How to Smell Good: 18 Ways to Smell Fresh All Day

By Leanna Serras August 20, 2019
image of How to Smell Good: 18 Ways to Smell Fresh All Day

The best way to smell good is to know your body. Understanding how you react to different scents and wash routines is a surefire way to ensure 24/7 crispness. 

Perfume is another classic solution. For centuries, people rich and poor have used different kinds of fragrances and scented oils to freshen up. With so many options on the market today, it’s essential to know what will work and what won’t with your natural body oils. 

However, there are other ways to ensure you smell great, whether you have perfume around or not. Here are our 18 tips for smelling good all day.

1. Drink Plenty of Water 

If there’s one thing you can do to keep smelling good, it’s to drink water. Truly the elixir of life, H2O keeps your body running normally. As it relates to helping you smell good, water dilutes scents that may be a little unpleasant — like garlic, onions and coffee breath. We recommend drinking at least 96 fluid ounces per day -— three Nalgene bottles worth. 

2. Spritz in the Closet

If you want to establish your scent and make it stick, hit your closet with a couple sprays of your go-to fragrance once a week. Depending on the desired strength of your scent, you’ll want to be cognizant of how close to a rack of clothes your spray stream is — the closer and more direct, the stronger the scent. 

This method gives you a lasting signature scent that isn’t overpowering, making it possible to mix and match with other perfumes to give yourself irresistible allure. 

a closet and dresser with a perfume spraying on the closet and a scented satchel being added to the dresser

3. Store a Scented Sachet in Your Underwear Drawer

To keep your whole body smelling great, keep a perfume sachet where you store your underwear. Similar to how spraying a closet gives you a subtle yet signature scent, a sachet in your undies drawer ensures a pleasant undertone of fragrance.

The method works especially well on athletic compression shorts and bras, which naturally take on a perpetual scent over time, during and after a workout. 

4. Perfume Your Hairbrush

Spray your hairbrush with perfume, not your hair! Contrary to tradition, spraying hair directly with perfume can damage roots and wither fresh locks. Instead, apply your chosen scent onto a brush – this helps to dissipate the perfume, lower the concentration of the scent and soften the chemical impact while creating a subtle, pleasant trail of scent.

lady brushing her hair

5. Spray Your Bare Torso with Fragrance

An unusual yet effective place to spray perfume is on the torso. This method works best if you desire a subtle scent throughout the day. Since this area also sits lower than nose height, it causes the given smell to have a pleasant all-around aura rather than an “in-your-face” effect.  It’s ok to be a little more liberal with the amount here — your clothes will not only cover the scent up, but also help dissipate the fragrance through contact. 

6. Blend with Other Favorite Scents

We live in an age of scents. Our laundry detergent, shampoo, body wash, deodorant and even toothpastes are often enhanced with a fragrant essence. Perfume is best used if it complements these. Take note of the fragrances you encounter throughout your day and find a perfume to match them. 

While it’s impossible to predict every smell you’ll apply on any given day, your go-to lotions and hand soaps are good places to start when looking for an aromatic perfume combo. 

a row of decorative perfume bottles and lotions

7. Apply Lightly Scented Deodorant

Keeping the tip above in mind, a soft-smelling deodorant is a good choice to add a top layer of pleasant smell to your overall outfit. You don’t want your choice to be overpowering, however. An ideal deodorant will provide an extra spritz of freshness. 

8. Use Shoe Spray 

Yes, this is a thing. Originally used by athletes in cleats, anyone can purchase this life saver (it’s especially helpful in the summer months). Shoe spray acts like a perfume for your feet, making sure that they stay smelling good even when you’re sweating.

A time to heavily consider this option is if you’re planning on going sockless for the day. Even if you don’t have naturally pungent feet, the reaction between your shoe’s material and your bare, sweaty skin can create a gnarly scent. 

white converse hanging out of a car window

9. Be Careful What You Eat

It almost goes without saying but bad breath can ruin any outfit. No matter how good you smell on the outside, if you’re breath isn’t on par, your look won’t be either. Luckily, there’s an easy way to avoid this. When possible, avoid foods that are naturally more pungent. Onions, garlic and chives can all lead to bad breath. 

If you’re worried you might need to eat these foods, carry around a small toothbrush kit, gum or non-alcoholic mouthwash to freshen up your breath mid-day. 

10. Create an Easy D.I.Y. Perfume Lotion

If you want a combo of moisture and custom fragrance all in one, creating your own lotion is a super-easy way to look and smell good. Simply buy a bottle of unscented lotion and add a small amount of your perfume — the more drops you add, the stronger the solution will be. 

The method also negates the need to pair products with complimentary scents. Your lotion and perfume will smell one and the same, making getting ready a breeze. 

instructions on how to make your own lotion

11. Wash With Quality Soap

Not only does soap keep the germs away, but it can also truly boost your scent profile. Both hand and shower soaps can help add a fresh accent to your everyday ensemble. Be sure to use good quality soap, because some soaps can leave you smelling less than ideal. It’s also important to buy soap that contains natural oils/moisturizer and natural scents. 

Soap also helps lock in any scents you applied previously and prevents your hands from drying out.

12. Understand Layering

Both layering scents and wearing clothing the right way are essential to smelling good. Make sure your first layer of scented substance (e.g. lotion) doesn’t mask your top layer (e.g. perfume). Applying moisture-heavy products after perfume can lock out the smell of the perfume or mix to create an oily mess. 

Clothes play a factor, too. If it’s a cold day and you’re wearing a sweatshirt, consider spraying your fragrance on the mid-layer. This way, the scent won’t get rubbed off by a jacket or mashed by two layers on top. Also, and most importantly, this is where heat is concentrated. By spraying an inner t-shirt, you’re helping activate the perfume to its fullest.

lady rubbing her face with lotion

13. Add a Body Oil

When you want to take things up a notch, add a drop or two of body oil to your prep routine. These scented oils can smell like anything from lilacs to cinnamon — so just pick your favorite and go with it. It will not only keep you smelling good after a shower, but also helps boost your overall glow, too. 

14. Get Hair-Specific Perfume

A relatively new product with an age-old need, hair-specific perfumes are changing the game. These are erasing the need to dedicate a brush solely for perfume application. The chemical makeup of these fragrances are less harsh and smell just as pleasant. 

hair specific perfume

15. Use a Makeup Wipe to Wipe Off Excess

If you accidentally go overboard with the perfume, you can use a makeup wipe to wipe off some of the scent. It’s important not to use too much fragrance for a couple of reasons. One reason is that this causes the scent to become saturated and concentrated in one area — which can be overpowering.

The other reason is that if too much scent is applied to clothes, it can leave a “smell stain” that can be hard to get out of fabrics without the right techniques

16. Wait for Fragrance to Dry Before Leaving

Apply your fragrance early on in your routine. This ensures that it will lock in fully before you head out for the day. Similar to how friction can wipe off lotion, wind and air can rip off top scents of your perfume and render it ineffective after a very short amount of time. 

lady with towel on her head drying hair looking at herself in the mirror with an alluring and confident expression

17. Lightly Spray Bedsheets/Pillow

To smell good 24/7, feel free to spray your bedding essentials with a spritz or two of your favorite and relaxing perfumes. This not only gives your bedding an a scent but also can help with relaxation as well, depending on the type of perfume.

18. Utilize Cotton Balls

Taking full or travel-sized bottles with you when you go out can drastically decrease the life of your perfume. Instead, spray cotton balls with the fragrance and keep them in a plastic bag within your purse. 

Before heading out, spray each ball with two spritzes of perfume and treat each one like a “shot”. If you’re feeling like you need to freshen up, simply blot a pulse-point with one of the balls and you’re good to go. 

It’s inevitable, everyone has times when we’re just not smelling too peachy. Luckily, freshening  up with a pleasant fragrance is as easy as can be. To start out, find your go-to fragrance and start building from there!

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