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How to smell good and fresh all day long (without perfume)


By Marissa Chin

How to smell good and fresh all day long (without perfume)

We’re sure you all know that one person in our lives who always smells good–whether they just got out of a sweaty gym session or had Chinese hotpot for dinner, they still somehow smell impeccable (which is both awe-inspiring and mind-boggling at the same time).

Given our hot and humid climate in Malaysia, the need to smell pleasant and fresh are dire. Overactive sweat glands and subsequent body odour are the bane of existence for many of us, which should not be something to be ashamed about. Of course, none of us naturally smell like a budding field of flowers but there are certainly foolproof methods to smelling great the entire day without the constant perfume spritz every three hours. And yes, the steps go beyond just regularly showering every day but the results are scentsational (okay, we’ll stop now).

Next time, you could be the one turning heads–in a good way–while leaving everyone in the wake of your happy scent trail, wondering just how you do it.

Cover the potential stank in your house

We are made up of a myriad of different smells–from the bed we sleep in, how we wash our clothes to the fried fish we cooked for lunch today. Our homes are where we are most accustomed to and unfortunately, we can go ‘nose blind’ to how our humble abode actually smells like. Of course, we’re not saying you might be living in a musty cave but it’s always a good point to freshen up the space once in a while because scents can seep into everything. Jo Malone offers several scents from their Scent Surround collection but their Lime, Basil and Mandarin is their signature unisex scent that will transport you to the Caribbean reef. Alternatively, Aesop’s Istros Aromatique Room Spray is a favourite for its ambrosial floral aroma and smokiness thanks to tobacco–read more about the product here.

Choose the right washing detergent

Most of us might think what we smell like is what we spray onto our skin. But did you know that your washing detergent can play a huge part in how we smell? After all, they wash and clean the clothes we wear–but that’s not all detergents can be good for. Using the right washing detergent will not only care for your clothes in a gentler way, but it can also leave you (and your wardrobe) smelling extra fresh for longer hours while protecting your clothes from other radical scents (ahem, Mala hot pot). What is more luxurious–and better-smelling–than a non-toxic, cruelty-free, and biodegradable detergent that collaborated with a cult-favourite luxury fragrance house? The Le Labo and The Laundress’ Signature Santal Detergent is the epitome of indulgence. The iconic Santal fragrance contains 36 ingredients including cardamom, violet, sandalwood and leather to create a unique unisex scent. Once you try this, there’s no going back to your regular laundry routine.

Tip: You can also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil into the dryer while your clothes are drying or even onto dryer balls so that the scent spreads evenly to all your clothes.

Consider new ways to wear perfume

Not all perfumes come in a spray bottle. Like the trend-setting visionary fragrance brand that it is, Diptyque has found a new way to completely change the way we wear perfume with innovative creations–such as the Eau Rose Perfumed Bracelet. The little scented object gradually releases its floral notes while you go about your day so don’t worry about knocking someone out with an overbearing fragrance when you step into a room. Instead, your friends will wonder how you are smelling so good throughout the day but will never consider the seemingly nondescript black and white rope bracelet with a detachable gold clasp as the source of it. For a more intense diffusion of the fragrance, tie the scent-infused rope around your wrist twice. Alternatively, you can cut it shorter for a gentler waft. Simply replace the rope when the scent dissipates after a week–the package comes with rope enough for thirty bracelets. For the more mature businesswoman, try their scented brooches.


What’s one place your body spends the most time in? We’re assuming you are a clinophile like us so naturally, your answer should be your bed. So spraying your bedsheets and your pillows are actually great ways to infuse scent into your skin. Not only will it smell like you’re literally sleeping in a bed of roses, but you will wake up already smelling fresh before you even start your beauty routine. Jo Malone’s Lino nel Vento Linen Spray will give your bed a beautiful waft of lavender without being too overpowering. If you want to bougie it up, consider Frédéric Malle’s Dans Mon Lit which has a dream-like scent of Turkish rose essence and half rose water essential, blended with a little hint of musk. A small spritz of this will make your bed feel instantly luxurious, which is what you want to look for in a good linen spray. Only sweet dreams from here on out.

switch up your hand wash

Everyone is washing their hands more frequently now with the pandemic around the world. So it’s all the more reason to invest in an effective hand wash that also smells great. We have all experienced using hand washes with overly perfumey scents that follow you around all day. Often, they smell a bit tacky and can even be drying to your hands. We’ve raved about the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash before but there’s a good reason why it’s a cult favourite. Its gentle formulation is great for those with sensitive or dry skin whilst still effectively cleansing the hands. The hand wash has a woody and citrusy kick to it, thanks o the use of mandarin rind, rosemary leaf and Atlas cedar.

try out a scented body oil

We know what you might be thinking–oil? In this heat? It can definitely sound like a recipe for disaster but body oils can be extremely nourishing, moisturising and even cooling. Scented body lotions often contain preservatives or additives which can break down your natural scent. Instead, try body oils which work to enhance it. The Almond Supple Skin Oil from L’Occitane has a beautifully lightweight texture that sinks into the skin quickly, leaving skin soft and plump to the touch. The nourishing body oil has an unobtrusive note of almonds–perfect for layering with the fragrance of your choice without being too overbearing. (Psst, it’s also really great for stretch marks and body acne.)

care for the hair

Washing your hair is a good practice to follow but you can take it a step further by investing in a long-lasting hair mist for that added freshness. Normal fragrances usually contain alcohol which can be too rich and drying on the hair so instead, opt for specialised hair mists that can soften and protect the hair. Our top picks include the classic Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Parfum Fresh Hair Mist for its long staying power of about six hours. Its light and sweet aroma of the grapefruit-quince accord, paired with the softness of jasmine and woodiness of white musk make for a delicate fragrance that leaves an alluring trail of flowers wherever you go.

Tip: For a gentle diffusion of aroma, spritz some onto your hairbrush instead.

don’t forget to put on deodorant

Sweat and body odour are natural occurrences to the homo sapien condition. So any chance to curb the hard work of our sweat glands is much appreciated. Deodorants are truly one of mankind’s greatest treasures–say goodbye to BO and embarrassing pit stains (we’ve all been there). For the gals, N° Green Natural Deodorant is a vegan deodorant gel stick that is not only chic but works wonders on sweat and BO. It does not contain aluminium (so don’t worry about staining your clothes), baking soda or synthetic fragrances. Rather, it gets its floral-citrusy scent from organic plant-derived ingredients. For the lads, try out the Giorgio Armani Black Code For Men Deodorant Stick for a long-lasting antiperspirant infused with the signature alluring Armani Code scent of olive flower, tonka bean and guaiacum wood.

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