Applying Fragrance the Tova Way July 26 2013

To my mind, the cardinal sin of fragrance application is when a woman applies it to the inside of her wrists and then rubs the wrists together. The gesture has become nearly universal yet I cringe every time I observe it.

It would be as if you were trying to listen to a magnificent 72 piece orchestra playing through a cheap transistor radio. All of the highs and lows are compressed and much of the nuance is lost. The same applies to fine fragrance. Crushing the scent by rubbing the wrists alters the fragrance considerably.

When describing fragrance, I often draw an analogy between fine fragrance and a beautiful symphony. Strictly speaking, we can say that music acts upon the ears, much as we say that fragrance acts upon the nose. Music is an auditory art, fragrance an olfactory art. But this is just a small part of the story. Fragrance, like music, elicits a deeply emotional, wholly personal response that is unique to each person who experiences it.

The perfumer's art lies in being able to take an abstract concept and interpret it through a skillful blending of aromatic components to create the desired scent. The process, even for experienced perfumers, is largely hit or miss. This is why a plethora of new fragrances floods the market each year but very few survive beyond a few seasons. To be nominated for the Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame, as TOVA Signature has, a fragrance must reach the age of 25. Happily, and thanks to her legion of devoted fans, TOVA Signature is now in her 31st year.

I have reunited with the master perfumer who helped to create TOVA Signature back in 1982 to ensure that each and every batch of TOVA lives up to the standards that I require and that my customers demand. It starts with the precious essential oils sourced from around the globe that make up each layer of the TOVA Signature fragrance. No synthetic oils are ever used.

The industry dictates that I could call my fragrance an Eau De Parfum with as little as a 15% concentration of essential oils. TOVA Signature Eau De Parfum contains 28.5% botanical essential oils, elevating it to true Parfum status. In a bid toward traditional methods, (largely discarded today as being too expensive), the fragrance is aged for a full three months to achieve maturation. The result is a fragrance that is completely linear; meaning that it does not undergo peaks and valleys but stays true to its original composition many hours after it is first applied. You may not notice it while you are wearing it, but those around you surely will and they just may tap you on the shoulder and politely ask “What are you wearing?”

So what are the musical notes that make up TOVA Signature? At the top of the scent, (the flutes and violins if you will), there is scintillating Calabrian bergamot; a fresh, crisp citrus note that tickles and tempts. Think of the clarinets and French horns and you have the bountiful lavender de Provence; the delicate blue flower that imparts a soft and soothing floral note, lilting and elevating. Now for the heart of the scent- the mellow tuned viola: pure absolute jasmine; an ingredient more costly than gold or platinum, requiring many thousands of flowers, harvested before dawn, to yield a single ounce.

Enter the resounding bass notes; the bassoon and cello, in this instance- rare and magical sandalwood cultivated in the east of India, grounding the composition of the notes that came before, adding a rhythmic and dynamic richness. And, beneath it all, the hypnotically percussive drumbeat of creamy aphrodisiac musk.

To correctly apply TOVA Signature, spray it into the air slightly in front of and above you and walk right into it. When the scent is forced through the atomizer and reaches the air, all of its components compose themselves, allowing you to experience the full effect of the symphony. Spraying it directly onto your wrists and crushing it never allows the full fragrance profile to develop.

I do what I call the “royal wave”; spraying TOVA in a halo pattern in front of me and walking into it. This ensures that the right amount of scent is applied. For best results, apply the scent to your body before getting dressed. The warmth of your body will allow the essential oils to achieve their full potential. And, to avoid clashing with other scents in lotions or creams you may use, use my new TOVA Signature Luxury Body Cream to nourish and moisturize your skin. It will layer perfectly with TOVA Signature Eau de Parfum.

I would love to see how you apply TOVA Signature and make it your own signature. Please post your short videos (Vine videos are ideal!) to my new Facebook page: or send a tweet to @TovaBorgnine. I promise that I will look at each one and share it with all of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers. And remember- wrist rubbers need not apply!