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  1. #1

    Default Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Do you think your perfume reflects your personality? If - like most BN'ers - you have a collection of frags, do you think they reflect different aspects of yourself? I ask because I've googled perfume and personality, and you can find various tests and quizzes that claim to match you with certain frags. They don't usually work for me, though. But on the other hand, I think there has been some serious research which does show some kind of link. I can't find it on the internet, but I'm sure someone will know.

    My scents are very different - chypres, orientals, florals - but all with a large dose of rose, which I love. And I think that note does show something about my love for nature, for calm, for gentleness. That's what it does for me, anyway, and I've been faithful to it for many years now. On the other hand, green, woody scents are often too "down to earth" for me. And I hate obviously animalic scents. I want to smell clean, amongst other things!

    Would love to know what others think about this possible connection. Perhaps it's a myth?

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    Dependent danieq's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    I am not up on the research, but I would be surprised if there were no connection.

    Here's a few guesses that I'd venture, just based on my experience of people in general.

    I'd say that if you are a lover of many fragrances, it could be a connection to a many faceted personality. (I'd argue that all people have this possibility, but many people live in fear of some of the facets of their own selves and so remain rather flat personalities)

    I'd also guess that the bolder the personality, the bolder the fragrance choice. For myself, I'm a pretty bold woman and I'm not afraid to wear a scent that others don't like, or feel is strong. Not that I want to offend or take no consideration, but I'm not wearing it for others and so while I don't want to wear so much that you can smell me a mile away, I'm not going to shy away from a scent just because someone might not care for it, if that makes sense.

    This may be similar to bold, but I also suspect that the greater the variety of scents one wears, the more likely that person is to take risks.

    I'll be interested to see what others have to say on the subject. Great topic Redrose!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Not sure...I have some thought that the enjoyment of classes of smells, tastes, music is linked to personality, but wouldn't have any idea how to link them, would guess that anything too literal would be wrong - roses to me smell uptight, LOL! Sort of rough and overpowering...I think we all likely have different interpretations.

    But yes I associate patchouli with hippies, cause those are the people I know who love it (but also my ex MIL, who is *not*)
    I associate the stongly blue men's smells with salesmen.
    I associate classic florals with church ladies.
    I associate clean musks with ladies who wear the flowy indian print skirts, social workers, librarians...


    Perhaps our associations say more about us than our perfume choices for ourselves


    I like wearing lots of different perfumes but the Reglisse Noire is probably the one that feels like the actual smell of it fits my personality - it's quirky, not overwhelmingly feminine but female, smells sort of geeky to me, oddly. And the only people who have complimented me on this are men who are, well, geeky. IT guys and accountants and insurance guys.


    Well, those are my (somewhat disjointed) thoughts on the subject, and I gotta get back to work!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    From my strictly personal and subjective viewpoint, there might be a link/an interdependency, but only a marginal, incomplete one. Considering that my fragrance wardrobe is steadily expanding, most, if not all fragrances I own may reflect a certain part of my personality at some point.

    But then again, my fragrance tastes are quite diverse, random/unorganized, fickle, evolving and eclectic, it is hard to determine which part of my personality, which exact likes and dislikes prompted me to buy them in the first place. In fact, I feel that some of my fragrances reflect exactly how I perceive myself more accurately, while others are much likelier and much easier to define as the opposite of my perceived self
    (either deliberately reflecting an image different from myself or less explored parts of my personality or even a bit of both).

    For instance, I enjoy quite a diverse spectrum of fragrances: from the loud and strongly projection ones to "skin scents", from the clean, unassuming, even unisex variations on citrus and aquatics, to the heavier sides of leather, Orientals, powerhouse, spice, gourmands, from the soap-like freshness to a certain hint of "well-dosed naughtiness", from mass-market to niche (and almost any designer in between), from old-school, almost barbershop-style stereotypical manliness to almost overly experimental, postmodern, androgynous fragrance ventures.
    If all this says a bit about my personality, I cannot surely say.
    But I simply enjoy most of these fragrances, as well as their fragrance houses, notes, note groups etc. - even if not always aware or certain about the associations, deeper meanings, hidden motives, more personal or more publicly perceived, advertised, recognized image behind them.

  5. #5
    Dependent danieq's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Ken, your post brought another possibility to mind. Is it possible that the love of many and varied fragrances might also equate to the love of many and varied types of people?

    I seem to enjoy many types of fragrance, from lots of categories and the same is true of my enjoyment of people. I adore meeting people from different walks of life, cultures, etc.. who will share about themselves with me.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by danieq View Post
    Ken, your post brought another possibility to mind. Is it possible that the love of many and varied fragrances might also equate to the love of many and varied types of people?

    I seem to enjoy many types of fragrance, from lots of categories and the same is true of my enjoyment of people. I adore meeting people from different walks of life, cultures, etc.. who will share about themselves with me.
    Thanks for asking, in fact, it may be very well possible.

    One of the many positive sides that I have noticed, especially since joining Basenotes, is the way fragrance is, if not a gateway, at least an association, possibly a byproduct, reflection, both consequence and cause of diversity (including intellectual, emotional, artistic), beauty, elegance/style and so much more. Again, this may just be a personal opinion- but fragrance can enrich one's life in so many ways. So that it may, if not encourage and enhance, at least pleasantly and interestingly accompany various interactions, experiences, opinions, memories, even personal (and interpersonal) values.

    Just my two cents.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Thanks for some thoughtful replies.

    Danieq, I agree that bold personalities like bold choices, but we might differ about what constitues bold. I think of Aromatics Elixir as being in that category, and I wear it when I need to feel more focused and meet a writing deadline. And I also agree about the love of many different frags reflecting a love of meeting new people and cultures, as I'm the same. But I don't wear all the frags I own. I have many samples that I spray on paper or cloth and carry round with me for the sheer enjoyment of sniffing them, yet I wouldn't want to wear them on my skin for some reason. My career has taken me from journalism to university teaching and counselling, all very people-oriented careers, and on three different continents, and I love frags that also take me on distant journeys.

    Robin-inFl, I don't we can have been sniffing the same rose scents! I wouldn't like to think that my top favourite, N'Aimez Que Moi, is in any way sour or unpleasant - but maybe we all have different perceptions of it? The reviews of frags on BN would lead me to think so. And I certainly hope I'm not an uptight church lady! I'm really a bit of an old hippie, actually. Some scents are quite uptight, though, I agree.

    Ken Russell, I agree that our choices of scent reflect how we see ourselves, and we all have many subpersonalities, I believe, all of which demand expression at different times. But what do our choices actually say about those personalities? Who are we in our different selves?

    Interestingly, when I first phoned Les Senteurs, several years ago, the very wise James talked to me for about 30 minutes, and based on my personality, tastes and colouring, he suggested I might love N'Aimez Que Moi. And he was absolutely right! He sent me other samples too, but that is the scent that I wear again and again, and that is my signature scent if I have one. So what does that say about me? Calm, nostalgic, wistful, hoping for a better world, maybe. And that's what roses in general do for me. They seem to lift me beyond the world around me, remind me of beauty, serenity, the things of the spirit as well as those of the flesh.

    Thanks, everyone who replied - you have given me much to think about.

  8. #8
    Basenotes Junkie Sea Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Found all the replies very thoughtful and interesting.

    Myself, I don't know ...I grew up around people who always used scent and come from a place where smell and flowers were an everyday part of life. There were always magnolias, gardenias, jasmine and of course roses in our garden, near the herbs. This combined with a huge fruit orchard made scent part of my life. Going through the forests I had always had a love of the trees and wild flowers and orthodox services scent has always been a large part of my life.

    There was always an interest in the scents that came from somewhere else, like Japan, the Middle East and even places like Vladivostock.....which seemed to have a perfumery back then!

    There are times when I hold out great hopes for a perfume only to be disappointed. And nobody has yet captured being on an island in Greece in winter with an angry sea blowing everything around. But I live in hope!
    Always keep Ithaca on your mind. Cavafy

  9. #9

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Roses View Post
    And nobody has yet captured being on an island in Greece in winter with an angry sea blowing everything around. But I live in hope!
    If you find that one, could you let us know, please?

    Personally, I'd like to find something that caught the mood of a Piraeus rembetiko teke circa 1930...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Surely one of the most important aspects of this question is: do we choose perfumes that reflect the personality we have, or the personality we wish we had?

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    Basenotes Junkie Sea Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by OdilonRedon View Post
    I

    Personally, I'd like to find something that caught the mood of a Piraeus rembetiko teke circa 1930...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Surely one of the most important aspects of this question is: do we choose perfumes that reflect the personality we have, or the personality we wish we had?
    Now that is good! You know rembetiko???????

    Hash will have to be a strong ingredient.......forget the hay notes........hash will be the only bottom note with patchouli!
    Always keep Ithaca on your mind. Cavafy

  11. #11

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Roses View Post
    Now that is good! You know rembetiko???????
    Yeah - I'm listening to Roza Eskenazy right now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Roses View Post
    Hash will have to be a strong ingredient.......forget the hay notes........hash will be the only bottom note with patchouli!
    Absolutely - with Papastratos and a little ouzo!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    I would think so. It also has a lot to do with a person's mood as well.
    Currently wearing: Memoir Man by Amouage

  13. #13

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    A spurious one at best imo. Roses have wicked thorns you know.

    So you like lots of different types of fragrance and this means that you like diversity in humanity? Where's the link there? You sound like a Miss World contestant

    Are ...' we searching for the personality we wish we had...'? Er, no. Get a grip

    I'm sorry but this thread has all the hallmarks of the 'hippie culture' and I find this talk intensely irritating

  14. #14

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    I think it is generally assumed that sporty, outgoing people enjoy fresh and sport scents, whereas introverted people and those who love cake enjoy orientals and gourmands.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Where do any our tastes come from?

    If personality develops from both Nature and Nurture, which influences our tastes the most?

    I'm inclined to think Nature -- our genetic heritage-- is the greater component. I am thinking of studies done on identical twins who were raised separately. As adults, many of them reported having extremely similar tastes to their twin, despite being raised in a wholly different environment (Nurture). They used the same products, some even married women with the same name!

    It's also been demonstrated that some of our tastes arise in utero -- babies show preferences for flavors, music and voices they were exposed to while they were still fetuses. Whether these preferences continue beyond infancy, I don't know if that has been studied, but the same mother who cooked with garlic when she was pregnant will give the baby garlic via nursing, and the growing child eating what his mother cooks will continue to be exposed to it. A baby who listened to Puccini in utero will likely hear more of the same as a growing child. (But will she come to love Puccini as a result? I didn't!)

    Odors? I don't know if a fetus could be exposed to odors-- it seems like a stretch, since he is not inhaling-- but certainly the young child would be. He would come to associate certain odors with his environment. I grew up surrounded by carnations, roses, lilies of the valley and loved them...but also with peonies, and I don't care for them. So, environment may influence but not decide preferences.

    I think it still comes back to something innate, something in our genetic code.



  16. #16

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    I'm going to stick my neck out on this one and see if people agree: Chypre people run the gamut from independent to nonconformist and from quirky to unique or offbeat in a good way.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Roses View Post
    Now that is good! You know rembetiko???????!
    I do, too. I'm Greek-American.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    Are ...' we searching for the personality we wish we had...'? Er, no. Get a grip
    What's the fundamental difference between perfume and clothing? Do you not think that people choose their clothing style based on their personality, or what they require other people to assume their personality might be? Business suits, for instance?

  18. #18
    Dependent danieq's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by OdilonRedon View Post
    Surely one of the most important aspects of this question is: do we choose perfumes that reflect the personality we have, or the personality we wish we had?
    My guess is that for this to be true, it would likely be an intentional choice. Just in the last week I heard/read (darn, can't recall where) a discussion on the idea that people will not deviate from their comfort zone willingly. So, to wear a perfume which reflected a personality you wish you had would be atypical at least. The discussion was more about the idea that people are only comfortable with a certain level of success, affirmation, etc based on their past experiences. It was pretty fascinating actually.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by danieq View Post
    My guess is that for this to be true, it would likely be an intentional choice.
    Of course. I wasn't suggesting that the subconscious was doing the choosing!

    Quote Originally Posted by danieq View Post
    Just in the last week I heard/read (darn, can't recall where) a discussion on the idea that people will not deviate from their comfort zone willingly. So, to wear a perfume which reflected a personality you wish you had would be atypical at least. The discussion was more about the idea that people are only comfortable with a certain level of success, affirmation, etc based on their past experiences. It was pretty fascinating actually.
    Definitely fascinating. Sounds plausible. A bit depressing, though!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by OdilonRedon View Post
    What's the fundamental difference between perfume and clothing? Do you not think that people choose their clothing style based on their personality, or what they require other people to assume their personality might be? Business suits, for instance?
    Fundamentally? Clothing isn't normally fragrant

    Business suits tend to hide personalities rather than enhancing them

    I choose my clothes on the basis of quality, style,fit, colour and obviously whether I like the garment.

    I think you may be conflating 'image' with 'personality'

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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by OdilonRedon View Post
    Of course. I wasn't suggesting that the subconscious was doing the choosing!



    Definitely fascinating. Sounds plausible. A bit depressing, though!

    You're right, it is depressing. But it does explain a lot of what we see in society.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    But ... but ... I like bold fragrances and I don't really consider my personality bold at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by 30 Roses View Post
    I think it still comes back to something innate, something in our genetic code.
    I sort of agree with this. You like what you like and sometimes you don't have a real reason for it.
    I've trademarked the color bleu
    Currently wearing: No. 5 by Chanel

  23. #23

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post

    I think you may be conflating 'image' with 'personality'
    I'm reading a very interesting book, lately, on "body image", where the author- an Italian researcher in Psychology- explores subjects like self-image, personality, identity and their less than obvious connections from sociological, philosophical, historical, anthropological and psychological points of view. The matter seems quite vast and multifaceted...

    Regarding my personal opinion, I do believe that everything we choose and like has a connection with what we are- more or less consciously- trying to convey about ourselves.
    As I don't believe in existing such things as "personality" in abstract terms, but only individual ones, I guess the only connection is between oneself and their choices, in clothes, perfumes etc.

    As a side note- I've found-with me, or with other people- that sometimes tastes in perfume reveal needs or desires that one couldn't guess from the outside...i.e.: stern, slightly androgynous women falling for big, sensuous florals
    "Your fragrance with a fume of iodine" L. Cohen

  24. #24

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by iodine View Post
    ...
    As a side note- I've found-with me, or with other people- that sometimes tastes in perfume reveal needs or desires that one couldn't guess from the outside...i.e.: stern, slightly androgynous women falling for big, sensuous florals
    Ha -- that sounds like a 'split personality'

  25. #25

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    La Via del Profumo assigns "personalities" to his fragrances. My two favorites were:

    Bazaar - "...the deep fascination of adventure with a homely feeling of security. For this reason Bazaar it is a fragrance that will appeal to extroversive men and women who like to attract attention with an originality that is at the borders of extravagance but without exceeding the limits."

    This is true about me.

    Gringo - "...a truly gallant and refinely elegant buccaneer. This is the soul of a real pirate that the stylist recognized his young and trendy customers were lacking. Through their clothes they wanted to appropriate only the image of an adventurous corsair, while this perfume exudes his very soul."

    OMG. I'm.. Johnny Depp!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    La Via del Profumo assigns "personalities" to his fragrances. My two favorites were:

    Bazaar - "...the deep fascination of adventure with a homely feeling of security. For this reason Bazaar it is a fragrance that will appeal to extroversive men and women who like to attract attention with an originality that is at the borders of extravagance but without exceeding the limits."

    This is true about me.

    Gringo - "...a truly gallant and refinely elegant buccaneer. This is the soul of a real pirate that the stylist recognized his young and trendy customers were lacking. Through their clothes they wanted to appropriate only the image of an adventurous corsair, while this perfume exudes his very soul."

    OMG. I'm.. Johnny Depp!
    Lol, good to meet you Johnny!

    The bit about Gringo cracks me up as this word is in regular usage in my neck of the desert and that is NOT it's definition. More of a somewhat derogatory term for whites.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    La Via del Profumo assigns "personalities" to his fragrances. My two favorites were:

    Bazaar - "...the deep fascination of adventure with a homely feeling of security. For this reason Bazaar it is a fragrance that will appeal to extroversive men and women who like to attract attention with an originality that is at the borders of extravagance but without exceeding the limits."

    This is true about me.

    Gringo - "...a truly gallant and refinely elegant buccaneer. This is the soul of a real pirate that the stylist recognized his young and trendy customers were lacking. Through their clothes they wanted to appropriate only the image of an adventurous corsair, while this perfume exudes his very soul."

    OMG. I'm.. Johnny Depp!
    Hear what profile becomes Milano Caffé, which I love wearing:

    "The body of ‘Milano cafè’ is an elegant male fragrance worthy of the sophisticated fashion that characterizes the city: Warm, dry, woody, sober and at the same time rich, with a determined, confident character.
    (..)
    Milano caffè is not your usual masculine, composed of trite notes to appeal to a mass audience. It is, instead, a new and unexpected accord that will appeal to people who make trends, not those who follow them."

    A (unusual) male trendsetter, moi?!!!

    Though I'd love to be "warm, dry, sober and at the same time rich with a determined, confident character"!!
    "Your fragrance with a fume of iodine" L. Cohen

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    I'm wearing Verlaine and getting ready to watch the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who special on BBC America. Starts at 2:50 Eastern time.

    Whovians, enjoy!



  29. #29
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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    We could include our Myers Briggs Personality profile in this thread and see whether it sheds any light. I'm an INFJ

    I find Myers Briggs info to be quite fascinating.

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    Default Re: Perfume and personality - is there a link?

    Yes, I'm INFJ also.



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