Notorious by Ralph Lauren 2008: Talking gym scent, bro!


Kate Apted


How you doin’, APJ people??

I am a self confessed gym addict. I need to be at the gym 6 days a week. I have been on and off for years, but since 2010, I have taken my weight training seriously. I count macros, do compound lifts before isolation and have even done the odd body building comp or three.

I do have certain perfumes I keep just for the gym. Granted I am there for one hour maximum, it seems kind of superfluous to have dedicated scents. So, why do I do it?

Many people stink whilst exercising. It is a fact. Either the ciggie they snuck in before entering the gym, or a day’s worth of BO. I like to use my perfume as a sniffing salt, so it has to slice the environmental smells and pierce my brain.

I need to be incredibly focused whilst lifting heavy! One hundred kg on my shoulders requires my full attention and my scent can actually help or hinder that focus. Through trial and error, I have found what works for me. I thrive on beating personal bests; no room for relaxing scents.

During my working week, I get to the gym by 5pm or so, and by then, my afternoon scent has been worn off by the accumulation of dirt, grease, and absorbtion by my hefty overalls. I am ready for a new perfume and I probably stink of clutch dust and diesel, if I am honest with you.

Notorious by Ralph Lauren 2008

Notorious by Ralph Lauren fragranticaFragrantica

My most beloved gym scent is Notorious by Ralph Lauren (2008). I have been using it since 2010. Acquisition is becoming more difficult and I will need to arrange a replacement. What I love most about it is the black currant. The heady hit of that note makes me alert, but in a kind way. Si by Armani has a similar note, yet it hits in a more laser like way, and I find it distracting.

The other notes are carnation, lively pink pepper and peony – a note I struggle to like when it is the focus. Luckily, here it is a supporting note that softens the black currant and carnation. I don’t get any heat from the pink pepper.

As I have never worn this at any other time, I actually cannot comment on the dry down or longevity. Notorious does not last beyond the training session, strangely. Might be because I am constantly wiping myself with my towel and it is evaporating with my rising body temperature.

I don’t notice many other people wearing perfumes whilst training. I do get the odd whiff of Axe body spray, but it is the usual fougere type. Oh, I lie! At my last gym, I caught the trail of a guy wearing Egoiste. I did follow him and do a confirmation sniff.

I know Val is an avid lifter too. Are you an active sort, and if so, what is your take on dedicated scents for that activity? And what can I replace Notorious with? I am very keen to hear your suggestions, beautiful people.

Til next time,

Kate – bear hugs!


52 thoughts on “Notorious by Ralph Lauren 2008: Talking gym scent, bro!

  1. I am an avid gym-goer and dedicated enthusiastic weight lifter as well. I can very much relate to your use of perfume as a smelling salt to combat gym odors. I’ve never sampled Notorious and am now curious after reading the description (inspired by Hitchcock classics!). On fragrantica, it shows Bond No 9 Astor Place, Chopard Madness, and Cartier Delice are reminiscent of Notorious?
    I don’t have a dedicated gym scent, yet I always wear a scent. For me, it’s more about the sniffing salt and environment vs helping me focus. (My music is what motivates me and keeps my focus).
    Now I will pay more attention to what fragrance adds to my lifting experience!
    FYI, there is also a perfume named Notorious by Boadicea the Victorious (cool name and bottle, from this brand: the ultimate celebration of beauty, strength and nobility).
    Thank you for this post Kate, you and I are sisters in steel and fragrance!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s really nice to know there are a lot of other perfume lovers that love also the gym life and healthy movement. My favourite gym scent is Everlast edt , a fantastic underrated gem, not many people talking about it (if u have the chance u can safely blind buy it). A second favourite is eau d’orange vert cologne from Hermes, a refreshing blast of citrus that works perfect with the training.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like Notirious too. I think it has a chocolate note to it. I liked it for work where it seemed innocuous and neither sexy or watery citrus., just really nice and open.


  4. Hurrah for the perfumed powerhouses, my scented steel sisters (and brothers). It’s so very good to be back to strength training after such a long injury-induced pause. I’m starting to feel more like me again. And I finally have a competition date in December to work towards Only a wee qualifier, so no stress. (Not a bodybuilder but a powerlifter, bench only, both able bodied and para comps)

    Aye, I always wear perfume in the gym. It’s partly to create a force field around me, to prevent the miasma of the under-washed distracting me. Oh, and to combat the godawful stank of unwashed neoprene knee sleeves. But I also wear perfume to remind myself to live in my body, and be present in my own skin while I lift. Breathe, and reel the thoughts and focus back in.

    I don’t have one fixed scent for the gym. I do tend towards dryer chypres, incense, and leathers when I’m training with nothing sweet or vanillary or boozy or swoony-soft. but almost nothing gets ruled out. Some vintage Miss Dior today, and I wore Rozy VdP for my bench session on Monday. Damn Rebel Bitches has had a few outings to the gym too. L’heure Bleue is usually there for competitions, part of the ritual. So that gets worn for heavy single training too, to associate it even more with good strong lifts. I’m not a shouty-growly-kill-the-bar lifter, so LHB works with the calm, smooth controlled headspace I try to find on the platform. It’s not a soft romantic waft on me.)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Well. What a fabulous post. My scent story at the moment goes like this …. I go to the gym with whatever is leftover from the morning. Could be anything really. Not usually anything to loud. Well PoaL sometimes, whatever. BUT I always take something with me for after training. It is then that I sit with my trainer, pour spiced chai, have a slice of protein cake, and introduce him to something new. It‘s great fun and he actually has a fairly decent nose. I also keep him supplied with fragrance free American deo … it was after training and before tea, that I recently smashed 50mls of Mitzah. So whatever – gym and perfume go hand in hand. I love training and Crikey is my cyber-mentor. Recently got into bench and love deadlifts too. And squats – but I have a semi- knackered knee right now. I think I’m overstaying my welcome ….. lots of love. Keep on pumping. Xxxx

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I started training about 35 years ago to support my strength and endurance while working at training horses. When that career ended I began to focus on a traditional body building programme. Compound movements followed by isolation work. I did my first and only competition when I was 50 at a time when 28-35 was the oldest age division and managed to place. Now I continue for the express purpose of maintaining muscle mass and bone density as I age. And, of course, because it’s completely addictive. I don’t have a gym fragrance. Currently I am training at a university facility and most members are in their twenties. They are also remarkably odour-free and…yes, scent sensitive. I do spray fragrance on the top of one hand, usually something that I am testing. Since it takes me a bit longer now to recover between sets, I use that time to evaluate the scent. The odour of the steel on my hands (which I love) often combines with the fragrance, making for some interesting and unusual combinations.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Heya Kate!
    While admiring your determination it has been a long time since my last gym visit. Jin has bought me a membership but walking through that set of doors feels impossible. For years I went at least 3 times a week and also did a bunch of dance classes, rehearsals, shows and swimming. TBH I never really loved the rigid routine but the social side and walking around knowing how hot I was was pretty cool (yeah, I was one of those Aholes). The only times I miss being fit are holidays where climbing, staircases or trekking are included.
    You are inspiring though and have definitely made me remember the gym in a better light.
    I like the smell deodorant makes as I get sweaty but not much else for training.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Portia, you have to enjoy what you do. These days, it is more about staying fit for work. My body is my tool. If I hurt my shoulder hoisting a 65kg clutch assembly, I cannot earn money. So, saying that, if you get zilch enjoyment, it isn’t for you. I loathe having to do dance and move my body in elegant ways, so fluid activity like Zumba isn’t my thing.

      I commend Jin for trying. I got my 16 yo a membership. Wasted money. He is loving swimming instead. At least the gym lead him to something he does love.

      K xx


      • If you’re hauling 65kg clutches about…I can only imagine how mighty your deadlift must be, Kate!

        I second the comment about finding what you enjoy, rather than just forcing yourself to do things that are miserable but good for you. I *loathed* all sports until I found lifting. Accidentally. In my mid forties. One friend found her exercise joy in a surprising place: drumming. You should see her go…

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m going to agree with both you and Crikey on just do what works for you. Any reasonably energetic activity performed on a regular basis is the key. Initially it may be viewed as supporting your work, another sport or a hobby. Ultimately it can be viewed as supporting healthy, mobile longevity. The point is to get off your work chair, off the sofa and move. Do something, anything everyday. Your heart will thank you, so will your muscles, joints and bones. You will thank yourself when you’re seventy and can still tie your own shoes, nip off to the corner store, carry your own groceries and do a bit of gardening. Just keep moving. It’s what our bodies were so carefully designed to do for us. Ugh. I get so terribly preachy about this and I do apologize for my sermonizing, but it is just that important. Okay. I’ll shut up now.


  8. I think one of my most memorable scent meetings with smelly chance was spraying from a decant of vintage Jicky, that was in the car from a P.O. pickup, on my way to a cattle sale! The smell of manure and animal from the cattle in the yards really vibed with the animalic base of the vintage and the outdoorsy lavender and warm vanillin. I stopped to consider that Jicky was born at a time when horses roamed the streets. It struck me as absolute genius. I held that thought. I do have other rural work perfumes, all chypres and mostly vintage, but that juxtaposition of vintage Jicky and the cattle was amazing. I bought the modern EDP hoping for another great farming fume but it overwhelms me with what must be synthetic civet or something. In fact it hypersensitised me and now I find it almost unbearable in anything. Vintages don’t do it. It would have been real animalics….still search eBay for for old bottles but it’s rare as hens teeth….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aha! Yes, fabulous point! I had not even considered that. But, I do feel the 70s and 80s powerhouses were born in an era of leaded petrol and copious amounts if cigarette smoke. I love the sociological links we make between perfume as art and societal climates. K xx


Comments are closed.