Fragrance News This Week in Fragrance: Summer Flora, Chocolate Fingernails and Stinky Towels

This Week in Fragrance: Summer Flora, Chocolate Fingernails and Stinky Towels

07/20/16 08:14:30 (6 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Now that it's summer, many flowering plants have suddenly bloomed to life. The Concord Monitor offers an intriguing overview this week of what to sniff out in "Let Your Nose Guide You Around the Garden".

Take a minute this week and let your nose lead you on a fragrant tour of your garden. Right now there are many plants in bloom with delicious-smelling flowers and don’t forget those with aromatic foliage too. We have let large patches of milkweed grow up in an attempt to aid the butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects that are drawn to them. They have the sweetest aroma and when it wafts on the breeze over to where I am working in the garden I can’t help but drop what I’m doing to inhale deeply and savor the perfume. It is intoxicating!

What are your favorite aromas of summer flora?

Victoria Moorhouse at reports her discovery of chocolate-scented nail polish remover:

There is a very faint whiff of chocolate when you take off the lid, but where you really experience the scent is after you’ve removed all your lacquer. Seriously, your nails will smell like mini chocolate bars. Not a milk chocolate gal? Me either. This product actually comes in a few versions, including Orange Chocolate, Mint Chocolate, White Chocolate, and Dark Chocolate. 

Chocolate is a great alternative to acetone, don't you think? Which one of the variations might you want to test?

Sarah Wu at discusses Ex Nihilo's "Smart New Way to Smell Perfume":

The first thing you need to know about Ex Nihilo’s vases de senteurs—small, lucite sculptures that light up and emit puffs of scent [pictured below]—is that they are not for sale. Last month, I hovered over one of their scented vases to get a feel for Amber Sky, the latest launch in their carefully edited line. When I meet with cofounder Benoît Verdier, there’s only one vase in sight—understandable, as we’re sitting in the middle of a restaurant. Once I press the button on the base, the fragrance wafts up to me in a rich, golden wave: bergamot, geranium, spices, woods, and vanilla. At the same time, the lucite briefly illuminates, as if to say, “Smell me.”

I've noticed a big change in how brands are introducing consumers to scent. Though many department stores still offer the paper strip, I've now encountered ceramic stone, glass bell jars, and paper cones. Still, nothing beats the opportunity to test a scent on my skin. What's your preferred way to experience an aroma?

Over at this week, Natalie Lukaitis offers us "5 Fascinating Facts about Fragrance". For example:

Fact 4: One fragrance can smell completely different. According to perfumers, your body chemistry can push certain notes in the fragrance due to genetics or what you've been eating.  

What perfume facts would you offer the average consumer?

Ever wonder why your towels might, well, stink in the summertime? Talia Cuddeback over at explains:

We hate to state the obvious, but have you noticed your towels smelling a bit gross during the hot summer months? Besides the fact that you’re not washing your towels enough any time of year, summertime can create some additional issues. 

Hmmmm, this is one to print out and give to the teenagers in the house, right?

Have interesting fragrance news for us to share?
Leave a comment in the new Fragrance News thread HERE.



Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Managing Editor & Columnist

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as PlayboyMen’s JournalMen’s Health and the New York Times. Marlen is also a regular contributor to and works as a graduate professor, thesis advisor and faculty supervisor for MA programs in TESOL, Education, Writing and Literature. Learn more about Marlen by visiting



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Some of the blooms I enjoy the most are rare or nonexistent in perfumes. My favorite summer scent is the silk tree bloom, Albizia julibrissin. People in Texas call them "mimosas," but that's regional (and incorrect). They have a honeylike freshness, kind of aquatic yet sweet.
Another favorite is the banana shrub, which is related to magnolias and produces a waxy yellow bloom with red on the edges that smells exactly like Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum.
Vitex trees are blooming right now. They give off a medicinal astringent scent that would be excellent as a note.
Then there are the many smells of grass: fresh cut, just watered, post-rain, and partially decayed clippings.

Yes, fact 4 is true. Food enormously changes perfume performance. There's no nice way to say this: if you eat smelly food, you become smelly, sometimes not in a good way. I never touch garlic, curry, shrimp, popcorn, coffee, hot spices, milk, cheese, or onions. But I am guilty of eating fish and asparagus, despite knowing these can affect how I smell. I just try to think whether I have eaten anything stinky before judging perfumes. Vitamins can mess up your smell, too.

The worst is how scents react when I have a slight fever. That can get weird.


So if I paint my nails with one of the Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Polishes (let's say...Espresso), and then remove the polish with the chocolate-scented nail polish remover, is it a manicure or aromatherapy? :-)

the big totoro
the big totoro

Yes, I'll take the chocolate scented nail polish remover! Sounds very nice.
I've known for a long time that genetics and chemistry make perfumes smell different for different people, now just convince some of the stubborn people that argue that it's a myth.
And yes, everything gets stinky more rapidly in the summer since heat causes the bacterial growth to increase exponentially. Why do you think they keep medical facilities so cold?
Nice article. Very informative. Love the chocolate scented nail polish remover!


@bourgognais: I kinda do, too!


Call me queer, but I like the smell of acetone.


It's true about genetics. Most perfumes with that blackberry note are UNBEARABLE for me, like someone shrieking high pitched magenta treacle up my nose! (And then there are niche brands that must use a different chemical, like L'Artisan Mure et Musc, where it smells great!)

But I did go through a very weird six months where Anais, Anais started smelling horrendous, like paint fumes. (My bottle at home and other bottles in stores) And then the very same bottle went back to smelling fabulous again. Sooo... genetics doesn't explain that...

I wish scientists would spend more time on smell. It's like the Staten Island of the five senses: Often forgotten but still awesome.

Oh and, feel free to mail me a box of that chocolate scented nail stuff! LOL especially orange!


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