Does that perfume you sprayed on the blotter in the shop smell different now that you’re wearing it?

We look into whether this is entirely true and the science behind it.

Is there anything worse than trialling a new scent in-store by spritzing it on a blotter, only to get home, unpack the bottle and realise it doesn’t smell as nice when you spray it on yourself? Well, no. We’re left wondering what went wrong, did we do something we shouldn’t have done back in the shop? Should we have stayed with our old perfume instead of wanting change? Maybe we just weren’t ready for something new yet? Well, unfortunately, we’re left in a bit of a ‘its not you, its me’ situation. The reason your perfume smells different now, is in fact, everything to do with your body chemistry.

There is evidence that reveals that the way a fragrance reacts with our our personal pheromones has an impact, be it positive or negative, on how it smells. The natural hormones and oils that our bodies produce are evidently personal to us. Not one of us smells the same. Stephanie Tumba, Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Director at Celest Lifestyle London agrees “Indeed, the smell of skin is as unique as a fingerprint.”

If you’re skin is particularly oily, it can have an effect on the scent of a fragrance. Stephanie explained that “two chemical combinations meet that of the person in question and that of the perfume. A very common example, perfume can lose its original scent when the skin produces too much secretion. Because the more sebum in the skin, the more there will be interactions between molecules. The perfume will quickly fade because the sebum would have absorbed it.”

Her solution:  “powder the skin before applying the perfume.”

While having oilier skin can make a fragrance fade, if your skin is on the dryer side it can have the totally opposite effect. “On the other hand, on dry skin, no problem, the perfume clings to the surface of the skin. The scent will be cooler.”

Alternatively, our body odour can alter how a perfume or aftershave actually smells on us. “The body odour, scientifically called olfactory impression, is very related to the chemistry of the body, but also depends on the climate, the place where we live, and what we eat. For example, a carnivore will have a stronger olfactory impression than a vegan.” Stephanie also explained that our lifestyle choices will influence our body odour. Factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol or coffee, medication and stress can all have an impact on the smell of your perfume.

So, how can we choose the right perfume for our smell? We’d recommend that if your skin is more oily, invest in fresher fragrances rather than spicy, warm ones. Try something fresh like Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio aftershave for men or Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pure perfume for women. For those of you with dryer skin, something a little spicier like Mugler Angel perfume for women and Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb aftershave for men will be perfect.

Who knew that we could affect the scent of our fragrance so much? But there we have it, our own body is in fact to blame when our perfume doesn’t smell the same on us as it did in the shops. Next time you’re shopping for a new scent, remember these tips and remember your fragrance families so that you go home with the perfect match.

Feature image: The Independent.