The Dilemma of Scent

Thierry-Mugler-Angel-Womens-3.4-Ounce-Eau-de-Parfum-Spray-in-Refillable-Bottle-L12274847Lately I’ve been turning to the zany questions on OkCupid for blog fodder from time to time. Today is one of those times.

The question: If you bought your partner perfume or cologne as a gift, would you buy them a scent they love or a scent you love?

I feel like this is one of those thinly-veiled questions that tests your level of selfishness. I may do very poorly on that test.

Whenever I’ve bought girlfriends perfumes, I’ve almost exclusively bought them my favorite perfume scent (Angel by Thierry, which is literally created from happy angel tears).

I’d say the reverse has also been true–girlfriends have always bought me their favorite scent, even if it’s not a scent I’m fond of. For the most part I haven’t minded, because I liked the idea that they applied a specific scent to me that turns them on.

For me, if I were to buy a girlfriend perfume, I would buy her a perfume I love unless it’s a smell she really doesn’t like. I think we could probably find some common ground.

What about you–what’s your answer to this age-old question?

10 thoughts on “The Dilemma of Scent”

  1. I used to carry a small bottle of Cool Water (by Davidoff) around in my car. If a guy I was hanging out (read: drinking) with wasn’t wearing any cologne, I’d spritz him with some. It was and is my all-time favorite cologne, and I’ve never had it react poorly with anyone’s chemistry to where it smelled ‘off.’ I, however, have tried several perfumes for myself that smelled glorious on my friends but did not smell glorious on me. I stick with the classic Lauren by Ralph Lauren. It’s hard to find, but it’s the only one I ever got compliments on, and I love it. Alas, my husband does not wear any cologne because his sense of smell is not very acute, and he worries that he’ll unwittingly have drowned himself in whatever cologne he might apply. I love him to pieces, but I sure would jump his bones even more if he wore Cool Water even once in awhile!

    • I’m sure you told these guys before you spritzed them, but I particularly like the idea of you nonchalantly spraying Cool Water on them when they’re not looking. Perhaps that method would work for your husband?

      • I didn’t really give them much choice. Sometimes I wouldn’t ask, I’d just do it. They only freaked out when they thought I’d sprayed them with women’s perfume. My husband did agree to wear it at least on our wedding day,but I didn’t hold him to it. My birthday is next Tuesday. Maybe I should go buy some and try that as a birthday present to myself. It just mixes so very well with the smell of MAN. I can identify it on anyone I catch the scent on. It makes me smile! The guys wearing it are always surprised when I know what it is. They’re also flattered that I kinda gush over it a bit. It’s cute, I think. Back in the days when I was drunkenly spritzing all the guys around me (at least the ones I thought were cute) I’m sure it was more obnoxious than endearing. I figured hey if I have to hang around smelling this bunch of dopes at least they’re gonna smell nice to me!

        • Sara: This is all awesome, all of it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! I might try that with Angel…though I’ll need to heed Nelsy’s advice below.

  2. I think you have to be careful here because perfumes/colognes actually will smell different on different people. So your favorite scent may not actually be your favorite if it doesn’t go with the body chemistry of your lady/man.
    I personally despise the Angel perfume but my scent of choice is actually it’s lesser known sister perfume, Alien. People are constantly telling me how good I smell but once I spray it on my body I can’t really smell it anymore. Apparently that means it works for my body chemistry. It’s the only perfume I’ll ever buy.
    I probably would never buy anyone perfume. But if I did, I would try and purchase a scent that worked for them. I think in the long run, it’d be better for everyone.

    • Nelsy: That’s a great point that different things smell different on various people. And it’s interesting that Alien works so well for your body chemistry that you can’t smell it. I wonder if everyone has an optimal scent like that. Mine is probably “popcorn.”

  3. Anyone who buys me perfume doesn’t know me very well. I don’t like fragrances in general. I buy unscented laundry detergent and oxy stuff, use white vinegar as fabric softener, use plastic dryer balls in the dryer, and air-dry clothes when possible. For my body, I have unscented goats’ milk soap, and don’t use deodorant or shampoo. (Before you say “ew,” know that I am one of those people that doesn’t harbor the bacteria that makes sweat smell.) Break the shampoo/conditioner cycle and you’ll be better off in terms of your hair’s health. I don’t mind flowers with a scent (the #1 thing I miss from North Carolina is honeysuckle), love smelly food, and just don’t mind when people smell like people as long as they are not filthy or super-sweaty, or worst of all, wearing patchouli. You don’t need to coat yourself in toxic chemicals to be sexy to me, just wash with warm water and mild, not-smelly soap, and be smart and funny. 🙂


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