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Thread: Skin and scent

  1. #1

    Default Skin and scent

    I was wondering, what are the variables of the skin, that make the same fragrances smell so good and long lasting on some people, and have different notes/smell and longevity on others?

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin and scent

    Just a guess - the scent itself, interaction of the scent and each person's unique body chemistry and where it is applied?

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    Dry skin tends to absorb fragrance & the same thing will smell different on different people due to the 'background' body smells being different - a more scientific explanation may be forthcoming!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    Where is it applied? Are you saying that if we spray on the wrist and on the neck we┤ll have different scents?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    I wasn't saying that but it would be the case - if you spray somewhere with more hair it should last better.
    Spraying on the neck might cause the nose to ignore the scent sooner then spraying further from the nose.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    Oil on the skin can make a perfume last longer. Also, warmer areas of skin can cause the perfume to evaporate more quickly, bringing out the middle and bottom notes more quickly. Whether a perfume smells good or not is totally down to personal taste.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    I think skin has very little to do with it. More likely you and the "other person" apply it differently (spray from further away, apply more, applied it hours before / after you did, etc), or you are picking up other smells on the other person (shampoo, lotions, makeup, etc).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    I don't believe the myth that scents are different on different skins. It's all about perception.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Skin and scent

    Quote Originally Posted by joev View Post
    I don't believe the myth that scents are different on different skins. It's all about perception.
    Agree. Scents may last longer or smell stronger on certain ppl with more oils on their skin, but it will still be the same scent. To me, AdG will always smell like AdG, no matter who is wearing it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    Possibly not the skin, but what is on the skin. A person not wearing a perfume will probably still smell of something, pleasant or not (soap, lotion, BO, smoke, old clothes, etc). Add a fragrance on top of that, and the odor will be a combination of the fragrance and whatever was there independent of the fragrance. As of yet, and still admittedly very new at this, I have yet to see a fragrance advertised for its odor-eliminating capabilities, so it must then blend with whatever else is there.

  11. #11
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin and scent

    I have dry, pale skin and I favor green chypres with plenty of snap. I also like spice. That's mainly a preference, I Also shy away from florals and sweet scents. My friend who is also a Perfumista, has olive skin that is a bit more oily. She is 2nd or 3rd generation Greek. Her skin reacts a little differently to scent, We've noticed. We have similar taste in fragrance. The chypres are much darker and more pronounced on her. Even florals are darker and more subdued. On me they tend to screech. The scent seems to get absorbed by her. Whereas on me, it's more repelled. It's odd, but that's what we've noticed. Stuff is magnified by her skin and lasts longer, and on me it tends to fade more quickly.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    My theory (from what i have seen and smelled around me)

    dry skin = less longevity and projection
    ph of skin = scent can get sour or more sweet
    TOP 5 hot weather:

    1. Gucci Pour Homme II
    2. Lalique Encre Noire
    3. Creed Aventus
    4. Creed Millesime Imperial
    5. Azzaro Chrome Sport

    TOP 5 cold weather:

    1. L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Extreme
    2. Chanel Coromandel
    3. Dior Homme Intense
    4. Dior Homme
    5. Byredo 1996

  13. #13

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    I don't subscribe to the skin theory except for the dry/oily skin argument on longevity/projection. I think spraying on your clothes can make a difference. I think spraying on the skin lets it naturally evolve or devolve from top to bottom. Spraying on fabric stunts the whole process taking it longer to run its course.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    One thing that┤s undeniable - we all have different body smells. So, in my opinion, that could "mess" with the scent, not to the point of making the scent to be uncharacteristic. I can tell you my experience: I┤ve dated different women. Like I said, all of them had their own body odor. 3 of them wore D&G Light Blue and I could easily see that the scent was not the same on them. In fact, I loved the scent on one of them and hated it on other one. One of them could hold the scent almost of a day and other one couldn┤t (i┤m refering to the skin, not to clothes).

    Also, why in so many cases we hear "this is great. 15h longevity!" and others say "I feel disappointed, this lasted for 3h"?

    Plus, why in same cases, some say that x fragrance smells like pure class and others say it smells cheap perfume on their skin? On my case, for example, Tom Ford Oud Wood is incredible on paper. On my skin it turns into a cheap perfume type scent...


    So, dear friends, I┤m sorry, but I shall not subscribe the idea that skin has nothing to do with it.
    Last edited by Johnnyacl; 29th December 2013 at 02:47 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    While scent applied on clothes might reduce the influence of skin chemistry, I still think that skin remains a decisive factor in the way we and others perceive any given fragrance, its separate notes, its longevity etc.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Skin and scent

    There is no doubt that skin (chemistry) influences longitivity, sillage, smell etc. I think for some fragrances, it doesn't make much of a difference, but for others, they can smell vastly different on different people. An example is M Kublai Khan by Serge Lutens. I tried in on a friend who sat next to me, and it smelled sweet floral. On me it smelled urinous, and totally different.

    I think the reasons for the differences are not so much temperature and dryness, though they play a role. The most important factors are genetic (MHC, google it) and the microcosmos of bacteria on the skin. A tiny spot on the skin contains millions of bacteria influencing the pH etc. and thus in the end - the scent itself.
    * Serge Lutens rules *
    Fille en Aiguilles & Gris Clair & Fleurs d'Oranger & Tubereuse Criminelle & Sarrasins & Fumerie Turque & A la Nuit & Santal Majuscule & Sa Majeste la Rose & Five O'Clock Au Gingembre

  17. #17

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    Everyone's skin is unique. All depends on your body chemistry, weather and diet.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    alright, I will caveat this whole post by reminding you it's just an opinion, a very factual opinion... ;-)
    and I'm aware of confirmation bias, I didn't set out to find these results, quite the opposite in fact.

    I never believed in the 'skin chemistry' thing. I'll start there. I still roll my eyes when SA's and Demo's say 'you have to put it on to see if it works with your skin chemistry'. Actually that's a sales tactic to get you to douse yourself in the scent so you can't put anything else on that day. It's the c*ck block of perfume really. Also, simple familiarity is often confused for actually liking something, so people come back at the end of the day and buy it. It's like if you fit on a pair of pants and walk around the store a bit instead of standing in the change-room, you're more likely to buy them becuase you can see how you'd wear them. And lastly, it's a chance for the demo who was hired because they're good looking, not for their fragrance knowledge, to seductively hold your arm and sniff your wrist and tell you how wonderful you smell (eye-roll).

    anyway, so about skin chemistry. Here's been my experience. It's not that everyone's chemistry is that different so everyone has to try it on. These commercial scents have been tested with various skins, so they won't react. Is skin important? YES, but I find it's not that everyone has to try it becuase of the effect, it's more like 5-10% may vary between various people, but the important bit is that for certain individuals, it's more like 70%-30% or more, where on them, they MUST test stuff because everything changes wildly on them. So it's not everyone, just certain people. And as a former sales person, I encouraged people to test stuff out (not just for the salesy reason above that they wouldn't try anything else that day) but becuase I had to check if they were one of the 1/100 people who had major skin chemistry problems.

    So what have I seen, across thousands of people? I've seen that generally darker skin is good, lighter skin is bad, middle is fine. So people with very fair skin like caucasians with blue eyes, red hair, and freckles are delicate and hold some florals and citruses well, and asians often have the trickiest skin where I've seen a lot of citrus turn sour and florals are hit and miss. African Americans (black) tend to have good skin, or at least the middle and base notes sort of sink in and meld with their personal scents, though lighter florals and citrus do ok but are often gone quickly. And middle eastern is usually fine with anything mid-tone in terms of heavy/rich as well as light.

    Now maybe it's all in my head, but I can say I've tested various scents on thousands of people, and generally most people coming in saying 'oh I have to try it on because of skin chemistry' are just people who just read about it in a magazine and want to appear educated, but there are the rare few who actually know scent, and more importantly know their own chemistry and realize they're one of the 1/100 people who have wild variations. Sometimes what they really mean is they have strong preferences in terms of the types of smells they like, but if they know enough about scent to know about skin, they are often aware that they have 'tricky skin'.


    So what is it about the skin itself? I don't actually know, but I have a few guesses. I suspect it's mostly about pH levels, where fair skin has higher acidity which hits citrus and turns it sour and can kill a floral. Darker skin is oilier and thicker and holds onto the scent better and blends with it. I've heard that it can be anything from the moisturizer they use to their body wash/soap and it's leftover chemicals or influence on pH levels. It could be their diets. Natural B.O./smell. Leftover perfume on their clothes from before. etc... so many possible influences.
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Skin and scent

    +1 Master-Claster

  20. #20

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    Quote Originally Posted by Master-Classter View Post
    alright, I will caveat this whole post by reminding you it's just an opinion, a very factual opinion... ;-)
    and I'm aware of confirmation bias, I didn't set out to find these results, quite the opposite in fact.

    I never believed in the 'skin chemistry' thing. I'll start there. I still roll my eyes when SA's and Demo's say 'you have to put it on to see if it works with your skin chemistry'. Actually that's a sales tactic to get you to douse yourself in the scent so you can't put anything else on that day. It's the c*ck block of perfume really. Also, simple familiarity is often confused for actually liking something, so people come back at the end of the day and buy it. It's like if you fit on a pair of pants and walk around the store a bit instead of standing in the change-room, you're more likely to buy them becuase you can see how you'd wear them. And lastly, it's a chance for the demo who was hired because they're good looking, not for their fragrance knowledge, to seductively hold your arm and sniff your wrist and tell you how wonderful you smell (eye-roll).

    anyway, so about skin chemistry. Here's been my experience. It's not that everyone's chemistry is that different so everyone has to try it on. These commercial scents have been tested with various skins, so they won't react. Is skin important? YES, but I find it's not that everyone has to try it becuase of the effect, it's more like 5-10% may vary between various people, but the important bit is that for certain individuals, it's more like 70%-30% or more, where on them, they MUST test stuff because everything changes wildly on them. So it's not everyone, just certain people. And as a former sales person, I encouraged people to test stuff out (not just for the salesy reason above that they wouldn't try anything else that day) but becuase I had to check if they were one of the 1/100 people who had major skin chemistry problems.

    So what have I seen, across thousands of people? I've seen that generally darker skin is good, lighter skin is bad, middle is fine. So people with very fair skin like caucasians with blue eyes, red hair, and freckles are delicate and hold some florals and citruses well, and asians often have the trickiest skin where I've seen a lot of citrus turn sour and florals are hit and miss. African Americans (black) tend to have good skin, or at least the middle and base notes sort of sink in and meld with their personal scents, though lighter florals and citrus do ok but are often gone quickly. And middle eastern is usually fine with anything mid-tone in terms of heavy/rich as well as light.

    Now maybe it's all in my head, but I can say I've tested various scents on thousands of people, and generally most people coming in saying 'oh I have to try it on because of skin chemistry' are just people who just read about it in a magazine and want to appear educated, but there are the rare few who actually know scent, and more importantly know their own chemistry and realize they're one of the 1/100 people who have wild variations. Sometimes what they really mean is they have strong preferences in terms of the types of smells they like, but if they know enough about scent to know about skin, they are often aware that they have 'tricky skin'.


    So what is it about the skin itself? I don't actually know, but I have a few guesses. I suspect it's mostly about pH levels, where fair skin has higher acidity which hits citrus and turns it sour and can kill a floral. Darker skin is oilier and thicker and holds onto the scent better and blends with it. I've heard that it can be anything from the moisturizer they use to their body wash/soap and it's leftover chemicals or influence on pH levels. It could be their diets. Natural B.O./smell. Leftover perfume on their clothes from before. etc... so many possible influences.


    I┤m a dark haired guy but with light-fair skin. I┤ve come to find out that my skin is better than I though regarding longevity. Most of the fragrance hold 10+ hours. Plus, I can see that, on my skin, the majority of fragrance project for about 2-4h. Kind like a pattern. I can count few that had a better performance.

    However, how do you explain that some fragrance have different smells on paper that on skin?

    Like I said, Tom Ford Oud Wood┤s scent is quite good on paper. However on my skin it turns into a cheap perfume smell! Acqua Universalis Forte, in spite of being agreeable on my skin, smell way better on paper. L┤Humanist smell better on my brother that on me and we have similar skin type.

    Any thoughts?



    Thank you.

  21. #21
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin and scent

    Without a doubt, perfume was MADE to be worn on skin. This drives me crazy. Luca Turin tried the perfumes for his book on paper strips. Worthless, IMO. who cares about that? Skin is warm, alive (I'm no doctor) there's chemistry there. Of course there are changes and development in the scent as it warms and dries on the human body. Paper strips and snorting directly from the bottle are the most crude, cursory introduction to a scent. YOU MUST WEAR IT FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR!

    BTW- I'm sure hormones play a part in this. As I get older I notice my own natural body odor has changed. Surely, you've noticed everyone has a natural odor. That is going to have an affect on the perfume they wear.
    Last edited by kumquat; 30th December 2013 at 05:55 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Skin and scent

    oh yeah, forgot to mention hormones, skin bacteria, etc.

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