There’s a fine line, certainly, between being lavish with perfume and drown- ing in the stuff. Or swimming in it, literally, as the outrageous Gabor sisters Eva and Zsa Zsa did. The pair claimed they would have their pool boys pour Florence Gunnarson No. 67 into their swimming pools by the gallon, despite its big-ticket price. I like people to be able to smell me. I wear good perfume, and I like to wear it lavishly. So I like it when I walk by and they tell me I smell good, or when someone leans in to greet me with a kiss and commends me on my scent. I like smelling other people, too. The trick is a balance. It should not be about a cloud, but an aura. Others should smell you within a foot of approach. . . never down the hall. Once it emanates a couple of feet outside your personal space, then you’ve really crossed the line. The aim is not to overpower but to create a veil of a signature scent. Where to drop a hint? As Coco Chanel so quotably put it: “Wherever one wants to be kissed.” So true. I start at the wrists and dab from there to the nape of the neck, behind the ears, cleavage, base of the spine, behind the knees . . .
the inner thighs and ankles (especially if he’s a foot fetishist). I always spray my ankles before heading out on stage to give my audience a sense of scent-o- vision! A few other places worth a spritz are a hairbrush to freshen up a do, a cloth fan or handkerchief, or a love letter (before writing on it!). I love that moment when I’m readying for the day or night and the time comes for selection and application of a perfume. To be honest, I don’t have a hard-and-fast rule in my ritual as to when I apply it. Sometimes it’s immediately when I exit the shower or bath and my skin is still dewy. Or before getting dressed, I spray the air and walk through it naked or in my bra and stockings. Be willing to layer perfumes, too. Layer a couple of perfumes, or layer a perfume and a scented body lotion. Always carry a purse-size atomizer or solid form to refresh throughout the day or night. There are certainly times to refrain from wearing a scent if at all possible, such as in a doctor’s office, at a wine tasting, or at the gym or workout studio. It’s a matter of courtesy and respect. Being rude always stinks. Scent and Sensibility One way to get the most bang from a fragrance is with ancillary lotions and oils tied to a perfume. From deluxe to the drugstore, many popular perfumes have these extras. When I set out to create my own signature perfume, I made sure to have body lotion, shower gel, and even a deodorant spray as part of the collection. Mixing up your own scented lotion is a snap. In a bowl, blend about 2 ounces (¼ cup) perfume with 16 ounces (2 cups) unscented lotion. Pour it into a jar with a cap, preferably something pretty. “Perfume sets the mood . . . and I’m in the mood for glamour!” Also, consider the scent in shampoos and soaps. I choose what cleanses and conditions well and has a nice fragrance. Most shampoos on the market are similar in formulation, so it may simply come down to choosing one with the desired scent. Take into account when you’ve been complimented on the scent of your hair. Do not confuse my love of perfume, along with scented soaps, lotions, deodorants, and even face powder, with an aversion to corporal miasma. There’s nothing like the whiff of primal attraction, no matter where the individual of interest hails from. I have found, however, that it’s true what they say: body odor as an aphrodisiac is not so embraced among American or Asian men or women as it is among those from other nations. I’ve found that European men, on the other hand, always take delight in a little body smell. And I love them for it. Personally, I like deodorant. Concerned about the potential toxicity of conventional deodorants, I switched to natural formulations. I tried many until I found ones that work with my skin chemistry, Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant, Soapwalla Deodorant Cream and Green Tidings All Natural Deodorant in lavender (all on Amazon). They don’t contain aluminum zirconium, a common ingredient that curbs perspiration by causing skin cells to swell, thereby closing sweat glands. So while these deodorize, they are not an antiperspirant.