Perfume’s Little Helpers – What To Wear With Your Scent

For fragrance fanatics deciding what perfume to wear is an important question every day. We decide according to our moods, our schedules, our desires, our dress even.

But what about the other things we apply to keep ourselves healthy and pretty? Aren’t they all scented in some way or another as well?

What about the shower gel, body lotion, deodorant, hairspray etc we use daily? Are those scented? Fragrance-free? Coordinated with our perfume?

Here is a little guide to what I use, that is not perfume.

In The Shower: My regular shower gel is La Roche Posay Lipikar Syndet, a very mild and irritant-free cleansing gel. But the shower for me is also the one place where I now and again permit scent that is not perfume. I enjoy trying various products, and since they are washed off again after a very short time, I figure they don’t do too much damage. From time to time (mostly around the Holiday season) I use Lush bath products, primarily because they are fun. But I grow tired of them and their pervading smells soon. Kiehl’s bath products are also very nice, the same goes for Bliss, on which I stocked up in new York in November. Occasionally I indulge in a shower or bath with Amouage Epic shower and bath gel, of which I have a mini and mete it out in tiny doses to make it last. A true luxury…

On My Body: Generally I use unscented body lotion. My favorite is La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP, but Kiehl’s Creme de Corps is also nice. If I plan to wear a citrus fragrance later, I might use Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Butter. Mostly unscented is the way to go though, because I can’t limit my options that drastically now, can I?

On My Hair: I feel lucky that my hair is relatively low maintenance. It is healthy, still has its natural color and I pretty much can wash with whatever I like, as long as I don’t forget to put in conditioner and lots of it, otherwise I won’t ever be able to untangle it, since it is very long. So I don’t have a shampoo I swear by, but try what catches my fancy at the drugstore and when it is used up, I’ll buy something else. At the moment I use the Bliss Spa shampoo and conditioner and I like them a lot. I only make sure to smell the shampoo before I buy, because there is one thing I can’t abide, but that seems to be prevalent among shampoos – the smell of apples. Aaargh, I am not an apple, why would I try to smell like one? Unless the apple is made by Jean-Claude Ellena, I’ll abstain, thank you.

The part I look forward to the most in my daily routine is this one, anyway…

What are your tried and tested body and hair care favorites? Scented or not?

The links in this post are included for your convenience only, I’m not affiliated with any of these retailers and am not compensated in any way for linking to them.
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56 Responses to Perfume’s Little Helpers – What To Wear With Your Scent

  1. Vanessa says:

    Not familiar with the Bliss line or that intriguingly named La Roche range. I am a complete hobo when it comes to my bathing routine. Often I am away and use whatever hotel toiletries are provided or possibly some minis of my own I had the foresight to bring along. The quality ranges drastically from delicately fragrant organic lines to industrial “Hair-Body-Shower-And Quite Good For Scrubbing The Bath” Gel.

    I do have an OJ Ta’if bath gel I am eking out like your Amouage, and can also recommend the Champneys Oriental shower creme from the health spa of that name. And I do now use conditioner on my hair finally. But I am all over the map, productwise!

    • Olfactoria says:

      It can’t be too easy to be constantly on the move, establishing routines is probably severly compromised.
      The OJ body range looks so nice, I’d love some Ta’if or Tolu bath products, and Frangipani would be great for summer. Oh well, one can dream… 🙂

  2. raab says:

    Birgit, I’m with you for La Roche-Posay products, great range for the skin!!!
    Often, in the shower, I play with some gourmand scents I wouldn’t wear as a perfume: cocoa, almond, nuts, honey……
    For many years, it was important to wear a cream or a body lotion close to my perfume (Byzance by Rochas, Ysatis by Givenchy) and even if I used to buy still a few parcels with perfume AND body lotion (like for Prada Candy), I realize I don’t use those products anymore. Just a real cream like Nuxe or La Roche-Posay or l’Huile Prodigieuse de Nuxe, very pleasant to wear, so good for my skin and with a very subtle honeyed smelt.
    Perfume must remain the king!

  3. Sandra says:

    No scented shower products in this house! We suffer from dermatitis and therefore stick with La Roche Posay or Bioderma Atoderm products. Shampoo and conditioner are also unscented but good for a dry scalp. Body cream is Bioderma Atoderm PO Zinc or Eucerin 12% Omega. Face cream is where I splurge with using La Mer Creme de la Mer. Every time I walk by a lush store or I see the beautiful scented shower gels that match perfumes, I wish I could try them. The reason i give my husband for buying yet another perfume is because i cannot use scented creams or shower gels. Unfortunately I do not think I have fooled him.

    • Olfactoria says:

      The Eucerin Omega range is wonderful, I use it for my kids, who suffer from a very lig form of eczema too, it works perfectly!

      Great excuse, must remember that next time I am asked why I need another bottle of perfume. 😉

  4. civava says:

    I’m running low now on Donna Karan’s Black Cashmere which is yummy. It smells gorgeous also on my man ;-). But I cannot use any other perfume with that just Black Cashmere which is unfortunatelly discontunued and it is very hard to get even on e-bay;-(. I just own a sample so I’m using it just on very special occasions. Once I got Pattern’s body wash in Nutmeg it was also adorable. I love the smell of nutmeg. Sometimes I use Lush soaps but they have a strong smell so I don’t mix them with perfume. Now I have Lush shampoo Daddy’O which is violet (in colour) and has a very distinctive smell of violets. Even a few days after I had washed my hair. And it is very nice smell. I just better not get caught by the rain ;-).
    Generally when I intend to wear a perfume, I try to use non scented products, especially if I wear for the first time. I want to get a full impression about the scent.

  5. Tara says:

    Great post! Loved reading about your body care faves. I will check out La Roche Posay.

    Like you, I chop and change with shampoo/conditioner though I do worry that I should really be using SLS free products. It’s usually the same with bath/shower gels although I like Badedas and Fenjal which my Mum has always used. I don’t like heavily scented body lotions or hand creams. I wonder if using a thick unscented body cream like Creme de Corps makes the perfume you spray onto last longer?

    • Olfactoria says:

      Maybe you are onto something there. I always use lotion, mostly the LRP Lipikar on my neck and decolletage before I apply perfume. I do it to protect my skin from drying out and from being overly irritated, but maybe it also prolongs weartime.

  6. deeHowe says:

    Right now, it’s just an inexpensive L’Oreal shampoo and conditioner for me— the light pink set! I’ve used it on and off for several years, and it seems to work pretty well for my long, frizzy hair. I need to find something better, but why spend lots of money on cleanser, when it could be going to perfumes, I ask you?

    I love the HoneyCat Cosmetics lotion, which smells like honey, but that I can only use under vanilla, or honey scents (it’s pretty long lasting), and the fig tree scent, which goes only with Fig Tree! Usually, I use an unscented cream by CeraVe, though I actually prefer not to use moisturizer at all, unless I really have to.

    But I do indulge in fancy shower soaps! I love scented soaps and shower gels, and constantly try new things. The scents don’t last ling outside the shower, so I can indulge! 🙂

  7. lady jane grey says:

    What a practical post today, Birgit ! BTW, your hair colour is so lovely – and I like it even more now that I know it’s made by nature.
    In the shower I prefer unscented products too and go with John Masters Unscented Body Wash – or I treat myself with a heavily scented Almond Coconat Creme Body WashIf from from Laura Mercier. I have to admit that I love to indulge in a lovely scented bath (reading a book…) : best with Ta’if bath oil from Ormond Jayne.
    My hair is everything but low maintenance, unfortunately (I’m sporting my original hair colour achieved “artificially”…) and I still haven’t found my HG shampoo, at the moment I’m on Louise Galvin products.
    The only ever case I managed to combine the products was Jo Malone – but it’s intended and easy to do so. And very nice as well…. (body creme and parfume – yummie !)

  8. Caro says:

    Since I try to avoid products that have been tested on animals (no La Roche Posay for me), I moisturize with coconut or almond oil after the shower. I use Weleda shampoos (the calendula one almost has no smell) and shea butter or olive oil soaps.

  9. This is a really interesting post, it’s good to see what other products you use.

    I use a lot of Lush products too, in the bath and on my skin. I swear by their ‘Cosmetic Lad’ as my daily moisturiser, I’ve got quite oily skin and it’s the only thing that works.

    As for the shower, I tend to use a variety of shower gels but I absolutely swear by the Mugler Cologne shower gel. It is so soft and smells so clean, nothing can compare. That said, I imagine Epic shower gel would be amazing, I remember Nick buying some from the store, it’s a very decadent thing to own.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That you are using Mugler Cologne shower gel is not surprising. 😉 Do they make Angel and Alien shower gel too?

      Decadent is the right word for Epic shower gel. Tarleiso dreams of walking into the Amouage store one day and buying one of everything. That sounds like a pretty good idea to me…

      • masha7 says:

        Walking into an Amouage store and ordering one of everything is basically Perfumista Porn, Birgit! Tsk, tsk!

      • If anyone is most likely to clean out the Amouage store it’s Tarleiso!

        I’m slightly predictable with my shower gel choice aren’t I? They do shower gels for all the Mugler’s. The Alien shower gel is great, if not a little runny, and the Angel is beautiful, I’ve always thought it’s a great way to wear the scent if you’re not a fan, you get more of the powdery patchouli than the scary stuff.

        • Olfactoria says:

          But we’d help her clean it out. A little Gold for you maybe? 😀

          I must say, I am still scared of Alien and Angel, even in shower gel form. I’m afraid I’d never get them off agaiiiiiiiin!

          • Definitely, I could see me walking away with some Gold and Honour. Oh an perhaps some Memoir too…

            Maybe the Alien and Angel shower gels aren’t for you then, I wouldn’t want you to have to scrub them off with something stronger (is there anything stronger?). I would recommend Cologne though 😀

          • Olfactoria says:

            That is why I fear them – there isn’t anything stronger! 😀

    • masha7 says:

      Mugler Cologne is the best! I swear it’s addictive, particularly in summer.

  10. Julie says:

    I have recently switched to using more “green” products – my minimum line is not tested on animals, and then hopefully no parabens or phtlalates (especially for the skin contact things like lotions). That restricts things quite a bit especially since I’m pretty cheap too, but I’ve found a few things that work. Mostly Tresemme products for hair, and some Giovanni as well. I started using soap to cut down on packaging and waste (I sound like such a hippie but I’m really not!) and use Trader Joe’s Oats and Honey soap or something like that – very nice mild scent that my husband says smells like horchata. I do also like a zingy citrus scent to wake me up in the shower at times so have been using Burt’s Bees Energizing Citrus & Ginger body wash. Unscented lotion for sure – we can’t clash with our perfumes! So I use Alba unscented very emollient lotion. Love hearing about what everyone else uses!

  11. masha7 says:

    Now that we live in the tropics, we use tea tree oil soap! Seriously, with the heat and intense humidity, “interesting” skin-loving fungi, and millions of hungry buggles in the summer, and the jellyfish in the ocean, tea tea soap has become essential to keep our skin healthy. What a change! And I still can’t stand the smell…oh well.

  12. Lavanya says:

    Fun post, Birgit! I’ve been planning a post along these lines but haven’t gotten around to it. So will post here. I usually buy ‘green’ bath and body products, SLS and paraben free shampoo etc.
    My go tos for a while have been the following:

    Shower- I use cold process soaps, mostly, from one of these sellers: Aunt Nancy’s soap, Olive and Oud (both on etsy), Chagrin valley soap (from

    Hair: Shampoo- Dessert Essences Red Grape Shampoo followed by Cocoapink’s Silky free conditioner (which is silicone free). Followed by Cocoapink Glissade mixed with a bit of Weleda’s Rosemary hair oil.

    Moisturizer: I tend to change my facial moisturizer as my skin seems to like change. Currently I am liking 100% pure’s Carrot face cream with their coffee bean eye cream. i also like the squalane cream from Chagrin valley for the night as well as the azule veggie cream from Sometimes I whip us unrefined shea cream with a bunch of oils and use that at night. I also love using rose water or carrot seed hydrosol before applying cream/water-based serums (I get these from I also LOVED using my sample of Aftelier’s face oil though that might be a bit expensive to use on a regular basis.

    Body creams/lotion: Again since I prefer to use paraben free and relatively green products, I use mostly etailer bath and body products. My current favorites are Cocoapink’s unscented goatsmilk and honey body lotion as well as the unscented Coco-mango body butter.

    Phew! Long comment!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Very interesting choices, Lavanya. And I must say apart from Aftelier of course, I have not heard of a single brand you mention. But that is the beauty of it, those small, local brands are not and should not be globally distributed. If they are, you already know something is wrong.

  13. Marie says:

    Interesting to read about your other daily used products. La Roche-Posay is a brand that I have not tried yet but you intrigued me 🙂 I will try to find some more reviews of their products online…

    I have very dry skin during winter but all the scented lotions didn’t help. A couple of years ago, I found two lotions that worked and I repurchase them ever since: Eubos (with urea) and Bepanthol.
    For the shower I am a fan of “green” products: Love the Weleda shower line but they are quite expensive. The sebamed products are good alternatives (especially the sebamed shower oil). When it comes to shampoo and conditioner I am even more picky – it’s all about silicone-free so I end up with Alverde or Sante again (Sante Brilliant Care is the best conditioner IMO but I haven’t seen it for a while now so they may have stopped selling it).
    My face care and cleaning products are all from Avène, lip balm from Weleda and cosmetics from different brands but a great deal is Alverde again. Sante has some terrific lipsticks as I found out lately: they were sold for only 3 EUR each in the Yankee Candle shop and their colours and wearability is impressive. (I am not affiliated to the brand but can really recommend these especially when considering the generally high prizes for cosmetics).

    • Olfactoria says:

      Marie, you must be German, judging from all the brands mentioned. 🙂
      Eubos and Bepanthol are great lotions in my opinion.
      Thanks for chiming in, I love to read everyone’s picks.

  14. Interesting post! Usually have a cheap unscented vegetable based soap in the bathroom, keep away from gels because of the packaging. I usually wear L’Occitane Shea Body Lotion.

    I do love scented body lotions for a special occasion and have acquired a few. I have Prada Infusion D’Iris, Eau Ambree and Candy which layer beautifully with the fragrances as they are light.

    I also have Aromatics Elixir Body lotion which I adore but which is enough on its own to draw comments. Layered with the perfume it would be Too Much.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you for that comment, I was wondering for some time whether Aromatics Elixir body lotion was such a powerhouse as the perfume is, it might be a good idea to wear only the lotion then, since the perfume is just too much for me and is a headache in waiting, although I like the smell, just not the dosage. 😦

      • The perfume just amps up and up on me and I can’t wear it, although I know many people love it. I tried the Perfumer’s Reserve which was only a little more reserved. They now have an EDT which I haven’t yet tried. The body lotion was a rec on another blog, and I am grateful to that commenter, although sadly can’t quite remember which blog it was.

  15. Undina says:

    I also prefer unscented shower products (with the only exception – I absolutely love <a href="; Jo Malone's Grapefruit Body & Hand Wash. Love but I have just a travel size of it now so I do not use it too often). I use body creams after every shower religiously and I’m trying to use creams with not too much scent. I tried recently Kiehl’s body cream that you’ve mentioned in above and I liked it. So I plan to buy it next once the cream I use now is gone (Nivea Smooth Sensation).
    My shampoo for the last two years is Fekkai. I wish I could use something cheaper but I actualy see the difference so I stick to it.

    • Olfactoria says:

      The Kiehl’s is nice, isn’t it? Very moisturizing but not too heavy at all. I also use it as a handcream.

      Jo Malone Body and Bath products look very nice, I’m more attracted to them than the perfumes themselves. 😉

  16. annemariec says:

    Great post. I’m seconding Lavanya’s mention of CocoaPink’s honey and goatmilk unscented lotion (L. put me on to this – many thanks!). My hair is low maintenance except that I get a bit of psoriais on my scalp and always use a colloidal oatmeal shampoo (from Dermaveen, an Australian brand I think). That is the only product in about 25 years of trying that I have found actually works for me, so I stick to it.

    I love bar soaps and at the moment am loving a gorgeous frangipani scented soap I bought in a gift shop while on holiday. As soon as I got home I phone the shop and got them to send me another three bars. I subtly scents the bathroom and makes me feel a bit special and glamorous.

  17. arline says:

    I keep things really simple with body products. I don’t like soap, it dries my skin. A few drops of lavender oil on a washcloth, is an amazing cleanser, and I feel fresh and clean using it.

    As a body moisture, I do an aurvedic massage technique, using sesame oil or coconut oil. I slather it on, and rub it in vigorously, and I have NO dry skin, which used to be a problem in the winter. (in my attempts to make perfume, I have blended some things that do not work as a perfume, by a long shot!!!!!, but I have put some of these “mistakes” in a large amount of sesame oil, and in very low concentrations, the smell is nice, and not does not compete with what I want my smell to be).

    For hair, I have used many things. I don’t wash my hair everyday. I love kheils olive fruit oil nourishing shampoo, organix Teatree Mint shampoo (I have to water this down a lot though), I like some aveda shampoos (not shampure, as it is drying for my hair, I don’t want a strong scent in shampoo. I remember my mom (she passed when I was pretty young) used Finesse shampoo, which always smelled good in her hair, but it is not good in my hair. Everyday, I put a few drops of Ylang Ylang oil on my finger tips, and massage my scalp. This is supposed to be good for the hair, and my hair seems to like it. Once a week, I massage my scalp and hair with sesame or coconut oil, or a blend of the two, with several drops of ylang ylang, and sleep in it. When I wake I wash it out with very very diluted shampoo (you put the shampoo on dry hair first, work it in thoroughly, then rinse, wash again. Great conditioner.

    For the face, I use Garden of Wisdom products. These products are amazing!!!!!!!! They have a lot of products that meet many types of skin needs, as well as shampoos, which I have not used yet. The company is small and the money goes into the product more than the packaging. ( the packaging is not at all bad, it is just not incredibly beautiful)

    Most things of theirs that I have used, have no scent, though some of the products (the anti-aging) have a funky smell that leaves very fast (if it smells bad, and lingers, I won’t use it, no matter how wonderful it is, for a scowl is not pretty). It is a skin care site worth checking out, if you like skin care!!!!!!!

    No matter what perfume I wear, I always dab a small bit of sandalwood, sometimes mixed with peru balsm, as one would for deodorant.

    Btw, I am really enjoying Amber Fetiche. I have never really been the hugest frankincense fan, but that note does not stay with me long.

  18. Jeannemarie says:

    This year I have been enjoying a wonderful facial creme recently discovered: Avalon Organics Vitamin C renewal cream. I have found it priced anywhere from $12.99 to $21.99. I buy it from my local supermarket in the organic section and pay just $12.99 for it. It’s a rich, soothing cream that feels so good on my face and it replaces everything else I have tried over the past 10 years. It wears well under foundation without breaking up the foundation. It has a light citrus smell that fades after a minute or so. It’s a wonderful buy and product, and I get a full 3 months out of the jar even using it daily!

  19. I don’t use anything fancy as far as non-perfume products. Talc deodorant/antiperspirant, inexpensive shampoo (because I have very little hair on my head), and either Caswell Massey or Yardley of London bar soaps.

    Enjoyed reading what you use, Birgit!

  20. I was hoping that would get a laugh 🙂 I am not self-conscious about it at all. I forgot to mention aftershave. I maintain a short beard for most of the year, so I don’t need much aftershave. But I like to use it for the fragrance, even on days I don’t trim the edges of the beard. Tabac Original is one of my favorites.

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