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 it reacts 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.

Your 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.

Certain 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 the effort.

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