How to make your favourite perfume last longer and work harder
The way you are applying and storing fragrances can have a big effect on their shelf life and performance. Here’s a cheat sheet on getting the most out of those pricey scents.
Spray on and go – isn’t that all there is to putting on perfume? Well, if you’ve been doing that all along, you probably aren’t enjoying your fragrances as fully as you actually should.
Perfumes don’t simply just go over your skin – they work because of how the oils interact with the skin – and your body heat. To ensure that they do so optimally, one needs to employ a few smart techniques.
Perfume mistakes can also occur way earlier, before we even talk about application. Testing out scents isn’t as straightforward as most people think and a little knowledge will help you make a purchase that you won’t regret after.
Learn how to appreciate fragrances like a pro and the best ways to use them so that they’ll leave you beautifully scented for longer.
1. TEST SCENTS PROPERLY
Don’t judge a scent immediately after spritzing. Perfumes are composed out of layers of notes: The top notes are what you’ll detect first. These will disappear momentarily, revealing the middle notes, which will stay longer than the top notes. These will then finally give way to the lasting base notes. Base notes will linger, sometimes until they are washed off.
When testing a scent, give it at least two hours to settle before making your decision so that you can fully experience how it develops. Should you test it on your skin or a blotter? Blotters are good for an initial impression of the fragrance – if you like it, then test it on your skin to make sure that you like how it interacts with your personal body chemistry. Never buy a scent just because you like how it smells on someone else - it may not necessarily smell the same on you.
2. DON’T KEEP THEM IN THE BATHROOM
Perfume ingredients are fragile and can easily be destroyed by heat, light and humidity. It’s not a good idea to store them in the bathroom, even if the bottles are tightly sealed and you’re putting them in the cabinet. And, if you’re one who likes to put your perfume collection on display, take care to avoid areas that are exposed to sunlight.
3. IDENTIFY THE HOT SPOTS
Everyone knows the key pulse points where perfume should go – the wrists, insides of the elbows and back of the ears. These spots on your body are warm and will amplify the scent of perfume oils.
But there are a few other warm points where you can also put scent on – try the top of your back, above the collarbone and your cleavage, especially when wearing clothes that expose these zones.
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4. DAB, DON’T RUB
It’s instinctive – most of us will spray perfume on our wrists, rub them together and then transfer the fragrance to the area behind the ears. While it’s perfectly fine to split a single spritz between two wrists, don’t rub the fragrance but dab lightly instead.
Rubbing destroys the top notes faster, which will, in turn, decrease your perfume’s lasting power. It’ll also change or diminish the scent because the oils and compounds will react from the heat and friction generated.
5. LET IT MOVE WITH YOU
Besides putting perfume on pulse points, you can also make use of motion to help your fragrance radiate further. Dab some on your ankles – you’ll find that the scent rises as you walk.
Your hair is another spot that carries scent well, but don’t blast it directly onto tresses, since perfume contains alcohol that could dry hair out. Spray it into the air above your head and let the mist land softly on hair – that, way, you can achieve a subtler and more even distribution of the fragrance.
6. WEAR IT ON YOUR CLOTHES
Sweat and perfume are never a good mix. When it’s particularly hot outside and you know you won’t be spending much of the day in air-conditioned places, don’t put perfume on skin; spritz it onto your clothes instead. Be careful, though, with perfumes that are of a dark amber tone – they may leave stains on light-coloured clothes or damage delicate fabrics like silk.
Want to avoid potential staining? Do the “walk-into-a-mist-of-perfume” trick, instead of directly spritzing your fragrance onto clothing.
7. LAYER AND MOISTURISE
A good way to extend the lasting power of your perfume is to layer products with the same fragrance – pick up the accompanying body lotion and shower gel to your favourite scent and use all of them together for maximum impact.
And while we are on the subject of lotions, do note that moisturising will also help perfume cling onto your skin longer – if a companion lotion to your fragrance isn’t available, just use an unscented body lotion.