Scent is the silent side of your personal style. Of course, people you meet will see that you’ve got a new haircut or polished your shoes, but your fragrance is what they’ll remember. Your scent is enough to leave that person with a memory of who you are, what you're about. Fragrance is a very effective expression of who you want to be at a particular moment in time to the people you’re going to be around.
So where to start? Perhaps the most important thing is to know your notes - what you like, what you don’t like and how they play on your skin. It goes without saying that sampling a wide variety of scents is the best way to get a solid grounding in this, but one of the great things about doing this at Jo Malone London is the clarity of the ingredients in the collection and that all scents have been designed to be unisex. With many perfume houses, the juice could have a mixture of anything up to around 200 notes (or ‘individual scents’) in it, meaning that while the overall effect might be pleasant, you might not immediately be able to identify the note that really resonates with you. While Jo Malone London’s fragrances may contain multiple notes they are often named after the most dominant ones that give the fragrance its character, for example Grapefruit, Myrrh & Tonka or Lime Basil & Mandarin. This will help you to narrow down the fragrance families you particularly like – citrus, perhaps, or woody scents. From there, you can work out what you like mixed with that. So maybe you enjoy spicy scents with an element of earthiness (such as English Oak & Hazelnut) or citrus scents with a woody undercurrent (such as Oud & Bergamot).
When you’ve figured out what you like, the next step is applying the fragrance itself. Many of us men will have grown up learning to apply our cologne on our wrists and necks – often liberally and generally only once a day. But is this accepted knowledge correct? Well, as far as father-to-son advice goes, it’s not too bad. The way that fragrance dissipates from your skin into the air around us is by our bodies heating up and evaporating what you’ve just spritzed on. The way to ensure this is most effective is to spray fragrance onto the warmest areas of your body, which tend to be where the blood is closest to the surface of the skin as your body tries to rid itself of excess heat. So, your traditional pulse points – your wrists and neck – are an excellent choice.
However, for next-level effectiveness, you could also apply your fragrance to other forgotten-about areas of your body that are just as warm: behind your ears, on the backs of your knees and even on the inside of your biceps. If in doubt, liberal spritzing all-over post-shower and pre-clothes is the way to go. You could also add another fragrance on the inside of your jacket or onto a scarf, so you get a burst of it to enjoy just for you when you’re getting ready to go out – because while it’s an excellent way to express your mood to others, never underestimate the power of fragrance to enhance your own mood and boost your confidence whatever situation you might be headed to.
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Our Head of Global Fragrance Development, Celine Roux shares her rules for fragrance discovery.