Tuesday, June 01, 2010

What To Wear On A First Date?

If you frequent perfume fora like I do, you've probably stumbled upon this question - and it's many varying answers - more than once.

Women may spend hours if not days trying to put together an outfit for a first date. And for perfumistas like us, an outfit is never complete without the finishing touch of a dab or spray of perfume that would make you feel special and confident, and leave a lasting impression.

This is also true for men. Making the extra effort of putting a scent on shows the other person that the man got style. I may be a minority, but I think that even bad style is better than no style at all...

First impressions are very important. Within seconds of meeting a new person, we form an opinion of them – based on their looks, their clothing, their emotional state, eye contact, and their scent (are you surprised?).

Selecting which scent to wear can be nearly as daunting as dating itself and as challenging as finding a perfect mate (can such thing even exist?!). The right scent depends greatly on who you are as well as your particular mood, the date setting, and what impression you want to make when meeting a new person. But rather than go through a long, logical thinking process that will go through all the options, scenarios and the combinations possible, I honestly think you should use your gut feeling and pick something that truly represents the real you. Confidence is not only emotionally healthy traits: they are also attractive. And wearing the right scent can boost your self-esteem and make you more attractive.

Wear “your skin but better” scents, to show them the real you. A skin scent would be a scent that brings the best from your own skin rather than mask your natural scent. Body odour is actually an important factor of choosing a mate, so if you cover up who you are, you are makint the task even more difficult for both yourself and your date.

More than any other scent, I have worn Espionage on most of the first dates I’ve gone on, and it seems it always was a good choice (which I may not be able to say about the dates themselves, but surely the presence of my invisible friend floating on my skin helped me survive them!).
Espionage is the one scent that I feel most comfortable in. I feel it best portrays who I am on different levels and dimensions. You may have your own “signature scent” or a scent you’ve traveled so much with in life that it nearly transcends the time-space barrier, making it suitable for any and all situations, moods and occasions. I just happen to feel that way with Espionage.

Other “skin scents” that I adore include Agent Provocatuer and Kisu (be sure to apply it well in advance – and I mean several hours before to get the maximum effect), and the raunchier Muscs Kublai Khan, with its animalic dark musk and costus. All these scents are suitable for both men and women in my opinion. But of course, you will have to try for yourself and pick the scent that is most compatible with your own body chemistry.

If you want to play it more safe, I suggest you go with Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely or Narciso Rodriguez for Her. Both are the “clean musk” type and have a bit of the fresh-laundry vibe to them, which make them cozy and inviting and non-intimidating. Since both are rather feminine, I feel obliged to suggest a masculine counterpart. For the gentlemen going on their first date, something breezy like Cool Water or Pure Turquoise may not be as adventurous, but it can become quite appealing on the right person; and if you want to be a little more edgy, Narciso Rodriguze for Him might do the trick.

Sometimes your choice for a first date fragrance may have a lot to do with your mood or the season though. What can be more perfect than wearing Spring Flower when going on a brunch date or to scout a flea market on a gorgeous spring day? Or Bronze Goddess (formerly known as Azuree de Soleil) or Terracotta Eau Sous le Vent, or GiGi for a walk on on the sunny beach, and for a man – I think the sexiest genre is that of aromatic fougeres with a higher dose of citrus, such as Annick Goutal’s Eau de Sud.

I’ve worn my Hanami on a what turned out to be a very romantic first date: it was a rainy spring evening and all the cherry blossoms were out, and we had to walk together under the same umbrella as he walked me home.

And don’t be afraid to show a side of yourself that is a little more daring if that’s what you are craving. Even a powerhouse scent like Chinatown, Angel, Habanita or Kouros can be the right choice as long as you don’t over apply!
For stronger scents, it’s better to apply by dabbing whenever possible (i.e.: if you own the parfum extrait, they usually come in a flacon with a dabber); or apply the scent by spraying it to one wrist only, than “sharing” this one spritz with the other wrist and at the nape of your neck or behind the ears. Or, you can transfer a small amount to a roll-on bottle for a more discreet application (and for travel).

Lastly, you’ve got to love them aphrodisiacs, as cliché as they may have become by now. Since men seem to be all into vanilla, this can be an effortless affair, with a classic such as Shalimar, or with something a little less demanding and more gourmand such as L de Lolita Lempicka. And for the men who want to impress us women, how about a perfume that has an overdose of sandalwood, which is the closest thing to the men pheromone. I love how it’s played in Egoiste and Bois des Îles (although neither is too easy to find) as well as Tam Dao.

Have fun with picking a scent for your first date, it doesn’t need to be all that serious. It’s just going to leave a life-long, lasting impression this way or the other… And to summarize, I only suggest you remember these two golden rules:
1) Highlight who you truly are by selecting scents that you feel comfortable and confident wearing.
2) Apply with discretion. Too much of a good thing can have the complete opposite effect than you wish. Remember: a scent is meant to attract and invite people to get closer, not repel them and send them gasping for air in the opposite direction!

What scents do you reach for before going on a date? Recommendations from both men and women would be most welcome. I'd also be curious to hear about your horror perfume-dating scenarios (from either side - wearing it or smelling it!).

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At June 01, 2010 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went on a date with a gentleman years ago. I don't remember if his eyes were brown or green or hazel, but I always remembered the scent of the aftershave he had on. He said it was custom made, and I often wish I could find the same scent for myself.

At June 02, 2010 8:00 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Thanks for sharing! That's a great story. Goes to show you how important the sense of smell is.
What did it smell like? Can you describe it? I'm just curious.

At June 02, 2010 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The closest I can think of is something akin to Boronia.

At June 03, 2010 10:18 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

What would be akin to boronia?


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