A Fragrance For Each Mood?
There's nothing more important to how a fragrance will smell on you than your body's PH balance. Ideal PH is alkaline - but stress and poor nutrition will turn your balance to acid in no time, and that in turn will react differently to anything you apply on your skin.
When you're in a good mood it seems that any fragrance will match you type - and in most cases that's true. Your sense of smell is at its peak and you are able to distinguish the subtle tones of various fragrances. This is the right time to do a short inventory of your fragrance collection, or - go shopping.
In contrast, a bad mood is an olfactory sensory killer. You pick the wrong fragrance, for the wrong occasion and time of day - you basically tell everyone "leave me alone - I'm not in the mood".
Smells have been shown to evoke memories that have strong emotional qualities. The sense of smell is critical for the existence of almost all creatures. We humans, able to distinguish over 10,000 different odor molecules, utilize our sense of smell for a multitude of activities from enjoying the aroma of freshly brewed coffee to deciding whom not to sit next to on the bus.
And talking about being able to enjoy the aroma of freshly brewed coffee - you may have noticed already that each counter of every perfumery has a coffee been jar handy. Take a sniff from the coffee been jar just before you try a new fragrance to refresh you palette - just like wine tasting, when you notice that many wines will taste differently if you go back to them after trying other wines - you need to cleanse your palette with water or raspberry sorbet.
How should I apply fragrance?: When using an eau de cologne, eau de toilette, or eau de parfum, spray or dab liberally on the skin. These versions of fragrance are designed to be used all over. Spray in the air and walk into a cloud of scent for an even, head to toe experience! Perfume, the most concentrated version of scent, is designed to be applied at the pulse points, on the wrists, behind the neck, in the decollete, behind the ears, or even behind the knees. Your body warmth will radiate your delightful perfume.
How should I care for my fine fragrances?: Fragrance is made to be used and enjoyed - use it or lose it! For maximum shelf life, store fragrance away from bright sunlight, in a cool, dark area, with the cap tightly secured. Fragrance oils can turn rancid or evaporate if stored improperly.
How do I make fragrance last on my skin?: It is difficult for dry skin to retain fragrance. Try "layering" fragrance by using several products in a line. For example, begin with scented soap or bath oil, follow with body lotion or creme, dust with powder to set the fragrance, and follow with perfume at the pulse points, or an all-over spritz of eau de parfum. Use body creme for extra nourishment in cold winter months.
"Uncommon Scents": Fragrance Dos and Donts
DO wear more perfume if you have dry skin. Scent needs oils to last.
DO wear stronger scents in cold weather. Cold reduces a scent's strength.
DO wait ten minutes before deciding to buy a new scent.
DO purchase a new scent late in the day, when your sense of smell is sharper.
DO try scents on your own skin, as everyone's skin chemistry is different.
DO choose what complements your natural body odor.
DO apply perfume right after you shower or bathe. Your pores will be open and soak up the scent.
DON'T use deodorant soap where perfume is applied.
DON'T use perfume near pearl or costume jewelry. The alcohol in perfumes can cause pearls to yellow and can strip the coating off jewelry.
DON'T sample more than two or three new scents at a time. Your olfactory senses will become confused.
DON'T stick to one fragrance all year long. Temperatures affect the intensity of fragrance.
Fragrance Tips and Perfumes of Personal Use
Everyone has a personal "scent circle": approximately an arm's length from the body. No one should be aware of your fragrance unless he or she steps inside your "circle." Fragrance should be one of the most subtle, personal messages you send to those with whom you come in contact.
For a long-lasting effect, fragrance should be layered all over the body, starting with toilet water or eau de parfum, next in strength to perfume, to build the fragrance foundation. Because fragrance rises, spray or smooth fragrance onto skin from the feet to the shoulders. If fragrance is applied only behind the ears, it will eventually rise and disappear.
The wearer's diet can affect the way a fragrance smells and lasts on the skin. If the wearer is on a high fat, spicy diet, for example, fragrances will be more intense. A dramatic change in diet can alter skin chemistry, causing fragrances to smell differently.
Skin type will also affect the way a fragrance smells on a person. Fragrance wearers with oilier skin should remember that fragrances interact with the oils in their skin to create a more intense scent. Dry skin does not retain fragrance as long as oily skin, requiring the wearer to re-apply the fragrance more often.
Fragrance Tips From Morning Til Night
Perfume, colognes and other 'scentfull' things like oils, sachets and candles trigger our strongest, fastest sense -- the sense of smell. So few people know, however, how to use these scents to help them get through their otherwise unscented days. Here are some tips about different kinds of scents and how to make them last . . . last, that is, at least as long as your legs hold out!
French Perfume! The French didn't discover perfumes (the Egyptians did) but the French turned perfume into an industry and they turned perfume making into a science. Their most important discovery was a way to overcome the fact that every scent will, over time, fade and the corresponding fact that some scents fade faster than others. The French answer to this was layered fragrances -- three layers, to be exact. In the perfume industry these layers are called notes: there is a top note that consists of the most volatile scent that will last for only a few hours (perhaps, to get you through your morning break), a middle note made of a less volatile scent that will last you until you're ready to punch out at the end of the work day and the base note that will follow you into your shower or tub just before bed. A slight down side to this French solution to the all day fragrance problem is that each 'note' is a different scent, so your scent will be a bit different (but still fabulous) at each stage.
Eau de perfume! Eau de perfume is the most popular fragrance type because it is less expensive than perfume and lasts a good long time. Eau de perfume is best applied to the warmest body areas, the pulse points on the wrists and the side of the neck, between the breasts, in the crook of the elbows, behind your knees, on your inner thighs, and around the ankles. Never put any scent behind your ears and never overdo it. You want your scent to suggest not to scream.
Eau de toilette! Eau de toilette contains a small percentage of fragrance oils and will only last three to four hours (depending on your skin type. Many women use eau de toilette and expect it to last throughout the day but are disappointed by mid-morning. This is really a minor problem that's easy to get around, simply carry a purse size with you and refresh your scent when you get the chance. Eau de toilette provides a wonderfully subtle scent and that's certainly a positive point -- it bears repeating that you should want your scent to suggest not to scream.
Scented body creams and lotions! Scented body creams and lotions have approximately the same fragrance content as eau de toilette but because of their thick cream or lotion base they last somewhat longer; the scent should still be detectable at the very end of your day.
There are ways to make the most of your fragrances, and one way NOT to!
The French way! The best way to make your fragrance last all day is the French way, layer them. Start with a scented bubble bath and use the scented soap -- both should be available in your favorite scent (if either is not available, use an unscented substitute). After toweling off, use the body lotion -- use lots of it so your skin absorbs enough to last. Finish it off with your favorite scent (perfume or eau de toilette).
Romantic interludes! If at some point in your day romance is in the air, put some romantic scents literally in the air; here are some ways:
- Use essential oils, put a few drops of orange or some other citrus oil in a warmer or in a light bulb ring on the bedroom lamp -- don't overdo it, subtle is the word! You can also use juice squeezed from the rind of an orange or grapefruit.
- Have a vase of flowers in warm water next to the bed. The warm water will bring out the maximum scent from flowers that have a naturally strong scent . . . flowers like gardenias or lilies.
- Burn a scented candle (orange or jasmine) in the room.
- Put a light coating of an essential fruit or flower oil right on the light bulb in the nightstand lamp (naturally, you'll do this when the bulb is cold). When the light is turned on the oil will send it's scent to all corners of the bedroom.
A no no! Just in case you missed it before, never apply fragrance behind your ears -- it can throw off the scent and produce a scent you didn't bargain for (this is because of the sebaceous glands behind your ear.
If you've flipped through a decorating magazine or watched a home decor show lately, you've noted that French Country is the latest decorating craze.
What is French Country Decor?
French Country emulates the style you might find in a cottage in rural France. Popular elements include rooster motifs, wrought iron furnishings sporting elegant, whimsical curves, and plastered-surface walls washed in butter-yellow paint. The sleekness of a primitive farm table, for instance, could be softened up with a curvy iron chandelier. Rough, exposed ceiling beams and aged terra cotta or brick tiles on the floor complete the look.
A home filled with genuine French furnishings and accessories would be beautiful, but incompatible with modest household budgets. Instead, here a few ways to bring a little more Provence into your home without spending a fortune.
Place an inexpensive, wrought iron bench in the foyer decorated with romantic throw pillows. (To age a new iron piece, you can purchase spray-on rust treatments at home improvement stores.)
Wallpaper a dining room (from the chair rail up) with a classic design, like black and white toile.
Add lace panel curtains on windows where absolute cover for privacy is not required.
Paint with French hues like mustard, celadon, salmon pink or cornflower blue.
Add inexpensive accessories, such as a black iron wall planter in the bathroom to hold hand towels.
Whitewash old ladderback chairs.
Paint cabinets and rag over them with a glaze. This works nicely with a base coat of cream paint, brushed over lightly with a mocha-brown glaze.
Suspend a pot rack from the kitchen ceiling to hang pots and pans, especially if they're copper.
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