well do you think garlic would co-mingle
with your fragrance? Onions and other foods that can cause
gas are also culprits that can alter the smell of a fragrance.
age can play a factor in your skin's chemistry. There
are several major hormonal changes for men and women. The first
change is that transition from little kid status to hormonal
teen. Puberty can wreck havoc on a teenager's body – oily skin,
cracking voices, body hair everywhere, menstruation and growth
spurts. The whole teenage years are thrown into turmoil and
don't really settle down until a person's early twenties.
The next major hormonal shift is something that only women
go through – pregnancy. You know those cravings that only occur
while carrying a child? The same principle applies for fragrances.
A certain scent may smell totally different when you are pregnant.
By the same token, your own sense of smell can also change.
The last major hormonal hurdle that can cause skin chemistry
changes is "the change," also known as menopause. Believe it
or not, men can also suffer to a certain extent from this hormonal
shift. Skin becomes drier and thinner. Testosterone and estrogen
levels fluctuate and night sweats are another menopausal factor.
medications and even medical conditions will also
play a part in how your skin's chemistry will alter a fragrance's
scent. People with diabetes for example have a tougher time
finding an appropriate perfume or fragrance. Because their
blood sugar levels fluctuate daily, so would the scent of a
fragrance. Finally, some people's skin just has a certain attraction
to various essential oils. Their skin may absorb one kind of
essential oil from a fragrance while another dissipates very
quickly. It can take a lot of trial and error to determine
which essential oils work best for your skin chemistry.
To help you better determine what fragrances would work the
best with your skin chemistry; apply test scents on
your pulse points. Pulse points are where the blood vessels are close
to the skin's surface and thus provide more warmth. Test no
more than two or three scents at a time. Smell these scents
throughout the day and even reapply on the same pulse points
on a different day. If the scent is consistent each time and
you like the smell, you may have just found your new perfume
or fragrance. It may take a little time deciphering how the
whole skin chemistry thing works for you, but it is well worth
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