"With a hangover, your body is processing the alcohol you consumed," says Rachel Sondag, fragrance consultant for Lucky Scent. "It actually processes through the skin, and the by-product your body pushes out are the sugars from the alcohol." It's those sugars that interact with your fragrance, she says, which can make it smell rancid. Yes, rancid.
But, it goes a step further than that. "Everyone's skin has a base scent to it," she says. "It has to do with your pH and your hormones — anything that processes through your skin." This is why a fragrance that smells great on you may smell off on someone else. It's all about our body chemistry. Along those same lines, just because your hangover might make your perfume stink doesn't mean it will happen to everyone else. "It just depends on how that scent interacts with your skin and what's being pushed out of it. It's different for everyone," Sondag says.
Booze isn't the only thing you consume that can lead to smelly scents the morning after. Red meat and aromatic vegetables (like garlic and onions) get processed through your skin, too. So, these can also change the way your spritz smells.
"The worst thing you can do for your scent is to go out, have five beers, a burger, and some onion rings," Sondag quips. We'll remember that for our next night out.
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