Do Perfumes have Personalities?

By: Thomas Hunter

It is believed that perfumes have their own unique personalities. This view was first put forth by the famous perfumer Jean Guerlain who is the creator of the well-known names L’Instant de Guerlain and Shalimar. Perfume is worn for a variety of different reasons- to attract and seduce the opposite sex; to improve one’s mood or state of mind; to boost one’s level of self confidence; to refresh and energize and so on. The aim is to always choose a fragrance that suits your individual persona. To put it another way, look for a scent that strives to enhance your aura, not take away from it by overpowering you (and others!).

Inside each of us lies our own “fragrance personality.” Our fragrance personality helps explain why some individuals are drawn to fruity scents, others to florals, others to musky and still others to oriental. It has been hypothesized by perfume retailers that what kind of music a person enjoys, plus what colors they favor and what activities they enjoy participating in plays a role with regard to their fragrance preference.

Classical music lovers who vacation in country locations and adore the color pink tend to be drawn to the most feminine of all scents- the floral ones. Rock and roll enthusiasts who also favor the color yellow and enjoy indulging in spa treatments tend to lean towards the fruity kinds of fragrances. R & B music buffs that like the down-to-earth color green and believe that a dream vacation would be at a lakeside resort enjoy crisp scents that come from natural oils deriving from the stem of plants and leaves.

Moving on to jazz, lovers of this kind of music who enjoy visiting exotic spots (such as island getaways) and profess a love for the color purple, tend to go in for oriental scents that contain ingredients that exude sensuality such as heavy flowers, musk and vanilla. Oriental scents (also known as ambers) are sexy, intense, and full of energy while conjuring up vivid images of the Far East and Middle East. Individuals who enjoy hanging out at the beach, devouring sushi and are true blue for the color “blue” have a tendency to go for ocean scents that remind them of the fresh salty air and the warmth of the sun. Those who are sophisticated jetsetters at heart and who enjoy retiring at night on red hot satin sheets and also enjoy the taste of spicy food (such as Thai) usually reach for a woody scent that calls up thoughts of earthy elements such as bark and moss.

Determining what fragrance would suit your personality has a lot to do with whether or not you are an introvert or extrovert. Let your nose be your guide but also think about all of the qualities that make you uniquely “you.” To make a positive impact on others you need to perfectly match up your personality with the right fragrance. Sporty people for example, often prefer clean, light, and fresh scents that are not too heavily perfumed and are decidedly subtle. A “hint of scent” is what athletic souls are usually looking for in a fragrance. Fruity scents signal energy and optimism and those who are upbeat, and always have a ready smile for everyone often enjoy these types of fragrances. Sexy personalities, like sexy scents that make a bold proclamation about who they are. One naturally goes with the other. These people therefore go for musky fragrances, which leave a lasting impression (especially on the opposite sex).

Closely connected to this is a theory that was put forth by a perfume expert by the name of R.W. Moncrieff. He believed that the personality traits of a person were most definitely linked to that person’s taste in fragrances. His theory was that introverted people had a much keener awareness of scents and smells of any kind than did extroverted people and for that reason were more inclined to be drawn to the intensity of oriental scents as opposed to the lighter fruity and floral fragrances.

Expanding on the concept of perfumes having personalities and taking the above theory one step further, were scientists Mensing and Beck who believed that preferences in perfumes were directly linked to favorite colors. They believed that people who were particularly fond of light, bright colors such as pink, orange and yellow would be more inclined to gravitate towards fruity or floral scents while individuals who favored darker, richer colors such as red, green or purple would be more likely to be interested in warm, oriental fragrances.

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