Reset-button Scent : guest post by FiveoaksBouquet

What is a “reset-button” scent?  You won’t find it in the dictionary but for perfume lovers it’s easily explained as a perfume in which a person can take refuge when nothing smells good anymore or, conversely, when everything smells so good it’s hard to choose.

Sometimes after smelling, testing or wearing a lot of perfumes or from wearing the same scent for a long time, olfactory fatigue can set in and nothing seems right.  When this happens, it helps to step back and literally take a breather.  Some may do that by abstaining from the use of perfume altogether, but for others, such as myself, scent is an important facet of the total person and abstinence is not an option! When feeling conflicted about what to wear, I reach for my reset-button scent.

These days that would be Guerlain’s Cologne du Parfumeur.  Its herbal and citrusy notes take me back many decades to when I first discovered the exhilarating lift of classic eau de cologne, an accord created centuries ago and still used in modern perfumery.  Leafy green overtones evoke a timeless image of being transported to a pristine forest glade and reawaken the joy of smelling.

Despite its roots in history, Cologne du Parfumeur is a relative newcomer on the scene, having been created in 2010 by nose Thierry Wasser.  Before it came along, my reset button of choice was Chanel No5.  No5 is the prime example of my favourite category of perfume, the aldehydic florals, and it worked equally well, by taking me back to the source of my own preferences.

Do you have a reset-button scent?  It can be anything that re-centers your olfactory perceptions, something you can rely on to help put other perfumes into perspective based on the smells you love the best.  Which perfume was your first love?  Which perfume lifts anxiety and makes you feel serene?  Which perfume makes no demands on you and at the same time delights with some of your favourite notes?  If anything like that is sitting on your dresser, it could be your reset-button scent.

Image : Artwork by FiveoaksBouquet

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  1. My reset button is Bliss EDT. Perfumistas would probably turn up their noses at this mainstream fragrance but it smells of calm and soothing to me. The aroma herbs and flower petals being swirled in ice cold water. When I put this on, it makes my bad day go right.

  2. Normand

     /  January 2, 2012

    My reset-button scents are Pour Monsieur by Chanel and maybe el-cheapo-but-wonderful Stetson. Funny that both are simple straight-up scents, one a chypre, the other an amber… no frills whatsoever.

    Thanks for the post!


  3. I’ve actually found that I’m happy going commando a couple of days a week, when I’m working at home. I do have reset-button scents though they’re not things I wear but things I dip my nose into when I want to remind myself of what a perfect scent can be: more often than not, it’ll be Eau Sauvage in the original formula.

    • You know… I do that too. Particularly when I’m testing perfumes and I’m kind of disheartened by the whole industry. I take out a scent strip and I put something that I love on it… Chanel No. 5 parfum, Aromatics Elixir, Shalimar… any number of beautiful scents.

      I love this post because I’m realizing that taking days off is “normal”. I always feel guilty when I go several days in a row and I just don’t want to have perfume on me… you know? I eventually come back to it but sometimes I wonder… is this it? Is the fascination over?

  4. Natalie

     /  January 2, 2012

    I love this idea! I think my reset button scent is: nothing. I do take “days off” from time to time, just to enjoy the smell of the world outside my (scented) skin a little more.

  5. The one perfume that always works for me no matter the season or occasion is DK Gold. So I suppose it is sort of my reset scent.

    A cologne is usually my choice when I don’t want my perfume to interfere too much with cooking or nature. 🙂

    • Hi Elisa! I’m dying to know… which cologne? I might try that in 2012 instead of going commando.

      • Elisa’s reply to me in an email…

        “I am a fan of both Clarins Eau Dynamisante and Monsieur Balmain. Thanks for teaching me a new perfume term with “reset button”! I have also heard this referred to as a “wallpaper scent” — the perfume you’re so familiar with you almost don’t notice it.”

        By the way, I encourage you all to discover her blog, The French Exit –

        Elisa’s blog is an entertaining and eclectic mix of perfume, personal experiences and all kinds of things.

  6. FiveoaksBouquet

     /  January 3, 2012

    Thanks so much for the great comments! The strategy may vary but the concept is the same. For those who can go entirely without perfume, it has to do a very efficient job of clearing the palate. Over the Holidays I was expecting to wear one of the heavier perfumes like Coromandel or Knowing but was kind of surprised to find myself turning to the reset button instead, maybe as an antidote to all the seasonal smells of food and decorations that abound.

  7. FiveoaksBouquet

     /  January 3, 2012

    P.S. My nephew is visiting and I asked him to pick my perfume today and he picked Knowing!

  8. I like the idea in general but so far I haven’t experienced the situation where I would need it. But if I did… I think any of Jean-Claude Ellena’s colognes would do perfectly. Un Jardin sur le Nil or Vetiver Tonka, for example.

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