We interpret scents in the same way we interpret colors and lines. Some scents smell masculine, and some smell feminine; some are mysterious, some are delicate, some are earthy, some are cheerful, some are intimidating, some are sexy.
If you want to, it's possible for you to apply these principles toward the goal of smelling like you look.
As an Ethereal Natural, I love the delicate, earthy scents that harmonize with the delicate and earthy aspects of my beauty. I'm currently lusting for After the Flood by Apoteker: "The scent of soil, water, and the delicate stirrings of undergrowth in spring..." Doean't that sound gorgeous? Notes of soil, mushroom, and water lily -- delicate and earthy, for sure!
But what if I want to smell playful? Or girlish? Or sexy? None of those words really describe my beauty; am I committing some sort of "style crime" if the way I smell doesn't harmonize with my visual presentation?
I think the question of how closely to match a fragrance to a style ID is a pretty personal one.
If you're absolutely in love with your style ID, you might naturally want to recreate that impression in your fragrance.
But if you dream of being someone else, perfume might be a way for you to play with that fantasy.
Even though I'm an Ethereal Natural, I'm also drawn to pure Ethereal fragrances, and Ethereal Ingenue fragrances too.
I'd love to own Kenzoki White Lotus and Jardin des Nymphes, both of which I know are more delicate than I am -- aquatic and green floral notes without any weighty, earthy notes to balance them out.
But why shouldn't I play dress-up with my scents? If I want to pretend to be a pure spirit of the air, I'm going to do it, gol darn it. :-)
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Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier is one of my favorite fragrances of all time.
It has a ton of sweetness , which is Ingenue, and a ton of sexiness, which is Romantic: orange blossom, plum, ylang,-ylang, tuberose. It also has quite a bit of Classic, because of the orchid and sandalwood (and vanilla too), and Dramatic as a fourth-place essence, via the sharp qualities brought in by star anise, ginger, and cinnamon. So, a great fragrance for a Romantic Ingenue or a Romantic-Classic-Ingenue, especially one with a tiny dash of Dramatic.
RC, the Sexy Sophisticate, and RCI, the Prim Princess, are pretty far from me. I'm Ethereal Natural; I'm the Dryad.
Yet I love love love this sexy, sweet, sophisticated fragrance.
I mean, why shouldn't I experiment with other personae through my fragrance, if I feel like it?
A special night alone with the man I'm crazy about could a good time to bring out my inner Sexy Sophisticate, right? It seems like a good excuse to wear this fragrance that I've loved since college.
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People are often influenced by scent at an unconscious level. Maybe a person can use this fact to say more about oneself than mere physical appearance might reveal.
Maybe I have an unpleasant confrontation coming up, and I need to be intimidating. A pure Dramatic fragrance, while conflicting with my physical appearance, might send the message that I am not to be trifled with.
Formula 1 Steel by Walter Wolf would be a good choice for this. Strong metallic notes; that's a threatening message if ever there was one.
Or perhaps I could choose a scent that's me, but with an intimidating edge that's missing from my appearance: so, Ethereal-Dramatic-Natural. Intimidating Earth Goddess, I could say.
La Curie by Larrea would be perfect: ozone, leather, and vetiver mean it's abstract and earthy, but with some sharpness and aggression too.
If I'm meeting my boss's boss for the first time, I'm going to want to dress like the most professional version of Dryad that I can present, because looking like myself signals confidence.
At the same time, I could choose a fragrance that's pure Classic, to send the subliminal message, "I am reliable. I have it under control. You can count on me."
Madam President by Clash would be great for this purpose: you don't get more traditional than iris, cedar, and patchouli. (And the name is perfect, isn't it?)
You might consider playing with fragrances as a way to manifest elements of your personality that aren't obvious from your appearance. Have you done this already? Do you prefer to smell like you look? I'm curious to hear your experiences with this.
As a floral, rose is a note that's inherently feminine. All floral notes are feminine, first and foremost.
What kind of feminine, though? Innocent Ingenue femininity? Abstract Ethereal femininity? Or sexy Romantic femininity?
You probably guessed it -- rose's femininity is the womanly femininity of Romantic.
Some florals have added masculine elements: for example, carnation has an element of spiciness that brings in some Dramatic, and geranium has a bit of a lemony element that brings in cheerful Gamine.
Rose is interesting in that it has an added powdery and refined element that brings in Classic. So rose, as a note, combines passion and sexuality with restraint and sophistication.
If you're a Romantic Classic, this is a definitive fragrance note for you.! If you're not, a lot of rose in a fragrance may add more sexiness or conservatism than you feel comfortable with.
Want to know what your best notes are? Check out my Fragrance Guides!