I Wore Scented Lingerie — & This Is What Happened

It's a rule of the universe, or at least my universe, that sex only happens when you're least prepared for it. I’ve never gotten the “U up?” text when I’m showered, shaved, and wearing a new outfit; only when I’m on the tail end of my period with every other gel nail peeled off.
Times like those, when I’m sitting on some guy’s toilet at 2 AM dry-shaving my bikini line with a cheap razor, make me wish I could be the kind of woman who keeps a standing Uni K appointment and never forgets deodorant. The kind of woman who wears chic lingerie sets under t-shirts and jeans. The kind of woman who wears scented lingerie.
It’s a thing that exists, and it doesn’t smell like the potpourri satchel you keep in your underwear drawer — it smells like Rihanna. The lingerie I'm talking about is a collaboration between Fleur du Mal and perfumer Kilian Hennessy and includes lace PJ and underwear sets woven with micro-capsules of the scent RiRi once said was her signature: Love, don’t be shy.
The fragrance, described as a “sexy treat for grown-ups,” is a gourmand with notes of orange blossom, marshmallow, and amber, though it’s a whole lot harder to pull those specifics out when you’re sniffing a bra as opposed to skin. The pieces just smell rich, in both the warm, musky sense and the $$$ sense, and strong enough that you can skip your regular perfume. As you touch the lace, the scent is released, but it doesn't last forever — only up to four to five hand-washes.
But does wearing beautifully crafted, ultra-expensive, perfumed lingerie actually translate into hot sex and a general feeling of having your shit together? I wore it on four occasions over the course of a few weeks to see.
An Ohio State Bar
I don't enjoy watching football, I don't enjoy drinking pitchers of Coors Light, and I never wear lingerie, and yet here I was, doing all three with some college friends — just like the ultimate "cool girl." Unfortunately, the smell of beer and wings seemed to overpower everything else and no one noticed my fragrance when they hugged me.
After a while, I left the bar to meet up with a guy I'd been casually seeing for a month and we got lost in conversation as he aimlessly drove us out of the city. Somewhere in New Jersey, we got into an awkward argument that clearly spelled the death of the short-lived fling, but I was determined not to let the lingerie go to waste. We went back to my apartment and had sex so devoid of passion, I didn't even take my shirt off. His loss — the detailing on this bra is really something.
A Hamptons Beach Party
This was an end-of-summer party thrown by my mom's best friend during the off-season, so admittedly, I didn't have high hopes of talking to anyone under 60. Still, I put on the lingerie and a mini dress, drank rosé, and ended the night crying about not getting enough attention from my mom. I did get a great Instagram out of the whole thing, however, so... success?
At Work
Putting on fancy lingerie and a silk dress at 9 AM on Monday was more transformative than I expected it to be — I felt refreshed and sexy and strangely powerful on my commute, which, if you're familiar with the subway, says a lot.
Later that morning, my co-worker Mi-Anne leaned over my desk and told me I smelled good ("very fresh and clean") — which was the only compliment I got during this experiment. But by the end of the day, I wasn't feeling quite as sexy. Let's just say that after eight hours of sitting, the last thing your vagina needs is a deep, musky perfume.
A Day Date
I agreed to go out on a Sunday afternoon with a guy I'd met once before a year earlier and hadn't particularly liked. Not having high expectations meant I didn't put much effort into my look, but I did wear the set under a T-shirt and Levi's, which was a model-off-duty fantasy I've always had, but really just gave me an annoying panty line that bunched up the whole time.
I found myself eating my words almost immediately though— he was far more attractive and interesting than I'd remembered. After a couple hours, we kissed goodbye and set a second date. Here's hoping it goes well, because someone needs to smell this lingerie before its fifth wash.
Fleur du Mal x Kilian Lace Triangle Bra, $168, and Lace Cheeky, $78, available October 23 at By Kilian and Fleur du Mal; Kilian Love, don't be shy, $275, available at By Kilian.
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appearance by Laura Delarato.

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