Out of our five senses, scent is one of the most powerful. First of all, it’s the sense that’s most heavily linked to our memory. It can take you back to a different time, a different place – a hot summer night spent with your friends or even a moment you shared with your high school crush. Your signature scent is also what you’ll be remembered by, so it’s important to get it right (no one wants to be remembered for smelling like their grandma’s bathroom). Smelling a certain way can also majorly influence your mood and the mood of the people around you; a cherry blossom is super flirtatious yet an ocean scent is calming and zen. Fragrance is possibly one of the most personal beauty products out there, which is why it’s important to spend time to find your signature scent (find out how here) and to be in the know of how to apply it, store it, and use it so you always smell amazing and don’t waste a drop (as it can get pretty expensive). Here’s the 411 on all things fragrance:
So when it comes to fragrance one of the most important things to note (no pun intended) are the layers each perfume is made up of. Usually, any one scent is made up of three notes, a top note which is the first fragrance you smell, a rich and potent middle note (also known as the heart note), which becomes noticeable after 15 minutes, and a base note (the heaviest scent) that lingers for a couple of hours. The top note disappears after 20 minutes as it has the smallest molecular structure, yet it’s the first scent you smell, while the base notes are the most long-lasting and so they tend to be heavier. The type of scent also influences how long it lasts: light aromatic scents like citrus or jasmine will evaporate faster as they have a smaller molecular structure, where as scents like wood and musk will linger longer on your skin.
Spray but don’t rub…
Most of us apply perfume by spritzing it onto our skin and dabbing our wrists together, followed by lightly pressing our wrists against our neck. We hate to break it to you, but this is actually the wrong method of applying perfume and is slightly wasteful. This is because the friction between your skin heats it up causing your body to produce natural enzymes that alter the scent. By doing this, you’ll disrupt the top and middle notes and you’ll fragrance won’t last as along. For example with a floral fragrance, it will lose its crispness and smell like vanilla or musk rather than a beautifully layered fragrance. For maximum fragrance pay off, just spritz and let the fragrance sink into your skin and then do absolutely nothing at all!
Slightly unsurprisingly, you should, in fact, store your fragrance in the original box it came in, as external factors like heat and light will have an effect on the composition, affecting the smell and potency. That means you should avoid storing perfume in your bathroom as steaming hot showers could weaken your perfume. Similarly, don’t leave it on your window sill. Some people even recommend leaving your perfume in the refrigerator, so that it remains at a controlled, consistent temperature. But we tend to leave it in a cool place at room temperature, safely in its box.
Another thing to consider when you’re buying a fragrance is the size of the bottle, as over time, when the molecules are exposed to the empty space of oxygen, will break down and it’ll age: smelling slightly different and becoming less potent. So we would advise buying a smaller bottle or if you already have a large bottle, decanting it into smaller glass bottles. This will help guarantee that you get the scent you paid for, until the very last drop.
Apply it here…
The areas where you should apply your perfume for maximum payoff is your pulse points as these areas will heat up during the day and cause your skin to release the scent. A lot of people apply perfume to their skin and then cover it up with clothing but you should actually apply it to skin that exposed to the air. Perfume also doesn’t wear well on dry skin so make sure your skin is always moisturized, either with the accompanying body lotion or an unscented moisturizer to avoid scent interference.
HACK: If you apply Vaseline to your pulse points before you apply your perfume it’ll last longer as the ointment is occlusive so it will hold the fragrance for a longer period of time.
Let us know your favorite scents or fragrances in the comments below.