Why Does Perfume Smell Different on Everyone

You buy that great smelling fragrance that your friend uses – only to realize it smells totally different on you. In this article we’ll explain exactly why the perfume smells different on you.

We’ve all been there.

A great perfume that you can smell when walking past someone and that just keeps appearing everywhere. You just gotta have it! It’s a lovely scent.

You buy it, all excited – after having waited and been tempted for so long!

One spray, it smells different. Maybe when it dries down you will get those wonderful scents.

You spray another time, just to be sure, and then wait.

10 minutes go, 20 minutes go and 2 hours go. It’s horrible, or doesn’t smell at all like it does for other people.

There is a logic behind this, and it’s actually something that you can take advantage of. Knowing about this can help you find a better suiting perfume for you.

Why does perfume smell different on everyone

You might have noticed that perfume smells different on a paper tester, in the air, or on your clothes, than it does on your skin. You’re more likely to have noticed that one perfume smells a certain way on you but smells significantly different on someone else.

It’s completely understandable to be curious about something like this. After all, it’s the same formulation but different people. What is affecting the fragrance so heavily?

Well, it all comes down to the skin. Everyone has different skin and if you are into skin care and cosmetics, this is likely not to be new information to you.

Our skin produces natural oils but as people are different, these are produced to different extents. For some people, it is produced normally, but there are extremes, with some people having dry skin because too little is produced, and others with oily skin.

Besides our natural skin oils, the pH of the skin is an equally important factor. This basically refers to how acidic or alkaline the skin is. This differs between people as well.

These different skin types will alter how the fragrance reveals itself and develops.

Dry skin lacks its own oils in sufficient quantity. Because of this, they pull in the oils from the perfume, which only makes the smell develop and disappear faster. Oily skin will provide a place for the top notes to be held in, making them last longer.

On the other hand, skin that is acidic will breakdown the perfume faster, making it leave quicker. Basic skin will act similarly to oily skin by emphasizing oily notes, frequently the top notes.

The temperature of a person’s body also influences how fast the fragrance dries down and runs through its stages. It is our natural body heat that helps these scents evolve, which is why we spray on pulse points for better emission.

And finally, the natural scent of a person’s body mixes with the perfume. If their scent or odor is too strong, it may mix in an unsavory manner. This also applies if they sweat a lot.

Why can’t I smell my perfume but others can

We can bet that you have gotten to a point where you are wearing your favorite perfume, or perhaps a signature scent, and then you notice that you cannot smell it any longer. But you smelt it moments earlier, so what could be happening.

Fortunately, this is completely normal, and in fact, is very well understood. There’s a medical name for this, and it is ‘olfactory fatigue’, but it is also known as ‘nose blindness’ by laypeople.

From an evolutionary standpoint, it is important for us to be able to recognize new smells in case they might be warning us of danger. If you’ve been around the smell long enough though, that is likely not the case.

After you’ve been around the smell for a long enough period of time, your brain sort of switches it off. It is still there, which is why other people can smell it, and your sense of smell remains intact, but that particular scent fades away.

This explains what happens when you’ve been wearing a fragrance throughout the day and you no longer smell it. But sometimes it happens that you can’t smell your signature scent after a fresh spray. Why is that?

Well, the explanation there is interesting. Have you noticed that people and their homes or rooms have certain smells? Not bad scents, but just a scent that you associate with them – a natural body scent?

Everyone has one, but you can never tell how you actually smell because your brain doesn’t allow you to smell yourself because it is a scent that is associated with you and will go everywhere with you.

That’s what happens when you wear a perfume over and over and over again. Your brain unconsciously adapts to its presence.

All you need to do is take a little break from the fragrance. Explore some of the other scents you have fallen in love with. Come back to it in a few weeks and hopefully your favorite scent will be back!

Why does my perfume suddenly smell different on me

Now, if you’ve noticed that your perfume smells different on you, the most common culprit is reformulation. But that only applies if you just bought a new batch. What if the same bottle suddenly hits a lot different?

If that is the case, there are a number of factors that can cause this. These include:

  • Change in location: A lot of physical factors can affect how perfume smells. Are you at a different altitude, and with that, a different air pressure? Are you in a more humid environment? These can affect how a fragrance smells.
  • Temperature: This can be related to changing locations, but it might just be due to a heatwave or a change in seasons.
  • Time: When you keep perfumes for a very long time, they begin to change. This is particularly true when they are exposed to changes in temperature and light over a series of years. You might spray it and it will be quite different.
  • Diet: Certain foods can affect your natural odor as they may have some molecules enter your sweat. This will affect how your fragrance smells on your skin. This includes onions, garlic, alcohol, and so on.
  • Physical activity: Exercising will heat up your body and it will also make you sweat. These are two things which directly affect how scents evolve on the skin.