Monday, September 3, 2007

Perfume for the Occasion : Perfumes for the Gym

Perfume and the Gym go together like...well, nothing, to be honest. Like water and oil, they don’t mix. They shouldn’t mix. Yet, people keep doing it. In every class there’s bound to be at least one, wearing something infuriatingly heady, making the rest suffer, suddenly all too aware of the lack of fresh air around them. Angel. Poison. Kenzo’s Jungle. Some sort of strange head-shop oil the wearer has applied over every single inch of their body. They’ve all stood somewhere in my vicinity, diligently exercising, oblivious to the fact that I felt like I was about to dizzily fall from my step, risking at the very least some bruises and at the worse a broken ankle during BodyStep class. Dior’s Addict, Obsession for Men and L de Lempicka made me feel faint while mid-air in a jumping-jack countless times during BodyAttack. I might not have fallen or fainted yet, but I’ve gasped for air, gotten a headache, sworn and cursed silently in my mind more times than I’d like to recount in the last two years. Why do people do it? When I am in a good, positive mood, I try to be sympathetic, considering the fact that at least some of them must be coming to the gym straight from work and it would be unrealistic to expect them to not wear any fragrance at all for the whole day just because they are coming to exercise in the evening. Yet there are times when the sillage is so strong, I reason that it would be impossible to reek like that if the fragrance was last applied in the morning. I do maintain that no perfume should be worn at the gym. But since realistically that is unlikely to happen (not least because indeed there are many that come to sport straight after work), I went out and sought a number of rather more inoffensive options for the occasion.

Profumo di Benessere by Collistar
Profumo di Benessere is a fragrance by Collistar, belonging to their Benessere/Sporting line. Profumo di Benessere will not only perfume one’s skin but will also hydrate and soften it as well, while extracts of ginseng and gingko biloba will make it firmer too. If that wasn’t enough, Profumo di Benessere is also meant to be energy-boosting and stress-relieving at once. I am not sure whether to believe this or not, since I am always skeptical when it comes to aromatherapy claims, but I can certainly tell you that the scent is ultra-summery, packing a sunshine effect that made me identify it as an instant pick-me-up. It is very fresh, very herbal and while it starts out intense it becomes milder as time progresses. Strong enough to create a playfully cheerful, fragrant veil over your skin, but mild enough to not bother your fellow gym-goers. Perfect.

Cellular Energizing Body Spray by La Prairie
A product with very similar benefits to Collistar’s Profumo di Benessere, La Prairie’s Cellular Energizing Body Spray is an “aromatherapeutic body treatment”, a pampering moisturizer and fragrance rolled into one. When it comes to the aromatherapeutic claims, I would quicker put my money on Collistar’s sunny creation, which is truly a mood lifter, but when it comes to hydration and quality of scent, La Prairie wins hands down. The Cellular Energizing Body Spray feels amazing on the skin, soothing and cooling at once and the scent itself is beautiful. Citrusy and soapy at the same time, this is far fresher and subtler than Collistar’s offering. The difference in price too is of course undeniable, but if I had to choose one product for this feature as a favorite, this would be it. This is a body mist full of sophistication.

Rebalancing Fragrance by Clarins
Yes, another fragrance based on the principles of aromatherapy. This opening is fresh and “watery” and I use the term watery not alluding to aquatic fragrances, but more as a personal term I use to refer to this strange, moist and slightly mildewy scent I detect when smelling fragrances that contain bulb flower notes, especially freesias. This ‘watery’ note is quite fleeting however, and soon the skin is caressed by the gorgeous basil – iris blend. The base notes are cedar and benzoin, notes I would never consciously associate with exercising at the gym, but somehow the end result works. From all the fragrances in today’s feature I’d say this one has the most tenacity, making it perfect for those who want something a little stronger that carries throughout the day, from work to gym.

Eau d’Energie by Biotherm
For those seeking something sweeter and fruitier, Biotherm’s Eau d’Energie will be just the thing. It is a lightly sugared orange/mandarin blend with a hint of cream. I know it sounds scary, but it is so light I can’t imagine anyone complaining. The notes of sugared citrus fruits and apricot pulp might also help alleviate cravings for the wildly inappropriate for the occasion gourmand fragrances in those that favor them.

Those that did not make the cut: I sprayed countless body mists and light fragrances on my skin while I was researching this issue. A lot of times what I expected would be prime candidates due to their packaging, blurbs and marketing turned out to be surprising disappointments. Here, a glance at the worst of the crop: Shisheido Energizing Fragrance. Bad, don’t go there. This is NOT for the gym. Kanebo’s Relaxing Fragrant Mist. The fact that I hated this came as a huge surprise since I love Kanebo and use the Sensai Silk line religiously every night. (I cheat on Kanebo with La Prairie during the daytime – I know, I’m such a floozy) The Relaxing Fragrant Mist is hideous though, it smells metalic, almost rusted and I couldn’t wait to wash it off. Tsk tsk tsk, Kanebo. Lancome’s Aroma Tonic was way too sour for the gym, (I didn’t want to contemplate how it would react to sweat) while Aroma Source was simply too strong and musky. Lacoste’s Pour Femme was simply perfect, it would have been my more perfume-y choice of the lot, but I felt too strongly about it and decided to save it for a full review later on. Stay tuned.

Don't forget to visit For the Love of Perfume, to see a different take on this subject!

Pictures courtesy of:, and


Jenavira13 said...

Interesting topic, I admit I wear fragrances to the gym but they are incredibly light, refreshing, and never veer towards sweet. My gym scents are 4711, Pure Grace, White Moss, Guerlain Vetiver. These are really needed to my wake up for my 7am gym class. My gym story was for on the first day of class when a woman came in wearing the very intense and sickening (at least for me) Victoria Secret Passion something scent. Which is basically grape juice on steroids with spices. A very potent body spray and way too popular.

Divina said...

I am not familiar with White Moss but the rest of your choices are amazing and totally spot on. Pure Grace is pure genious ;)

Linda said...

I'm just off to the gym, and entirely agree with your ideas! I'm going to take Clarins Eau Dynamissante with me, as I feel that it's fresh and totally inoffensive - I hope I don't annoy anyone! Best wishes,

Divina said...

Hi Linda dearest! I'm glad you liked the ideas :) I love Eau Dynamissante, it's probably my favorite from the 3 Eaux from Clarins. Although the basil in Eau Ressourçante is very seducing. (I love basil!)

TMH256 said...

What a fab job you did with this D.! Very well researched and such wonderful suggestion. I, too, love basil by the way! I must check out the Eaux from Clarins!

Divina said...

Isn't basil one of the loveliest plants indeed? Whenever I come across it, I cannot resist putting my hand in the leaves and shaking gently..Have you ever tried this? It perfumes the hand in such a lovely manner. I do the same with spearmint which I grow in a huge pot on my balcony - it has the same effect. Spearmint and basil are two favorites of mine - they remind me so much of Greece. (you always find them planted in numerous pots outside churches in villages)