How to get back the smell of your favourite perfume, by Josephine Fairley
Use a pH-neutral body wash
This won’t strip away your skin’s natural oils, which are already in shorter supply than they were. (Many body washes trumpet their pH-neutrality on the label; but as a shortcut, you’ll find them in the Dr Hauschka and the Garnier ranges.)
Apply moisturiser before you apply your scent
This gives the scent something to ‘cling’ to. Use either an unscented body lotion, or the matching body lotion to your usual fragrance. (Most face and neck creams are not scented enough to interfere with your fragrance choice, but they will help by counterbalancing dryness.)
Layering the body lotion (or oil) that matches your scent, in my experience, ‘time-releases’ the scent during the day as you warm up – which you may do quite a lot! – and cool down.
Try something new
If that still doesn’t help, discover something new and wonderful. Don’t rely on scent-strips in stores (except for eliminating things you really aren’t going to love). It’s crucial to know how something is going to smell on your skin.
Apply to your (well-moisturised) pulse points, allow a few hours to develop, and don’t be rushed. Which means that Duty Free is not the place to find your new ‘signature scent’; go to a department store, an independent perfumery or a specialist fragrance store (there are more and more of these, showcasing fabulous ‘niche’ brands with some truly sublime creations).
Don’t worry about overdoing it
I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with being fabulously and even slightly excessively fragrant. Personally, I like to go for it with perfume – especially around younger family members. It’s a little like buying immortality: after all, most of us remember what our grandmothers or mothers smelled like with incredible nostalgia. A whiff of Chanel No 5 or Femme de Rochas and I’m back at my mother’s side in a millisecond.
So it’s a pleasing thought that in future years, a whiff of one of the scents that I’ll be recommending in part two might trigger a cascade of joyous memories in someone who loves us now.