Ask A Woman: What’s a woman want a guy’s place to smell like?
Originally Published 1/5/12
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I’m a clean guy, but when it comes to aroma I’m completely clueless. I know impressing a hot new date when she walks into your apartment is always about cleanliness, I have that covered, but I’m lost when it comes to keeping the place smelling like anything more than beer, old apartment, and whatever else falls in the wide spectrum of “man smells”. This is twofold with bathrooms. I’d like to find a good routine for everything smelling nice to a woman’s nose consistently, not just lighting a Yankee Candle before she arrives and hoping it covers up everything else. I’d love a woman’s perspective on this.
Here’s a secret about me that I hope you won’t share with any of the other Dappered readers, since it doesn’t exactly mesh with the persona I’ve created of a sophisticated, elegant, untouchable, woman of mystery**: I’m crazy about cleaning. CRAZY. A good time for me is a toss up between a bottle of wine or a bottle of disinfectant spray. So you’ve come to the right person–well done, son.
The first thing I’ll say is that if you want a clean-smelling abode, your apartment needs to actually be, you know, clean. This doesn’t mean just uncluttered and tidy, it means the glass surfaces should be spotless, the wood surfaces dusted, the kitchen and bathroom disinfected, the floors swept/vacuumed/mopped, the trash regularly taken out, the sheets laundered, etc. If you have a dog, make sure s/he gets regular baths; if you have a cat, make sure the litter box is changed often.
You need to clean every week. Yes, every week. Make it just another part of your routine, like going to the gym. Mondays you scrub the bathroom; Tuesdays you vacuum the carpets, and so on. If you have trouble getting into the habit, start off this way–when you’re watching TV, make it a rule that during the commercials you don’t channel surf, you clean. In an hour long program, you’ll get almost 20 minutes of breaks–that’s enough to wipe down the kitchen counters, then sweep and mop the floor. Boom, kitchen finished while you’re getting your Sons of Anarchy fix. You don’t want to let four months worth of grease build up above the stove and then just spray air freshener before your date comes over and hope that does the trick. It won’t. Your apartment will smell like rancid fat and a mountain stream.
Second…step away from the Yankee Candle. I think cheap candles smell like…cheap candles. They tend to come in really oppressive, heavy, artificial scents, like cloying vanilla bean, or gingerbread hell. See if you can find candles that have a clean, fresh scent. Everyone has their own scent preferences, but I like citrus. Candles that smell like lemon or orange or grapefruit typically aren’t overpowering, plus they reinforce the impression that the place has recently been cleaned.
Scent Hierarchy: Reed diffuser, nice candle, cheap candle, air freshener, strategically placed dryer sheets
Also, consider reed diffusers instead of candles. A reed diffuser is a small glass bottle into which you pour a scented oil, and then place thin wood reeds that absorb the oil from the bottle and diffuse it slowly into the air. They last much longer than candles and you can have them out all the time, dispensing scent. Plus, they seem less invasive to me. If they don’t come in a plain bottle, you can transfer them to one, and they sort of blend into a room, like a vase or something, whereas with a candle, it typically has the brand printed all over the outside, and some sort of obnoxious design or color. From a dating perspective, too, lit candles sort of scream, “LET’S JUMP IN THE SACK!” Even if that’s what you wish you could scream, women typically prefer subtlety.
Other ideas for a nice smelling apartment include opening the windows during the warm months and making sure that air is circulating through on a regular basis. While you’re in your home for a period of time, your nose acclimates to the odors present, and you’re not a very good judge of how it smells. So, when you walk into your apartment each day, back from work or dinner with friends, be mindful of the immediate smell. In those first few minutes you’ll be more likely to notice that the garbage really needs to be taken out, or maybe you have some old food rotting away in the fridge that needs to be disposed of. Finally…okay, I’m just going to give you the link for a product I noticed recently while in a scents/bath products boutique. In the event of a toilet emergency while a date is already in your apartment, I hope this will save you some measure of embarrassment. I also hope you will NOT think of me when you use it.
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