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  1. #1

    Default How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    For my 100th post, I thought I'd spend some time on my possibly unusual, if not unique, experiences with the darker side of fragdom - those rich, heavy, unique, love 'em or hate 'em scents.

    I've suffered from very dry skin for as long as I can remember, especially during the winter. And so it is my skin tends to drink up frags like there's no tomorrow and what is achieved in 5-6 sprays on most people takes more like 15-20 on me (this is not me just getting used to the scent - I have tested this with assistance from others). And just lately I've noticed that certain frags largely thought of as deep, scary monsters (C&S 88 and Cuba, Caron Yatagan and 3rd Man, Aramis Classic, VC&A Tsar and others) on me are very subtle. All of the above simmer quietly away on me all day - they don't shout, nor do they offend. They're very definitely there, but not there announcing their presence to the world.

    Now, I know that certain notes and ingredients react to particular body chemistry (animalic frags, of course, are the most obvious), but does the ENTIRE development of a frag hinge on the wearer's skin type? Why is it that on most people, going by BN reviews and forum comments, C&S Cuba is a big, smoky frag fully living it up to its title and threatening to upset anyone else who smells it (even with those who give it a thumbs up and love it), whilst on me it's an almost conservative (in a nice way) gently spicy scent unlikely to offend anyone?! And this sort of thing seems to happen more often than not - the only heavy frags that haven't gone down that road on me in my 15 or-so years of wearing scents are VC&A Pour Homme and Old Spice, both of which can kill a rhino at a hundred yards with just 1 or 2 sprays to my chest.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    I n d e e d. When I put on Ungaro II the civet explodes soon after the citrus. But recently I smelled it on a friend who sampled it on skin as well, the civet wasn't all that prominent while the citrus seem to stay on for quite some time. Anyways congrats on your 100th.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Often, between two different application of the same frag and in the same quantity of sprays, I still get the feeling that it smells somewhat altered, plus with different lasting power, each different time.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_Russell View Post
    Often, between two different application of the same frag and in the same quantity of sprays, I still get the feeling that it smells somewhat altered, plus with different lasting power, each different time.
    I get this as well, even with frags smelt from paper therefore taking my dry skin problem out of the equation. I have put this down to a subtle change in my sense of smell. Whether it is down to biorhythms or hormone levels or whatever, I dont know. But I have noticed evidence that my perception of smell can wander over time.

    The oddest thing is it can flip my enjoyment of a frag. I usually prefer Guerlain Homme Intense to Guerlain Vetiver (gets ready to duck for cover...), last time I tried these 2, the GHI was unpleasantly 'clashy', and the Vetiver was really quite nice

  5. #5

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Quote Originally Posted by matthewfoo View Post
    I n d e e d. When I put on Ungaro II the civet explodes soon after the citrus. But recently I smelled it on a friend who sampled it on skin as well, the civet wasn't all that prominent while the citrus seem to stay on for quite some time. Anyways congrats on your 100th.
    Thanks matthewfoo!

    Interesting thought peeps.

    Ken_Russell and andym72 - can't say I've ever noticed that on myself, but how curious!

  6. #6

    Question Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    i've been giving this a lot of thought lately as well.

    its amazing to me the amount of sprays some people on here say they use.

    i never use more than 2- 3 sprays, 4 is pushing it & i smell ANY frag ALL DAY!!!

    im like wtf is wrong with these people???

    im wearing light shit like egoiste platinum, the dreamer, ysl l'homme, gucci por homme ii,

    escada magnetism etc, i dont like heavy cologne. either mofo's have the worst genetics

    imaginable, or individuals need to refine their diets. i know i cant be the only vegetarian on

    basenotes. i couldnt imagine spraying any frag more than 4 times, i aint trying to have

    my "sillage" cover the earth. lay off the swine & beef, mabey all the flesh/animal protein

    (hormones) is bogging you down. dunno just my $.02.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Quote Originally Posted by mathematics View Post
    i've been giving this a lot of thought lately as well.

    its amazing to me the amount of sprays some people on here say they use.

    i never use more than 2- 3 sprays, 4 is pushing it & i smell ANY frag ALL DAY!!!

    im like wtf is wrong with these people???

    im wearing light shit like egoiste platinum, the dreamer, ysl l'homme, gucci por homme ii,

    escada magnetism etc, i dont like heavy cologne. either mofo's have the worst genetics

    imaginable, or individuals need to refine their diets. i know i cant be the only vegetarian on

    basenotes. i couldnt imagine spraying any frag more than 4 times, i aint trying to have

    my "sillage" cover the earth. lay off the swine & beef, mabey all the flesh/animal protein

    (hormones) is bogging you down. dunno just my $.02.

    Well, I can't say I want sillage covering the earth either. As I've already said, the problem I have is incredibly dry skin so it completely sucks up the frag right away and I'm left with barely any scent at all - your 2-3 sprays on me, with the exception of VERY few VERY strong scents, at best will be gone completely inside of an hour and at worst will barely register, presumably because they dry up so quickly there's nothing for the scent to cling to.

    I'm not entirely convinced about being a meat eater causing any problem for anyone, but it is nevertheless an interesting thought.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Quote Originally Posted by great_badir View Post
    Well, I can't say I want sillage covering the earth either. As I've already said, the problem I have is incredibly dry skin so it completely sucks up the frag right away and I'm left with barely any scent at all - your 2-3 sprays on me, with the exception of VERY few VERY strong scents, at best will be gone completely inside of an hour and at worst will barely register, presumably because they dry up so quickly there's nothing for the scent to cling to.

    I'm not entirely convinced about being a meat eater causing any problem for anyone, but it is nevertheless an interesting thought.
    That's some problem! The best thing that I can think of is for you to apply a body lotion/moisturizer before applying a fragrance. Maybe even shower 2 times a day (morning and afternoon) and then reapply the body lotion and fragrance.

    Also maybe talk to your doctor, it might even be that he can recommend something to help with your dry skin (vitamins, dietary etc)

    Anyway good luck with this.

    Regards,

    Xavier

  9. #9

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Quote Originally Posted by great_badir View Post
    Ken_Russell and andym72 - can't say I've ever noticed that on myself, but how curious!
    It seems everyones perception of smell is 'filtered' twice:

    Body Chemistry - Your (and my) dry skin is a good example - scents will 'burn off' your skin faster than someone with oily skin. It seems the oils are an extra fixative. This might also explain why for some people, a scent will go straight to the basenotes with no progression. I have found I can alter the longevity of a scent by applying an emollient first.

    Sense of Smell - Not only have we got the issue of selective anosmia, but I'm not even sure our sense of smell can be totally relied upon to be reproducible. Look, if womens perception of the same smell can swap from skanky to sweet in the space of 14 days I'm sure a similar process happens in men (guys, our bodies have cycles as well!)

    No wonder you get comment on BN sometimes like "Dude, are you sure you were sniffing the same juice as me?" :-)

  10. #10

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Quote Originally Posted by mathematics View Post

    i never use more than 2- 3 sprays
    ... me too. Usually I apply the fragrance - if any at all - after a shower. The soap is nearly unscented, containing a small amount of natural olive or neem extracts. It is claimed to be doctors soap as it is doped with oil to prevent from dry skin even if used frequently - what I do. Due to a lack of scalp hair I never use shampoo. Cloths are washed with mild detergent nearly unscented. Summarized I take care, and avoid casual fragrances as far as it is possible today within reason.

    All in all my skin may be regarded as ordinary. Some fragrances last longer subjectively (most recent "Pino Silvestre"), other fade within 10 minutes (Sisley Eau de Campagne), last but not least some high zillage/longivety-products leave something, that drives me into desperation with its nihilistic ugliness: Iso E Super. Others don't ricochet from Iso E Super, and do not find to much difference between the aforementioned two extremes. All applied to the same skin the same time!

    My observation makes sense, if aspects of the infamous skin chemistry are mostly due to different perception. How fast one gets used to an odor, fatigue, what it resembles within the personal olfactory memory, how it is connected to optics and haptics, in which concentration it is smelled near or far to the body, temperature of skin and air, moisture, moods, etc.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Quote Originally Posted by mathematics View Post
    i dont like heavy cologne. either mofo's have the worst genetics
    imaginable, or individuals need to refine their diets.
    If I were to dwell on my genetic heritage, I'd spray more, because life's too short not to have a bit of fun with it while I'm still able.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Quote Originally Posted by xyakks View Post
    That's some problem! The best thing that I can think of is for you to apply a body lotion/moisturizer before applying a fragrance. Maybe even shower 2 times a day (morning and afternoon) and then reapply the body lotion and fragrance.

    Also maybe talk to your doctor, it might even be that he can recommend something to help with your dry skin (vitamins, dietary etc)

    Anyway good luck with this.

    Regards,

    Xavier
    Oh, doctors and treatments were all done years ago in my early teens. Basically the "solution" was use moisturiser whenever dry skin came on (so I do, every winter). Nothing else touches it (the dry skin), but it's not enough of a problem for me to be concerned over my health and/or well-being, at least that's what all my doctors have told me. It simply means that, even with moisturiser, scents tend not to smell or last too long unless I chuck on loads. And, again, with me it's NOT anosmia - I've done enough tests over the years to be satisfied that the amount I spray now is not too much for me. And the regular compliments I get from both men and women is proof of that.


    Quote Originally Posted by andym72 View Post
    This might also explain why for some people, a scent will go straight to the basenotes with no progression.
    Good point andym, and one I hadn't really thought of before - I have a couple like this where I either get no top notes at all, or a very fleeting hint, before it goes straight down to the base.

    I'm happy with my lot and I just have to accept that I'll get through frags much quicker than most and will have to spend more than others. Doesn't really bother me. On a positive note, at least it means I get to test more!

    However, I'm straying off my own point slightly and we're getting into realms that should be over in the grooming forum. So back on track - last night I had a "proper" test spray (ie one small shot on all pulse points and one on the chest, rather than just one wrist and one in the cap as I did when I first got it) of C&S Cuba which I recently bought off another BNoter (along with some 88 - thanks Vinny!) and the whole thing didn't develop like how reviews suggested and how it developed in the cap. Don't get me wrong, it's REALLY nice and I'm contemplating getting a few other C&S frags, but far from this weird poo smelling concoction of odd notes which most people, even those who love it, seem to think don't work mixed together, I got a really smooth and balanced spice off-set by some zingy peppermint which just smelt great to me and everyone else around me - completely different than pretty much EVERY review and comment I've ever read about it, and not just one or two notes were different, the whole thing seemed to moprh on me into something else. In a good way.


    Quote Originally Posted by merry.waters View Post
    me too. Usually I apply the fragrance - if any at all - after a shower. The soap is nearly unscented, containing a small amount of natural olive or neem extracts. It is claimed to be doctors soap as it is doped with oil to prevent from dry skin even if used frequently - what I do. Due to a lack of scalp hair I never use shampoo. Cloths are washed with mild detergent nearly unscented. Summarized I take care, and avoid casual fragrances as far as it is possible today within reason.

    All in all my skin may be regarded as ordinary. Some fragrances last longer subjectively (most recent "Pino Silvestre"), other fade within 10 minutes (Sisley Eau de Campagne), last but not least some high zillage/longivety-products leave something, that drives me into desperation with its nihilistic ugliness: Iso E Super. Others don't ricochet from Iso E Super, and do not find to much difference between the aforementioned two extremes. All applied to the same skin the same time!

    My observation makes sense, if aspects of the infamous skin chemistry are mostly due to different perception. How fast one gets used to an odor, fatigue, what it resembles within the personal olfactory memory, how it is connected to optics and haptics, in which concentration it is smelled near or far to the body, temperature of skin and air, moisture, moods, etc.
    Fascinating thoughts and observation, merry.waters. I think what all these comments prove is that we are all different, both in our experiences and ways of thinking. Which is good. Because we'd all be the same if we weren't different!


    Quote Originally Posted by Hob Dobson View Post
    life's too short not to have a bit of fun with it while I'm still able.
    Hob Dobson - I think EVERYONE will agree with that!

  13. #13

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Haha! so true! I applied Fou'D Absinthe on my sisters boyfriend's hand and it was a cloyingly herbacious masterpiece, though for me it's dry, herbacious and zesty! amazing! I prefer it on me :P

    I'd say that a perfume does evolve more for me on a cold day whilst my skin is concordingly
    dry,modest and...well, cold!

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    In previous discussions of this dry-vs.-oily skin/skin-scent-vs.-sillage-monster topic, one interesting suggestion was made to apply a little jojoba oil to your pulse points until it is completely absorbed, and then spray some scent on top of it. The jojoba oil is intended to moisturize your skin without scenting it, and using the pulse points utilizes your body's temperature to help radiate the scent.

    You might try this and see if it works for you.

    Oiliness, of course, is not the only property of skin that might affect this sort of consideration. For example, I have dry-to-normal skin (slightly oilier on parts of my face, but I don't apply scent there!), and I have no problem with projection and sillage. But then, I might use a bit more than one or two sprays, depending on the intensity of the scent I'm using.

    I'm not sure how diet affects this issue. For myself, I eat pretty much what I like, and it doesn't seem to make much difference where scent projection is concerned.
    Last edited by JaimeB; 26th January 2010 at 07:55 AM.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS][SIZE=3]In previous discussions of this dry-vs.-oily skin/skin-scent-vs.-sillage-monster topic, one interesting suggestion was made to apply a little jojoba oil to your pulse points until it is completely absorbed, and then spray some scent on top of it. The jojoba oil is intended to moisturize your skin without scenting it, and using the pulse points utilizes your body's temperature to help radiate the scent.

    You might try this and see if it works for you.
    Interestingly I went through a phase a couple of years ago of trying some natural oils as opposed to moisturisers on the recommendation of a work colleague who was a beauty therapist on the side. I didn't get as far as jojoba, but I did try coconut, castor, olive, shea butter and rosehip. I stopped because in most cases I found the extra oil was promoting acne (it's a lose-lose with me!), however I never noticed that any of them helped with improving frag sillage on me.

    I agree with you about diet, JaimeB - I haven't really thought about it, but I don't think it's got any bearing on anything going on on the skin's surface.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    So, today I thought I'd give the Cuba a proper SOTD go. Wonderful stuff. BUT - given that it's a completely new frag for me, I thought I'd better play it safe just in case a monster would be unleashed. 8 shots all told - one behind each ear, one on my chest, one on each shoulder blade, one on the back of my neck and one on the inside of each elbow. That in itself would be too much for most people, but for me it's less than half what I would normally spray. As I mentioned earlier, Cuba on me is not the scary beast it is on most people. One hour in and the scent was, to me, noticeably toned down. Two hours later (now) the scent has almost completely gone, confirmed by several work colleagues, one of whom can smell nothing at all. Proof, if any more were needed, that in most cases anything less than double figures is not worth me thinking about.

    But apart from that, I LOVE Cuba and am looking forward to trying the 88 tomorrow, which I will also spritz on gingerly at first and report back.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Red text guy raises an interesting point. I usually go 2, MAYBE 3 sprays as well, just to start off, but - I think diet is an important part of the equation that a lot of you are looking over. You are what you eat, and you smell like it too - whether you know it or not.

    That said, I've had a turkey burger, peas, and texmati rice for dinner for the past four or five days. I usually eat a lot of fish. My skin is also pretty oily I guess - I sweat a LOT when I work out, and I mean a lot a lot, (it's a good kind of sweat and I've been complimented on having very pretty/modelesque sweat O_o ). I don't have any trouble with frags or alteration of smells usually. But I do notice that when my sister's bf wears D&G PH - and presumably drowns himself in it, for how you can smell him as soon as he walks in the house - it smells different than when I wear it.

    I'm throwing in another paragraph so I can use more hyphens in my sentences - don't ask me why.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    The diet thing IS an interesting point, but I don't think it's the root/cause in my case. Yes I eat meat and fish, but my diet is not unhealthy and I get plenty of exercise.

  19. #19

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    I am in no way an expert in this field, but I can be frank in saying this, I know people that use the same frags and in most cases they smell differently on most of them

  20. #20

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    I am on a very, very natural and healthy diet; you absolutely don't have to be a vegetarian to eat healthily. My diet is made up of proteins like beef, lamb and eggs. Natural fats like butter, coconut oil, macadamia oil and olive oil. Vegetables of different kinds. Sometimes a few nuts or very dark chocolate.

    Absolutely no grains, margarines and modern oils, and very little sugar or fruit.

    As long as I stick to this diet, my skin appears to be super neutral. Fragrances smell true to themselves and have good longevity.

  21. #21

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Does emotion affect the development of a scent as well? I can recall the odd occasion for example where I applied a perfume I wear often and was feeling sad or stressed, and it just went sour on me. Perhaps this is a case of emotion triggering certain hormones that then affect the development.

  22. #22

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    Quote Originally Posted by tott View Post
    I am on a very, very natural and healthy diet; you absolutely don't have to be a vegetarian to eat healthily. My diet is made up of proteins like beef, lamb and eggs. Natural fats like butter, coconut oil, macadamia oil and olive oil. Vegetables of different kinds. Sometimes a few nuts or very dark chocolate.

    Absolutely no grains, margarines and modern oils, and very little sugar or fruit.

    As long as I stick to this diet, my skin appears to be super neutral. Fragrances smell true to themselves and have good longevity.
    Body chemistry does alter frags totally!
    I have the very special experience about that.
    My good perfume-devoted Moscovite friend keeps her special diet (I cannot remember properly, seems to me she cut all the hydrocarbons from the meals. No bread, no sugar, no spaghetti, etc-etc)
    At the moment of our meeting she keep this particular diet for 2 months.
    So we got some perfumes to sniff.
    And - the very same perfume on my skin smells other way, than on her skin.
    Say vintage Je Reviens Worth.
    On me it was ylang-ylang flower - on her it was jasmine flower. (and we smelt each other wrists to have valid opinion)
    My skin made almost all perfumes more sweet, with vanilla-amber pushed up.
    Her skin made all perfumes smells with more water and air accents.

    That was the very first time I begin to believe in skin chemistry, as the same perfumes smelled on different people SOOO DIFFERENT!
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  23. #23

    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    This is all REALLY interesting stuff.

    See, this is what I mean - there HAS to be something more going on than just "well, it just smells different on you" and, with testimonies, it sounds like diet could is a factor just as much as skin type.

    Good replies peeps!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: How much does body chemistry alter a frag's TOTAL development?

    I am a long term vegetarian,at one time -a vegan ( I take my veggie omega 3-6-9 supps etc etc ) and I have always had dryer skin ( even before I was a veggie ) . Fragrances don't last as long on me as I believe they should . The same fragrance of the same strength pulsates on my mother with a couple of sprays but on me ...nada after 15-30 minutes.
    It's a conundrum.
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