Scent of a Woman… Picked Out by a Man

They say that in order to smell out a sensuous woman, ask a man.
It brings to mind the metaphor of Al Pacino’s aptly titled Scent of a Woman.
Presenting, a man’s favorite scents, for his women.

Fact: Women have a stronger sense of smell than men.
Myth: Men do not smell scents.
Reality: Ladies, us guys are more than salivating on catching a whiff of a good scent off you.

Fact: Men dislike overpowering scents.
Myth: Men like light, musky, woody scents.
Reality: Sorry ladies, don’t steal our colognes; leave the woods and musk to us guys!

Fact: Men like sweet smelling scents on women.
Myth: The key to a man’s heart is his stomach, so let the ladies smell sweet. 
Reality: Ahem, as hot as you look, I don’t want to eat you. Let the sweets rest in the kitchen.

Fact: Men like fragrances with floral notes.
Myth: Smelling like a fresh floral bouquet is most tempting for a guy.
Reality: Umm, I don’t want to think I’m with a teenager who just plucked flowers from outside her literature class.

A popular post of yesteryears was titled Thy Nose Knows Best, and dealt with why we should use fragrances, and how they exemplify our inner selves. I followed it with a consequential post of my favorite mens colognes, with a suffix of The Name Game.

Many readers rejoiced, and I even got personal calls that thanked me for creating an ideal shopping list for many overwhelmed buyers. A few individuals in particular asked if I had an idea of women’s scents.


It reminded me of the marketing ploy that scents are alluring, and attractive to the opposite sex, and should perhaps be marketed with this in mind. And so, after snooping through fragrance stores and glass tiled airports, I have finally come to realize what scents I would want my leading lady to adorn at different times of day.

While some may view this list as overwhelming, I have tried to segregate fragrances my occasion and activity. Naturally, most may not have a plethora of fragrances creating a skyline on their dressers (like I do, as you can judge here), also known as obsessive on the framework for judging fragrance addiction, but nevertheless, it gives an idea of what is appropriate for daytimes or nights, and distinguishes the florals from the spices and the lights from the stronger ones.

Read as if you were shopping, and pick as if you were indulging.


The first step is to recap the fragrance families and sub-families, which spell out what you may be attracted to.

Naturally, thy nose knows best, and thy nose is distinct from my nose.
So do take this with a pinch of coffee powder (it prevents scent alienation!).


Flower Bomb by Victor and Rolf

Family: Woody / Oriental

Sub-family: Edible

Touted as a quality meal, brunch serves two functions: wiping off the memories of the night before, and welcoming the new day with a pleasureful laziness. Over one of my favorite meals, I like women to bring out their sunny glares and seasonably appropriate fashion statement. Flowerbomb, with its pink grenade vial, fits the scent bill. It is a smart fragrance that matches  the carefree and nostalgic atmosphere of a good brunch, without overwhelming the scent of the aromatic food itself. With its ‘edible’ sub notes, Flowerbomb exudes a deep scent that makes its wearer seem  self-confidence, yet approachable enough to dissolve aptly into a cheery ambiance.  It’s the scent of the lady that a guy would want to sit next to, spend an eternity with, or if she happens to be on another table, play an incessant game of poker with her eyes.


Dolce & Gabanna Classic by Dolce & Gabanna

Family: Floral

Sub Family: Aldehydic

The workplace is a tricky one. You can either be in a clerical office surrounded by hues of a barn owl, or in a heel-clanking glass encased office overlooking a city of opportunity. In either case, a headache infusion will be most unsatisfactory. Dolce and Gabanna is your best bet in keeping it neutral, but not sterile, keeping it safe but not devoid of personality. Ironic since D&G ads exude overt sexuality and lusty overtones. Overlooking the classic red perfume’s brick like structure and matte finish, Dolce and Gabanna is the one to make you shine when you stand up in a crowd to present or have a meeting in an ever-tiny conference room. It is the type to leave us well suited dapper men with our eyes closed as you walk by, inhaling a whiff of intrigue mixed with charm when you step outside a conference room or step into a causal lunch setup. It is sharply floral, yet clean and thus aldehydic, creating a yearning of all things fresh in an otherwise mundane world.

Running Everyday Errands

L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci

Family: Floral

Sub Family: Spicy

Guys, ever catch a whiff of something so juicily succulent that you stop in the bustle of your racing day to simply pause in a Matrix pose as the world spins around you? Ladies, ever seen a guy do just this? L’Air du Temps has exactly that effect on passerbys, especially us guys. While it looks fantastic on a dresser as two doves play a game of courtship, the soft notes ensure that your shopping-bag-huddled man is always willing to accompany you to every store, on every errand, or even a stroll on the beach. With the airy, light and calming floral scents riding on a hint of spicy-ness, this one is sure to give your wings of flight the needed leverage to write your destiny with gentle fingertips and sandy footprints. It really does smell like I’m walking with an angel with supple wings, making me a lucky guy at that!

Fun Day Out

Eternity by Calvin Klein


Sub Family: Aromatic

How does a ‘fun day out’ differ from every day? Because a fun day out – regardless of where it is – exudes fun and laughter. Eternity by Calvin Klein is perfect for this sentiment. Actually, it is eternally perfect for anything, but fits best as a day-blending-to-night scent, or one that is worn for the majority of the day. Floral, fresh, spicy and aqueous all at once, it represents harmony and devotion to love, owing to its heritage of being inspired by a wedding band. Though not overly artistic in its bottle shape, it is clean, clear and enchanting enough to instigate freshness and warmth whenever it passes by. That is, whenever women wearing it whisk by and make guys forget their steps on a spiral staircase. And we fall, knowing that eternal freshness never had a better substitute.

Happy Hour

L’Eau D’Issey by Issey Miyake

Family: Floral

Sub Family: Aqueous

Happy hour is an hour of being happy. Well, not really – but it exemplifies being in a semi-corporate setting, or with a group of equally close friends or new strangers with prospects. L’Eau D’Issey is the ideal fresh dash of spritz, which washes off memoires of a fatigued work day and beckons the start of a new evening. The aqueous sub notes on L’Eau D’Issey do just that – make it seem like another refreshing morning on a bustling evening, when another sort of agenda has its plans chalked out. It smells like diving into a fresh spa of cooling and relaxing water, away from the hot, racy and fatigued mundane of a busy day. And it makes us guys with you feel like we’ve dived in right besides you!

Evening Tea/Coffee

Daisy by Marc Jacobs

Family: Floral

Sub Family: Aromatic

What differentiates a happy hour scent from a coffee date one is that while both need to be on the hintingly strong side, the former must be mischievous, punchy and fresh, and the latter must be sweet to compliment the ambiance and hint at a nightly escapade. Daisy by Marc Jacobs takes the strength of flirtatiousness a few notches higher, making it more audible in a fragrance’s enemy environment – a coffee shop. Not only is it an award winning encasement with loud, bright flowers protruding from its spritz, its floral layers intertwine with some light citrus fruity aromas to leave an enchanting effect, even over the scent of luscious cappuccino. Trust me, I’ve smelled it out even in a coffee refinery. And it leaves an enchanting effect on a racing imagination.


Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent

Family: Floral / Woody

Sub-family: Aldehydic

Like it or not ladies, us guys have a roving eye. Especially at the gym. So when you have the power to turn heads and glares while sculpting your body in fitted gym attire, why be a turnoff with odor? Although the ‘sport’ suffix bestows itself on mens lines most often, it doesn’t prevent you from picking out a sport-esque scent. Rive Gauche is one that can be applied before and after the gym, for it has a strong yet rapidly sexy scent that makes even all things done in a rush or with ferocity acquire a hypnotic vicariousness. In a spray-deo like cylinder with banging blue and black stripes, it hits with a bolt of power, perfect for the delivering a knockout in any game, played alone or with us.


Chanel No 5 by Chanel

Family: Floral

Sub Family: Aldehydic

Although it may seem that we are crossing paths with coffee, teatime and happy hour, cocktails really stand on their own for an escalated notch of formality. They also mandate women to bring out dressy, probably newly purchased dresses and draperies and jewelry. So naturally a fragrance must compliment and add to the en-vogue factor and boost the confidence. The classic Chanel No 5, a best-seller encased in an unflattering cuboid, marks the start of an affair, owing to its clean and floral scent. Any of us tux-clad guys would swoon faster than the drapes of your gown, and beg to whisk us onto glittering rooftops or red carpeted hotel rooms.


Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior

Family: Floriental

Sub Family: Spicy

The club is a hot and sweaty place, yet one that oozes flirtatiousness and envy through fashionable endeavors and gaping eyeballs. Many forget that the sense of smell probably overpowers that of sight, even in drunken stupor. Hypnotic Poison is strong, and lasts, like venom in the veins. While the entire Dior Poison family is alluring, this one is red, and has a punch of spice, jasmine and a slight musk that leaves me wide-eyed. It is strong, and for some it may cause them to double take or double blink, but make it impossible to part from its clutch. I like women who pack a punch at the club, probably due to the rarity of this happening. And as such, the strength of a dark, enigmatically encapsulate fragrance is exactly what the werewolf howls for. For those who think men are predators at club, this is your revenge, your weapon, or your lion-taming whip.


Chloe by Chloe

Family: Floral / Frutal

Sub Family: White Flower

Bedtime? Who wears a scent to bed? Well, it depends on what goes on in bed, after all. You want something that doesn’t pounce out of silken sheets, but simply transcends dreamily through them. My favorite scent on women for bedtime is Chloe. Packed in a translucent bathroom glass style vial with a tie-able and retie-able bow, it spells out mischief. With a simultaneously sensuous and lulling effect, this one can weave its spell on both you and on us guys in both ways – woody enough to get you upright for action, or sweet enough to allow you lay lazily surrendering to the clasps of seductive time.

So ladies, feel free to approach the makeup-dipped salesfolks more confidently with knowledge on an alluring, enchanting, and rather overwhelming and overcrowded fragrance market. And remember, its not only for you, its also for us guys.

And guys, enjoy, indulge, and sometimes beware, of the scent of a woman.


14 responses to “Scent of a Woman… Picked Out by a Man

  1. Loveeeee this article, so brilliantly written! Now a question for you…don’t you also pick perfume by what goes best with your own body type (by which I mean, the natural body scents)? Or is that a myth too…?

  2. Bravo. Very well put. I never know where to begin when visiting the fragrance section of the airport duty free shops. Thanks to you I now have a whole list of tantalizing possibilities to look out for and try. You have the best posts… looking forward to the next. Have a beautiful, multi-fragrance filled week!

    • Thanks for the gracious compliments! Indeed, I find it so overwhelming, in department stores and especially airports! All the ads seem to look and promise the same after a certain point, so I feel its important to have the ability to distinguish. Thanks again, and looking forward to hear what you pick out off the shelves for your next trip!

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