power of perfume

Scent Messages: The Power of Perfume

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An Interview with Jane Daly, by Audrey Stefanik

I’m that woman at the perfume counter who sprays on a scent and thinks, “Yes!  I smell so SEXY!”  Then after wearing it for about 10 minutes, I’m thinking, “I smell so…bad.”  Selecting scents involves lots of trial and error for me.   It’s something I want to get right, because a scent definitely sends a message.

There are scents that are calming, invigorating, and of course, SEXY.  So how do you pick one for you?  The one that makes YOU feel like hot stuff?

Clearly I can’t answer this question myself, so I asked an expert who can:  Jane Daly.  Besides writing her hugely successful beauty blog, Daly Beauty, she worked for many years in the perfume and entertainment industries.  Her love of perfume even led her to develop her own fragrance in 2011.  Perfume is her absolute passion (she owns over 200 bottles), and she has a gift for being able to recommend the perfect perfume for anyone.  She is hypernosmic, which means she has an exceptional sense of smell…

and could probably smell you from across the room 😉


AUDREY:  When looking for a perfume to make you feel sexy, which scents should we look for?  Why?

JANE:  Well, different perfumes make different people feel sexy.  Some people like rich and spicy, some like lush florals, and other love a sexy musk. I say if you want to feel sexy, then start by feeling confident.  Nothing is sexier than a confident woman who knows what she wants.

If I want to feel sexy, I choose a perfume that makes me feel strong and invincible. That changes from day to day, but for me these perfumes tend to be my signature scents, the ones I wear that feel like “ME.”  The perfumes that my children smell and say, “Mmm – That perfume makes me think of you, mom,” and the one that makes my husband lean in a bit and inhale.  For me right now, the soft beauty of Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge and CHANEL No5 Eau Premiere are my go-to sexy scents.  Sometimes, if I want to sexy-it-up a bit more, I’ll wear Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire, which smells like blueberries and cotton candy.  Not my usual style, but it’s just delicious and my hubby loves it!

AUDREY:  Pheromones are described as “A chemical an animal produces which changes the behavior of another animal of the same species.” – medicalnewstoday.com.

Do perfumes containing pheromones really work for attracting the opposite sex?

JANE:  Pheromones in perfume are hotly debated.  I am not sure if you can believe that what a perfume company says is a “pheromone” in a certain perfume is actually a pheromone.  If it is, where did the pheromones come from? A deer?  A bear? Or ever weirder, a human?  Not likely.  The general consensus is that pheromones in perfume are not real.

daly perfume expert
Jane Daly

That said, there ARE perfume ingredients likely to perform in a subtle sexy way. Musks are the best example of this.  Musk on its own is usually soft – it can be clean and soapy, or sexy and little dirtier.  The 70’s were rife with musk perfumes, and I must say I love them all!  I still wear Jovan Musk and Coty Wild Musk and get compliments on them all the time.

However the wildest one today would be the gorgeous Escentric Molecules “Molecule 01.”  It uses a perfume molecule often associated with a woodsy musk note and I swear I get stopped and followed by people begging to know what I’m wearing when I wear Molecule 01.  I’ve had readers tell me the same. I’ve stood in a crowded elevator while several people turn around asking “WHO SMELLS AMAZING HERE”? The secret to a good sexy musk is that it usually “disappears” on the skin. Meaning the wearer often no longer smells it, but as the day goes on, it wafts in and out, bewitching everyone in the area.


Jane’s Molecule 01 Perfume Review  

Musk Perfumes Jane Loves 

Soft Clean Perfumes 

AUDREY:  Sometimes we all need a little pick-me-up.  Which scents can boost motivation and/or confidence?

JANE:  Citrus scents are known for making people feel energized and happy. Citrus fragrances are used in aromatherapy to help lift depression and add energy. Classic eau de colognes like 4711 (everyone’s grandmother wore this!) are based in citrus. AERIN Mediterranean Honeysuckle and Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien are perfect happy citrus-based perfumes. Even Clinique’s Happy is based on citrus notes! Classics like “O” de Lancome and Dior Eau Sauvage are also gorgeous and perfect for warm weather happiness.

AUDREY:  What are your go-to fragrances?  And what do you love about them?

JANE:  My go-to perfumes…hm. Tough question as I love so many! It’s like asking me to choose a favourite child! Right now I am wearing Inis Cologne, which is a gorgeous Irish perfume that smells like the ocean. This summer I’ve also loved the new CHANEL No 5 L’Eau which is soft and pretty and gets me lots of compliments. My all time favourite would probably be L’Artisan Parfumeur Mure et Musc, which is soft cassis/blackcurrants and a sweet musk. Years ago I read that Gwyneth Paltrow loved it and I remember searching it out in NYC and just having to have it. I still love it.

AUDREY:  We’ve all bought perfume that smelled great in the store, then not so great after being worn it for a few hours.  What are the best tips to remember when selecting a perfume?

JANE:  Always get samples to take away. Stores like Nordstrom and Sephora will make you samples and a good counter sales person knows that is the best way to sample perfumes. Our noses and olfactory senses get overwhelmed in a perfume department and it is almost impossible to get a true idea of what something smells like when immersed in a giant fishbowl of perfumes. And after smelling 3-6 scents your nose can’t really differentiate anymore. Smelling coffee is a popular nose cleanser but it doesn’t really work.


I also have a funny tip for perfume testing. Feminine hygiene wipes (Summer’s Eve, Vagisil etc) have a special pH cleanser that takes away scent. If I’m going out testing, I carry a purse sized pack of these with me. They can eliminate a headache inducing perfume in a heartbeat.


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