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.

Tips for Blending Fragrances

As everyone who uses perfumes, colognes and similar products knows fragrances shopping is a very personal experience.  You are, after all, trying to find a scent that is special and uniquely you.  Well, the best way to achieve this kind of customization is by mastering the art of blending fragrances in order to create something truly unique.  But what are the essentials of fragrance pairing?  What does one have to know about this science/art?  Here are some tips to help you create your own fragrance blends.Blending Fragrances

Define the kind of scent you are trying to create:  There are scents that are floral, fruity, masculine, sweet, etc.  Once you have made this determination begin to choose scents that are in the same category and begin to experiment.

Learn how to identify essential oil notes:  Blends are comprised of top, middle and base notes.  Top notes are the strongest most noticeable aroma; middle notes last longer than top notes but are not as strong and finally base notes last the longest.

Know the basics of essential oil blending:  As pointed out above, scents can be woodsy, minty, spicy, based on oriental ingredients, etc.  Learn the fragrances that blend particularly well together.  For example, floral blend pair well spicy, citrusy and woodsy essential oils.

Consider the strength:  Each fragrance you add to your blend will most likely vary in intensity.  One fragrance should not overwhelm the other.  If it does then you need to go back to the drawing board so to speak and continue mixing until you have a greater balance of the fragrances.

Use an eye dropper:  You will want to use an eye dropper in order to be more precise when creating your blend.  This will help later when you are trying to make adjustments to your fragrance.

Label your blend:  Once you have blended your new fragrance place it in a separate container and put it aside.  You may also wish to write down how you achieved your new blend so that it can be more easily replicated.

At Lily Direct we have many aromas for you to choose from.  You can begin your experimentation with a variety of the most popular fragrances on the market including essential oils, etc.  We’re sure that aided by these tips and a visit to our store you will create a blend that is deeply personal and absolutely distinctive.

 

History of Frankincense

In the Bible it is mentioned as one of the gifts of the Magi.  In fact, its importance is ranked right up there with gold in the Gospel of Matthew (2:11).  Going all the way back to the third century B.C, – or more than 5,000 years – the people of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula have been familiar with the aromatic resin known as Frankincense.  Indeed until recent times it was thought of as a highly coveted commodity to be traded and sold at a premium price.  In fact, in ancient Oman it was one of the key trade items in the Mediterranean region.  This is because Frankincense has many uses aside from its use as a fragrance.  It also has many religious and medicinal uses that are utilized even to this day.  Frankincense is used in products such as:

  • Clothing freshener
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Food flavoring
  • Drink flavoring
  • Medicine
  • Bath-Soak
  • Anti-Aging & Wrinkle Fighter
  • Aromatherapy

What is Frankincense?

Frankincense is a resin derived from the Boswellia carterii or Boswellia sacara tree that’s commonly grown in Somalia.  The word Frankincense itself comes from “franc encens,” which means quality incense in old French.  The essential oil from the tree is sourced from its leaves, stems or its roots.  The process of making it includes “wounding” the tree using a sharp tool.  After this the white sap the tree secretes is leached out and once it dries the hole drilled into the tree is deepened and enlarged.  The dry sap is what is used and collected about two week later.

Frankincense and its History

One of the oldest uses for Frankincense apart from its aroma is for religious services.  The Ancient Egyptians are said to have used it during animal sacrifices and while preserving human mummies.  Hebrews and Christians also used it in religious ceremonies as far back as the third century B.C. and fourth century A.D.  The aromatic resin continued being used for religious and medicinal purposes during the 1500 B.C., by priest who would used it to treat wounds.  Today, Frankincense is a common ingredient in perfumes and cosmetics.  There is also evidence that Frankincense can be used to alleviate asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, osteoarthritis and collagenous colitis.  Finally, though not as coveted as it was back 5,000 years ago, Frankincense continues to be a popular fragrance.  It many uses and its wonderful scent guarantees that people will still be harvesting and using it 5,000 years from now.

How to Tell if your Perfume has Gone off

Does something seem to be amiss about the smell of your favorite perfume?  Have you noticed that your favorite fragrance containing citrus notes that no longer smell as citrusy?  Well, if you’ve noticed either of these things then the answer to this mystery is quite simple – perfumes expire.  They go bad.  As much as we would like to think that our favorite fragrance is eternal, the bottle of perfume you buy is not.  This is because perfumes are a complex balance of many ingredients that work together to produce just the right scent we desire but that also, over time, change chemically.  For example, the natural oil in many perfumes comes from a long chain of substituted allyl aromatics which are susceptible to decomposition and bacterial growth.  This is a fact that many people are blissfully unaware of as they choose their favorite fragrance.  Moreover, the reality that fragrances do expire is obscured by the fact perfumes do not come with expiration dates stamped on them.

Tests for whether your perfume has gone off

The Nose Test:  Ultimately, then the best way to tell if your perfume has gone bad is the same way you chose it in the first place – smell it.  If it smells “off” it probably is.  If the smell is not one you are used to then toss it out.

The Color Test:  Color changes – getting darker for example – are not a normal process in colognes.  Color changes signify chemical changes and these changes mean that the fragrance has reached the end of its life.

Look at the label:  As stated earlier, perfumes do not come with a “use by” date stamped on them.  Still there are ways to tell if your perfume may have a particularly short lifespan by reading the label on the bottle before buying it.  Some ingredients are notorious for shortening the life of perfume.  (One example is listed in the first part of this article.)  For example, perfumes containing natural ingredients tend to last less time than those containing artificial ingredients.

If all this seems discouraging there are some ways to extend the life of your favorite fragrance.  First, know that many perfumes containing essential oils last 6 years on average.  Next, minimize the contact your perfume has with oxygen and direct sunlight.  Store your perfume in dark, cool place in order to extend its life.  Finally, minimize your perfume’s contact with heat which is another natural accelerant to the aging process of fragrances.  Try these tips and you may spare yourself the disappointment of watching your favorite fragrance go to waste.

Great Perfume Houses- Penhaligon’s

What is the measure of a great company?  It is longevity?  Is it the popularity it enjoys with the public?  Is it the dedication that company has to innovation?  It is the respect it has garnered from its peers?  Penhaligon’s – which was established in 1870 by William Penhaligon as a hairdressing salon and later evolved into a fragrance house – claims all four achievements.  Penhaligon grew his business the old fashioned way – by making and using only the best ingredients for the perfumes which were originally inspired by the aromas wafting from the London’s Turkish baths.  These elemental fragrances would later be refined and developed from his original shop on Jermym Street in London and at a second shop at 33 James Street.  Eventually Penhaligon’s opened a shop in 1975 in Convent Garden with the help of Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli.  His original fragrance formulas would live on and be recognized for the truly unique and distinctive mixes that makes them bestsellers to this day.  This is especially true of his Bluebell fragrance.

Today the company has continued to evolve diversifying into the field of fragrance including bath and body products, gentlemen’s grooming items, candles and gifts such as hand creams, lip balms and even an elegant oval scent bottle necklace.  Penhaligon’s scents are so well respected and so known by its users to be made from the finest ingredients like jasmine and hand-squeezed bergamot that it has long been used by the British royal family itself.  Penhaligon’s users know that they will experience a product that is based around old school formulas but one that is also made using the latest fragrance technology.  Its most notable products include:

  • Hammam Bouquet – 1872; the company’s first scent
  • Blenheim Bouquet – 1902; the company’s first bespoke fragrance for the Duke of Malborough at Blenheim Palace
  • Elizabethan Rose – 1984
  • Cornubia – 1991
  • LP No.9 for ladies – 1998
  • Artemisia – 2002; which was nominated for a FiFi Fragrance Foundation award in the Nouveau Niche category in 2002.
  • Bayolea – 2014; A modernized version of a bay rum tonic from Penhaligon’s archives

At Lily Direct we carry many of the products that are a result of this innovation and dedication to quality and that has made Penhaligon’s so well respected by its peers and well receive by its users.  These products include Penhaligon’s Sartorial Cologne for Men, its Bluebell Perfume for Women, its Blenheim Bouquet Cologne for Men and many other quality fragrances.  We invite you to see why the name Penhaligon has lasted for more than 145 years.

What You Should Know About Perfume Allergies

With thousands of fragrances on the market, it is not only likely that some people will develop allergies to some perfumes, it is a certainty.  In fact, back in 1999 the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) identified 26 ingredients as allergens in perfume.  As a result of this, some 2 million people suffer allergic reactions to one of more of the many ingredients in perfume.  Some of the symptoms of perfume allergies include:

  • Headaches.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Worsening asthma symptoms.
  • Runny and stuffy nose.
  • Sneezing.
  • A skin allergy like contact dermatitis — an itchy, red rash that appears on the skin.

Fortunately only a small number of fragrances actually cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.  The allergens that do and that are also present in other cosmetics include Cinnamic alcohol, Eugenol, Hydroxycitronellal, Oak moss absolute and others.

Identifying a Perfume Allergy

The problem with identifying which ingredient in a particular perfume is causing an allergic reaction is tricky since there are so many ingredients in fragrance products.  The best way to identify the specific ingredient causing a reaction is by patch testing.  A positive patch test result to a particular fragrance indicates that you are allergic to one or more fragrance chemicals.  An estimated 1-2% of the general population is allergic to one or more fragrance ingredients.

Treating a Perfume Allergy

While some doctors doubt that the fragrance itself is the cause of most “fragrance” allergies and believe that these reactions caused by some ingredient in a particular perfume, there can be no doubt that fragrance sensitivity is on the rise.  The best way to treat an allergy once it has been identified is to stop using the perfume in question.  If that ingredient is common to other scent-based products that you use it is also advised that you stop using those items as well.  The next best way to treat a perfume allergy is with nasal antihistamines and corticosteroid medications.  Both can control allergy symptoms caused by these sensitivities.  Ultimately, discovering that you have an allergic reaction to a particular perfume may cause you to seek out what may be an even better, more compatible perfume.  At Lilydirect we have a vast selection of perfumes and other fragrances that you can experiment with until you find the right scent that is safe and that helps you make your own unique statement about who you are.  If you believe you are developing an allergy to any fragrance consult with a dermatologist so that he/she can narrow down the specific cause and can develop a course of treatment.

Some Tips for Men on Layering Fragrances

It’s one of the trickiest grooming habits to pull of successfully and one that is not made easy by the thousands of colognes, body washes, scented deodorants and aftershaves that are available on the market.  The grooming habit being referred to here is matching the right combination of fragrances together in just the right manner.  This grooming ritual is also referred to by many as “layering.”  Men in particular should be carefully when they layer fragrances so as to not create a heavy scent that is off-putting.  Layering in an incorrect way also has the effect of shortening the duration of the scent one has achieved.  Below are some tips for men on smart layering that will produce the effect of creating a long-lasting, distinct scent that will last all day long and into the night.

  • Simple is best:  Try mixing one or two-note fragrances together.  Vanilla, amber, or coconut-based scents go together well in particular.
  • Consider scent duration:  Different cosmetic products have different levels of intensity and duration.  For example, shower gel generally last for only seconds.  Cologne lasts longer than aftershave and of course under arm deodorant lasts all day.  Try using a neutral aftershave and deodorant and then pair it with more assertive colognes.
  • Go unscented:  If you believe your overall layering may become too overpowering try using unscented deodorant.  They have become increasingly popular and are very easy to find.
  • Don’t spray your clothes:  Mist your pulse points but don’t ruin your clothes.  Doing so risks creates an overbearing scent.
  • Use similar scents:  Don’t blend scents that are too diverse.  For example, if you are using one product with citrusy notes trying pairing it with a product with a similar base.
  • Know the difference between cologne and deodorant:  Deodorant is less assertive than cologne.  Generally, it is designed to keep you from having an unpleasant scent and keeps you from sweating.  Cologne is designed to make you smell better than deodorant would alone.  Don’t confuse the two and never, use one in place of the other.

Finally, following these tips should make layering a less confusing and tedious job.  It should also help make you and your aroma stand out in a positive way.  Men can be as capable and knowledgeable about this area of personal grooming as women and can make their colognes, aftershaves, etc., last the entire day.  The next time you apply these personal products remember it is more about doing so in the right combination as it is about the scent of any particular fragrance.