I have to admit that linking skin scents to a lack of human contact is a bit too trite, but I would be remiss not to mention how social distancing has impacted us collectively, and thus could attract many to skin-like fragrances. . You see, we know that olfactory memories are powerful, but we actually interact with others through smell in very subtle ways. Think about shaking someone’s hand: as you grab their hand and interact with that person’s skin, both of your scents are dispersed into the air and, in that quick interaction, their scent mixes with yours. According to Sally Augustin, Ph.D., an environmental psychologist who focuses on how sensory details (like perfume) affect our moods and experiences, that scent can linger on your skin all day: ” Eventually it will end up near your nose where you can smell it, “he says, like when you tuck your hair behind your ear or rest your chin on your palm.
Smell also helps us read people emotionally, says the neuroscientist and author of The source Tara Swart, MD, Ph.D. “Smell is the most emotional sense as the olfactory nerve has the shortest connection to the brain than any of our other senses,” she says, while the optic nerve, for example, flows. from our eyes to the back of the skull. That’s why, according to Augustin, you can even use your nose to measure another person’s mood. “You can tell if someone is worried or happy with how he smells,” she says, not because someone might get sweaty on their nerves, but because our bodies actually emit certain pheromones with each relevant emotion.
In other words: You can literally smell how someone feels and this affects how you communicate with others. For example, if you notice that someone is feeling down, you might treat them more kindly. “All of [communication channels]like smell and eye contact, they send important messages to whoever we are talking about, ”adds Augustin.
When those subtle messages suddenly fade away (because they aren’t carried over to Zoom), you may notice their absence with a feeling of nostalgia that you can’t. Rather put your finger on it. If so, it makes sense why someone would gravitate towards a perfume that supposedly smells like leather. “People seek interpersonal contact, because we need it to survive. And if you can’t just go out and smell other people, coincidentally, you’ll be happy to find a replacement, ”explains Augustin. It seems like people are trying to connect wherever they can, and there is something about an eau de parfum that smells like “the perfume someone left” that can make you feel a little melancholy.
PHLUR’s first debut perfume (available March 31st) is even called “Missing Person”, meant to smell like the lingering perfume of someone you love. “I created Missing Person when I missed the smell of a lover, but I’ve had countless people who tell me it reminds me of their mother, father, grandmother, brother… the list goes on. It is unique and personal to each person, ”says Lim. “I’ve seen people on social media try it for the first time and see them burst into tears.” People have relied on beauty as a means of connection for centuries; so even if the perfumes themselves don’t exactly smell like your mother’s skin, for example, they might smell like the soft residue of her cream for her face and this can serve the same special purpose.
The same scents in the skin also promote connection, thanks to the way they subtly cling to the body and stimulate intimacy. It’s not the kind of experience where you walk into a room with a vanilla smell announcing your arrival. Rather, “For someone else to smell them, they need to be close enough to you,” says Johnston. Meaning, skin fragrances are for you– and whoever else you invite into your orbit. A leather perfume has its own language, says Yang, one that says: I choose to let you smell and get close to me.
But let’s get back to how the perfume industry is changing: skin fragrances provide a deeper, more personalized form of fragrance, which can speak to the industry’s affinity for bespoke experiences. Before, Johnston explains, many legacy brands were defining the smell of fragrance, but people no longer want to be stored in that box. While all fragrance notes can technically change depending on your skin’s pH balance, oil composition, body temperature, and so on, some safe synthetic molecules are actually designed to help enhance your natural musk. “Because skin perfumes adhere to your skin and evolve as you wear them, they tend to smell like an extension of you… the way you want to smell naturally. It’s an evocative and romantic idea, ”Lim says, and it’s an idea that’s uniquely you.
By now, I think we have understood that the pandemic has influenced a cultural shift (a change of atmosphere, some would call it) that comes with a series of changes, including aesthetic choices. When we encounter these choices, many of us find ourselves reconsidering what we care about, what we want to commit to, and what we prioritize – we need to renegotiate who we are, in a sense.
On that journey, of course, we don’t want to accept what others say we should smell. “We are feeding our thirst to go out there, interact with people and be noticed, but we have the power,” says Yang. “We’re choosing things that make us smell more like ourselves.” Just, you know, with an extra whisper of pink.