FRESH SCENT Could th­ese new makeup col­lec­tions re­place your per­fume?

Scented makeup is bring­ing a new sweet sen­sa­tion to your beauty rou­tine

The Kit - - Front Page - BY JILL DUNN

If you close your eyes and think about what your grand­mother smelled like when you were a child, chances are you’ll think of her per­fume but also her lip­stick or rouge. Fine fra­grance and makeup have been cross-pol­li­nat­ing on dress­ing ta­bles for decades, but re­cently this fem­i­nine part­ner­ship has be­come more cre­ative and nu­anced.

Ini­tially, scent was used in cos­met­ics to mask the odours of the base ma­te­ri­als rather than to en­hance the user’s ex­pe­ri­ence— and to a de­gree, this is still true. But many high-pro­file per­fumers are now de­sign­ing el­e­gant scents specif­i­cally for makeup. “When I think of my mother’s lip­stick, I think of rose and vi­o­let,” says mas­ter per­fumer Fran­cis Kurkd­jian, who is in the pro­cess of de­vel­op­ing cos­met­ics for his own line. But cre­at­ing a per­fume is very dif­fer­ent from en­gi­neer­ing a fra­grance for makeup—the for­mer is meant to be an el­e­ment of self-ex­pres­sion and linger all day; the lat­ter is a fleet­ing sen­sa­tion meant to en­hance ap­pli­ca­tion. “Since makeup comes very close to the nose, the scent should not be over­whelm­ing,” says Ruhi Patil, per­fumer at In­ter­na­tional Fla­vors and Fra­grances, which cre­ates scents for brands such as Clean. “It should be easy and sub­tle.”

The big­gest dif­fer­ence, how­ever, lies in the in­gre­di­ents. Many of the notes used in makeup, which comes in close con­tact with the mouth or eyes, are food grade, such as vanilla. “For makeup, the in­gre­di­ent palette is quite lim­ited for tox­i­co­log­i­cal rea­sons, and for lip­stick and eye makeup, it is even more re­stricted,” says Patil. But Kurkd­jian points out that the per­fumer’s palette is much more plen­ti­ful than it used to be. “If I wanted to cre­ate a peach scent for a lip gloss 50 years ago, I’d have had three in­gre­di­ents to use. Now I have maybe 25, so the scent is juicier,” he ex­plains.

In re­cent years, makeup has taken its scent cues more from the world of flavours, per­haps be­cause the two have much in com­mon. “The tex­ture of lip­stick and yogurt is more or less the same— it’s fat,” says Kurkd­jian. “You can take strawberry flavour­ing for yogurt and adapt it to lip­stick. There it has more bloom and is more lu­mi­nous, less flat.”

That ad­dic­tive scent has ben­e­fits be­yond a quick sniff. Pa­tel says it gives a fa­mil­iar­ity and com­fort when you use the same gloss ev­ery day or sig­nals ex­cite­ment when you try a new pur­chase. But the most bank­able ben­e­fit: Smell is the eas­i­est way to sleuth out coun­ter­feit makeup. One sniff of a lip­stick bul­let and you’ll know if it’s M.A.C’s vanilla or a cheap im­poster.

“When I think of my mother’s lip­stick, I think of rose and vi­o­let.” —Fran­cis Kurkd­jian

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