10 Things People Who Smell Good Always Do

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
You know those people who, no matter what they do, just smell impeccable? They could be coming out of a SoulCycle class, yet smell like they just took a bath in a tub full of roses. Well, it's not just luck of the draw: There's a formula to this good (-smelling) fortune.
While regular showers do play a part, those with aromas that cause double-takes (the good kind) don't go about life like the rest of us. They know where to spritz and how to make their scents last longer, they take their time picking out fragrances, and they think about what they put in their bodies, not just on them.
Ahead, fragrance-industry insiders come clean about the secrets to smelling your best — now, you'll be the one turning heads with your scent trail.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
As the old adage goes, you are what you eat. And, apparently, you also emit what you eat (and drink). Julia Zangrilli, perfumer and founder of custom-fragrance company Nova, says that if you want to smell good, it's important to be thoughtful about what you put in your body.

"A diet full of spice, onions, and garlic is good for you, but, boy, does it come out through your pores," she says. "Those three things can come through your skin and breath for up to 48 hours, depending [on] how crazy you went."

Lurk natural fragrances founder Anne Sanford adds red meat to the list. She notes that food affects not only your own natural body odor, but also how perfume reacts with and develops on your skin. "Eating well — lots of fresh food, including fruits and vegetables and clean protein — really keeps the body fresh and running smoothly, thus providing the perfect substrate for fragrance," she says.

She adds that alcohol can have an adverse effect on body odor. Ta-ta happy hour, hello green juice. "As our bodies process alcohol, the byproduct is sugar and that is processed through our pores," explains Sanford. "The result can be a sickly, sweet odor that is not pretty."
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
The main component of smelling good is — surprise — the fragrance. Finding the perfect one is hard work, but it's a job you should put some effort into because it'll make a world of difference. "Take some time to seek out scents that click — it's so game-changing, because wearing something that makes you feel on-point will bring serious pleasure to your everyday life," says Zangrilli.
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You’d be surprised by how many brands and stores offer samplers of popular scents. Sephora frequently refreshes its selection of "fragrance discovery" sets to include the latest and greatest in perfume, like this seven-scent sampler. (Try saying that three times fast.) Plus, you can redeem the included "scent certificate" for a full travel-size bottle or rollerball of your choice at no extra cost.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but basic clothing maintenance (i.e., regular washing) makes a major difference in the odors you emit. Your usual Tide, All, and Arm & Hammer all work in the cleansing department, but if you're feeling super-fancy, Zangrilli loves specialty detergents from The Laundress and Le Labo, which will leave your wardrobe — and you — smelling extra fresh.

"So many detergents and fabric-softeners these days are actually mimicking what’s happening in the fine-fragrance market," notes Linda Song, perfumer at Givaudan. "[There are] even...some brands [with] higher-end fragrances that are doing laundry detergents or any of the ancillary-type products."
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What’s more luxurious — and better-smelling — than a nontoxic, allergen-free laundry detergent that borrows its scent from a beloved boutique fragrance?

The Laundress Le Labo Santal 33 Signature Detergent, $45, available at The Laundress.
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If $45 is a little more than you usually like to spend on something you use to wash your clothes (totally understandable), the brand responsible for your favorite aromatherapeutic hand soap also offers a full range of laundry supplies in the same familiar scents.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lemon Verbena Laundry Set, $29.99, available at Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Song points out that when most people go shopping for clothes, they don't just look at a shirt, hold it up to their chest, and buy it. You have to try it on, and the same goes for fragrances. They smell differently on each person, so don't just take a whiff from a store blotter and call it a day; actually spray it on yourself. Also, keep in mind that smell will change throughout the day. The best way to know if you love a fragrance, if you have the patience, is to take a sample home, wear it for a bit, and then decide.

"We always say that fragrances have their own life...because they have a life on the skin," says Song. "When people live with [them], they start to see what that life is really like and whether they want to live with [them]. It is a relationship...sometimes you really start to fall in love with it over time... but it’s not always going to be love at first sight.”

Or, in this case, love at first sniff.
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Glossier's You perfume is the perfect example of a fragrance that was designed to be unique to each wearer. The brand calls it more of a “skin smell enhancer” with a creamy, warm, clean base scent. It’s a simple equation with relatively few notes, honed over 38 weeks by some of the best noses in the business (Weiss worked with the team behind Le Labo Santal 33). Each note was chosen and balanced to allow the fragrance to be both long-lasting and true to how it smells at the beginning, without changing as it dries down.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Speaking of drinks, water should become your best friend. Staying hydrated is great not just for your overall health, but for keeping your skin moisturized, which helps scents stick around longer by giving them something to adhere to.

"Staying well-hydrated is key, especially with natural fragrances that don’t contain synthetic fixatives," says Sanford. "When our skin gets dry, it tends to absorb and dissipate perfume much more quickly."
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Tip: Trade in your standard water bottle for one with a built-in infuser — adding some fruit flavor will make getting your recommended daily intake that much more exciting.

Infusion Pro Premium Fruit Infused Water Bottle, $18.95, available at Amazon.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
People often don't realize that where you spritz fragrance on your body can make all the difference. "Fragrance rises from the bottom to the top, so if you spray at all your chakra points — ankle, behind the knees, pubic-hair area, chest, and behind your ears — you get the full benefit from a fragrance," says Aedes de Venustas co-owner Karl Bradl.

Sanford echoes that you should spray specifically, and go beyond the wrists. She applies scents to "hot spots," or areas that are the warmest, like the small of the back, the stomach, the back of the neck, and the ankles.

Sounds like a lot of perfume, right? In order not to overwhelm, Bradl sprays his fragrance about half an hour before he leaves the house and always at least one foot away from the body. This allows the scent to settle in, and not suffocate the person sitting next to you on the subway.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Nowadays perfumes, colognes, and fragrances of every and any type don't solely come in cute spray bottles — they're also available in the form of body lotions, shower gels, soap, and more. Most of the experts we spoke with like to layer these different iterations to build on the fragrance, which will leave you with a double-whammy, and sometimes triple-whammy, effect.

Sanford suggests going for a scented body oil instead of your regular body cream, though. "Traditional body lotions can contain synthetic and chemical additives, as well as preservatives that can break down natural fragrances," she says.

You can layer said body oil with a perfume that has the same scent or, if you're up for experimenting, try layering different scents. Zangrilli notes that adding a musk helps to prolong the wear. "The key is that musks are generally subtle enough that they don't conflict with many fragrances," she says. "As a bonus, musks lend a pheromonal effect, making any fragrances they're being layered with seem a bit more grounded, sexy, and worn-in — like hair that hasn't been washed for a few days."
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This nourishing body oil leaves skin soft and silky with a faint, unobtrusive note of almond — perfect for improving lasting power without overpowering your fragrance of choice.

L’Occitane Almond Smoothing and Beautifying Supple Skin Oil, $46, available at Sephora.
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The classic “love potion” pairs well with just about everything, and adds a new depth to any scent you layer over it.

Kiehl’s Musk Essence Oil, $35, available at Kiehl’s.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
There are a few other tricks for making your scent last longer. Bradl says many of his customers spray Molecule 01 as a base. It's a fragrance made of one single ingredient, Iso E Super — "an aroma chemical" that is often found in colognes. It has an almost pheromone-like quality that, when it's worn on its own, mixes with a person's skin to create an individualized aroma. But when it's worn with other perfume, Bradl has found that it makes it last longer without interfering with the scent.

Another great (and cheaper) tip to make fragrance last longer: Rub on a little vitamin E before you spritz your scent onto the skin (this especially helps with citrus notes), says Zangrilli.
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Vitamin E oil has countless uses — making fragrance last longer is just one of them.

Spring Valley Vitamin E Skin Oil, $6.88, available at Walmart.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
If long-lasting is your goal, know that not all scents are created equal. "Citrus-based scents and eau de colognes will dissipate quickly, so go for perfumes that are more concentrated and have heavier or more viscous base notes such as sandalwood (or other woods), oud, vanilla, tobacco, etc.," says Sanford.

Regardless of your long-wearing efforts or choice of perfume, most of our experts say that simply reapplying fragrance throughout the day is your best bet. Zangrilli tells us: "Skin is a living, breathing, sweating, shedding, oil-replenishing organ, so it doesn't hold on to scent for as long."

She says to apply one to three times per day, depending on the fragrance. And don't worry about carrying around your heavy glass bottles with you; that's what travel sizes and samples are for. Stick one in your purse, on your desk, or in your car for some refreshing throughout the day — just be sure not to overdo it (not everyone appreciates an office fragrance).
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If your fragrance of choice isn’t available in a travel size, or if you’re just in search of a thriftier way to take it on-the-go, then this ridiculously easy DIY is going to be a game changer. Just decant your perfume into an empty roll-on bottle — you can usually find them for under $1. These ones, for example, look expensive, but you get a dozen for $18.

Scentsational Shoppe 1/3 oz Deluxe Round Glass Roll-on Bottle with Heavy Base, $18 for 12, available at Scentsational Shoppe.
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Decant your favorite fragrances into this refillable atomizer. It stores 5ml of perfume and fits conveniently into any purse or clutch.

Phlur The Wanderer, $28, available at Phlur.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Smelling good goes way beyond just spraying your body — it's a way of life, people. A lot of our experts recommend spreading the love to your apartment, clothes (like, say, adding a couple of spritzes to your jacket in the colder months in-between dry-cleaning), and even hair.

"I'll actually spray my sheets, or even my couch, if I want my apartment to smell a certain way — using it more like a Febreze than anything else," says Song. Of course, fragrances aren't cheap, so Song likes to pick up room sprays to do the job. "And that’s maybe in complement to a candle or to a diffuser, or even plug-ins," she says. "There are so many different ways to add a quick burst of freshness — or whatever that fragrance is — to something that has a continuous diffusion."

Since a lot of perfumes contain alcohol, spraying your hair may not be the safest thing to do, especially if you have dry tresses. Worry not: Sanford has a workaround. "I love to create scented sprays for hair using my favorite essential oils," she says. "The oils can be mixed in a spray bottle with water, and used for a few days to freshen and fragrance our hair... [T]he essential oils really adhere well to hair, giving them longevity."
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The moisturizing oils in this formula actually benefit hair rather than drying it out, so you get a veil of fragrance and a little extra shine.

Tocca Hair Fragrance in Cleopatra, $28, available at Tocca.
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On the home fragrance side, it doesn’t get much more luxe than one of Byredo’s highly-coveted scents in room-spray form. You’ll probably want to spritz judiciously given the price tag — but considering how rich and long-lasting the fragrance is, that’s all you’ll really need anyway. (Plus, unlike bougie candles, it’s not a potential fire hazard.)

Byredo Bibliothèque Room Spray, $120, available at Byredo.

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