On smelling good


Humans have multiple senses, and leaving a good impression on one of those senses, but not the others, leaves everyone unfulfilled. The last milestone on being a grownup and learning to dress better is smelling good. A child who smells like a niche fragrance is hilarious, a man who doesn’t smell like he has money, is also hilarious. Professional, romantic, even platonic relationships are more accessible when you’re smelling good. It is essential.

You smell like what you eat

Yes, curry smell is a thing. Garlic, onions, cumin, fenugreek and curry all dissipate through your skin pores, and if are hard to get off your hands. Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, all contribute to your smell on count of containing sulfur. Red meats and certain processed food all affect you. Eat fruits (ykwim) and vegetables in abundance. Yoghurt balances your gut microbiome, and promotes good odor. Drinking more water is important too. Roasted or boiled chicken, vegetables, fruits and yoghure will have you smelling good on a fundamental level. Bread has a negligible affect on your odor, you’re good to eat it.


Taking baths everyday is important, but what you use is also important. Harry’s has a great set of scents you can try on: both bodywash and roll-on deodorant. If you want to only smell like your colognes or perfumes, use unscented perfumes and such. B&BW has a great set of moisturisers, so does Jergens. Old Spice is classic, especially the cedarwood bodywash! And some aerobic exercise everyday or every other day!

Picking a good first fragrance

Go to your nearest Sephora or lifestyle store, and try out as many as you can, make sure to note them down as your try them. Avoid blind buys. There are many categories, I’ve pushed them to this page below.

Categories of fragrances

I love Blue Scents: I’ve only ever bought 2 full bottles of expensive perfumes – YSL Y EDP and Dior Sauvage. You can buy 10-12 scents from Microperfumes.com for trying them out, but the bottles are extremely small. 1-4 ml range. Get a travel spray for 3-4 scents that you can try over 2-3 months. One “green” (vetiver, oakmoss, lemon, bergamot etc - eg. Roja Vetiver, CB I Hate Perfume - Black March, Labo’s Matcha, Philosykos by Diptyque and many more), one “blue” (YSL Y, Sauvage, Dylan Blue, BDC etc), one spicy/aromatic/woody and one more risqué (leather is a good one).

If you want to smell specifically like a certain scent, demeterfragrance.com is where you want to be, however, their cologne and splash can smell pretty alcohol-y, you might want to try on the perfume oil first. I fucking love their products, and it grows on you soon. After a few sprays, the petrichor cologne smells pretty spot on. I use it on my bedsheet on a cooler day to feel earthly. One thing about being into fragrances is my room always smells beautiful, like the lobby of a grand, luxurious hotel.

Also: Nothing is what it seems. Vanilla smells sweet, pure tobacco notes are also extremely sweet, the spiciness from typically tobacco scents come from spicies notes (like cinnamon) or warmer notes (like whiskey).

A cheaper option for you, if the big bottles that usually go for 80-120 aren’t in your range, consider clones and dupes, or maybe smaller perfumeries that aren’t focused on luxury. Banana Republic, Armaf (Sillage, Milestone and CDNIM), Al Haramain, Rasasi) are all good. Even cheaper are shops like belcamshop.com - their red classic match and aqua di gio match are pretty good (but don’t have good sillage or performance or even longevity), but you have to be careful, their drakkar noir clone doesn’t do a good job. If you’re buying from Amazon, be very careful. I once bought Savage instead of Sauvage and spent 3 weeks of my life hating Dior. Zara, and other fast fashion companies have some excellent choices as well. Zara’s RWA is a beautiful scent my roommate wears, and gets complimented on every time.

Also consider Scentbird.com for their collection of great perfumes and accessible rates.

A good option is to get a traveller’s spray (5ml) of a certain fragrance and carry it with you and reapply every 2-6 hours. I do this, and keep them either in my pocket (men have deep pockets, or use your winter coat during winter) or keep them in my bag.

Concentrations of frags

EDP (Eau de Parfum), EDT (Eau de Toilette), EDC (Eau de Cologne), and Extrait (Extrait de Parfum) represent different concentrations of fragrance oils, with Extrait being the most concentrated, followed by EDP, then EDT, and EDC having the lightest concentration.

  1. Extrait (Extrait de Parfum): 15-40% fragrance oil
  2. EDP (Eau de Parfum): 10-20% fragrance oil
  3. EDT (Eau de Toilette): 5-15% fragrance oil
  4. EDC (Eau de Cologne): 2-6% fragrance oil

The choice between different fragrance concentrations depends on your preferences and the desired intensity of the scent. If you prefer a more subtle and lighter fragrance that is suitable for everyday wear, Eau de Cologne (EDC) might be a good option. For a balance between longevity and strength, Eau de Toilette (EDT) offers a moderate concentration. Eau de Parfum (EDP) provides a stronger and longer-lasting scent, making it ideal for special occasions or when you want the fragrance to stay noticeable throughout the day. If you seek the most intense and luxurious experience, Extrait de Parfum (Extrait) contains the highest concentration of fragrance oils, delivering a rich and powerful scent that lingers significantly. Ultimately, the concentration you choose should align with your desired level of fragrance projection and longevity.

My suggestion is generally, lightly sprayed EDP on colder, drier days, EDT on more humid days. But please realise my skin chemistry is unusual and I am a brown man from India, everything makes a difference. Perfume oils for “pure” scents (like from demeter), especially if you’re a woman, works wonders.