Last week my coworker and friend Julianne Escobedo Shepherd slid into my Slack DMs and asked a question no one has ever asked me before. “Do you like smelling good?” Though I consider myself to be a relatively clean person—I shower daily, use Listerine, and don’t wear dirty clothes—I don’t necessarily approach personal odor with the goal of smelling good (I fragrance-free body wash and detergent, and I don’t wear cologne), but rather the desire to not smell like anything.
The question took me a moment to consider, but I eventually responded with, “I don’t like smelling bad.” Having been waved in with an answer she found satisfactory, she shared a “hot tip.”
“I spent some time on Fragrantica last night,” she said before sharing a link to a story on Dove Men Care’s newest fragrance. (I did not know what Fragrantica was at the time, but put the pieces together rather quickly.) “Apparently some extremely fancy perfumer developed that shit.” That shit, it just so happens, wasn’t shit at all, but rather a concoction called “MINERALS + SAGE.”
[Perfume expert] Sergey Borisov recently visited the Givaudan school of perfumery in Paris and met with one of the perfumers who developed this collection. Unfortunately, he was not allowed to disclose the name of the perfumer, but he tipped me off to smell the fragrance he discussed with the perfumer, and I am grateful he did!
Writer Elena Knezhevich went on to rave about the scent (available as a body wash, deodorant scent, and bar), so I bolted to Amazon and checked to see if it was available, as I needed more soap anyway, and the opportunity to affordably make myself smell slightly good as opposed to not bad—particularly with a fragrance developed by a perfumer who’s so famous and respected thaty their name couldn’t be revealed—was suddenly appealing.
The pack of bars (I bought six because going for bulk order was cheaper and I felt like taking a risk) arrived in roughly 36 hours, and I have showered with them every day since. In the heat of the moment—while trapped inside a steamy shower—the scent is deeply satisfying, with a bold and instantly identifiable sage at the forefront, and some pleasantly spicy notes underneath (I guess that’s the “MINERALS” in “MINERALS + SAGE”). Who would have thought sage—an herb I will always associate with hearty fall cuisine—would be as welcome in the bathroom as it is chopped up in a cornbread-based Thanksgiving dressing? I certainly wouldn’t have, but folks, the anonymous perfume genius (not that Perfume Genius) knew what they were doing. As for its use as, you know, soap, it’s as effective as any bar of Dove. If you’re one of those people who thinks Dove bars are trash-heap moisturizers and not actually soap, do not buy this. If you, like I, think they’re good and do exactly what you want them to do, give it a shot.
While the scent dissipates rather quickly after toweling off, it’s such a welcome addition to my daily shower that I don’t mind its expectedly fleeting nature. And though it may not rise my own personal scent from neutral to good, it has improved the 10 minutes or so I spend in the shower every day. And in a world where I’ll take any tiny improvement i can get, that’s a win.