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Pretty Perfumes and Where to Put Them
By Sasha Fastovskiy
Hand in hand ~ or rather, nose to nose ~ with storing our winter boots, snow tires, and ex-boyfriends ~ should come updating our fragrances with the start of the new season. Putting our heavier fragrances into hibernation in favor of more floral, citric, and cleaner aromas helps keep the airy atmosphere of summer on the body as well as on the mind, with all the intention of perfume pleasure, not odor overpowering. Think of it from a logical perspective: what could potentially stay in the room long after you leave, has been proven to trigger emotions or memories, and can vary its strength based solely on body heat? No silly, not your reputation. Perfume!
Perfumes come in different concentrations; the least concentrated is eau de cologne, which includes only 2-5% of the perfume oil, the rest diluted in water and alcohol. Next is eau de toilette (4-10% perfume oil), then eau de parfum (8-15%), then the strongest is parfum itself (15-25% concentrate). While the chemistry behind perfume is important, so is the chemistry behind the chemistry. Most frugal perfumes are made with the most frugal ingredients and are therefore much more likely to irritate skin, wear off more quickly, and even cause the body to develop allergies ~ so sometimes, you can pawn that pricey perfume off as preventative medicine.
Fragrances are made up of different notes, each one meant to be unveiled when the previous one wears off. The top notes are the first ones you smell, followed by the mid ones, and then the core notes show up a few hours later, which can explain why the little white perfume test strip at the mall smells differently after an hour compared to when you first smell it. And while fragrances should be long-lasting on their own, it is wise to know where the most beneficial perfume points are. The pulse points (the spots on the body with the thinnest skin and warmest spots, so when things get hot, scent is released) are our wrists, base of the throat and neck, between the breasts, behind the earlobes, and in the bends of the knees and elbows ~ these body locations are good areas for perfume, as is freshly washed hair. Perfume should always be sprayed or dabbed on and left alone to dry naturally; never rub it in, as doing so causes the fragrance to “break,” thereby making it less effective. If you are looking for that extra bit of “Eau de Moi,” try using a scented lotion before the perfume, applying the scent to freshly moisturized skin and reapplying occasionally, still keeping in mind that spritzing should be kept to a minimum.
With Perfume 101 done and doner, all that’s left to do is, well, smell the new scents of Spring and Summer 2008:
Marc Jacobs Splash ~ Basil: energetic, clean, and reminiscent of freshly mowed lawns (in a good way!) and all that is summer. Smells like: woodsy perfumes like the classic Gucci Rush.
Clean by Clean: It is what it is! All you’d be missing is the rubber ducky, as this scent is shower-fresh with hits of soap and grapefruit. Smells like: clean scents like Guerlain Aqua Allegoria… and bubbles. Lots and lots of bubbles.
Nina by Nina Ricci: sweet, floral, sparkling, and apple-y with a hint of cotton musk. Smells like: Dior J’adore and Paris Hilton (the perfume!)
CK One Summer by Calvin Klein: watery, summery, and quintessentially Calvin. Infused with watermelon, cucumber, and minty touches of “cool.” Smells like: anything by Calvin.
Pink Sugar by Aqualina: cheeky, romantic, sweet, yet musky; all blended together to capture a sugar-coated summer. Smells like: vanilla, caramel, powder, and the playground.
Razzle by Stacked Style: flirty, ‘50s, and flowers combined with aromatic plums and mandarins. Smells like: June Cleaver was a bad girl.
Fuel for Life by Diesel: mandarin, musk, a touch of berry, and a dash of sex potion ~ the perfect concoction for summer nights. Smells like: Think of Diesel, and you think of hot, muggy, gas stations and ripped-up jeans on hot bodies. Yep, that’s what it smells like.
Just remember to vary it up and keep it light and in tune with the season. With a plethora of posh perfumes hitting the shelves each month ~ and the number of celebrity fragrances skyrocketing ~ there is surely a scent for everyone…even the pickiest of noses.