Perfume and Love

Perfume has been used from time immemorial as an aphrodisiac. Prepare yourself for some surprises because aphrodisiacs are characterised by more than the pretty, sultry, exotic qualities of flowers like tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom. All of these exude indol, which has a faecal, putrid quality. Combined with the erogenous animal-like (or 'animalic') notes of civet, castoreum and musk, the pulling power of these sticky, sweet and evocative notes is all related to the smells of the erogenous zone, the smell of sweat.

Jacques Guerlain, the renowned perfumer who created the classic perfumes Jicky in 1889 and Shalimar in 1925, famously said that perfumes should smell of 'the underside of my mistress'! While natural animalic odours have long been banned for use in perfume, certain plant extracts are reminiscent of sensual bodily scents, such as costus root oil, which smells of hair, or the balsamic, musky/ ambergris-like ambrette seed oil. Replacements for the natural animalic odours have long been synthesized using some truly obnoxious smells that in dilution re-create the seductive efects of the originals: civet, castoreum, ambergris and musk.

Of course, you may not want to hit your lover between the eyes with your scent, instead you may want to entice and intrigue or simply express your sensuality through your perfume. Your fragrance should highlight your natural eroticism. We each have a unique skin odour which can be transformed by a beautiful fragrance. While certain perfume oils and ingredients are definitely more seductive than others, it is the harmony between the wearer and the fragrance that creates something special, something erotic and suggestive.

If you look for a fragrance rich in the narcotic florals of rose or ylang ylang, or the abundantly erogenous tuberose and jasmine, combined with musk, amber, or civet, you willl surely find a perfume to your liking that is sexually alluring. Rose and civet are ingredients of Chanel No 5 and Shalimar, while tuberose is an important element of Clinique Aromatics Elixir and Dior J'Adore. My own Ruth Mastenbroek features rose and musk...

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