How to Smell Good Without Wearing Fragrance

Updated 10/04/19

We're bonafide fragrance fanatics here at Byrdie HQ, don't get us wrong. But isn't there something so appealing about having a great natural scent without much outside help? (Not to mention that even perfume can quickly turn awful when intermingled with other funky smells.)

From the foods you eat to what you're washing your body with, there are actually a handful of random habits that have a direct impact on your natural musk. Keep reading to see how to always smell your best.

Try Naturally Scented Skincare

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So this may technically be cheating, but using a naturally scented skincare product can be a simple way to enhance your natural smell. "Using body polish or scrubs in the shower, serves a dual purpose of smelling good and hydrating your skin," says Jennifer McKay-Newton, founder of natural fragrance brand DefineMe.

Essential Oils Are Helpful Too

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This may be considered another cheat, but using essential oils as a substitute for your usual perfume is great way to go natural with your scents while saving money. "Playing around with safe dilutions of your favorite essential oils using a smart carrier oil as a base is great way to support your physiological health, heighten your aroma game, and have a little fun," says Juan Felipe, certified aromatherapist. "Lavender, Geranium, and Cedarwood are popular and accessible oils with strong health benefits and aromatic profiles. Dilute them with carrier oils such as almond, sesame, or jojoba oils—the latter of which is particularly good for all skin types, and naturally approximates your body's own sebum production—and you can easily, quickly, and more affordably make your own scents and massage oils."

Felipe also notes that there are great hydrosols or floral waters out on the market to choose from. "A nice spritz of rose water or cucumber mist is both refreshing and a welcome and functional fragrance to consider," he says. Here's a tip: you can also use these essential oils in your hair to refresh your locks during those no-wash days.

Make Small Changes To Your Diet

According to Felipe, the foods we eat are highly correlated with the way we smell. "The cleaner, more natural and sustainably harvested foods we consume, the less our guts have to work, and the more pleasant our natural scent becomes," he says. But, that doesn't mean you have to go on a strict, raw vegan diet: Felipe notes that little changes, such as cutting down on processed foods and staying hydrated, will help enhance your body's natural scent.

Matthew Milèo, founder of skincare brand Milèo New York, chemist, and former in-house fragrance expert for Chanel, recommends crafting a green juice for a fresh start to your day. "Every morning I blend a mix greens which always include parsley and cilantro," he says. "Add lemon, lime, mint, chia seed, and any fruits to taste and BAM, your smelling good smoothie is ready."

Switch Up Your Nighttime Routine

If you tend to shower during the day, then you may want to listen to Milèo and save your shower sessions for the evenings. "Every night I shower before bed so my sheets stay clean and I always wake up refreshed and smelling good," he says.

Give Your Sheets Some TLC

"Before I change my sheets for the week, I spray floral waters like Rose Geranium, Neroli, and Rockrose to the bedding which always smell divine," says Milèo. "I also put a few drops of essential oils into the dryer while my sheets are drying. I put the drops right on the wool dryer balls so it distributes the oils evenly."

Sweat More

One of the main keys to smelling good is... sweat? According to Felipe, exercising regularly is actually one of the most important ways to improve your body's natural musk. "The more you sweat out and irrigate your body's natural channels, the cleaner your baseline body odor will run. Think of it as a detox that not only supports your stamina but also your scent," he says.

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