There are few compliments quite as flattering as “You smell good!” There are times when I know I may not look my best (like when I’m running to the bodega in a haphazard outfit paired with Crocs, for example), but if I know I smell incredibly good, I’ll feel my best, and that’s far more rewarding.
The most frustrating thing about perfumes in general is how fleeting they can be — I’ll spritz a perfume in the morning, but by lunch, it’s like it never happened at all. Of course, there are certain perfumes with particularly long staying power, but as a beauty journalist that’s tried and tested so many over the years, I do find that they are few and far between.
This is why I created a scent-layering routine that starts from the moment I step in the shower. I don’t do this all the time, but if I have an event, a date night, or any occasion where I want to smell especially good, I’ll prepare with this easy six-step routine. And when I tell you I get complimented constantly when I do this, I mean it.
The key to this routine is to keep all of the products within the same scent profile. If you use a body wash, lotion, and perfume that have all different smells, of course you won’t smell bad, but it won’t create that one cohesive scent that really amplifies your personal fragrance with a long-lasting effect. I adore fragrance with rosy notes, so that’s what this routine uses. But you could do this with pretty much any scent — in fact, when I was researching for this article, I came across a viral TikTok video by a creator named Jaz Turner, who has an extremely similar body-care routine that she claims keeps you smelling like a vanilla snack all day. She gets me!
Here’s my six-step routine that leaves me smelling like a stunning bed of roses.
Step one: Unscented soap
I like starting off with a basic, scent-free soap because it makes my skin a neutral base to start the layering. It’s not that scented body washes aren’t purifying, but there’s something about an old-school, sudsy bar of soap that gives my skin an extra-squeaky-clean feeling. Any scentless soap from Target or CVS will do, but I personally love the one from Dr. Bronner’s, which I find is the least stripping.
Step two: Body scrub
After cleansing with soap, I exfoliate the skin with a physical body scrub, which is where my first scent layer comes into play. This particular scrub from Dr. Teal’s is super fine and gentle, so it doesn’t scratch or irritate my sensitive skin, while still helping to smooth out any bumps along my arms or legs. What I love the most about this product is its soft rosewater smell, which isn’t loud, sweet-smelling, or artificial in the least — surprisingly difficult to find in affordable drugstore scrubs. This isn’t creating an extremely fragrant, long-lasting smell on the skin, but it is laying down a light, rosy fragrance that we’ll continue to add to.
Step three: Body wash
We’ve already cleansed and exfoliated the skin, and on a normal day I’d stop here, but since our priority is to create a long-lasting rosy smell that lingers on our skin all day, we’re going to cleanse once more with a rose-scented body wash. Even though Weleda is mostly known for its botanical, ultrarich Skin Food moisturizer, I would argue that this body wash is one of its very best products. Don’t let Weleda’s Whole Foods, clean-beauty branding fool you: This product’s fragrance is extremely powerful and aromatic — after using it, you’ll notice that your entire bathroom will smell like a lush rose garden. The bright rose-petal scent lingers on your skin all day long
Step four: Fragrance
Here’s an interesting tip: I saw a TikTok where a fragrance expert recommended spritzing your perfume before putting on your lotion, applying the same school of thought that we use when layering skin care —the occlusive lotion traps in the water-based perfume, locking in the perfume and therefore giving the scent itself more staying power on the skin. I’ve been trying that out, and while I get accustomed to scents on my skin quite quickly, I have noticed that when I do this I get complimented on my perfume much more regularly later on in the day. I once read a review where someone described this scent as “the blue jeans and white T-shirt of perfumes,” and once I tried it on my skin, I knew exactly what they meant. This smells like sticking your face in a dewy rosebush early in the morning — fresh, dreamy, and clean. As it sits on your skin, it becomes slightly more musky and vanilla, a true your-skin-but-better scent. On its own, I do find that this perfume can fade quite quickly, but when done in combination with the rest of this shower routine, I find that the scent stays locked in all day.
Step five: Body lotion
Everything created by the incredibly chic Parisian brand Buly 1803 is something to behold. Not only is its vintage-looking, ornate packaging absolutely stunning (it’s perhaps my favorite beauty packaging of all time), all of its formulas are so cosmetically elegant and stunningly fragranced. I once gave this body lotion to my mom as a gift for her birthday, and once I tried a bit of hers, I couldn’t get enough of the stuff. Once again, even just having its products on display adds luxury to your bathroom, but its lightweight yet hydrating milky lotion sinks right into the skin and locks in moisture all day long. While this particular rose scent is delicate and breezy, like a spring rose garden, it sticks to your skin all day long and gives off enough fragrance that this alone has gotten me compliments.
Step six: Deodorant
The final touch! The Humble products are my favorite natural deodorants on the market. Not only does this rose scent smell botanical and earthy, unlike a lot of natural deodorants on the market, it actually keeps me smelling good all day long, even on the hottest summer days.
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