We’ve probably all experienced this: buying a great new perfume, spraying it on enthusiastically but having it fade away within 2 hours or less after applying it. Such a shame, because the only reason you put on perfume is to it enjoy it, and for as long as possible, right?
We all have different skin types, and a perfume will set better and last longer on one person than on the other. But the way you apply a perfume also has a big impact on how long it will last.
Here are 10 tips to apply perfume the correct way, so it will last longer
- First, take a shower or bath and dry your skin
Your skin absorbs perfume better when it’s warm and your pores are open. Taking a hot shower or bath will just do the trick. Make sure to dry your skin (particularly the pulse points) before applying the perfume, otherwise it won’t stick.
- Apply an unscented body lotion and/or Vaseline first
When perfume lands on dry skin, it will evaporate quickly. It’s like pouring water on dry soil: it will just drain away. Therefore, make sure your skin is soft and hydrated before applying perfume, so the perfume can lock onto your skin. The best way to do that is to apply some unscented body lotion or moisturizer or apply some Vaseline first.
- First perfume, then clothes
Now your all set to spray on your perfume, do it before putting on your clothes. It allows you to reach the pulse points you want to apply your perfume on, and it avoids possible stains on your clothes.
- Spray perfume on your pulse points
The best spots to apply a perfume are your pulse points: the points that are warm and moist because your veins are closest to the skin on those places.
Where you apply a perfume will have an impact on how you and others experience it.
If your goal is to smell the perfume yourself, apply it to the pulse points that are closest to your nose, like your neck, chin and collarbones. Applying it on your wrists and inner elbows allows you to sniff your perfume whenever you feel like it.
If you want to smell good for your beloved, apply it on your chest, shoulder blades, below and on top of your ears, and why not, your belly button.
If you like to leave ‘sillage’ (a scent trail) for others around you, then the back of your neck and the inside of your knees are good spots.
- Spray but don’t rub
Let’s face it, we’re all tempted to do it. Spraying some perfume on one wrist and then rubbing it with the other wrist. Don’t do it. It ruins your perfume and is the best guarantee NOT to let your perfume stay for long. Spray it on the pulse points of your choice, and wait for it to dry before putting on your clothes.
- Don’t overdo it
In general, one spritz per pulse point of your choice is enough. The purpose is to smell good, not to overwhelm yourself and the people around you with a penetrating whiff of perfume. Of course, the concentration of the perfume is an important factor. You can spritz more of a less concentrated Eau de Toilette than of a highly concentrated Extrait de Parfum.
Because we get used to a perfume, we will eventually smell it less and less, tempting us to apply more of it over time. Don’t do it, for the sake of the people around you who are not used to your perfume the way you are.
- Spritz, don’t mist
You can target specific points and spritz some perfume on them (from a distance between 10 to 20 cm), but another common practice is to spray some perfume just in front of you and then walk through that mist of perfume. This will distribute the perfume evenly over your body. The biggest disadvantage of this is that it will also land on spots that don’t hold perfume very long, and that some of the perfume will just evaporate in the air or land on the ground, which is a shame.
- Comb it in your hair
Hair can hold a perfume longer than skin because it’s porous. Still, as most perfumes contain alcohol which can dehydrate and damage your hair, it’s best to be careful. Perfume oils and water-based perfumes are ideal, but if you want to use a regular perfume, the best way is to spray some on your brush and gently comb it into your hair.
- Spray perfume on your clothes
Perfume will stay longer on textile than on your skin. If you want your perfume to last longer, praying some on your clothes or scarf is a good idea. But be careful: some perfumes can cause stains on your clothes, especially the more concentrated perfumes with a darker, ambery color. It’s best to try it out first on a small part. Synthetic materials could also change the way a perfume smells, so it’s best to only spray it on natural fabrics.
A perfume will smell different on your clothes than on your skin. Everyone has a specific odour, depending on her/his lifestyle, eating pattern, skin type, etc. If you apply a perfume on your skin, it will mingle with your own body odour, creating a unique scent (That’s also the reason why one perfume can smell wonderful on one person and terrible on someone else). If you spray perfume on your clothes, this chemistry doesn’t happen. It will just smell like the perfume in the bottle.
- Change your perfume regularly
This may sound like a sales trick, but there is a scientific explanation. Like all our senses, the sense of smell has a memory. When we get used to a certain perfume, our brain will automatically ‘mute’ it, in order not to overstimulate us.
You’ve probably experienced this situation before: you enter a home and immediately smell the dish that’s being prepared in the kitchen. If you ask the cook, he or she will probably not be aware of this strong smell, because he or she has been hanging over the pots and pans for a while.
It’s the same with perfume. Therefore, changing perfumes will activate your sense of smell and you will smell it better than if you wear the same perfume day in day out.
Even if you apply all these tips, you can't expect every perfume, even the best quality perfume, to last a whole day. Particularly fresher perfumes, with citrusy or green notes, will probably not last all day, but about 4 to 6 hours. It’s good to always carry your perfume with you so you can reapply it in the course of the day.
Picture by Jordi Zanora.