It's Better If You Choose Your Own Perfume

Illustration for article titled Its Better If You Choose Your Own Perfume

Ever wonder why the perfume you get as a gift doesn't usually smell as good to you as the stuff you pick out for yourself? Well, Dr. Jan Havlicek, an anthropologist in Prague, has found the answer:

"Perfumes have been used by people for thousands of years and the prevailing view has been that this was to mask our natural body odour to make us smell more attractive. In fact, what we have found is there is a strong individual interaction between perfume and body odour. People choose fragrances to complement their own odour."

So since you alone can sense what your natural smell is, only you can pick the perfume that best enhances it. Dr. Havlicek's research backs this up. Twelve women were asked to choose their own fragrance, which was applied to one armpit. Then another randomly selected fragrance was applied to their other armpit. A panel of 21 women then smelled swabs from both armpits (lucky them!), and this was the result:

"The women consistently found the smells more attractive and pleasant when the fragrance was one the volunteer had chosen themselves."


Interesting. No word on whether the same holds true for men, but for now at least this should simplify buying perfume for the women in your life. Instead of trying to pick something you think they'll like, just get them a gift card and tell them to pick the fragrance that best complements their odor. People love it when you tell them they have an odor...

Choice Of Fragrance 'Influenced By Our Body Odour' [Telegraph]

Image via George Dolgikh/Shutterstock.

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Ragged Claws

I have a friend whose body chemistry changed and she could no longer wear her favorite perfume. (Chanel Coco I think.) I hope that doesn't happen to me. I have almost full botttles of my favorite perfumes and I would hate to have to throw them out or give them away. My favorites by the way are Prada (my very, very favorite and given to me by my in laws on my MILs last Christmas) Haiku by Avon, and (please, no laughing) White Linen and White Diamonds. I know they're a little 'old ladyish' but I can't help it, I like the way they smell on me. White Diamonds was given to me by one of my Aunts for Christmas long ago and both my Aunts still wear it. And my grandmother wears White Linen. But I've always said I was born old, so I guess it's true.