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On Scent-Layering (Or, how your fair Jolie is a totally neurotic crazy-person about smells)

Posted Jun 21 2012 3:35am


I would be devastated without my sense of smell. Yeah, yeah, you need to see; touch is critical; no sound means no Eddie Vedder murmuring throatily through my earbuds; life without tomatoes would be no life at all.

But still: I need smells. I crave them.

Being so big on scent means that I live in constant fear that I smell weird, which leads to ample amounts of gum and breath mints and body lotions and hair oils, to say nothing of the biggie: perfume. Occasionally, I can go overboard on the ol’ juice, which leads to even more situations where I’m quietly fretting that I smell (too much of a good thing!), plus makes me wish I could just be a normal person who floats through life without having silly, neurotic mini-crises on a daily basis. What must that be like? Dare to dream.

I’ve gotten much better over the years at adorning myself with scent in tiny, subtle ways: my favorite is scent-layering. I’ll start with a fragrant shower gel (currently using Bath and Body Works Malibu Heat ), then once I’m out of the shower and my skin is just slightly damp, I apply scented body lotion. It doesn’t have to be the exact same scent, but it is important that they’re either in the same scent family, or in complimentary scent families. (I like doubling up, however, so this summer I’m following with  Malibu Heat Body Lotionwhich has tropical notes of pineapple, California orange and creamy coconut milk and makes me feel like an 80’s Sweet Valley High-style Barbie in the very best way.) Finally, I’ll spritz a minuscule amount of fragrance at the nape of my neck, so it mingles slightly with my skin, and also gets sopped up at the base of my hair.

Your guess is as good as mine as to whether this little ritual does anything truly productive, but it makes me happy because I can sniff my wrist or arm hours later, and there’s still a faint scent clinging to the skin. I know I smell good (finally!), but without my fragrance walking into the room five paces before me. Scent-layering for the win!

This post was sponsored by Bath and Body Works. As always, all opinions remain my own.

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