Valentine's Day isn't the only time of the year romance is in the air -- especially if that air is filled with the scent of a come-hither perfume. I packed a few of the boldest “open for business” fragrances into my scent satchel and paid a call on Erica Fox and Raoul Martinez at the Fox 5 San Diego Morning Show. The topic: “Seduction Scents.”
Enhancing your smell definitely enhances your appeal. The question is: who are you appealing to? The man who wants his ladeeez to smell of strawberries is not going to be smitten by my bawdy barnyard of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir and Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur. And that's just as well. Nothing like relying on “o-dar” to send and receive messages about who you really want to put a tiger in your tank. Make like the flowers and bees and hone in on specific targets by wearing smells that broadcast you-ness, and only you-ness.
Even allowing for natural diversity in what flies our freak flag, smell-wise, there are classic sexy perfume ingredients with a universal appeal:
“Your skin but better” fragrances: animalic cocktails of musk and amber and sandalwood. There's an old Moroccan tradition where brides-to-be flavor their food with musk before the wedding, so that every pore, every little nook and cranny, is perfumed with musk. Lucky groom!
Foody fragrances: perfumes that are sweet with vanilla and chocolate, which are aphrodisiacs whether eaten or smelled.
White florals: indolic “glow-in-the-dark” blooms like jasmine and tuberose are seductive because they smell overripe and physical.
Rose perfumes: the classic flower of romance. Roses have aspects of wine and fruit in their smell -- a seduction picnic sure to end in “splendor in the grass!”
I chose my love potion fragrances for their dramatic expressions of different facets of hornifyin' raw materials. It didn't occur to me until later that they are all -- with some give and take -- perfectly unisex in their appeal. Get ready to bust a gusset:
With its saffron, rose, vanilla and sandalwood, “Disturbing Saffron” is an unusual variation on a gourmand. And sexxxaaaayyyy....hoo boy. Put it this way: in ancient Rome, the expression “sleeping on a bed of saffron” referred to a long hard night of making whoopee.
Safran Troublant is $135 for 100ml from L'Artisan Parfumeur.com and Amazon.com
I prefer the oil version of this concoction of musk, spices, sandalwood and vanilla -- it's quieter, more personal. What's the point of wearing a sexy scent if your target can smell it from across the room? In that case, there's no need for them to come closer!
Musc Ravageur starts at $85 for 30ml from EditionsdeParfums.com and Barneys.com
This delicate dance of orange blossom and musk is my concession to the large segment of fumies who prefer to cloak their animal nature until push comes to shove. As it were.
Castile starts at $80 for 50ml from Penhaligons.com and Amazon.com
The blend of cumin, ylang-ylang, rose, honey, incense and sandalwood is a little “B.O.”, a little “uh-oh!” Or as news anchor Erica would have it, “a forest-y tree.” (She must've picked up on the incense, right?) Whatever, all I know is that Absolue PSL smells like it's started the monkeyshines without you. Playing catch-up has never been so frisky!
Absolue Pour le Soir is $185 for 70ml from FrancisKurkdjian.com and LuckyScent.com