How To Guides: 52 posts

Perfumes That Make You Feel Dressed Up

In the beginning of the lockdown, my friends and colleagues reveled in casual dress, especially those of us who have worked together for years and no longer felt embarrassed to take a Skype call in pajamas. Eventually, the Groundhog Day feeling of working from home settled in and whenever we would meet for a virtual happy hour, I’d see plenty of cocktail dresses and button-down shirts. Feeling dressed up is a terrific mood booster, and even if you lack an occasion to sport a beautiful outfit, why not put on a favorite dress to lounge around the house? My solution is different–and easier. I pick a perfume that makes me feel dressed up.

Certain fragrances make you feel like you need a ball gown to pull them off, but others feel like you’re dressed for a party, even if you’re wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt (my favorite outfit for working at home.) The choice of such fragrances is personal, linked more to your personal associations than with a specific scent, but the perfumes that make me feel dressed up have a few characteristics in common.

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Women’s Fragrance for Men : Let’s Be Daring with Tuberose

As a counterpart to my article and video Three Men’s Fragrances for Women : Modern Classics, I would like to talk about women’s fragrances for men. In a way, this is a more complicated topic, because men’s fragrance styles are more conservative and limited than those intended for women. On the other hand, I’m constantly inspired by my readers here who experiment and wear different types of perfumes, and I wanted to offer a few words of encouragement to those who’d like to follow their lead.

First of all, if you like certain types of scents, disregard their gender classification. The one unexpected benefit of social distancing these days is that it gives you space to try something that you wouldn’t otherwise. Also, reconsider fragrance notes and their associations. The reason I selected tuberose for my example is because it can be adopted by anyone, men and women.

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If Your Perfume Doesn’t Last — a few solutions

You find a perfume that seems perfect and you eagerly put it on. You enjoy the first few moments, but then over the course of the day, you can’t smell it. You might as well not have worn anything. A perfume that doesn’t last is one of the most frustrating occurrences for a fragrance lover, and I’m often asked to explain why it happens.

A perfume may have a fleeting presence, because it’s based around volatile materials like citrus, leafy notes or pink pepper. It might be a cologne designed to be an instant refresher, like Clarins Eau Dynamisante or Roger & Gallet Bois d’Orange. Citrus gives a bright opening; however, it fades quickly. You can either keep reapplying the cologne, as if hitting replay on a favorite song, or you can switch to a different perfume later in the day. Continue reading →

Three Men’s Fragrances for Women : Modern Classics

The modern concept that scents can be gendered–roses are for women and cedarwood is for men–dates to the post-WWII consumer boom when marketing tried to find new ways to encourage people to buy more products. That’s when the different concentrations of perfume also became popular, resulting in the current trend to release Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette versions in the same way that publishing houses tempt the public with hard and soft cover versions of books. The idea, however, is nothing new. The Greek philosopher Theophrastus wrote in his book, Concerning Odors, that men should wear lilies and roses and women myrrh and spikenard. So, there you go.

The main difference in how gender is assigned to scents is cultural. The quintessential feminine note of American and European perfumery, the rose, becomes unisex in the Middle East. Vanilla is much more common among masculine fragrances in Italy than it is in the US. Orange blossom is association with crisp freshness in Spain and with baby products in France. So, for those who are adventurous, the easiest way to have fun is to forget the gender labels and try perfumes based on their notes or stories.

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How to Satisfy Wanderlust with Perfumes

Perfume can inspire wanderlust as well as satisfy it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve planned my vacations around the harvest period for rose, lavender or jasmine, and fragrances have taken me on many journeys to meet those who grow aromatic materials or those who distill them into essences. At the same time, perfumes can be effective at satisfying wanderlust, as I have confirmed over the past few months.


It’s not surprising that scents and memories have a strong link. Olfactory impressions are processed in the same part of the brain that’s responsible for emotions and memories, the limbic system, and for this reason, memories generated by smells are particularly bright and distinctive. While it takes a very specific combination of aromas and other sensory impressions to plunge you back into a certain time of your life, perfume nevertheless can be a good way to armchair travel.

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