Incorporating fragrance into your fitness routine is complicated. You don’t want to douse yourself in perfume, but you don’t want to go so light that your scent isn’t noticeable. You also have to keep in mind particular notes and formulas that may not agree with sweat. I wanted to know how to smell good at a workout, so I asked none other than OffCourt cofounder, Bani Bahari.
Bahari creates luxury body sprays alongside her husband, Jonathan Lawrence. The sprays are made with workouts in mind, and they’re generally aimed at men (though she says there’s nothing “inherently gendered” about the products). But just this month, OffCourt teamed-up with trendy West Hollywood (and NY) boutique gym, DOGPOUND, to launch a unisex Performance Body Spray ($18). After trying the product multiple times myself, it was made clear the team knows what they’re doing.
“When we launched our brand in March 2021, we sent a trio pack of our Performance Body Spray to DOGPOUND founder Kirk Myers, and wrote that it would be a dream to one day do a collab,” Bahari tells skyelyfe. “A few months later, we received an email from Kirk saying he really loved the products and thought they would be perfect for his clientele!”
While OffCourt’s inventory is traditionally aimed at men, Bahari found it a “fun challenge” to create just the right product—”really luxurious and gender neutral”—for a DOGPOUND member.
“Very early in the process, the master perfumer proposed suede as the backbone,” Bahari explains. “We loved it because it smelled rich, elegant, and deep—but also very clean, and in a new way that we didn’t have in our core collection … Overall, we feel it’s the perfect balance of fresh, clean and luxurious. It also has really good longevity, which is important when being used as a deodorant.”
To add, Bahari says of her products in general: “We use three deodorizing agents that help neutralize odors. We also use prebiotics, which make the good bacteria flourish. This in turn crowds out the odor-causing bacteria, so your body more naturally regulates odor.”
With a successful new launch under her belt, below, Bahari breaks down the DOs and DON’Ts of how to smell good at a workout.
DO: Be considerate. Exercise will cause your body to create heat, which, in turn, will increase the fragrance’s sillage, aka projection. Also, you’re probably working out in close confines with a lot of other people and some people have sensitivities to strong fragrances. So, it’s important to be thoughtful of the strength of the fragrance and the amount of fragrance used.
DON’T: Wear santal. You have to be very careful with something like that. It can be both strong and polarizing. In general, I don’t think there are any hard “rules,” but it’s best to use lighter notes.
DO: Stick to fresh, energizing and clean-smelling fragrances. OffCourt uses scents like citrus, vetiver, green fig leaves and white musk—which, by the way, is a very clean smell, like fresh laundry—not to be confused with the more animalistic musks!
DON’T: Put a fragrance on before a workout, or immediately post-workout if you need to run errands before you get home to shower. I think that the sweat and odor and fragrance get mixed.
DO: Avoid fragrances that you may have sensitivities to. The heat and sweat of exercise could aggravate this sensitivity.
DO: Avoid traditional perfume. It doesn’t provide any odor management [and it’s not good to] mix the fragrance and sweat. If you were to use just a perfume, lean towards lighter fragrances and lower concentrations, such as an Eau Fraiche, which has a lower concentration of essential oils.
DO: Apply some fragrance to your shirt, where it’s less likely to get washed away when the sweat starts to flow.
For more on scents, HERE are three things to know before purchasing your next body fragrance.