Why Does My Girlfriend Smell Like Cake? And Flowers? And Raindrops? And Unicorns?
Recently, a man on Reddit asked women, “What do girls wear that make them smell like cake and candy from 20 feet away?”
While we would all love to imagine nothing more than women rolling out of bed and directly into vats of caramel, then spritzed with vanilla-sugar dust as they walk out the door, the answer is far more complicated.
Every woman is a mysterious woodland creature who comes infused with one enchanting scent unique to her. When she is happy, excited, loved or, most importantly, standing within a 20-foot radius of a scent-compatible man, she emits her unique fragrance through tiny, pulsing glands in her nipples, armpits and anus. And though every woman comes in a variety of alluring scents, to her perfect scent-print mate, it will smell exactly like cake.
Kidding. It’s really two things: effort and layering.
Women make more effort than men to smell good. Many women put a lot of effort into hygiene because for most of history they’ve been told they are smelly, menstruating witches who need to be shipped off to the woods until they come back in the form of a mermaid stitched together from rose petals.
Our periods, cooches, body fluids and body hair are all things that can smell anywhere from a range of neutral to musky to rank as fuck, depending on what’s going on. A combination of genetics, diet and products can make anyone of any gender smell better or worse.
Women don’t have a natural monopoly on smelling great. This lie perpetuates the need for women to mask their biology as much as possible. If women naturally just smelled better and didn’t need to do anything, than we would not need to scrub ourselves down every night in a Silkwood shower were it not for a cultural imperative that we eradicate all traces of biology.
If men put as much shit as women do on their bodies when they showered, you’d be winning awards for smell, too. A short list of the products women use just when bathing, all scented:
- Bath bomb
- Exfoliant (often a sugar scrub)
- Moisturizer (lotion, oil or powder)
- Essential oils
- Body spray
Then, there’s a dozen more scented products after that for women to put on their face and hair, like hairspray, volumizer, leave-in conditioners, dry shampoo or finishing spritzes. Men could do it too. They just tend not to.
Still, men tend to ask this question a lot. On the GameSpot forum(!), someone actually asks, “Why do hot girls always smell so good?” as if it’s the prerogative of only super-attractive women.
ElZilcho90 replies, “Gratuitous use of overpriced perfumes.” Which brings us to layering.
The above stuff is just normal shower-related shit. What women who smell like a bakery exploded or a perfume section at a department store either use a candy-specific scent, or do something called layering, or both.
That means that while, yes, there are actual scents that smell like cotton candy, vanilla or sugar (culprits mentioned: Pink Sugar Perfume; Body Fantasies Cotton Candy Body Spray; Prada Candy; Vanilla Bean Noel by Bath and Body Works), some women combine multiple scent products in a row to last longer, and they probably also touch them up throughout the day to keep the scent lingering.
As one woman on Reddit explains:
The trick is to layer your scents to give it staying power. Find a brand you like that includes body wash, hand lotion, perfume or body spray, and use them all together. I even found a vanilla scented deodorant once — just make sure you keep in the same family of scents so they work together.
Of course, then there are big-time perfume women, who walk around in a cloud of aroma leaving a scent-wake wherever they go. Some perfume smells really lovely in small amounts, but there’s something specific about women who use the cheap, candy-splosion scents.
It’s typically associated with teenage or high school girls who still have a heavy hand and likely haven’t figured out a signature scent yet (or who have yet to find the courage to go fragrance-free). In my high school, Victoria’s Secret scents like Love Spell and Freesia from Bath and Body Works were considered enviable and alluring, and women bathed in them daily and re-spritzed between every class. Puberty is a weird time, and the body is doing new, weird, unruly, smelly things.
Of course, that may be why the dudes who ask this stuff online sound like teenagers themselves. Which is why one of the answers on the GameSpot forum can’t help fucking with the asker. “They keep specially scented cookies under their shirts,” they say in response to why hot girls smell so good. “If you don’t believe me, ask a hot girl if you can see them.”
Tracy Moore is a staff writer at MEL. She last wrote about emotional abuse.
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