The Best Places to Apply Fragrances

Including places you may not have considered

Most of us will give a lot of thought over which cologne or perfume we will select to become our signature fragrance. We’ll scour over the latest online fragrance reviews, or we’ll allow ourselves to be spritzed at the counter of our favorite store or we’ll follow the recommendation of a friend in making this important decision. Yet, as careful as some of us are in making the choice of what fragrance to wear, many of us won’t even think twice when it comes to where to apply our favorite cologne or perfume. We all know that the common places to apply fragrances are the wrists, ears, neck, etc. However, by limiting the application of your fragrance to these areas you may be missing out on some other enticing possibilities. Here are a few other places to apply fragrances that many experts recommend.

  • In Your Hair: Perfume applied here (lightly so as not to dry out the hair) latches onto hair fibers which in turn makes the scent last longer.
  • Inside Your Elbows: This pulse point is a nice change of pace from spritzing the wrist yet it is just as effective.
  • Behind Your Knees: Veins are particularly close to the skin in this area of the body thus it is a pulse point that generates heat. This heat helps to project the scent outwards.
  • In Your Belly Button: The navel radiates heat and this is essential for pushing the scent of colognes and fragrances outwards.
  • Down Your Calves: Try spritzing your favorite fragrance on the sides of your calf. The friction cause by your walking about will help to radiate the scent. This spot is also particularly effective if you wear shorts or a skirt.
  • On Your Feet: This off sounding place is not so odd when you think of it. Your feet are in motion during most of the day, so what better way is there to leave your scent gently wafting behind you as you travel?

In a nutshell, giving a little more thought to where you apply your fragrance will help in several ways. The first is that it will make the scent all the more potent if you maximize your body’s pulse points, etc. The second is that it can make your fragrance last longer and therefore give you more “bang for the buck”. Finally, by following some of these suggestions you will be following tried and true methods that many experts have researched and have found to be maximum application points.

The Top Unisex Fragrances of the Year

When it comes to fragrances most of us, l were taught to think in delineated terms. There are scents for men and there are scents for women and that’s all there is to it. In other words, gender is the line in the sand that fragrance buyers dare not cross. However, some fragrance makers have made great strides in erasing that line by developing and introducing to the market fragrances that are gender neutral. And while every fragrance buyer may not yet accept this idea, many have. This growing acceptance of gender neutral fragrances is why some are calling 2016 the year of unisex fragrances. Here are a few of the most popular fragrances in that bold, new area.

CK2 by Calvin Klein: As early as 1994 fragrance giant Calvin Klein had a hit in the unisex fragrance category with CK One. Repeating the success of that gender neutral fragrance is CK 2. CK2 top notes are mandarin and violet. Below that are notes of vetiver, incense, and sandalwood. All this results in a fragrance that is sweet but not cloyingly so

Tom Ford Black Orchid: This fragrance, although heavily marketed to women, is also being worn by men. It is comprised of French jasmine, black truffle, ylang-ylang, black currant and effervescent citrus all producing an alluring aroma that is luxurious and sensuous.

Valentino Uomo: “Uomo” in Italian literally means “man.” However, don’t be fooled by its moniker. It’s understated, leathery aroma appeals to men and women. It contains notes of bergamot, coffee and hazelnut.

Unbreakable by Khloé and Lamar: This fragrance was introduced back in 2011 by Khloé Kardashian and quickly took it place among the unisex scents released that year. Its top notes include green apple, apricot, bergamot, saffron. Its other notes are Lily, geranium, jasmine, and red berries.

Yves Saint Laurent Tuxedo: This scent is one of several fragrances inspired by Yves Saint Laurent clothing. The key to this fragrance is that while it has bold masculine notes such as black pepper and smoked patchouli it also has a feminine edge with notes such as bergamot and lily of the valley.

Gucci Guilty Pour Homme: Although this entry appears to have a seemingly masculine aroma with notes of cedar wood and patchouli, it is softened with feminine notes of Amalfi lemon and lavender. The result is a complicated, citrusy aroma.

Finally, if you are a hold out to the notion that gender lines should not be crossed when it comes to fragrances then hopefully one or some combination of these fragrances will help change your mind. Many have come around to the idea that gender neutral fragrances are appealing and are on par with many gender specific labels.

America’s Top Fragrances

Given that there are countless fragrances on the market today, there are bound to be a special few that stand apart from the rest. These perfumes and colognes have scent combinations that captivate the public’s imagination in a way that their competitors do not. And although selecting a fragrance is a uniquely personal choice, the general public has reached an almost universal consensus as to the power and appeal that certain perfumes and colognes possess. With these, fragrance buyers have in a sense voted with their noses on which are the most popular colognes and perfumes in the country. Is your perfume included among America’s most popular fragrances? Here is a list in reverse order of popularity.

  • Angel Thierry Mugler for women: This uniquely sweet smelling perfume comes in a very distinctive looking, star-shaped bottle. It blends together notes of coconut, melon, jasmine, honey, blackberry, peach, rose, amber, vanilla, caramel and chocolate.
  • Guilty by Gucci: Gucci is a name that is synonymous with elegance and taste. This 9th place entry blends different floral notes including pink pepper, lilac, mandarin, peach, geranium, patchouli and amber.  It was first released in 2010 and continues to stimulate the senses of fragrance aficionados.
  • La Vie Est Belle Lancôme: Released in 2012, this perfume has as its main note iris and mixes with lower notes including jasmine, orange blossom, pear, black currant, and other aromas to create an awe-inspiring smell.
  • Burberry Brit Burberry: Created in 2003 by Nathalie Cracia-Gett, Burberry Brit combines notes of white almond, frosted pear, green lemon with lesser notes including mahogany and amber.
  • J’Adore Christian Dior: Created in 1999 this perfume has as its spokesperson actress Charlize Theron. It is composed of mandarin orange, plum, jasmine, rose, orchid all of which create a distinctive floral scent.
  • No.5 Chanel: A staple in most top fragrance lists, Chanel No. 5 has long been one of the best selling fragrances in the world.
  • Miss Dior (new version) Dior: Created in 2012 by Francois Demachy, this perfume combines Italian mandarin, Egyptian jasmine, rose, patchouli with musk.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue: This fragrance, which first appeared in 2001, is composed of Sicilian lemon, cedar, bamboo, apple, bellflower, rose and is evocative of summer.
  • Flowerbomb Viktor & Rolf: Released in 2005 by Olivier Polge, et al. is a combination of orchid, jasmine, rose, freesia, African orange flower, patchouli, green tea, bergamot and musk
  • And the most popular fragrance in the nation isCoco Mademoiselle Chanel. First launched in 2001 by Jacques Polge, the main notes of this fragrance are mandarin orange, bergamot, orange flower, vanilla and other scents including musk.

Finally, the most important thing to remember is that when choosing your special scent you are doing so for yourself and perhaps a loved one. Fragrances that are popular and that appeal to many people are nice but you should not use this as the sole criteria for choosing a cologne or perfume. After all, everyone has a different body chemistry, tastes etc.

The World’s Most Expensive Perfumes

In 2011 history was made in the fragrance industry. One bottle of DKNY Golden Delicious – sold for a whopping $1 million. This makes it the most expensive cologne ever sold. This astonishing record also demonstrates the importance that fragrances have held in world history. They are more than aromas that we react to positively. They have long been symbols of status and indicators of a person’s taste and breeding. In ancient Egypt, for example, they were once offered as tribute to rulers and conquerors having equal value with gold and other precious metals. Moreover, religious leaders have in the past used fragrances as critical components in their ceremonies. So it is little wonder that some people are willing to pay what are for most of us exorbitant prices for certain fragrances. Here is a list of some of the most expensive fragrances in the world so sit back and imagine yourself as being one of the few people in the world who can afford these liquid treasures.

More of the World’s Most Expensive Fragrances

  • Baccarat Les Larmes Sacrees de Thebes (USD $6,800 per ounce): Sold at Harrods in London, this fragrance is so rare and expensive that it is actually sold in minute amounts of less than an ounce (0.25 oz).
  • Chanel Grand Extrait (USD $4,200 per ounce) First made in 1921 by perfumer Ernest Beaux this fragrance is made from Rose and jasmine from Chanel’s own custom fields in France.
  • Clive Christian No 1 (USD $2,150 per ounce): This perfume is a bold combination of vanilla, sandalwood, concentrates of ylang (a tropical tree that originates in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines) et al. In the early 2000s it was considered to be one of the most lavishly scented fragrances available. The bottle is also decorated with a 1/3rd ct precious stone on the neck.
  • Hermès 24 Faubourg (USD $1,500 per ounce): Created in 1995 by perfumer Maurice Roucel, this uncommon blend of orange bloom, jasmine, tiare blossom, patchouli, ylang, iris, vanilla, ambergris, and sandalwood had a very limited production run. Only 1,000 containers were ever constructed.
  • Caron’s Poivre (USD $1,000 per ounce): Launched in 1954 by Michel Morsetti, this fragrance is based on pepper and is said to appeal to both sexes.

Yes, most of us can only imagine owning these rare fragrances as they are often limited in release and always priced for the most extreme fragrance aficionados. Many of us can only imagine the aromas wafting from these often bejeweled bottles of perfume. However, take heart in knowing that are many more affordable fragrances on the market that are exquisite nonetheless and that won’t cost you a fortune to posses.

More Favorite Fragrances for Fall 2016

All around us the sights, sounds and fragrances associated with summer are waning as the fall makes its return. In fact, fall asserting itself in a big way symbolizes how change cannot be overcome. But why try to fight change? Why not take this cue from nature to make some changes starting with the choice of a new fragrance? Why not take your cues from fragrance makers who are retaining and mixing some of the notes of summer with fall fragrances to make exiting new colognes and perfumes? Here are some more favorite fall fragrances for men and women that do just that.

Fall Favorites for Women

Downtown Calvin Klein: The entry mixes floral notes with woody notes resulting in an understated fragrance that still delivers a lovely, delicate scent. Contained in this warm, light fragrance are notes of green pear, watery plum, pink peppercorn, gardenia and violet leaf.

Boucheron Place Vendôme: A warmer, sexier, more aggressive scent than Downtown, this entry is characterized by its classic feminine scent. The top notes of this entry are more floral than woody with notes of honey, jasmine petals, cedar, and benzoin.

Katy Perry Killer Queen: The pop star’s first two fragrances were sweet and candy scented but this one is more a mixture of floral and woody notes including wild berries and plum plus patchouli, and cashmere. The result is a more seductive, less playful fragrance than her first two entries.

Fall Favorites for Men

Maison Martin Margiela “Replica – Jazz Club” Men’s Cologne: This masculine fragrance is characterized by base notes of vanilla and tobacco leaf mixed with top notes of pink pepper, lemon and neroli oil. It asserts itself without being overwhelming.

Tom Ford ‘Tobacco Vanille’ for Men: Containing notes of ginger, tobacco leaves, vanilla, anise, coriander and more, this cologne is inspired by the old world men’s clubs.

Dior ‘Sauvage’ Eau de Toilette: The entry has won awards from men’s magazines for best fragrance and is one of the more affordable men fragrances out there. The top notes of this fragrance include Reggio di Calabria bergamot and Sichuan pepper and a base of ambroxan as its middle notes.

Yes, this fall provides the perfect opportunity for men and women to embrace a new fragrance while at the same time retain some of the notes of summer. Fall is here so why not experiment with these bold new fragrances some of which mix the brightness of summer aromas with the warm notes of fall?


Favorite Fragrances of Fall 2016

Stick a fork in summer she’s done. It’s time to toss aside the fashions and fragrances of summer and embrace the fall of 2016. And where the hot weather intensified the fragrance notes of your favorite fragrance, cooler temperatures will now cause them to be more difficult to evaporate. This is why it is so important to consider the season when choosing the right fragrance. In winter popular fragrances often contain notes of vanilla, cinnamon, incense, amber, spices, etc. In spring popular fragrances often contain notes of mint, basil, orange blossom, etc. In summer popular fragrances often contain notes of bergamot, rose, jasmine, mimosa, orange blossoms, etc. Finally, fragrances for the fall of 2016 are characterized by warm and musky wood notes. With that in mind, here are some favorite fragrances for the fall of 2016.

Top Fall Fragrances for Women

Charlotte Tilbury Scent of a Dream: The wood notes of this fragrance are derived from frankincense and the fir tree. Blended with these woodsy notes are floral notes of lemon and peach. The result is a warm sensual fragrance that will assert itself without creating an overwhelming presence.

Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Rose EDP for women: The top notes of this entry are that of sparkling wine and fruits, while the middles and base notes are of fruit blossom and woody elements respectively. Brazilian fashion model/actress Gisele Caroline Bündchen is the model for this perfume.

Dior Hypnotic Poison: This sexy, very feminine fragrance contains notes of bitter almond, caraway spice, Sambac jasmine, cinnamon, tuberose, vanilla, musk, mosses, and jacaranda wood.

Top Fall Fragrances for Men

Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme EDT for men: This fragrance is characterized by notes of cypress, bergamot, and violet. Also present are subtler pepper and leather notes. Gucci Pour Homme a great idea as a gift for the outdoor man.

John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider: With notes of Saffron, rockrose resin, Russian leather, this cologne is inspired by the world of motorcycle racing and is the epitome of masculinity.

Polo Supreme Oud Cologne for Men by Ralph Lauren: The elements of this luxuriously manly fragrance are a blend of spices and rich woods. It is “memorable, masculine, and intoxicating,” according to its makers.

Yes, there are some excellent fragrance choices for the fall of 2016. At Lily Direct we have fragrances that are a match for any and all seasons. In fact, the best thing about the change in seasons is that it is a perfect time to experiment with and refine your special aroma.

The Most Appealing Scents for Men and Women

Physical attraction is a phenomenon that engages all the senses not the least of which is smell. In fact, in the animal kingdom scent is the key method for finding and attracting a mate. For us it is a bit more subtle but still a driving force when it comes to what appeals us to the opposite sex. But it is not just about smelling clean or smelling good. Certain aromas are known to have a greater appeal than others. Perfumes and colognes that mimic food aromas, for example, are among the fragrances that have the strongest appeal. Here are few powerful aromas that are bound to be noticed by the opposite sex.

Men’s Fragrances that Appeal to Women

  • Licorice:  This scent is said to greatly enhance arousal in women affect.  According to a study by Dr. Alan Hirsch this scent, which comes from anise, combines well with cola and with cucumber as well.  Cereus No.11 for Men is one such cologne that combines these powerful attractants.
  • Pumpkin Pie:  According to Hirsch, this scent raises female arousal by 11%. It can be found in Pumpkin Pie by Demeter.
  • Dark Chocolate:  Chocolate is one of the many food odors that appeal to both sexes but to women in particular according to some studies.  Ralph Lauren Big Pony Red #2 is an example of a fragrance that combines dark chocolate with a hint of black pepper.
  • Lavender, Sage and Pepper:  This powerful triumvirate of aromas balances a sense of tenderness with power increasing its appeal to women.  Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme perfectly blends these aromas and adds to it dry notes of cedar wood.
  • Grapefruit, Vanilla:  This combination is intense but not overwhelming and mixed with an amber musk – as it is in Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Terrible – captures the opposite sex’s attention with its contrasting aromas.

Women’s Fragrances that Appeal to Men

  • Vanilla:  According to the Hirsch study, Vanilla is one food aroma that highly appeals to men. For maximum appeal it is recommended that women combine vanilla with amber and musk as in Clean Skin 2.14 oz/ 60 mL Eau de Parfum Spray for Women.
  • Floral and Woodsy fragrances:  These fragrances according to Hirsch can be used to appeal to men.  Calvin Klein’s Secret Obsession and Tom Ford’s Black Orchid are two examples of perfume’s that combine floral and woodsy notes.
  • Spicy Florals/white wood:  Two perfumes that combine these notes include Lolita Lempicka’s Si Lolita and Daisy Marc Jacobs.

Yes, certain aromas will always be known to elicit a positive response in people more than do others.  Modern day perfumers know this and carefully look at every study on the psychology of smell and attraction. At Lily Direct we sell fragrances that will appeal to the opposite sex and will increase your appeal as well.

The Origins of Perfume as a Mass Market Item

It’s hard to imagine a time when most of the modern conveniences that we now take for granted were relatively difficult to come by. After all, we literally have a whole world of commerce at our finger tips via the Internet or by a short commute to our local brick and mortar store. Yet, as difficult to believe at it may be, products like food, books, clothes, toys, etc, were once scare in certain areas. Perfume, which is now more than a $10 billion industry, began back in ancient times when fragrances like myrrh and frankincense were used in religious ceremonies and/or gifts to be cherished due to how rare they were to obtain. At this time the synthetic ingredients that are at the heart of many perfumes and that make them relatively affordable were unknown.

Eventually, the popularity of perfume would spread to 13th Century Europe with the Crusaders who brought back samples of it from Palestine to England, France, and Italy. From this, Europeans became enamored of fragrances like cinnamon, myrrh and frankincense. At this time, perfume – due to its expense and scarcity – was something that in which only the ruling classes could indulge. Everyone outside of these classes would have to wait until scientific innovations made mass production of these products possible. This occurred in the late 1800s when, for the first time, synthetic materials were discovered and could be used to mass produce perfume. These chemicals include nitrobenzene – made from nitric acid – and benzene which was the basis of the first synthetic perfume.

This revolution in synthetic compounds is not to say that natural ingredients such as flowers, grasses, spices, fruit, wood, roots, resins, balsams, leaves, gums, and animal secretions aren’t still at the heart of most fragrances. They are. But without centuries of scientific discovery and advances, fueled by the public desire for these fragrances, perfume would not now be as readily available as most other products that we now take for granted. Today, we can open up a magazine and get a whiff of an exciting new perfume, or go into a store and be sprayed with new cologne or visit a website that has thousands of fragrances that combine synthetic and natural products. We can do things that were unimaginable to earlier generation. Yes, mass production of perfume has been a boon for manufacturers and a blessing for consumers.

Great Perfume House Series- Houbigant

Great things and legendary people often begin; it is said, from humble beginnings. This is true of legendary perfume manufacturer Jean-François Houbigant and the great perfume house he began four centuries ago. Yes, that’s right the House of Houbigant has stood since 1775 and has lasted when many other perfume manufactures have not. Jean-Francois Houbigant was born in Paris, France on December 21, 1752 into the servant class which what was then a very rigid caste system. The class one was born into almost always set the trajectory of one’s life. However, Houbigant’s mother worked for royalty – Duchess of Charost – who it is said took favor upon and sponsored him. Houbigant grew to work his way through merchants and equally ambitious perfumers to grow his appreciation for naturally occurring, beautiful fragrances.

Eventually, after tutelage from his future father-in-law, the 23 year old Houbigant established the company that has endured into the 21st century. Houbigant was permitted, under law, “to make and sell all kinds of scents, powders, pomades, pastes to whiten and cleanse the skin, soaps, toilet-waters, gloves, mittens and skin material” and that he did. Almost immediately, Houbigant’s fragrances caught the attention of French nobility and distinguished itself from the many competitors of the time. In fact, it has been rumored – though not proven – that Queen Marie Antoinette actually carried two bottles of Houbigant’s cologne on her the day she was…dispatched from this world.

Through the rest of the 18th, 19th and 20th century, Houbigant has continue to innovate and achieve excellence in the creation of fragrances that are appreciated the world over. In fact, it is said that modern perfume making would not exist were it not for these innovations and were it not for the model set by Houbigant’s fragrances. Some milestone fragrances produced by this august house include:

Fougère Royale (1882). This is still the most popular men’s fragrance.

Le Parfum Ideal (1908). This fragrance was one of the first to seamlessly into synthetic ingredients into its formula without loss of scent quality.

Quelque Fleurs (1912). This is one of their most popular fragrances to this day.

Quelques Fleurs L'Original Perfume for Women by Houbigant

In 1973, Michele Perris began a fruitful collaboration with the House of Houbigant which continues to this day, Jean-François Houbigant may be gone but the humble experiment that began four centuries ago continues as the world’s most respected perfume house lives one. We honor the memory and achievements of Houbigant and Perris by carrying its Quelque Fleurs original fragrance for Women. We look forward to your trying this perfume for yourself.

Sandalwood in Perfume

It’s the second most expensive wood in the world.  The tree itself is treasured the world over for its warm woody, notes that are indicative of mid-winter.  For more than 5,000 years, it has been so treasured by ancient peoples from all over the world that is has been used not just for its warm, sophisticated notes but in various religious ceremonies.  The ancient Egyptians even used the wood for its supposed medicinal benefits.  We are talking about the prized Sandalwood tree which grows from Indonesia in the east to Chile in the west and from the Hawaiian Archipelago in the north to New Zealand.  Its oil is used in a variety of cosmetic, aromatherapy and pharmaceuticals products but is most often used as a base in perfumes.

What is Sandalwood?

Sandalwood oil comes from the wood and roots of the Santalum album which belongs to the family Santalaceae.  (It is also referred to as the East Indian sandalwood tree).  The finest quality of sandalwood oil comes from India where Sandalwood tree harvest is carefully protected by the government.  The main benefit of Sandalwood as it is used in fragrances – apart from its distinctive, milky, wood scent – is the that fact it combines well with other fragrances which is why its aroma can vary from citrusy, to floral and most other fragrances in between.  Sandalwood oil is extracted mainly from the roots of the tree by a process known at steam distillation.  Using this process super heated steam is passed through the wood.  Eventually this steam is cooled which gives us sandalwood oil.

Sandalwood’s use in Perfume

The use of Sandalwood as perfume goes all the way back to 700 B.C. particularly in the Eastern Indian Ocean region and the Pacific.  It was so valued in these places due to its use in religious ceremonies and because 16 different species of Sandalwood were once common to these regions.  While the East continued to use Sandalwood in incense and for its value in aromatherapy, the West began to use it chiefly in perfume when in the 1920’s the French began discovering its fragrance.   Today, Sandalwood is used in a variety of colognes and perfumes.  Some of the most popular perfumes that use Sandalwood include:

  • Hypnotic Poison Christian Dior
  • Waikiki Pikake Pacifica for Women
  • Samsara Eau de Parfum Guerlain for Women
  • Dior Addict Christian Dior for Women
  • OP Blend for Women Ocean Pacific

All these perfumes demonstrate not only how coveted Sandalwood is, but also how it mixes well with so many other notes.  For example, it mixes well with the middle notes – tuberose, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose, Brazilian rosewood, and caraway – present in Hypnotic Poison.  At the same time, it also blends in smoothly with the notes present in Samsara Eau de Parfum Guerlain for Women (iris, tonka bean, amber, musk and vanilla).  If you are looking for perfume whose aroma is as rich and vital as its history, you could not make a more sound choice than Sandalwood.