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  1. #1

    Default What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I just read this expression somewhere on this forum. I think people were talking about Bandit and Tabac Blond and someone said that because she has a "chemistry that eats fragrance" these two don't smell at all strongly on her.
    I recognized myself immediately in this situation and could not have expressed it better. Perfumes literally disappear on me. I tend to need a few good sprays of EDP scattered in all sorts of strategic places on the body, ideally layered over 3-4 drops of pure perfume or lotions and creams...to get anything more serious throughout the day.When I hear of those saying that all they need is two drops of EDP behind the ear and they get that great sillage all day long, I just get jealous.

    Looks like when you have good chemistry, that is the type of skin that sets off the fragrance throughout the day instead of eating it out in an hour max - that also translates into good chemistry with the wallet. Nice.

    I began to wonder whether there is a certain "type" of woman that tends to have worse chemistry, in the sense that the body "eats off" the fragrance quickly.

    Is it ethnicity, body type,...skin color, skin type (dry, oily), hair...somehting else...or is it simply random?...

    I am Eastern European, dark and very thick hair, medium to light skin, medium constitution...etc.
    I'd be curious to hear some speculations around this topic.
    Last edited by syracusa; 11th January 2008 at 09:01 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    My mother has the same problem. She has largely British ancestry; very pale, somewhat dry skin; reddish brown hair. Fragrance is mainly my hobby - scents last moderately well on me, though some disappear almost instantly - but finding even one fragrance that lasts or stays pleasant on her has been incredibly difficult. A related problem that I've noticed is that scents tend to change drastically on her. I didn't believe her at first when she said that Serge Lutens Sa Majesté La Rose smelled like a rubber raincoat on her, but it was true.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I heard it is usually people with dry skin who have this situation where fragrances disappear quickly on them. I definitely don't have oily skin, it's somewhere between normal and dry - but not THAT dry.
    Well, I guess it's probably random.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    It could be your sense of smell, I notice things in fragrances other people don't and they tend to smell stronger to me. It got more sensitive with age. Which one you choose has a lot to do with it, too. You could also try changing what you bathe with to see if that helps, maybe you are using something in the shower that conflicts with your scents or makes your skin dry.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I always thought I had this problem. Fragrance dies if I only put it on my wrists. I've found I have a lot more joy spraying down the centre of my chest and in the crooks of my elbows, and also, I've learned which scents last and which don't. Angel, which some people can't scrub off, doesn't last all that long on me (the EDP is gone in a flash but I have the extrait which, at least, is better) but Poison EDT lasts all day. Now I generally won't buy something I know doesn't last on my skin.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    My mom, who is half Dutch and half Indian, has normal skin, very fair indian skin (closer to spaniards colour-wise). And fragrance lasts on her for ages, I bought her Ultraviolet EDT about three years ago, she uses it A LOT, and still, over 1/4 of the bottle is left! Lasts on her for up to 12 hours.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I've got "scent-killing" skin.
    I'm of 100% Greek ancestry, light skin with olive undertones, but neither oily nor dry.
    Build-wise, I've always been small and thin, and my wavy hair used to be dark brown.
    I see that we all have markedly different traits, so this must have more to do with individual skin, possibly on the molecular level, like a "base aroma" that we carry with us that goes without detection (similar to sounds that occur above or below the range of human hearing) and cancels out other aromas.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 13th January 2008 at 02:11 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I run very cold. I've always got cold fingers, toes, nose...When I cycle up a hill suddenly I can smell my fragrance, even if I thought it had faded out hours ago. I think that's part of the problem, just being a cold person. I wear fragrance on my chest under my clothes where it has a chance to heat up.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I think that's my problem too, Stellamaris. I can wear even the most obnoxious sillage monster and no one will complain because I don't have enough heat to let it project. Almost everything is a skin scent on me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Hmm, interesting! In general, I find that my skin eats fragrance (Shalimar, for instance, turns into a thin lemon-y whimper on me, which frankly is just sad). My skin is not dry, I'm a thin redhead of largely British isles ancestry...I don't really tend to be particularly hot or cold, though my "normal" temp runs a bit lower than average. I have found that while, as a rule, I must wear a beast of a scent if I wish to have project the slightest waft of fragrance, some houses' scents seem to work better for me than others. Caron, Cartier, Chanel---all of these last well and "project" nicely for me, even for scents that reviewers in general have rated as not long lasting and/or having low sillage. Also, almost without exception, if I want sillage I have much better (relative) success with an EdT or EdP, and often with the EdT.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Thank you for all your posts - there are starting to help. I am really trying to figure out where this trait is coming from and what I can do about it. I resent spending so much on nice perfume and then having to spray an endless number of applications (be it in strategic places) only to have my husband say..."no, I really don't smell much". Only when he gets very close to my skin he says..."yeah, now I smell something".

    This is quite disappointing.

    Because my mom gets irritated from applying fragrance directly on her skin, she usually applies a spray on her clothes and one in her hair. I can tell you that wherever she goes, it smells incredibly. The sillage is huge and the fragrance just seems to do its job.

    I told her that it is not considered of "bon ton" to apply on clothes and that the art is to apply directly on your skin, to "pulse" points, so that the fragrance can be released by body warmth and to get that unique chemistry with your skin. She says she has no choice as her skin gets irritated if she applies directly.

    But if my skin eats the fragrance, instead of releasing it with sillage, isn't it a better use of perfume to apply on clothes and hair just like my mom does?

  12. #12

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Hey, you're not alone! I spray and I spray and I spray, and when I ask my friends if they smell something -- anything -- they're like, "Hm... you're wearing perfume?" Le sigh...

    I'm Chinese, normal to dry skin, dry hair (grr), average size. One thing though is that I don't smell like anything, and I sweat very little. So I never have to use deodorant or anti-perspirant. Which IS a great thing... but lately I've been thinking that this is why I can't hold a scent. Like, I don't have a natural body scent or whatever that fumes can cling to.

    Actually I lied. The only note my body can hold onto is WHITE FLOWERS. White flowers blossom on my skin. But since I despise white flowers... it's a problem.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I scent seems to stay pretty strong on me for the first couple of minutes, but after that the scent that I happen to be wearing at the time turns into a skin scent - I don't like to go overboard for fear that I may be wearing too much and not knowing it.
    I've posted this in another thread, but I usually use oils in the areas that I'm going to wear my perfume of choice (they are usually unscented, or they have the same notes as other perfumes in my small collection, hehe), and I find that I have longer lasting sillage.

    (You may want to check out Divatologist's posts about long-lasting sillage! Thank you Diva!)

  14. #14

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    [QUOTE=hallospacegirl;1135602]

    I'm Chinese, normal to dry skin, dry hair (grr), average size. One thing though is that I don't smell like anything, and I sweat very little. So I never have to use deodorant or anti-perspirant. Which IS a great thing... but lately I've been thinking that this is why I can't hold a scent. Like, I don't have a natural body scent or whatever that fumes can cling to.

    QUOTE]

    I never thought about it, but that's the way I am too! It sounds weird to most people, but I don't use deoderant or anti-perspirant, even working out at the gym. I just don't sweat very much from my armpits so there's really not much of a point to doing it. I just smell pretty neutral. And when it comes to perfumes, I never really get much sillage. Example: Femme. I've heard of this being a sillage monster, but on me it's very delicate and close to the skin (and this applies to both the vintage and newer versions) But even though my skin eats up fragrances, fragrances don't "turn" on me. My mom has the exact same skin tones and coloring as me, but a lot of fragrances have great sillage, but go really rancid on her and the same fragrances are very pretty on me (pretty but not powerful) Maybe the perfumes have to mix with the bacteria in the skin and some people have less of that type of bacteria?
    “Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.”--Dorothy Parker

  15. #15

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    [QUOTE=eek909;1135851]
    Quote Originally Posted by hallospacegirl View Post

    I'm Chinese, normal to dry skin, dry hair (grr), average size. One thing though is that I don't smell like anything, and I sweat very little. So I never have to use deodorant or anti-perspirant. Which IS a great thing... but lately I've been thinking that this is why I can't hold a scent. Like, I don't have a natural body scent or whatever that fumes can cling to.

    QUOTE]

    I never thought about it, but that's the way I am too! It sounds weird to most people, but I don't use deoderant or anti-perspirant, even working out at the gym. I just don't sweat very much from my armpits so there's really not much of a point to doing it. I just smell pretty neutral. And when it comes to perfumes, I never really get much sillage. Example: Femme. I've heard of this being a sillage monster, but on me it's very delicate and close to the skin (and this applies to both the vintage and newer versions) But even though my skin eats up fragrances, fragrances don't "turn" on me. My mom has the exact same skin tones and coloring as me, but a lot of fragrances have great sillage, but go really rancid on her and the same fragrances are very pretty on me (pretty but not powerful) Maybe the perfumes have to mix with the bacteria in the skin and some people have less of that type of bacteria?
    Did you just say "sillage monster"?
    Then...Femme by who? I looked it up in the directory but I saw no "Femme" by itself. I'd be interested to try something that's called a "sillage monster"...

    Is it Rochas, by any chance? ...

  16. #16
    mastorer's Avatar
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    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    You all have just touched upon the reasons. Two things, for the most part, affect how strong a perfume lasts on your skin.

    1) If you don't perspire much (or with that have cold skin), perfume won't be prompted to leave your body via water vapor evaporation. But remember that your skin is not cold everywhere...

    2) If your skin is on the dry side, perfume constituents, being oily, become wicked right into your dry skin just as easily as if it were Oil of Olay or any other type of skin creme or lotion.

    Perfumes have a certain amount of neutral oils built into them. Some have more and some have less. These are added as "fixatives" and one of their functions is to apply some oiliness to the skin to give it a protective barrier. Ones that contain less can disappear on you more quickly.

    SOLUTION: The best thing to try is "pre-moisturizing" you skin with any kind of bath oil, creme or lotion until it is fairly saturated with the oils in these products. BEFORE applying perfume, apply Nivea creme or anything else (that isn't strong-smelling) to EACH area where you're planning to apply your fragrance. Make sure you put enough on to really saturate your skin and rub it in thoroughly. This will form a very nice barrier, keeping your body from adsorbing the perfume and carrying it off.

    Another obvious tip is to apply perfume to the warmest areas of your body and allow it to seep out slowly from under your clothing. Women, your cleavage area is great for this and even down to the stomach, allowing the fragrance to raise up and out slowly through the neckline of your blouse, nicely pre-warmed. The same goes for men. The stomach and chest are great application areas, especially if they have been pre-moisturized with a bath oil or a creme of fairly neutral aroma.

    One last word: If you do find that you are always cold and rarely perspire, you might want to get your thyroid checked. It's an easy blood test.

    Do report back if this is helpful to you. This is something all fragrance-wearers should be aware of and try. Let other women (and me) know if this was helpful to you!

    Michael Storer, perfumer
    MICHAEL STORER fine niche perfumery for the individualist
    www.michaelstorer.com

  17. #17

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Michael,

    Your post is truly appreciated. When I think about it, yes...I DO tend to have normal to dry skin and I do get cold extremities (especially feet, sometimes hands etc) but not always. I did have a thyroid test recently and tests came out OK.

    I have done the jojoba oil in key spots before applying perfume, but I can't say I noticed a huge difference. Perhaps I applied too little - since you mentioned saturation; and perhaps I should just find a bath oil with notes from No 5 (any suggestions, by the way?) to wash with when I am in the shower or when I take a bath.

    Something I may be guilty of is applying mainly to wrists and behind the years - but this is where I thought my warm pulse points were. I also apply in the clevage/between breasts and the fragrance indeed seems to last longer there...but I wasn't sure how much it emanates from that place. It seems so close to the skin in that spot that I feel like nothing could be smelled from a place...so hidden.

    I need to find a nice bath oil - that is clear. Maybe forumers would have some suggestions for bath oils with No 5 notes in it (that is jasmine, neroli, ylang, ylang, etc). ???

    Thank you again - this is a very informative thread. I am also still trying to detect Divatologist's thread on lasting sillage. ...maybe someone can help?...

  18. #18

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Good advice, Michael. I just have poor circulation - my thyroid checked out normal in June. I exercise quite a lot which you think would help, but it doesn't.

  19. #19

    Cool Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I found the post about Great Sillage on men's forum. OK, the problem may have to do with dry skin ...but it also looks like it is not really possible to achieve wonders with little application. I just kept hearing about those people who say they only use 2 sprays of something behind the ears and then you can smell them from two miles away. I felt deprived knowing that I could never achieve this with two sprays no matter what. Not even with four. However, a lot of those guys there talk about applying all over the body. Now, that involves a lot of sprays, right?...as in "my bottle of No 5 will go up much sooner than I'd care to and will have to start purchasing No 5 bottles like I purchase hot bread".

    I was just trying to achieve a lot with very little - with strategic application; but I don't think this is really possible for me. What I might do will be to replace the application on the wrists (where the perfume dries up quickly, true) with applications in warm, hidden spaces only, even if they are coevered by clothes. This may work better.

    As for using 8-10-15 sprays like some of those guys were talking about...heck, with that much even I will achieve mosnter sillage.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Yeah, Rochas Femme. Sorry.
    “Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.”--Dorothy Parker

  21. #21

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Sweet almond or sesame oil (as in the unscented Neutrogena Rainbath oil) will moisturize better than jojoba, which is really better for people with oily skin. Before you get out of the shower, apply the oil while your skin is still wet, then gently towel dry. The oil will absorb in better. If you apply oil while your skin is dry, it tends to lay on top. The same probably holds true for the oils in perfumes, that is an interesting point, Michael. Thanks.

  22. #22

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    OK...I had to revive this thread because I don't know what to do about sillage anymore...

    Today I applied about 6-7 sprays of a sample of Dior Addict (supposedly strong stuff). After taking a hot shower, I layered them dutifully over jojoba oil in just the right, warm skin places, including one on clothes, all according to the advice in this thread. When I got in the car, I was waiting for my husband's reaction... Nothing. I asked him: do you smell anything?...He leaned over and said...not really.

    I just couldn't believe it! He either has a smell problem or something is wrong with my skin which does not project anything and keeps every fragrance right next to the pores.
    On the other hand, regarding staying power...I have to say that more than 8 hours after applying this fragrance in the morning (Dior Addict), I personally can still smell it on me.
    It is not my favorite fragrance but it looks like it has nice staying power.

    But as far as sillage goes...I will most probably remain the only person that will ever know I wear any perfume at all. So I wonder if the expense is worth it. It's all philosophical, I know, but really ... I can set myself in a good mood with other means, without necessarily spending 100+ on a bottle of perfume. I regard perfume somewhat like make-up. You just want to make yourself all-around pretty. Otherwise I like myself just fine even without make-up, if I were to just live in a jungle by myself. I just cannot say that the only reason I like using perfume is to smell it on myself...by myself. I kind of like people to notice. But it's clearly not happening.

    Maybe I should buy a bottle of Fracas (yes, I still smell it everywhere in my bed 4 days after having tried one single spray at night) and just bathe in it. It is the most monstrously long lasting scent I have ever come across - I am not entirely sure about sillage - ...I don't like it...but heck, at least I know I would make the needed statement.

    Arrrrghhhhhh.... just a little vent.

  23. #23

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Syracusa thank you SO MUCH for starting this thread which has been a great source of info (and comfort!) to this similarly "afflicted" fragrance devourer!!

    Following Ayala's suggestion I had been pre-applying with Jojoba 'til I read Beachrose's comment (checked that out with my massage therapist who confirmed that masseuses use jojoba especially for the "glide"...and also that "cold pressed" sesame and the Nivea are excellent for those of us with dry skin) and Michael's specific instructions.for application. Am awaiting products and will report.

    I wear fragrances primarily for my own satisfaction. When I can smell 'em wafting up from between the boobies and neck with back-up sniff at wrists and arms - I am happy. Even my summer clothes (I live at the beach and most of my clothes are summer clothes) that get laundered a lot have traces of my scents. So do my bed linens (actually, bed satins.) If others detect and appreciate (or, in my boss' case, HATE - can you believe LHB?? ) that's icing on the cake.

    I just LOVE smells (are you ready for - say - hot tar? Fresh horse manure? And who mentioned when the radiators first go on at the beginning of winter?) and have surrounded myself with them since before I can remember. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    You GO, girl!!! Douse yourself if that's what it takes!. We're behind you 100%
    "When the heart is right, "for" and "against" are forgotten." Chuang Tzu
    My 'Drobe: Here

    The authentic me Here

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Taolady,

    I love what you wrote about reveling in all kinds of smells. As a perfumer I truly can appreciate that. I love the smell of mud and hot tar. One of my favorites ever since I can remember is the smell of a wet sidewalk. At age three or four I remember actually licking cement just to enjoy that smell.

    I just quickly want to add to what I wrote earlier: Some fragrance ingredients are actually solids and not liquids at room temperature. This means they aren't evaporating and giving off their scent. These things don't melt (= smell) until about 98 degrees F. or 37 degrees C. Examples are resins like labdanum, crystals that are in tonka, vanilla resin, many delicious wood saps, etc. This is why when you breathe a warm moist breath on your skin where you've applied perfume you often get an entirely different set of glorious notes. Phooey with wrist "pulse points".. it's a crock. Go for the hottest areas of your body ...and a little perspiration there helps too. People with higher metabolisms will also emanate perfumes more generously.
    MICHAEL STORER fine niche perfumery for the individualist
    www.michaelstorer.com

  25. #25

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I too have skin that eats up fragrances.

    Maybe it's my low body temp combined with dry skin due to iron deficient anemia, or maybe it's just me...

    I've found 2 products that help me in that area though:
    1)Keri Advance Extra Dry Skin Lotion (they recently changed the name & the bottle to a black bottle)
    2)Johnson's Baby Oil Gel with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E

    The Keri is less greasy, but the Baby Oil Gel works better for sillage.

    I suspect that my skin absorbs the more natural & moisturizing lotions easily which also makes it easy to absorb the perfumes I apply as well. These 2 moisturizers make barriers which prevent my skin from absorbing the fragrance.

    The Keri I can apply all over after a bath or shower.
    The Gel I only apply where I'm going to apply fragrance because it's greasy and doesn't really get absorbed well - so only on my forearms and the front of my torso.

    I find spraying fragrance on "pulse points" doesn't do much for me. I apply on my chest & stomach area and my outer forearms because fragrance gets rubbed off when applied on the inside. If it's an especially weak fragrance I'll also apply to the back of my neck, my back, and in between my thighs if I'm wearing a skirt. So far, no one has ever said anything about me wearing too much fragrance...

    Taolady - include me into the "smells" club - gasoline is one of my favorites. Tar is good too - until it gives me a headache. lol I find if something actually smells *bad* I can't stop sniffing it.

  26. #26

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I'm no expert, but a week or so ago, when I asked the woman in the perfume shop why some scents last and others don't on my skin, she said that it depends on one's chemistry (of course) and also on the amount of spices and oils one consumes! She said the more spices/oils I ate, the longer a fragrance might last. So, show me the way to the good food!
    Don't know if that falls under the "old wives' tales" category, but thought I'd throw it in !

  27. #27

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I do not know if this has already been discussed, but what is being used for soap? The reason I ask this is because, many times when people have trouble with their fragrance lasting their are a few different reasons. One of the reasons is their skin is too dry, more oils needed to make scent last. The next is, the fragrance is too light. BUT, one of the most overlooked reasons is this on, which is many times the culprit. It is the soap one uses. In the states, most of the commercially available soaps are deodorant soaps. This is all fine and dandy, not very good for the skin, but deodorant does not differentiate between body odor and fragrance. It tends to neutralize both equally. So if you are using one of the commercial brand soaps, or even ones with sodium tallowate (boiled animal fat), which leaves a film and dries out skin, you should switch to a vegetable based soap. L'occitane, pre de provance, and any soaps found in Whole foods or Trader Joe's will work well. Also, immediately after a shower, you should moisturize and wait 20 min until you apply fragrance, unless it is an "eau fraiche" type of scent. This gives the body time to replenish the hydro-lipidic mantle, so the scent has something to adhere to.
    Good luck
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser ŕ sa source

  28. #28

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Really great tips! Thank you again...

  29. #29

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Deodorant SOAP! OMG I didn't know! Is this also the case with liquid hand soaps and shower gels?

  30. #30

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    I agree with whomever above said that it helps to eat/ingest more oils. For health/beauty reasons I take flaxseed and primrose oil pills. These are pure omega fatty acids (oils good for the body). Now I'm not saying to go to your nearest Walmart and pick up a cart full of oils, but I do know that these oils lubricate the body from the inside out, contributing to overall health, and in my case more moisturized skin and better sillage.

    Also, nothing beats drinking lots and lots of water.
    Last edited by laurynx; 23rd January 2008 at 02:23 AM.
    New to fragrances.
    Loves: Fracas, No. 5, Cristalle, Touch, Black Orchid, Une Rose, Carnal Flower, Tiptoeing Through Chambers of the Moon, The Exact Friction of Stars

  31. #31

    Default Re: What kind of women have..."chemistry that eats fragrance"?

    Quote Originally Posted by zaklin View Post
    Deodorant SOAP! OMG I didn't know! Is this also the case with liquid hand soaps and shower gels?
    Anything that has deodorizing agents in it will affect fragrance. It cannot differentiate between bad odor and good odor.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser ŕ sa source

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