The fragrance industry has some interesting ways of suggesting certain smells for certain skin types; although they'll tell you their system is scientific, it's almost always style-based (such as color of skin and hair). There are suggestions out there that such color differences in humans produce different levels of acidity (although such a difference may be so miniscule it's irrelevant in reality), which may be why dark people are almost always suggested to wear heavy scents and fair people the lighter scents. But I don't smell exactly like my mother does, and a system based on sweeping racial generalizations doesn't help consumers who like specific smells themselves. I certainly don't want to be pigeonholed into wearing groups of scents I don't even like. It's no secret I detest this philosophy as much as I dislike Color Me Beautiful, the vintage color coordination system from the 1980s that didn't allow for any variation for people of color, the dark-haired and dark-skinned majority of the Earth's population. Besides, if Marilyn Monroe, a Spring, did better in her career made up as a Winter, it goes to show we can break the rule like we break the rules of 16th century counterpoint to write songs that are relevant today.
Colorado-based indie perfumer and aromatherapist, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, has a unique system of skin chemistry analysis that blows these archaic notions out of the water. She has a mysterious and wonderful product called DSH Special Formula X that she uses to analyze individual skin chemistry with through a private consultation called "Smell and Tell". If you're like me and can't take time off to visit her in her studio, you could still buy DSH Special Formula X (DSH sfx) online and try to analyze the result of this musk on your own skin by following an instruction sheet she sends along with purchase, although the analysis probably won't be as accurate as if Dawn herself did the analyzing. Nevertheless, it's fun to do and takes some of the guesswork out of what types of scents work best for you.
The most interesting thing about my experience testing with DSH sfx at home was this: the result I got coincided with the scents I'm already naturally drawn to and love to wear. I don't know if other people got a similar result, but there may be something to this, touching the surface of how keen our intuition may be in choosing scents that resonate well with us. DSH sfx may be the very product to sharpen such an awareness, making perfuming more fun than ever. It's described on Dawn's website as follows: "The formula that I developed to “test” my clients' skin types in order to get a better impression of their chemistry. SO many have remarked, "I love THAT... I want THAT!" that I have decided to give it you. I feel this is my ULTIMATE skin scent! It truly (and simply) amplifies your own skin and reflects it back as soft clean skin. It's YOU... only better!". It's a basic musk fragrance but it's a very neutral scent, neither too sweet nor bitter, a little bit sharp and also typically both transparent and slightly powdery. If you're a fan of musk, you could even wear it just to enjoy, but how it'll smell on you remains the mystery. Visit www.dshperfumes.com
Some exciting news today from Dawn herself: She's visiting Japan for the first time this April! If you're in Tokyo, here's your chance to receive a consultation from Dawn in person.
"We're sending this special announcement to our DSH clients in Japan letting you know that Perfumer / Aromatherapist, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, will be in Tokyo in April and that she will be performing her signature "Smell & Tell" analysis and consultation. Consultations will be performed on a first-come first-served basis from 11 am until 5 pm on April 7, 2008. The cost for the consultation will be 7,000 yen and includes samples of the recommended perfumes. The consultation lasts around 45 minutes - 1 hour long. This will also give you a chance to meet Anzu at Undulate; our partner in Japan.
For more information, please contact Anzu at Undulate. We hope to meet you in Tokyo on April 7!"
803 2-21-13 AOBADAI MEGURO-KU TOKYO JAPAN ZIP153-0042