Unless you’re a skin care fanatic who drops a cool couple of hundred dollars on your favourite serums, it’s likely the perfumes you wear are the most expensive items in your beauty cupboard. That’s why there’s nothing more frustrating than spritzing your favourite scent only to discover its longevity isn’t quite up to scratch. While it would be easy to blame the fragrance itself in this situation, your own application technique might be to blame. To help you get more mileage out of your daily spritz, we’ve compiled a list of seven application tips and tricks so you can learn how to use perfume properly, how to make perfume last longer and where to spray perfume for best results.
Apply perfume immediately after your shower
Believe it or not, but the secret to long-lasting perfume that lasts all day lies in when you apply it. For best results, spray your perfume immediately after you jump out of the shower. Damp and hydrated skin holds onto fragrance the best, so spritzing your favourite eau de parfum, eau de toilette or cologne while your skin is still moist will lock in the scent for longer.
Ensure your skin is moisturised
Moisturised skin helps your scent last in the same way slightly damp skin does. To ensure your perfume doesn’t clash with your chosen body lotion or cream, opt for an unscented formula and apply liberally after your shower before your morning spritz. Or, match your fragrance with its perfumed body lotion counterpart for a more intense signature scent.
Spray your fragrance on your pulse points
Without a doubt, the best places to apply perfume are on your pulse points i.e. your wrists, neck, elbows and back of your knees. Basically, you want to spray where your blood vessels are closest to the skin. These warm areas will emanate your fragrance, effectively enhancing its sillage.
Avoid rubbing your wrists together
By far the quickest way to hinder the longevity of your fragrance is to rub your wrists together. Rubbing your skin after spraying perfume causes friction, which in turn crushes the top notes of the perfume. If you still want to transfer scent from each wrist to your elbows, opt for a gentle dabbing action instead.
Don’t be afraid to layer products
So now you know how to use perfume: Apply a couple of spritzes on your pulse points after your shower and you’re good to go, right? Fragrances can actually be layered on top of one another for even better results. The molecules in fragrances bind to the oils on your skin when applied, so if a shower gel and/or body lotion or complementary scent is applied first, your fragrance will have a better surface to bind to, which will help it last longer.
Take note of the formula you’re using
If you’ve ever browsed the fragrance shelves at a department store, you will have noticed there are a range of different concentrations available: parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne and eau fraiche. These concentrations refer to the overall strength of the perfume and the percentage of essential oils in the formula. Parfum, which is also known as extrait de parfum, has the highest concentration of oils at 20 to 30 percent. Eau de parfum is next with an oil percentage of 15 to 20 per cent, followed by eau de toilette with 5 to 15 per cent. Eau de cologne and eau fraiche bring up the rear with a concentration of 2 to 4 per cent and 1 to 3 per cent respectively.
Being aware of these fragrance concentrations will enable you to establish realistic expectations of how long your perfume will last, as a parfum will hang around for a greater length of time compared to an eau de cologne or eau fraiche.
Choose your base notes carefully
Any perfume can be split into three separate note categories: top, middle (or heart) and base. Top notes are the first scents you smell after spraying your fragrance and usually fade within 15 to 20 minutes, middle notes are the scents that develop as soon as the top notes evaporate and base notes are the heaviest notes that last the longest. If you’re looking for the best long-lasting perfume, opt for a fragrance with heavier base notes, such as woods, amber, leather and musk.
Now you know how to apply perfume and how to pick strong perfumes that last all day, check out these fragrances that beauty editors can’t live without.
What’s your Holy Grail perfume? What tricks do you have for making your fragrance last longer? Let us know in the comments below.
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Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.