In the French movie “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” starring Ben Whishaw, his character Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is driven by an all-consuming passion to create the ultimate perfume. That obsession took him on a murderous journey, culminating in a movie climax that is as disturbing as it is seductive.
Now, we’re not going to the extremes of emulating that movie, but we do want to explore scents that capture the heady sense of desire in a bottle. But first, we will need to digress into the sexier bits of science: The smell of sex.
How does sex smell like
Sex smells differently in men and women. Men should smell musky with a hint of spice during or post-coitus, while women should smell musky and indolic. Add some saltiness that comes with the exertion (cough), and the kind of notes you’re looking for to invoke or remind you of desires should be:
Animalic musks: Musk, Civet, Castoreum
Plant musk: Ambrette
Indolic flowers: Jasmine, Tuberose, Lily
Spicy notes: Spices such as Caraway, Cumin, Cloves
Salty note: Salt, Fig, Seaweed
Now that we know the science behind it, let’s look at some perfumes on popular sites such as Sephora, Tangs, Robinsons, Amazon, LookFantastic, Selfridges and more to see where you can obtain a bottle of desire. Of course, scents do translate differently depending on the chemical makeup of your skin. If you get the chance to, head down to a store to try a spritz or two, and see how it sits on your skin after a couple of hours.
And then, like all smart shoppers, you can then hunt around online to find the best deals for the fragrance you're looking for. So, without further ado, here are some of the best scents we love that are designed to evoke desires. They are not arranged by gender – you’re free to choose a scent that most appeals to you!
[Click on images for product links]
1. Amaris Liquid Imaginaires Dom Milliseme
Notes: Champagne, Pomelo, Pear, Damask Rose, Olibanum, Cloves, Vetiver, Guaiac Wood, Cedar
2. Maison Francis Kurkjidian Baccarat Rouge 540
Notes: Saffron, Jasmine, Amberwood, Ambergris, Fir Resin, Cedar
3. YSL Kouros
Notes: Musky, Aromatic, Animalic with Aldehydes, Orris, Leather, Amber
4. Loewe Paula’s Ibiza
Notes: Woody, Green with Driftwood, Coconut, Yellow Florals
5. Dior Oud Ispaphan
Notes: Oud, Rose, Woody, Amber, Spicy
6. Gucci Rush
Notes: White Floral, Patchouli, Aromatic with Peach, Coriander, Vetiver
7. Maison Margiela REPLICA By the Fireplace Eau de Toilette
Notes: Cloves, Pink Pepper, Orange Blossom, Chestnut, Guaiac Wood, Juniper, Vanilla, Peru Balsam, Cashmeran
8. Serge Lutens Fleurs d'oranger
Notes: White Floral with Cumin, Musk, Woods
9. Hermes Poivre Samarcande
Notes: Woody, Fresh Spicy, Paprika
10. Roja Fetish
Notes: Leather, Citrus, Amber, Warm Spicy, Animalic/Musky