Salty & Mineral perfumes

Salty & Mineral perfumes

Much like the taste of umami, the smell of salt is hard to describe. Does it smell the opposite of sweet? Does it smell like sweat? If you ask those in the perfume industry, saltiness isn’t so much a scent as a feeling. Celine Roux, global director of fragrance at Jo Malone London, says the element of salt in a scent adds freshness, texture, and a mineral quality. Eduardo Valadez, marketing director of Diptyque, says salty scents have a “marine” element to them.

In non–perfume speak, salty scents smell a little savory, I think, sort of like your contact-lens saline solution or the lid of a bone-broth container. If a typical sweet celebrity fragrance smells like Froot Loops, a savory scent smells like a sea breeze. You can almost taste the salinity on your tongue.

But for me, at least, the best part of salty scents is layering them with other fragrances. I tend to gravitate toward white florals and musky perfumes, which gain more depth when I add a salty element. It’s like I smell richer and more human — after all, our skin always naturally has a hint of salt thanks to sweat. I smell something found in the real world, rather than an explosion at a Mars candy lab.

If you want to try smelling like a glamorous merman or mermaid, here are some of the best salty scents.

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