You probably have heard of the no-makeup makeup, but the no-perfume perfume?
The fragrance trend of 2021 is “skin scent”, a barely-there fragrance that is made to emulate the scent of – yes, you got it – skin.
The magic ingredient in skin scents is Iso E Super, a synthetic molecule developed in 1973 in the lab at International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), a mega-corporation that develops scents, flavours, and cosmetic actives.
Iso E Super is described as a scent that smells subtly like wood and a little bit of musk. Designed to mix with your body chemistry and stay close to the skin, this unique scent is detectable only by you, or someone who is physically close to you.
This unique ingredient is also said to mimic the scent of pheromones – the hormones that make one irresistible to the opposite sex.
The technical definition of skin scents aside, many now also consider fragrances that have a soft presence, are light and inoffensive as a “skin scent”.
Why are skin scents such a trend?
You may find it strange that anyone would purchase a scent that smells like their own skin. But just like the no-makeup makeup look, the barely-there skin scents give that vibe – a subtle presence that elevates the scent that you have, making people feel that you smell naturally great this way, instead of being masked by an obvious fragrance.
Best skin scents to try
Lancôme Trésor EDP
Lancôme probably isn’t the first brand that comes to mind when you think of subtle, minimalist scents. But it is very possibly one of the first perfumes to contain a large amount of Iso E Super in it, according to fragrance enthusiasts.
This is also a delicate, romantic scent that is well-loved by many. So you can certainly consider this if you’re looking for a pleasant scent that isn’t too overwhelming.
Lancôme Trésor EDP is no longer retailing at the official counters but you can still find it at some online retailers, many significantly discounted. Check the link below for the latest price.
Juliette Has A Gun Sunny Side Up EDP
How does a sunny side up smell like? According to French boutique brand Juliette Has A Gun, it’s made up of jasmine, musk, coconut milk, sandalwood, vanilla, and a dash of Iso E Super.
This scent is designed to evoke happy and positive feelings in you and has a long-lasting fragrance that’s suitable for both day and night. Its scent also lingers softly on your skin, enveloping you like a warm hug.
Juliette Has A Gun Sunny Side Up EDP retails for RM629.
Byredo Eleventh Hour EDP
Charismatic, even eccentric scents are something Byredo is known for. This one in particular has the unique concoction of Sichuan pepper, bergamot, plum, rum, fig, cashmere wood, cedar and tonka bean – and of course, a splash of Iso E Super to make its woody aromatic composition intoxicating.
Byredo Eleventh Hour EDP retails for US$144 (~RM597).
Kenzo World EDT
A fresh, clean, and almost neutral scent, this crisp pear-based perfume is definitely a subtle scent that is only detectable by those nearest and dearest.
Combining peony, almond, orris root, and Iso E Super, the fragrance settles into a charming second-skin scent that’s soft, powdery, and a little sensual.
Kenzo World EDT retails for for RM329.
Calvin Klein Obsessed for Women EDP
For those who prefer a unisex scent, this is the one to go for. This fragrance is made of citruses, lavender, violet leaf, rose, musk, and Iso E Super to produce a warm and enthralling scent.
Calvin Klein Obsessed for Women EDP retails for RM299.
Chanel Bleu de Chanel EDP
With accords of grapefruit, mint, ginger, nutmeg, Iso E Super, incense, vetiver, sandalwood, and patchouli, this is a woody fragrance created for men, but loved by women alike.
Chanel Bleu de Chanel EDP retails for RM490.