That Touch of Desire: The Delights of Perfume Application
Posted on 30th April 2013 by Alex
There is no escaping the fact that for many of us, the wearing of perfume is an act of deliberate sensuality whether we realise it or not.
There is an inherent and implied eroticism, both personal and predatory in the application of perfume. The most effective places to wear fragrance are still pulse points and places where the blood beats closest to the skin....where the skin trembles and where lips might meet skin.
There is a particularly old school (and very romantic, not to say extravagant) French school of thought that views the body as a scented whole, to be scented, from the ankles up. Pure perfume at the ankles, eau de parfum behind the knees and eau de toilette to wrists and décolleté. Over the top? Perhaps, but it is all about recognising the importance of movement, soft friction and body heat.
I love collar bones and throats, they are beautiful areas of the human body. Scented, they are all about people leaning in to talk to you in bars, catching your fragrance as they talk, breathe and inhale you.
Scent applied to the back of the neck on men and women is very elegant. It feels cooling and you leave a subtle (or strong as you like) trail as you walk. Enticing and unusual.
Our wrists are every expressive; waving, writing, shaking hands, touching, articulating moods....anointed and perfumed, they are potent ambassadors for our body.
Spraying fragrance into hair is a lovely thing. I have grown up around women (and men…!) doing this. I know people say it dries out the hair, but used with discretion and intent, it can be a fabulous way to wear your fragrance. If you watch other people you will notice that we all play with our hair a lot more than we realise. Many of us flirt and signal our intentions with hair play, running our hands through our locks, twisting pieces of hair as we talk.
Something a little more raunchy is perfuming inner thighs for women ( and naughty men....). Heat, friction, erotic suggestion. Again it’s all about movement, skin against skin. The scent rising up, mixing with the body’s natural scents.
For the guys, before you get dressed, a targeted spray across the chest under your shirts first thing is great, heat rising through fabric. Men are warmer, and ladies, leaning in, you will pick up layers and tones of fragrance.
If you have a favourite part of the body, accentuate it, (forearms, back of the neck, shoulders, that dimple between the collar bones...). Highlight it with a favourite perfume. Give that part of the body an olfactory glow. Draw someone’s attention to it with perfume, an invisible glow.
In truth, scent can be applied anywhere on skin, but with a little thought and careful attention to detail one’s body can become a potent map of perfumed power points. The places where the blood is closest to the skin are warmer, hotter, quicker to fire up. Also more often erotic and sensitive. This mix of scent, hotspots and perfumed planning makes for sensual and rewarding fragrance wearing.
People ask about scenting clothes. Some experts say no, staining, damage to fibres etc. Again though with careful consideration your wardrobe can become an olfactory Proustian madeleine. Spraying wool, cashmere and silk is amazing. Certain fabrics hold scent incredibly well and worn close to the nose they create a microclimate of scent that is very powerful.
There are some provisos however:
To bruise or not to bruise. This is a big thing with some sales people. Not rubbing the wrists after applying the scent. Not smashing the top notes. It is all very subjective in my opinion. All you do is speed up the drydown by shattering the top notes a little. This is no bad thing necessarily. Or else leave the composition to settle down and appreciate the whole journey of the scent from head notes down to the booming glories of the base. Like so many things in life, it is personal.
Do be careful spraying near jewellery and watches. Fragrances are alcohol based and can damage stones, metals and especially pearls.
Otherwise, play with your fragrance and wear it in as many wondrous ways as you can.