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  1. #1

    Default Skin Chemistry Story

    Until today, I have always--albeit, ignorantly--dismissed skin chemistry as a trivial aspect of choosing a fragrance. I believed that skin chemistry could only account for ostensibly indiscernible nuances--noticeable only to a trained nose or seasoned fragrance enthusiast.

    Suffice it to say, I was wrong: the effect of skin chemistry is not merely some esoteric phenomena!!

    A skin-sampling of Burberry London spawned this realization.

    For months, I have intentionally strayed away from Burberry london--I sprayed it on a card, and me and my girlfriend were disgusted by it. Moreover, the copious complaints regarding London's longevity served to solidify my hatred for the fragrance.

    Enter: Fate.

    After exceeding the reasonable amount of sample requests for one Sephora visit, I sent my girlfriend in to acquire samples of what was left on my list. She failed--and failed miserably. She comes out with a sample of LONDON!

    So last night, I sprayed it on simply to get rid of it. WOW, not what I remembered. The smell was divine. We were both mesmerized by it--and unless something smells awful, she is generally indifferent to how my colognes smell. Additionally, the smell wouldn't go away, I woke up and the smell was as prevalent as it was upon application!

    Ordered a 3.4oz from Imagination Perfumery this morning.

    Lesson learned: WEAR before you buy--not just smell.

    So I apolgize to all of you, as I once considered you guys ridiculous for seriously considering the effect of skin chemistry.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Skin Chemistry Story

    While I detest the use of the word "chemistry" in connection with the effect, fragrance certainly does evolve when on the skin. Mostly its due to temperature, although acidity can play a minor role.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Skin Chemistry Story

    I was once told by a Creed SA in bergdorf that your skin chemistry can be affected by how healthy you are and what you eat. In that skin chemistry can definitely effect the smell of the fragrance. Whether or not that is true I am not sure, but it does sound like it would make sense.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Skin Chemistry Story

    True... There are fragrances mentioned as having enormous longevity and sillage, well, not in my case. TAke the infamous Kouros, siz good sprays lasts on me four hours, Eau Sauvage lasts hardly an hour and Monsieur Givenchy can't be smelt by those around me.

    I sort of like it, it gives me the perfect excuse for having a big wardrobe

  5. #5

    Default Re: Skin Chemistry Story

    health and eating habits play a role? interesting.

    I can't believe so many people have longevity issues with London.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Skin Chemistry Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Jklax221 View Post
    health and eating habits play a role? interesting.

    I can't believe so many people have longevity issues with London.

    I think it could be olfactory issues, it lasts a good 6 hours on me

  7. #7

    Default Re: Skin Chemistry Story

    Some scents are also designed to be skin scents, i.e. scents that stay close to the skin and do not project beyond your immediate personal space. An example would be Creed's Millesime Imperial. You would have to pump that bottle all over yourself to get projection out of it.

    I did about 5 sprays (3 on my neck and 2 on my inner elbows) and and i could smell it pretty good, but the people around me commented that they couldn't smell it unless they came realllly close to me (T_T).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Skin Chemistry Story

    I store my stash in the fridge and always spray on the clothes fabric. I know the discussion is on skin, but what I'm doing actually proves that one of the most effective way to make a perfume smell different is by modifying the temperature. That, or toast it in the hot sun.

    Anyway, when I wake up and spray anything I have at 5 degrees (all temp are in Celsius), I only smell a pale ghost of what I know and love. An hour later at work, I can start smelling the whole fragrant spectrum unfold. I always spray on my clean clothes, never on skin, and also use the same detergent on my clothes for the past year - so while this is not conclusive experimental proof, as an ex-science student I'd say this is a pretty good circumstantial evidence favoring the temperature hypothesis.

    So the difference of bottle vs strip vs skin is probably mostly a matter of your skin warming up the perfume to 38 degrees rather than the smelling strip at 25-26 degrees.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Skin Chemistry Story

    I'm deeply suspicious of the whole 'skin chemistry' theory. I believe it's all to do with our vastly varying sense of smell. People do mention diet and health affecting 'skin chemistry'. Probably. But insignificantly. Diet and health would greatly affect our sense of smell, however.
    Skin is an organ and requires a very specific range of conditions in order to perform its essential functions. If it varied as much as some believe, we'd be suffering far nastier conditions than merely variations in the way we perceive scents.
    So, for me, when I can't detect a certain note in a fragrance or, in some cases, when I can barely detect the whole fragrance (!), I don't blame my skin, I blame my nose.

    Of course, that doesn't explain the very real phenomenon of why fragrances smell so differently on our skin to on paper. Temperature undoubtedly plays a significant role, as would the prolonged olfactory exposure due to having it constantly "there".

    Interesting experiment: Find two people who claim to have "opposing skin chemistries". Take whatever steps you feel necessary to ensure each has a similar level of cleanliness and is scent-free. Apply your favourite scent to each. Wait a while. Sniff them. Report any differences.
    Last edited by Trufflehunter; 20th January 2009 at 10:21 AM.

  10. #10
    timaru's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin Chemistry Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Jklax221 View Post
    health and eating habits play a role? interesting.

    I can't believe so many people have longevity issues with London.

    I have been told (repeatedly and by reasonable people) that what you eat plays a role in your body odour but only as long as the certain ingredient you had been eating and which is affecting the way you smell persists in your system.
    For example, when you eat garlic, herbs, onions etc you not only have breath issues (for some time) but you also exude the aromas via sweating that is to say your skin.
    But thats just what I have heard (and read I think but not too sure..)

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