Who wouldn’t love to smell great all day? Wearing your favorite fragrance can certainly help, but you may have noticed that many perfumes wear off by lunchtime.
This is likely because you’re not applying your perfume the right way. Most people don’t realize there are best practices for applying fragrance, many of which make perfume last longer.
Unfortunately, if you store your perfume in the bathroom or on a display shelf, you’re not storing it correctly either. Here we’ll cover some tips and best practices for getting the most out of your perfume — both for wearing it and storing it.
How to Make Your Perfume Last Longer
To make your perfume last longer you will want to ensure the perfume is able to connect with your skin and stay put all day. To do this, you will want to follow as many of the below perfume rules as you are able to. Here we also cover how to make your perfume last longer in the bottle!
1. Apply right after your shower.
To ensure that your fragrance lasts all day you should start with the proper application. This is where timing plays a large role. Perfume will last the longest if applied right after your shower while your pores are still open and your body is clean. Be sure to dry off before spritzing on your perfume!
2. Make sure skin is moisturized before application.
If your skin is moist, the fragrance will be able to lock in better. After you towel dry, use some unscented lotion to moisturize your skin. You will want to do this before putting on your clothing or the perfume.
3. Spray or dab onto bare skin.
Here is another timing best practice: you should apply your fragrance before you put on your clothes. Perfume smells the best and lasts the longest when it is able to meld with the natural oils on your body. You won’t want any fabric or clothing obstructing this process, so apply your perfume directly onto the skin.
4. Apply to your pulse points.
Fragrance reacts to heat, so applying perfume to parts of your body that are likely to heat up throughout the day helps release the scent. As your body fluctuates in temperature, the perfume’s scent will develop as well. Pulse points include the nape of your neck, the insides of your elbows, your wrists and the backs of your knees.
5. Smear a small amount of Vaseline to your pulse points before applying.
If you know you will be out of the house for a while and would like to get some extra life out of your fragrance, rub a small amount of Vaseline onto your pulse points before application. The occlusive balm will act as an extra moisturizing lock for the fragrance, helping it last even longer. Just a small amount of Vaseline will do!
6. Don’t rub the fragrance in.
Many people think that rubbing perfume into their wrists or other pulse points will help the perfume last longer. In fact, it breaks down the chemicals and will cause the top notes to dissolve faster than they otherwise would have. If you can’t spray your fragrance, gently dab it on your skin.
7. Spray fragrance onto your hairbrush and brush through your hair.
If you want some extra scent in your hair you can spray it on your hairbrush and run it through dry hair. Spraying on your hair directly may seem like the easier choice here, but the alcohol in many perfumes can damage hair. The brush allows a bit of fragrance to anoint the hair without exposing it to too much.
8. Use matching scented lotion and other products.
Another way to maximize your fragrance is to buy the lotions, body washes and other products sold alongside it. If you’re using scented beauty products every step of the way you are increasing the chances that your favorite scent will linger.
9. Spray perfume on cotton balls and put in a plastic bag to use for touch-ups.
Once you’re sure you’ve done everything you can to apply your perfume correctly, you can put together a touch-up package to add an extra layer or scent insurance. Simply spritz your perfume on a couple of cotton balls (or Q-Tips) and place them (still wet) in a plastic bag. Squeeze out all the air from the bag and the cotton balls should stay wet until you apply later in the day.
10. Pour the last of used perfume into an unscented lotion bottle to prevent waste.
Now we’re going to get into some best practices and ways to make the most out of the perfume bottles you buy. One way to do this is by using every last drop of your perfume. If you’ve gotten to the bottom of a bottle and it will no longer spray, you can add the perfume to some unscented moisturizer. Your lotion will smell like your perfume!
11. Line your drawers with perfume to subtly scent clothing.
If you wear the same perfume every day you can get your clothing to smell like it as well. Just line your drawers with tissue paper that has been spritzed a few times with your signature scent. The tissue paper will absorb the fragrance and permeate your clothing with the scent while you store it.
12. Store your perfume in a cool, dark place.
Many people store their perfume in the bathroom which actually causes it to expire faster. The bathroom is a place that fluctuates in temperature and humidity often, which will cause the perfume’s temperature to fluctuate. This breaks down the chemical compounds over time and changes the smell and potency of a fragrance. Store it in a cool drawer, out of direct sunlight and in its original box for best results.
13. Keep your perfume in its original bottle.
While this process is somewhat outdated, some people still like to store their perfume in separate, fancy bottles. While this might look sophisticated, it will allow air to saturate your fragrance which can also alter its chemical makeup. The less air that gets to your fragrances, the better, which is why keeping them in their original spray bottle is best practice.
14. Don’t shake your perfume bottle.
This tip goes hand-in-hand with keeping the perfume in its original bottle. Shaking the perfume can also allow air to infuse the fragrance and shorten its lifespan. Don’t feel like your perfume has to remain still at all times, but you should under no circumstances shake the bottle.
15. Buy the right strength of perfume.
Some perfumes will naturally last longer than others, both on the skin and in the bottle. Perfume and cologne are sold in different concentrations, meaning there are different ratios of fragrance oil to alcohol.
Parfum has the most fragrance oil in it (and costs the most) while eu fraich (body splash) has the least. Perfumes with the highest concentration of fragrance oil will last the longest on the skin.
What Type of Perfume Lasts the Longest?
As we discussed above, you can buy different concentrations of perfume. The strength of the perfume you buy will determine how long it lasts on the skin. The more concentrated forms, like pure parfum, will cost the most while the less concentrated versions of the same scent, like eau de toilette, will cost less.
However, you can also buy perfumes that will have a longer shelf life. Perfumes with more prominent base notes will have a longer shelf life than those with prominent top notes. Base notes usually include woody or balsamic flavors as well as those with a spicier scent. If your perfume contains Oriental scents such as patchouli and amber, it’s likely to have a longer shelf life.
Perfumes with lighter prominent base notes are more volatile. The more volatile your scent, the quicker it will likely expire. This includes citrus, floral and green scents.
If you’re unsure what notes are strongest in your perfume of choice, you can look at its scent family information. This can usually be found online or in the product description. If you’re new to perfume you can also take a perfume quiz to determine which scent is best for you. If you’re concerned about longevity, keep its prominent base notes as well as the concentration in mind when you’re ready to buy.
By using these tips you can prime your fragrance to last as long as possible. Start the process by buying the correct type of perfume for your needs. Then store it correctly and avoid doing anything that might cause the fragrance to decompose. If you’re using perfume application best practices, you will know that you’re getting the very most out of your signature scent!