13 Fragrance Facts That Will Blow Your Mind


In honor of World Fragrance Day, we wanted to share 13 mind-blowing facts about fragrance! Perfume is an integral part of our beauty routine, but TBH, most people don’t even apply their signature scent correctly. From the hack that’ll help your perfume last longer to the most expensive fragrance in the world, here are 13 crazy fragrance facts you need to know.

1. Your Fave Scent May Come From a Whale’s Intestines

One of the most expensive and valuable raw materials in perfumery is named ambergris, and it’s produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. While recently watching Dior’s new Nose film about fragrance with world-famous perfumer François Demachy, they shined a light on this intriguing ingredient. While this may sound gross, it’s used in perfumes with an ocean-like, fresh scent like the cult fave Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue Eau De Toilette, $110. The strange substance is made of fish beaks that make their way into the whale’s intestines. Here, a mucus binds them together over years before the rock-like mass is ejected by the whale and washed up on the shoreline! Pretty wild stuff!

2. Marilyn Monroe Wore Chanel No.5 to Bed

Screen icon Marilyn Monroe famously said in an interview in 1952 that she wore, “Five drops of Chanel No. 5 Eau De Parfum, $119″ and nothing else in bed. She continued, “I don’t want to say nude but it’s the truth.” That’s what you call an icon.

3. Rubbing Your Wrists Together to Blend Perfume is All Wrong

While most of us see people rubbing or pressing their wrists together during fragrance testing, this is actually so so wrong! The friction created by rubbing will heat up the skin and alter the course of the scent. The process disrupts the top and middle notes of your fragrance and can even alter the scent. For example, if your top note is floral (which is very common) the fragrance will lose its crisp, refreshing feel.

To preserve the integrity of your fragrance and ensure it lasts longer, spritz your perfume onto your pressure points, then allow the fragrance to be absorbed into the skin. If you must, very gently press your wrists together.

4. Hair Mists Typically Last Longer Than Perfume

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If you’re constantly topping up your fragrance throughout the day, then a hair mist may be your answer to long-lasting fragrance goals! Wondering why? Perfume doesn’t evolve as quickly on your hair as there is less heat absorption and friction. This means that the scent not only stays more potent but it remains closer to the true fragrance, rather than losing the top notes, which are often the high point of the fragrance.

Our go-to hair mist is the KAYALI Hair Mist Déjà vu White Flower | 57, $40, which combines rich notes of white gardenia, jasmine absolute, orange flower, and Tahitian Vanilla, for a luxurious, intoxicating scent.

5. Someone’s “Nose” is Insured For 1 Million Dollars

In the fragrance industry, perfumers are referred to as a “nose.” The most famous nose in history, Jean Carles, who created scents such as Miss Dior Eau De Parfum, $112, was said to have insured his nose for one million dollars.

6. The Most Expensive Perfume in The World is Worth $1.29 Million

If you’ve ever been to Dubai, it won’t surprise you that the most expensive bottle of fragrance in the world is named Shumukh, and was unveiled in the ballroom of the Burj Khalifa. The perfume boasts notes of oud, sandalwood, musk, Turkish rose, and other notes that have not been revealed. The packaging is equally as decadent, featuring a leather display case that opens to reveal a bottle adorned with symbols with the UAE heritage. The next time your significant other asks you what perfume you want, say Shumukh!

7. Oud is Described as Liquid Gold

Oud is arguably the most luxurious, decadent, spicy scent in existence, and is referred to in the perfume world as liquid gold. However, the fragrance origins have a similar ‘ick’ factor to ambergris. The scent comes from the agarwood tree found in areas of South-East Asia, India, and Bangladesh. However, not all agarwood trees create oud: when a tree is attacked by a specific funghi, the tree reacts by releasing a resin to protect itself, this then creates a resinous heartwood inside the tree, AKA oud. This is then distilled several times, however, the first extraction will always be the most potent. Mold is gold.

8. Smelling Coffee in Between Scents Doesn’t ‘Cleanse Your Palette’

In many fragrance stores, they often provide small pots of coffee beans to smell in between perfume testers to ‘reset your nose.’ However, this actually overwhelms and confuses your brain further. Instead, smell something familiar and neutral like the inside of your arm.

9. One Scent Never Smells The Same on Everyone

Have you ever smelt the most delicious fragrance, only to discover that you already know and love this scent and yet it smells almost unrecognizable? Well, the reason for this is that perfume smells slightly different on everyone. From the pH balance of your skin, how oily or dry it is, your hormone levels, even your diet will affect how your body interacts with perfume. Therefore, a perfume may smell amazing on your BFF, but not quite right on you.

10. Scent Can Alter Your Mood

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Scent is scientifically proven to alter your mood. Scents stimulate nerve endings at the back of the nose, awakening the part of the brain called the limbic system, which is responsible for our emotions, behavior, and libido.

Scents like rosemary are believed to make you feel more alert and sharpen your focus, whereas lavender will help you relax. Other notes like citrus can even help you leave a more positive impression when meeting someone for the first time. Now for the juicy deets… There are also scents proven to turn you on and awaken your sex drive, like vanilla, which was used to cure impotence back in the 1700s.

11. Moisturized Skin Holds onto Fragrance Longer

If you’re constantly topping up on fragrance throughout the day, it could be because your skin is thiiiirsty. Perfume doesn’t wear well on dry skin, which is just another reason to moisturize daily. Ideally, you should use the accompanying body lotion that comes with your fragrance or an unscented moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. This will also ensure that there’s no olfactory interference. Our go-to hack? As perfume lasts longer when applied to oily, damp skin, rub vaseline onto your pulse points before application.

12. Fragrance is Fluid

It may not surprise you to learn that one-third of men’s fragrances sold are worn by women. Today, gender-neutral fragrances are becoming increasingly popular.

13.  Your Fave Perfume May Include a Note From Anal Secretions – Yup!

Who knows how they discovered this, but (no pun intended) a warm floral scent used in many popular perfumes comes from the anal secretions from a civet (a small raccoon-like mammal). While the smell is initially pungent, once diluted, it adds a rich, floral character to the fragrance. Fragrance brands like Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy have all used this note, it’s even found in Chanel Coco Eau De Parfum, $116, and Dior Diorissimo Eau De Parfum, $112.

For more perfume facts, check out 9 perfume hacks that’ll make your perfume last longer.