What You Need To Know About Skin Scents

Perfume has long been a staple of the beauty community, and fragrances have always been a favorite way for folks to attract others. However, this long–time beauty staple is seeing a renaissance thanks to, you guessed it, TikTok. And among one of the most popular trends to grace #PerfumeTok to date is the alluring skin scent trend, which claims that you can use your natural aroma to enhance your desirability. 


"If your goal is to smell so good that you literally make people feral around you and you become a deity because you smell so good, [skin scents] are for you," jokes perfume influencer PerfumeDisco on Tiktok. She goes on to explain the appeal of skin scents that enhance your natural fragrance instead of overpowering it. 

And she's not alone in her love of these clean and fragrant scents. Over the last year or so, the popularity and sales of perfume have shot up by as much as 45% (via NPD Group). It looks as though skin scents are the summer's hottest new beauty accessory, ushering in a new trend of embracing all things au naturel beauty.

What are skin scents?

Skin scents are like your natural fragrance, but better. For a perfume to be considered a skin scent, it needs to allow for the wearer's natural scent to shine through. Skin scents rely on musky tones to create an aroma that is light, luscious, and oh–so nostalgic. "[A skin scent] 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," perfumer Dora Baghriche tells Allure


These perfumes remind you of what it feels like to be close to another person, which is largely their appeal. "People are emerging from deep social isolation and want to connect emotionally, socially, and intimately. Skin scents can help give us all those things," neuroscientist Rachel Herz, Ph.D., tells Elle. And for those days you're looking for a boost of confidence, a skin scent can act as your "no-makeup" makeup looks of fragrance. The main appeal of using a skin scent over a heavily fragranced perfume is of course that the smell is completely unique, making it the ultimate signature scent

What makes skin scents so desirable?

In the perfume world, skin scents are designed to enhance the wearer's natural aroma. Think fresh washed sheets, your partner's old t-shirt, and the smell of an early spring morning. But what gives skin scents such a unique smell from person to person? It turns out that it's your own biochemistry. Skin scents utilize a specific synthetic molecule developed in a laboratory, the Iso E Super, that allows the perfume to amplify a wearer's unique aroma and reflect it back in a softer, cleaner scent. "Our own hormones, skin pH, and the millions of microbes that cover every square centimeter of our skin are responsible for these variations," perfumer Marina Barcenilla tells Refinery29


This is the additive that gives skin scents their unique fragrance depending on who is wearing the perfume, and you can often only smell the subtle difference if you're in close quarters with the person wearing it. Saucy!

Best place to apply fragrance

The secret to a skin scent is the way it mixes with your unique body chemistry, allowing for a totally one-of-a-kind aroma to be created. In order to get the most use out of your skin scent, you'll want to apply the spray directly to the skin on places like the inside of your wrists, behind your ear lobes, and the base of your throat. These are the warmest spots on your body and emit extra body heat, which helps to naturally mix with your preferred scent (via Vogue).


And despite what you might've seen in movies or beauty magazines, dabbing your perfume will actually cause the scent to fade faster. Allow the fragrance to sit on the skin in order to mix with your natural oils before fully absorbing into the skin. You'll also want to avoid spraying perfume in your hair, as the chemical components of many eau de toilette products can cause damage (via Healthline). Instead, you should opt for a specially made hair fragrance that you can layer with your skin scent to create a complimentary and complex scent profile all your own.