When it comes to perfume, almost everyone has a signature. Whether it’s a deep woodsy Tom Ford, floral notes courtesy of Balenciaga, or a musky by Maurice Roucel, strong fragrances have been le parfum du jour for years. But a new trend in scents has seen people step away from potent fragrances to fresh perfumes for ladies that smell like… well, nothing.
The ‘nothing’ category, deliciously neutral and ambiguous, calls upon natural notes like grass, rain, dirt, soap and even baby powder. As lighter choices, these scents leave an impression without leaving anything behind, making you smell good—without making you smell like something else.
“These neutral scents tend to be less obtrusive, multi-functional, easy-wearing, environmentally friendly, gender neutral, and generally more affordable,” Nick Smart, founder of Agence de Parfum, told ELLE.
Aside from being more versatile and less intrusive than their headier counterparts, an ease of wear isn’t the only upside to this generation of fresh perfumes for ladies.
“Neutral scents are generally shared fragrances, so both men and women can use them,” says Smart. “The scents don’t overpower when working in an environment where one works in close proximity to others, and their multi-functional properties carry them from day to night.”
But not all ‘nothing scents’ are created equal. Although the trend generally relies on the fragrance consisting of a handful of top notes, rather than a more complex arrangement, it’s up to you which brand of neutral you’d prefer to smell like.
If you’re not enjoying the idea of smelling like anything distinct, ‘true nothing’ perfumes are perfectly imprecise. Not a Perfume by Juliette Has a Gun, created by Nina Ricci’s great-grandson, consists of one single note: cetalox. Usually used a base note, cetalox takes centre stage to make up the fragrance’s clean, unobtrusive smell.
“Juliette Has a Gun’s Not a Perfume, with its single note, has been a top selling scent since its launch a few years ago and remains somewhat of a cult scent,” says Nick Smart. “Costume National’s So Nude is also a classic nothing scent.”
Fresh, crisp and a little bit unusual, the scent of grass has been a fast-rising element.
“Green, cut grass fragrances with a high galbanum content are also popular. They are resinous and astringent, but fresh and sweet at the same time.”
In 1964, scientists invented a word for the precise aroma you smell when rain falls on dry soil: petrichor, from the Greek ‘petra,’ stone, and ‘īchōr,’ the blood of the gods. Rain, whether it’s falling on dry soil, city pavement or green plants, has always been a popular smell—evidenced by its rise as a trending fragrance.
(Concrete, $228, Comme des Garçons via MECCA; Rain by Commodity; Rain Day by Derek Lam 10 Crosby).
LINEN AND LAUNDRY
“Linen and fresh laundry has had a lot of demand recently,” says Nick Smart. Freshly-laundered sheets, clean soap smells and warm tones are all evoked in these scents.
From: ELLE AUSTRALIA