Gone are the days of loud fragrances, ones that announce your presence before anything else. A new category of perfumes is taking TikTok by storm. The 'you but better' trending sentiment in the beauty community has quickly caught on to fragrances, and now, we're looking for scents that are virtually undetectable, sit close to the skin and enhance our unique smell, rather than cloak it.
'Skin scents' have garnered 1.6 million views on the social media platform - the hashtag is a gold mine of recommendations and reviews by TikTok users who don't prefer heavy perfumes. These barely-there fragrances are a clever composition of natural skin-like scents - think clean laundry, soap and warm musky notes.
Lorna Mc Kay, co-founder of The Perfume Society, a global community of perfume enthusiasts and experts based in the UK, told Gulf News: "A skin scent is a smell that doesn't radiate or project too far from the person. It amplifies the wearer's own scent - usually, these scents are clean and crisp, but can be dry, warm and woody, too."
Interestingly, all perfumes smell a tad different on every skin type. Mc Kay says they react uniquely with the pH balance of our skin, diet, ancillaries like body lotion, and anything else that we may be wearing. Skin scents, in particular, tend to play around with this effect.
Our perfume expert shares some of the best skin-enhancing aromas below. We've also added some of TikTok's favourite sensual skin scents, loved by thousands. Keep the masses guessing, and try your own undetectable perfume today, with an Amazon Prime membership.
1. Best Overall: Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules, Unisex, Eau de Toilette, 100ml
Composed of a singular aroma ingredient, Molecule 01 is, perhaps, the most popular skin scent out there, and for good reason. It carries the synthetic molecule Iso E Super, created by US-based International Flavors and Fragrances in 1973. Mc Kay says the aroma-chemical is barely detectable on its own, but when mixed with other ingredients, it adds a bright, woody, warm and velvety effect. Molecule 01 stays close to the skin, and comes and goes, as it pleases. PerfumeTok says the scent is impossible to pin, since the molecule manifests differently from person to person.
2. Best Budget: Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume, Eau de Parfum, 100ml
Another trending scent is Not A Perfume, a bottle that's composed of a single note - cetalox. Often used as a base note in fragrances, the synthetic element is primarily of the amber family, with woody smells. This non-perfume wears differently on everyone, but the majority agrees that Not A Perfume has a clean, fresh fragrance. Because it's subtle, reviews say the perfume takes a few minutes to activate before it smells like anything.
3. Best for Daytime: Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk, Eau de Toilette, 100ml
Perfect for the upcoming summer season, Replica Beach Walk by Maison Margiela is best described as sunkissed salty skin. It's a mixture of the warm, salty sea breeze, hot sand and the scent of sunscreen, powered by notes like floral bergamot, pink pepper, ylang-ylang, creamy coconut milk and powdery white musk. To emphasise the scent, spray it on damp skin and avoid rubbing it in, as it destroys the perfume-to-skin bond. For a softer, clean-laundry scent, try the house’s Lazy Sunday Morning.
4. Best for Daily Wear: Clean Beauty Collective Clean Classic Skin, 60ml
Clean Beauty Collective’s Skin is a popular go-to scent for daily wear. TikTok loves the Clean Reserve collection, a sustainably sourced range, but Skin in Clean Classic is just as good, and similar. It’s rooted in creamy vanilla and warm musk, with floral notes of lotus blossom and honeydew. The layerable formula is non-irritating and free of mineral oil, parabens and gluten. Perfume lovers say they wear it directly on the skin before heading to the gym or even to bed!
5. Best Scent for Women and Men: Diptyque Fleur De Peau, Unisex, Eau de Parfum, 75ml
Musk is at the heart of Diptyque's Fleur de Peau. This French fragrance is a delicious combination of floral, fruity and musky. The ambrette seed extract from hibiscus flowers and powdery iris lends it a sweet, soft scent. It dwindles down to sandalwood, leather and amber. Even though it's categorised as a skin scent, Fleur de Peau stands out for its long-lasting performance. Some TikTok users claim it's lasted them all 12 hours. The formula is less fleeting or intermittent than others on this list.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.