A scented affair

Updated at: May 20, 2010
A scented affair

Every human possesses an odor memory bank in which he deposits smells associating them with memories and emotions. Combinations of this process together with our own unique personal chemistry ensure we associate fragrance with blissful and gloomy

Editorial Team
Fashion & BeautyWritten by: Editorial TeamPublished at: May 20, 2010

Get a whiff of that alluring aroma!!


Every human possesses an odor memory bank in which he deposits smells associating them with memories and emotions. Combinations of this process together with our own unique personal chemistry ensure we associate fragrance with blissful and gloomy occasions…. the secret behind that captivating aroma!


A smoking past 


The expression perfume originated from the Latin 'per fumum' spelling through smoke. Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt housed the foremost fragrance manufacturing unit. It was the Romans and Persians who carried forward this legacy.  In East Asia, spices and herbs such as bergamot, myrtle, coriander resin, etc. were exploited to generate smell. First modern perfume came under the command of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary. This earned her the name of Hungary Water throughout Europe. Hungary Water was an outcome of churning aromatic oils in alcohols solution. Queen Elizabeth flaunted a perfume necklace bottle. That carried her aroma every where she stepped. Recently, archaeologists have exposed the oldest evidence of fragrance in Pyrgos, Cyprus. Dating back to more than 4,000 years, the discovered perfume factory housed 60 distilling stills, mixing bowls, funnels, and scent bottles. Also, a century back, Freud noted that the fastest technique to trigger an emotional response is the scent. Eighteen Century's King George III had banned perfume as a form of sorcery after taking note of how many women of ill repute used it to seduce men.


Lady and scent have a fascinating history. Etruscan scent vase was crafted like a female head and won huge admirers.  


Perfume and your persona


Your smell speaks volumes about your persona. This cloud casts an impact even before you step inside a room…people start judging you. As they say, first impression is the last impression. It's humdrum to exhibit the same perfume persona. No matter how stringent you are about a particular scent, learn that it speaks about your personality and in a fraction this 10ml bottle can trigger emotions such as seduction, power, mischief and more.


Cast your impression meticulously. Don't be blown away by the advertisements, shades and shape of the bottle. As a rule, always try a small sample before shedding money. Have it on for minimum ten minutes before finalizing it. In these ten minutes, the alcohol will evaporate and the oils in the fragrance will mix with the oil on your skin.  Always check before investing in a bottle, go for the aroma that gels with your personality. Fragrance can alter your lifestyle. A quick guide to choosing the fragrance you'll be known by.


Amrita Khanna, who's been in the line of selling smells for the last ten years shares the personality traits and fragrances that complement them. "Gentleness, a love for soft colours, artistic ability, home loving, a subtle gift for organization, a quiet manner….if you observe these traits inside you, go in for single floral aroma. These are the fragrances that are dominated by a scent from one particular flower. Those of us who are sophisticated, have an ability to organize, cherish outdoor life, and are realistic, should spray woody perfumes whose main ingredient is woody scents such as sandalwood. Calm, romantic, easy going floral is the one for you. Floral smells contain the mixture of several flowers," articulates Amrita. 


Never overdo a smell. You might be in love with it. But, this does not banish the fact that others might be sensitive to it. It is socially incorrect to drench yourself in scent, just because you like it. Your aroma should be in sync with the occasion. Office meetings or corporate meets demand sophistication, a loud smell may send in the wrong signal. Subtle scents are absolutely correct for such happenings. But, if you are going for a wedding or clubbing, you definitely need a stronger smell but it shouldn't be loud. 


The same fragrance will smell different on two people, as the body heat and inherent body odor are different. Acidity and oiliness are the key factors determining the longevity of a fragrance. The oilier the skin, the richer and longer lasting the fragrance will be. Diet also plays a vital role. Spices and garlic can emerge through the skin and affect the skin chemistry. Other products such as shampoos and hair spray leave a fragrance of their own which in turn influences the perfume.  Fragrance should be applied on the pulse points this ensures that the scent is long lasting. That is on the wrist, ears, neck. One of the biggest blunders committed while applying fragrance is to rub the wrists together. The fraction ensures the smell does not last long as it reduces the effect of top layer. 


Smell the magic everywhere!


Fragrance is one of the most fascinating inventions. Only this bottle is capable of making your presence felt even in your absence. Play with this aromatic necessity and discover how it can boost your romantic life and ensure your partner smells you even when you aren't physically present. Dab your smell on your lover's wallet. Every time he opens his wallet, his eyes will light up with your face. A little on the cards, CDs, cars, and his clothes will keep him in a romantic mood through out the day. Remember, to leave a little reminder of your self as too much will send a wrong message. 


Statutory Warning 


The precious perfume should be treated and used with care. Store your perfume in a place that does not have strong light as direct sunlight will cause it to evaporate. The best manner of preserving a bottle is to store it in light tight aluminum bottles.  All good things come with a statutory warning, so does this mysterious dose. Dr Anuj Consultant Dermatologist at Max Hospital Gurgaon shares, "Excessive use of perfume can lead to allergies under which the skin turns red. In rare cases, the patch where perfume is sprayed gets the problem of pigmentation. The allergy of pigmentation is more common in woman. People who are allergic to fragrances should dab it on clothes and not on skin." To learn about your allergies, spray a little percentage over a small area of skin. After some time, if there is no itchiness, redness, or any other form of allergy, it means you have a green signal to wear the smell. With a change in season alter the smell you are flaunting. Lighter scents are a range in the hot season. The intensity of smell diminishes in the cold thus invest in stronger fragrance.


The mushy smell of damp earth after the first rain takes you back to the monsoons spent crafting boats and dancing in the rain, the carefree childhood days. The stable aroma of chocolates gloss you dab on your lips sets in an instant craving for chocolates. And, best of all, the fascinating fragrance of red rose strike a chord in your heart. Memories of the first rose day, first date, and first kiss…come floating back. Ahh, that charismatic smell…!!


— Smriti Sharma  


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