Any stripper worth her singles knows there's a whole lot more to the job than taking off your clothes and having an insanely
strong core and upper body — it's about creating the ultimate fantasy and escape from reality for someone else. (Sort of like Make-A-Wish! Or maybe nothing like it at all.)
That fantasy, at its essence, is scented like one of the best songs of the '90s: sex and candy. And who's to say that's bad? "Smelling like a stripper is definitely a thing, and it's a thing that should be celebrated," says
Jacq The Stripper, an author, comedian, and dancer who works internationally.
So, yeah, that stereotypical "stripper smell" people often sneer at? It's a move as calculated as putting the jumbo-sized Snickers in the checkout line. Seven dancers from the most popular joints in the country share their signature fragrance (and why they wear it), ahead.
"[My signature scent] begins with a few dabs of some real fancy French shit — I call it Mysterious Hoe. From there, it's a unique layering of Victoria's Secret Tease & Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar generously reapplied throughout the night to mask any smoke, stale booze, or client odor that may be lingering on me.
"It's potent as fuck, which I know because whenever men compliment it, they're almost wistful. It takes 'em back to when their adolescent crushes rocked a similar scent — when shit was still innocent enough and the smell of warm vanilla sugar, pheromones, and a smile were all it took to arouse them." — Valerie Stunning, dancer in Las Vegas Victoria's Secret Tease Fragrance Mist, $25, available at Victoria's Secret; Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Fine Fragrance Mist, $14, available at Bath & Body Works.
“In my real life, I wear Gucci Guilty, but at work, I wear Prada Candy. Men love that — they say I smell like flowers or some sort of sweet candy. It doesn’t really matter what you wear, as long as you have some type of smell, but I will say the expensive [perfumes] don’t last as long as cheap ones do." — Paradise, dancer at
Magic City in Atlanta, GA Prada Candy, $120, available at Ulta.
"My signature scent is sunscreen that smells like a Creamsicle with a dash of coconut. My character at work is very smiley, bubbly, and unburdened, so that scent is really complementary. It makes people think of being on the beach in the summer, and if that's not a selling point, then I don't know what is!
"I don't really remember anything a man has said to me about my perfume (or in my case, sunscreen), because they usually comment on how they like my B.O. Guys are way into body odor." — Jacq the Stripper Ocean Potion Protect & Nourish Scent of Sunshine Sunscreen Lotion, $6.67, available at Walmart.
“I usually wear YSL — everyone I dance for loves it — or scented oils from the beauty supply store. They also love when I wear Pink Sugar and Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj. Everyone here wants to make sure they smell sweet. There are certain men who don’t like the candy smell and want you to smell like a grown woman, and a majority of the guys don’t care as long as a beautiful woman is dancing for them and smells good, but some are like, 'Ooh, do you wear vanilla?’" — London, dancer at Magic City
YSL Mon Paris, $92, available at Sephora.
"Every place I've worked has at least a bottle or two of Pink Sugar in the dressing room. It's just cotton candy and pure sugar and all things indulgent, which is Vegas for you." — Crystal K, dancer in Las Vegas
Pink Sugar Eau de Toilette Spray, $60, available at Sephora.
“In real life, I wear nothing. Here, I wear Victoria’s Secret Tease. A lot of people ask me what it is. It smells really sweet and isn’t heavy — it doesn’t give off that cocoa butter or shea butter smell people wear a lot.
“I think guys like sweet scents because they're more popular. If you throw something different at them, they're like, 'But I'm not used to that.' That’s the normal scent they expect us to have, so everyone has to smell like cocoa butter or some type of vanilla fragrance. It's all they know.” — Spice, dancer at Magic City Victoria's Secret Tease, $52, available at Victoria's Secret.
"I wear the same fragrance on-stage and off: Chanel Chance. And I've never had anyone tell me I smell like a stripper." — White Russian, dancer at Magic City
Chanel Chance Eau Tendre, $80, available at Sephora.
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