The 9 Best "Skin Scents" That Smell Like Your Skin But Better (2023)

The 9 Best "Skin Scents" That Smell Like Your Skin But Better (1)

For centuries humankind has been turning to perfume to amplify (or, in some cases, mask) their personal scent. It's odd, then, that the hottest type of fragrance in the game right now is the illusive, mysterious, and barely there “skin scent.” Scents made to emulate the scent of, well, skin. But, what exactly is a skin scent? Widely, skin scents include or are built around the molecule Iso E Super, a synthetic molecule developed in 1973 in the lab at IFF, or International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. It smells softly of wood and maybe a bit of musk and stays close to the skin so it's only detectable by you, or someone very close to you.

Skin scents are not solely defined by their usage of Iso E Super or molecules like it, but more generally, they've come to be defined by their soft presence that often smells like woods, fresh linen, vetiver, or white florals. Anything really, as long as it wears very lightly. The term “skin scent” has evolved to be a colloquial term to describe a light, inoffensive fragrance.

Skin scents give us a subtle identity that's like an intimate secret just for you. But we don't believe in gatekeeping here, so we tested some of them to separate the good from the great. Read on for our favorites.

01of 09

Escentric Molecules Molecule 01

The 9 Best "Skin Scents" That Smell Like Your Skin But Better (2)

Escentric MoleculesMolecule 01$135.00


This is the skin scent standard. Molecule 01 is built around the skin scent molecule, Iso E Super, and nothing else. It isolates the molecule so you can discover how it comes to life on your skin. It will probably smell differently on your skin than it does on mine, and it might smell like nothing at all.

This one comes and goes, but the brand tells you as much, explaining it “seems to vanish and then re-appear. This is due to the way it bonds with receptors in the olfactory system…”

When I first sprayed it onto my chest, I was like “I did spray that…didn’t I?” It seemed to hit my skin and then disappear through a trap door.

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I’m used to talking about scents by explaining all of the notes within it, but Molecule 01 is truly only Iso E Super, so it’s an almost imperceptible dry wood. It smells like static, something you can't see or define but you know is there. It doesn’t really heat up or change throughout wear, but it will remind you it’s there as soon as you’ve stopped thinking about it. It’s better under a hoodie.

02of 09

Iso Gamma Super by Ellis Brooklyn

This one is billed as being able to be worn on its own or layered over other scents to amplify them. For the sake of this piece, I wore it alone. Even more than Escentric Molecules, this one is very, very transparent. Almost invisible. As soon as I sprayed it, it was undetectable on skin, and it was only after about two hours of wear that I could begin to smell much of anything, and even then, it was light.

This, too, was a soft, shiny wood scent, when you could smell it. I will say that while many of these can go stale after a day of wear, Iso Gamma Super, after it made itself more pronounced, remained very clean even after 12 hours of wear. It stays extremely close to you, and sometimes can only smell it when it's wafted off of your clothes.

03of 09

Glossier You

The 9 Best "Skin Scents" That Smell Like Your Skin But Better (4)



Glossier You is a skin scent made to be experienced. While still being very light and gauzy, it’s a bit more forward than the other scents on this list, which is only to say, you can smell it without questioning if you actually sprayed it on.

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Top notes of iris and pepper sit atop a base of musk, ambrette, and ambrox. It’s woody, dry, foggy, and smells different on everyone. Yes, all fragrances wear differently on different people, but this one especially, because it utilizes its notes to create a bit of a framework, and when your own body chemistry is added, that’s when it really comes to life. Some people I know love it, some people hate it, which is my favorite kind of, well…anything.

If you aren’t familiar with it, you probably won’t know it’s there. But if you know the scent, you’ll be able to recognize it anywhere. This is probably the most mainstream skin scent on the list, but this one really serves up something that you can smell. I appreciate that.

04of 09


The 9 Best "Skin Scents" That Smell Like Your Skin But Better (5)

Yes, this one still exists, you just need to know where to look. You know all of those '90s GAP scents that are ICONIC? They never went away! They’re all still available at a GAP Outlet near you.

This is my favorite skin scent of the bunch. Like Glossier You, it is more noticeable than the scents that are simply built around the Super molecule, unlike Glossier You, this one is a little warmer. A little more liquid. It’s not too woody, not too sweet, not too soft, and not too dry, but it's also all of those things at the same time. It’s a bit more inviting than the rest of these.

At the top you’ll find ginger, coriander, and a few green notes. In the middle, there is incense, and at the base, you’ll find woody notes. The scent is extremely balanced, tempered, and reserved. I enjoyed wearing this one the most because there was a touch of sweetness, creaminess, and spice to it that made it smell like actual real skin to me, not just light, dry woods. Not just the idea of skin, but skin skin. I sprayed this on and was like “I get it.”

05of 09

Rosie Jane Perfume Oil

The 9 Best "Skin Scents" That Smell Like Your Skin But Better (6)

Rosie JanePerfume Oil$70.00


Inspired by naked skin, this one is clean and cottony and smells warm and white. It smells very fresh, full of plush florals and morning dew. It’s not groundbreaking, in that we’ve all smelled a white floral before, but it’s served up in a very pleasing way. It smells like the morning. Like a sun-drenched duvet. Like waking up from an afternoon nap with no place to be. If you like textural florals, you should check this out.

06of 09

Maya Base

The 9 Best "Skin Scents" That Smell Like Your Skin But Better (7)



Maya base is really nice, equal parts white florals and woods, but not too much of either. Even for someone who doesn’t love the skin scent concept, or florals for that matter, I have to admit that this one is very, very good.

It’s clean without being sterile, familiar without being obvious, and soft and wearable without disappearing altogether. This is a great everyday fragrance you can pop on quickly in the morning and trust that it’s gonna ride with you until the end of the day. It was a really nice surprise. This one does the skin scent thing really well.


07of 09

Essential Faith

The 9 Best "Skin Scents" That Smell Like Your Skin But Better (8)

Essential FaithOil$65.00


Essential Faith is not unlike Maya Base, but this one has more of a floral focus. It's more forward than most on the list, super clean, almost a little watery. It’s made to meld with your unique body chemistry to smell different on everyone, which I guess all of these are. Heavier on the florals, musk, and maybe a little wood, it’s definitely worth checking out if lightweight florals happen to be your thing.

08of 09


Maison Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning

The 9 Best "Skin Scents" That Smell Like Your Skin But Better (9)

Maison Margiela ReplicaLazy Sunday Morning$160.00


No amount of creative copywriting could do this fragrance any more justice than its aptly chosen name. While the über clean scent doesn't exactly hit the skin mark, it does smell like diving into a bed of fresh linens and languishing there all day. Breezy notes of lily, patchouli, iris, and white musk are as soft and delicate as a whisper, and that's what we've come to appreciate most about contemporary skin scents. Plus, we'll take anything that envelopes us in the calm mentality of a day well spent—doing absolutely nothing, that is.

09of 09

Henry Rose Jake's House

The 9 Best "Skin Scents" That Smell Like Your Skin But Better (10)

Henry RoseJake's House$120.00


Skin but make it summer. And what's more intoxicating than sun-drenched, wind-swept, salty summer skin? Fresh marine tops this watery scent while soft neroli, peony, and jasmine add a honeyed allure. Musky base notes round out the fragrance with a finish that is effortlessly fresh and clean. It's a beach walk at sunrise. It's twilight on the deck overlooking the dunes. It's pure summer loving.

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What scent is most attractive to? ›

Discover the scents that women find irresistible.
  • Vanilla. Vanilla is a universally popular scent that both men and women wear. ...
  • Sandalwood. Sandalwood is a very popular scent used in fragrances for a reason. ...
  • Lavender. Lavender is a great scent when you feel wound up and stressed out. ...
  • Musk. ...
  • Vetiver. ...
  • Cinnamon. ...
  • Citrus. ...
  • Peppermint.

What smell is best for skincare? ›

Cucumber, lavender, rose, chamomile, lime...the list goes on and the aromas are as pure as they are beneficial for the skin.

What are the 9 types of scents? ›

There are 9 basic types of fragrances. Floral, woody, gourmand, fruity, oriental, green, oceanic, citrus, and spicy.

What is the number 1 scent that attracts females? ›

1. Vanilla. Vanilla is an extremely popular scent in men's cologne, and for good reason. Seductive, playful, sweet and sensual, this pleasant aroma is always a crowd-pleaser.

What scent turns men on? ›

This research concluded that the scents of Lavender, Licorice and Donuts, Pumpkin Pie (cinnamon), Orange, and even Popcorn lead to increased arousal in men. This makes sense as these scents probably remind men of happy memories, positive emotions and an overlying feeling of comfort.

What scent most attracts men? ›

  • Pumpkin Pie + Lavender. The scent of pumpkin pie (especially when combined with the smell of lavender) increased arousal in 40 percent of men. ...
  • Jasmine. Dr. ...
  • Black Licorice. ...
  • Cinnamon. ...
  • Vanilla. ...
  • Banana Nut Bread. ...
  • Citrus.

How can I make my skin smell amazing? ›

skin care concerns How to Smell Good All Day Long
  1. #1. WASH REGULARLY. First and foremost, proper hygiene is a must to ensure you smell good! ...
  2. #2. USE SCENTED LOTION. ...
  3. #2. BOOST YOUR PERFUME. ...
Jul 8, 2020

What scent smells the cleanest? ›

10 Best Clean-Smelling Perfumes 2023
  • Tory Burch Electric Sky Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Philosophy Pure Grace Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Le Labo AnOther 13 Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Maison Margiela Bubble Bath Eau de Toilette. ...
  • Narciso Rodriguez For Her Pure Musc Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Prada Infusion D'Iris Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Byredo Blanche Eau de Parfum.

How can I smell beautiful all the time? ›

How to Smell Good All Day
  1. Make it last.
  2. Moisturize.
  3. Wash there.
  4. Deodorant or antiperspirant.
  5. Hair.
  6. Breath.
  7. Unscented products.
  8. Clothing.
Jun 13, 2019

What are the 7 basic smells? ›

Methods: We adopted an in-silico approach to study key and common odorants features with seven fundamental odors (floral, fruity, minty, nutty, pungent, sweet, and woody).

What are the 7 different smells? ›

20. There Are Seven Main Smells. Like the five different tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami), some scientists believe there are seven different main smells – musky, putrid, pungent, camphoraceous (similar to mothballs), ethereal, floral and minty.

What is the most popular scent? ›

Vanilla may be the world's most popular scent, but you'll find these five scent categories anywhere you run off to.

What is a very feminine scent? ›

For masking women's body odors, preferred perfume facets usually are: rich, sweet and smooth benzoin, dreamy, sensual and earthy honey absolute, elegant, lush and noble vanilla and rich, deep and complex labdanum. Women also usually have more acidic skin than their male counterparts.

Does vanilla scent attract guys? ›

Vanilla. Vanilla has been used as a natural aphrodisiac for centuries. That is why it is of no surprise that it is one of the scents that men find attractive in women.

What do female pheromones smell like? ›

For some, it smells sweet, like flowers or vanilla; to others it is foul, like sweat or urine. And then there are those who can't smell it at all.

What scents make guys hard? ›

What Are Aphrodisiac Scents?
  • Pumpkin pie: This traditional Thanksgiving dessert increases arousal in men. ...
  • Lavender: As mentioned above, the smell of lavender mixed with pumpkin pie was shown to increase arousal in men by 40 percent. ...
  • Vanilla: ...
  • Strawberry: ...
  • Jasmine: ...
  • Ginger: ...
  • Black Licorice: ...
  • Cinnamon:
Mar 1, 2023

Can a man smell when a woman is wet? ›

University of Kent research suggests that men can distinguish between the scents of sexually aroused and non-aroused women. The detection of sexual arousal through smell may function as an additional channel in the communication of sexual interest and provide further verification of human sexual interest.

How can I smell expensive? ›

How to Smell Luxurious Without Breaking the Bank
  1. Use Deodorant. First up, a daily necessity that we are familiar with - deodorant. ...
  2. Use Scented Skincare. Another way to smell good without spending too much on a single product would be to invest in scented skincare instead. ...
  3. Use Essential Oils. ...
  4. Use Affordable Alternatives.
Feb 3, 2022

How can I smell amazing naturally? ›

There are several natural ways to smell great that are inexpensive and easy to incorporate into your daily routine - all without using cologne.
  1. Shower Daily. ...
  2. Eat Antioxidant Rich Food. ...
  3. Wear Natural Fabrics. ...
  4. Use Essential Oils. ...
  5. Use Shampoos and Moisturizers With Natural Scents. ...
  6. Drink Plenty of Water.

What foods make you smell good? ›

Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are packed full of pleasant-smelling oils and compounds, which quickly become absorbed by the body and gently released through the skin. As such, eating such fruits is a quick way to improve your natural aroma.

What is the best scent to smell like? ›

Top 24 Most Popular Home Luxury Scents of 2022
  • Vanilla.
  • Rose.
  • Lavender.
  • Coffee.
  • Coconut.
  • Lemon.
  • Amber.
  • Sage.
Dec 8, 2022

What scent smells fresh? ›

Fresh fragrances usually comprise of citrus, water and green notes. This means they have refreshing, zesty and vibrant smells.

What smell do humans like the most? ›

And according to the results, vanilla is the most pleasing smell around, followed by ethyl butyrate, which smells like peaches. Artin Arshamian, researcher at Karolinska and one of the study's authors, said humans may have similar olfactory preferences because it helped early humans survive.

What scent puts people in a good mood? ›

Orange, grapefruit, and lemon are all energizing and uplifting scents," says Cynthia LaBonte, aromatherapist and herbalist at Newport Aromatherapy. "We associate citrus with cleanliness. Their top notes go straight up the sinuses to the head and make us feel better, fitter, and even more confident and in control."

What is the happiest scent? ›

Scents to make you happy
  1. Lavender. The aromatherapy world's queen jewel! ...
  2. Jasmine. Those tiny white jasmine flowers have been making humans happy for millennia! ...
  3. Neroli. Neroli is like a breath of sweet citrus air! ...
  4. Rose. ...
  5. Yuzu.

How can I smell really nice? ›

Read on for our top beauty tips—eight to be exact—on how to smell good all day.
  1. #1. WASH REGULARLY. First and foremost, proper hygiene is a must to ensure you smell good! ...
  2. #2. USE SCENTED LOTION. ...
  3. #2. BOOST YOUR PERFUME. ...
Jul 8, 2020

What scent turns you on? ›

Aphrodisiac scents include pumpkin, lavender, vanilla, cinnamon, peppermint, and ginger. Despite some skepticism around the use of aphrodisiacs, studies show that many of these aromas do work — they can be easily incorporated into anyone's fragrance routine.

What scents help depression? ›

There are many ways to naturally treat depression, particularly with essential oils. The top four essential oils for depression are bergamot, lavender, chamomile and ylang ylang. You can use essential oils for depression topically or aromatically, usually as a cream or in a diffuser.

What is the smell of good mental health? ›

Lavender aromatherapy may be recommended to someone experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression. Smelling lavender is also linked with improving pain and inflammation.

What is the most attractive perfume for a woman? ›

15 Perfumes That Always Attract People (And Compliments) Like a Magnet
  • St. ...
  • Carolina Herrera. ...
  • The Harmonist. Sacred Water Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Ellis Brooklyn. Sun Fruit Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Dior. Miss Dior Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Kilian Paris. Love, Don't Be Shy Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Dior. Hypnotic Poison Eau de Toilette. ...
  • Mugler. Alien Goddess Eau de Parfum.
Oct 24, 2022

Do men remember your scent? ›

Remember: scent is often attached to memory, so every time he smells your perfume, he will think of you. If you've just started dating, don't share your whole life story during a single date. Hint at some things and leave him wanting to hear more.

Are guys attracted to girls who smell good? ›

Some bodily smells are pleasant. And new research suggests they might appeal to more than our noses. Straight men find the smell of women's reproductive hormones attractive, scientists report today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The discovery suggests women's body odor is a cue for fertility.


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