You’ve likely heard of a skin scent or a skin musk perfume if you’re a fragrance lover, or perhaps a regular on #PerfumeTok (which has 1.2 billion views and counting, might I add) — but you’re not alone if you’re wondering WTF “skin scent” actually means ...
Each and every person has a natural aroma that radiates from their skin. The sensual scent left behind on a worn t-shirt, dried sweat on skin that lingers after a hot pilates class, or even the smell of a lover’s warm skin after a deep sleep on soft sheets. Though not as powerful as a bottled perfume, our most sensually natural essence can be detected when up close, in those simple and intimate moments.
When it comes to perfume, a skin scent, too, lies close to the skin, working to enhance and deepen one’s personal aroma. And akin to a fragranced chameleon, skin scents often transform when spritzed on the body, creating a completely new scent that’s entirely unique to the individual. More often than not, these skin scent creations feature a musk note, creating a long-lasting, cloud-like aura.
In the simplest terms? A skin scent is essentially the “no-makeup” makeup of the fragrance world.
The indie brand Lake & Skye’s newest genderless launch, Santal Gray Eau De Parfum, is the perfect example of a more woodsy skin scent that radiates on skin, leaving a sensual yet subtle trail on the wearer. With notes of luxe bergamot, dewy jasmine petals, and otherworldly violet leaf notes, as well as a smooth sandalwood swirling with cozy musk, the aroma is statement-making when up close, yet never overwhelming to the senses. In a way, it is reminiscent of a worn leather jacket you keep tucked in your closet, throwing it over even the simplest outfit as a final touch.
Courtney Somer, the founder of Lake & Skye, shares her insights on skin scents as a whole: “They sit close to the skin — so instead of projecting out, they’re more for the wearer and people close to them. They tend to be softer and lighter scents. I’ve always loved the idea of wearing fragrance for yourself.” As for Santal Gray? “[It’s] a warm, gorgeous scent that is discreetly sexy [and] perfect for fall and skin scent enthusiasts. Sandalwood is one of my favorite notes, so creating this scent was a personal endeavor.”
With Glossier noted as a leader of the perfume category’s trend with their 2017 You Eau De Parfum release, more and more brands are launching their own iterations, like Bare Eau De Parfum by Victoria’s Secret which dropped late July of this year (and is another one of my personal faves for fall).
Dora Baghriche, a senior perfumer at leading fragrance house Firmenich, shares her expertise: “Our pH levels are not neutral. Even if we don't wear clothes, there's the pH of our skin. Our culture, environment, what we eat, where we live — all this influences the smell of our skin. A fragrance will react with that.” When it comes to the rising skin scent category, Baghriche states: “It is clean and dirty at the same time. It is sexy and transparent at the same time. So in fact, it's a matter of contradiction when you create a skin scent. And that's the beauty of it.”
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