I remember when everyone started kissing on both cheeks in the UK – yes, I am that old.
Before that we kept our distance, said hello without touching. The arrival of the ‘faire la bise’ seemed so cool and cosmopolitan, so relaxed and extremely un-British. Unfortunately, since the pandemic it seems we have gone full circle – back to politely nodding our greetings whilst doing our best to convey a warm smile through our masks – we can’t even shake hands.
This is a real shame for someone like me who likes to read body language.
Being an extremely nosey person (in more ways than one), I would take the opportunity to sniff out fragrance clues – sounds a bit creepy when I say it out loud, but to be honest it would happen subconsciously – I would get a sense of something more about the person based on whatever fragrance they were wearing.
This is probably why I used to invest so heavily in expensive perfumes which now just sit on my dresser gathering dust. *quietly weeps*
In fact, it’s surprising how well the perfume industry has done since the pandemic. Monika Kochhar, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of SmartGift says:
“It might be less about eliciting a response from someone else, more about wearing fragrance for one’s own pleasure,” … “In that regard, it becomes a ‘me luxury’ that has the effect of changing things up. Fragrances are highly evocative of times, places and memories, and can magic up many a Proustian moment.”
Chris Ventry, Vice President in the consumer and retail practice of SSA & Company, a global management consultant focused on strategy execution, says it “might even be a way to feel more ‘dressed up’ and presentable on Zoom calls, going back to the scent-to-memory factor, maybe to remind them of a different time.”
Perfume and personality types
The truth is, a fragrance can say a thousand words, especially when it comes to meeting new people. The choice of perfume can be an all important window into personality type and even into someone’s mood. This can be an especially useful tool when networking, on a date or in a situation where reading people is crucial.
Now, I am no expert, but a quick Google will tell you the following:
Perfumes are usually made up of top, middle/ heart and base notes. The base notes will usually be the heaviest and strongest scent and will be smelt long after the top and middle notes have faded.
The five standard families of fragrance consist of Floral, Oriental, Woody, Fougère (fern like), and Fresh, with the former four families being more “classic” while the latter consisting of newer bright and clean smelling citrus and oceanic fragrances.
If you are still reading, then you may want to know what these different fragrance types say about a person. Here’s how to spot fragrance clues for when we are allowed to get close enough to smell them…
Fresh perfume – This kind of person will usually live a busy and energetic life, juggling numerous activities in both their work and social lives. Being so busy, these people need to wear a fresh and light scent that won’t weigh them down. This is the kind of fragrance that can be put on in the morning and then kept in the bag for frequent pick- me-ups during the day.
Floral perfume – Ahhhh for the true romantic! This person is either young or young at heart and prefers the dreamy romance of fantasy rather than the worries and stress associated with real life. Floral scents warm well to your natural scent, so this is a great choice if on a third date.
Oriental perfume – In perfumery, ‘Oriental refers to perfumes which contain ingredients that originated in the East (ie in the Orient) spices, vanilla, tea, incense, amber, sandalwood etc. This fragrance is for the person who likes to be noticed and you will never forget them. Those who wear this kind of perfume are strong willed, outgoing, eager and sophisticated. They will also carry an air of mystery about them – intentionally?…who knows.
Woody perfume – Adventurous, charismatic and assertive – a woody scented perfume is the fragrance of choice for this kind of person. They are also extremely caring, a great combination of attributes which make them the perfect family member and team player.
Fougère perfume – Many masculine fragrances are made in the fougère family but some fragrances are made specifically for women too. These perfumes are the perfect fragrance for those people who like to be in control and like to be noticed in a crowd. Expect an outdoorsy and adventurous type who is always eager to experience new things.
…So, once we are able to stand in a crowded room again, kiss on both cheeks and finally date offline, you just might want to lean in for a quick sniff – it could tell you all you need to know.