We’ve all been there. When you are very excited about your new perfume, only to discover shortly that it doesn’t last on your skin for more than a couple of hours.
In some cases, this perfume may cost you an arm and a leg, but still, it doesn’t perform accordingly. You will start wondering if you got a fake, or your bottle has a problem, or it’s just a bit of bad luck.
Sometimes, you could do your homework right, search the Internet for a particular fragrance review, and watch many YouTube videos about its characteristics and how long it lasts. And when you finally get it, you feel frustrated and disappointed about how weak it is.
All the above could happen to all of us at some point in our fragrance collecting journey. You will start asking yourself where the problem lies and if it’s just you who is unfortunate and out of luck.
If you want to find out why some perfumes stay longer than others, and why some scents don’t last on you as it should, and how you could make your perfume last longer, this post is for you.
Table of Contents Hide
- Factors That Affect Perfume Longevity
- How to Apply a Perfume and Make it Last Longer
- Bonus Tips
- Do You Really Need Strong & Long-Lasting Perfumes All the Time?
Factors That Affect Perfume Longevity
Some factors may contribute to the fluctuations in performance between different perfumes. Or the performance of a particular fragrance on different people. And these factors are:
The Perfume Ingredients
Certain ingredients in perfumery may enhance the strength of a fragrance composition. Some of the most popular are:
In most cases, perfumers tend to prefer these ingredients as a base to their formula. However, the quality of the raw materials can play a significant role in how these natural ingredients affect the scent performance and strength.
The Perfume Family
Some perfume families tend to do better in the performance department, such as:
- Oriental: Which contains Vanilla, Musk, Cinnamon, and Cardamom as their main ingredients.
- Woody Oriental: The highlight of this fragrance family is Patchouli, Sandalwood, and spices.
- Woods: This fragrance family usually contains Cedarwood, Sandalwood, and Vetiver as the cornerstone of the composition.
- Dry Woods: It mixes the woods’ dryness with Leather or Tobacco to form a more masculine and dryer scent.
The Perfume Concentration
There are four main types of perfume concentrations:
- Parfum: Most parfum fragrances usually last for longer than 12 hours.
- Eau de Parfum (EDP): Most Eau de parfum fragrances typically last 8 to 12 hours.
- Eau de Toilette (EDT): Most Eau de Toilette fragrances usually last 5 to 8 hours.
- Eau de Cologne (EDC): Most Cologne fragrances don’t last more than a couple of hours.
For more information on these types, check out my detailed post on perfume concentrations and how they can affect their performance.
The Perfume Brand
Some perfume brands have particular scent characteristics across the board. For instance, Lacoste fragrances have a tendency towards a light composition, which results in moderate to poor performance.
I like Lacoste fragrances, they are very lovely and crowd-pleasing, and they have their place in anybody’s collection. But, they lean more towards the lighter side.
In comparison, most Tom Ford Private Blend fragrances have heavy ingredients that enhance their long-lasting power.
Generally speaking, Niche brands use higher quality ingredients and have unique scent profiles, which result in long-lasting fragrances in most cases.
On the other hand, Designer brands use fewer quality ingredients and synthetic alternatives in their compositions, which sometimes could negatively affect the fragrance longevity.
The above is just a general look at both sides, but there are – of course – exceptions. Some niche perfumes have poor performance due to particular natural ingredients, and some designer perfumes are long-lasting due to certain synthetic ingredients.
The Skin Type
According to experts, there are four skin types: normal, dry, oily, and a combination. And each skin type reacts differently to each fragrance.
Dry skin quickly absorbs the fragrance oil, which significantly shortens a fragrance’s life cycle. In comparison, oily skin tends to absorb the fragrance oil at a much slower pace, resulting in long-lasting perfume longevity.
Seasonality and Temperature
Fragrances can react differently to different temperatures. The high summer heat can evaporate the fragrance oil on your skin at a higher rate. On the other hand, warmth could enhance the projection of a particular fragrance.
The cold could suppress some fragrances’ evaporation in Winter, which negatively affects their projection and performance.
Companies tend to reformulate some of their perfumes at some point. Although there is no definite answer to why they do it, there are some reasons, as is well-known, in the fragrance community that leads to this procedure, some of which are:
- In compliance with specific legislation that banned the use of some material in perfume manufacturing. (e.g., Food and Drug Administration Regulations).
- The unavailability of some raw materials used in some perfumes could lead to replacing them with others of lesser quality.
- Some Niche companies that primarily use natural ingredients could have a hard time keeping their perfumes consistent due to the inconsistency of raw materials.
- They are cutting the cost of some products by using lower-quality materials due to an executive decision.
In most cases, the reformulation often results in a weaker scent than the original formula and can dramatically affect the perfume’s longevity.
Batch Variations is another well-known issue in the fragrance world. As companies produce their perfumes in batches, some of them will be stronger or weaker than others.
One of the extreme examples of batch variations is what is happening with “Creed Aventus.” There is a massive thread in Basenotes Forum specifically about the different batches of Aventus and how they smell and perform.
You will notice the drastic change in scent profile and performance from one batch to another, which leads some fragrance collectors to seek out a specific batch to add to their collection.
Sometimes, it’s you who have a hard time smelling your own perfume! There is a scientific term called “Olfactory Fatigue.” It means that after a prolonged exposer to a specific scent, the nose could have a hard time distinguishing the smell.
When this happens, it will make you think the perfume itself is a weak performer, or you got a fake bottle. But the truth is everyone around you could smell you perfectly fine for hours after you stop smelling your own scent!
One of the most popular ingredients in perfumery that are guilty of this effect is Ambroxan.
The Amount You Spray
The amount you spray of your perfume can directly affect longevity and performance. It’s as simple as that. If you spray more, you will extend the longevity of your fragrance. More on that later.
Where You Spray
The place where you spray your fragrance could also affect longevity and performance. It’s always better to spray perfume on your skin.
However, spraying your clothes, for instance, will make your perfume stay on your skin for a prolonged amount of time.
Some perfumes need to mature in the bottle for a while before reaching their full potentials. This process happens when you start using your scent, and the air enters the bottle to replace the space.
The oxygen will start to interact with the perfume ingredients, which causes something called “Oxydation.” What will result from this process is a more pungent scent, enhancing its performance and longevity.
You should know that this process doesn’t happen to all perfumes, and when it does, it usually takes several months to occur.
How to Apply a Perfume and Make it Last Longer
After discussing the various reasons that affect perfume longevity, it’s time to the best part when we discuss the solutions and what we can do – as fragrance lovers – to enhance a perfume’s performance.
Apply Your Perfume the Right Way
There are a handful of “dos and don’ts” when it comes to applying your perfume.
What you should do:
- Apply your perfume to clean and dry skin, preferably after a nice shower.
- Put your perfume on your pulse points, and these are points on your body that generate heat and can help the fragrance project better from your skin. The most common pulse points are: behind your ears, on your wrists, your inner elbows, and behind the knees.
What you shouldn’t do:
- Spraying your perfume into the air and walking through it! You will be wasting your precious fragrance. Please, don’t do that!
- Spraying a lot of perfume on areas directly under your nose, like on the front of your neck. Because this way, you will be more likely to suffer from “Olfactory Fatigue” very quickly, as we discussed earlier.
- After the application, rub your perfume on your skin or rub your wrists together. It will only destroy the scent molecules and make the fragrance disappear very quickly. Leave your perfume on your skin as it is.
Enhance Your Perfume Performance with Moisturizers
One of the best tricks to enhance your perfume’s longevity is to moisturize your skin where you want to spray your fragrance before the application.
The moisturizer will act as an insulator, which will slow the absorption process and prolong the perfume’s life cycle.
This is especially necessary if you have dry skin that absorbs the fragrance at a much quicker rate.
The most popular moisturizer is Vaseline, but you can choose whatever you want. Also, it’s preferable if the moisturizer is unscented to prevent it from interfering with your scent.
This seems to be an obvious one, but many people get it wrong. If you spray more and spread your sprays all over the place, it wouldn’t make a difference.
What I found to work better is to spray the same spot two or three times or more as necessary. That way, you will spray less than everybody else and at the same time enhance the performance a lot.
My usual routine is to spray two sprays over each other behind each ear if the perfume is heavy. If the fragrance is lighter, I add a third spray on each side, and so on. You have to experiment for yourself to determine what works best for you and gives you the best result possible.
With this method, the first spray will act as a moisturizer, which allows the second and third sprays to stay for a more extended amount of time.
Some may consider this tip as a waste of your fragrance. But the truth is if you can’t enjoy your favorite perfume properly and get whiffs of it throughout the day, what’s the point of wearing it in the first place?
If all the above doesn’t work, you have no choice but to re-apply your fragrance throughout the day. To make this option more manageable, you could take a decant of your favorite scent and re-apply whenever necessary.
Store Your Perfume Properly
Even If you get a strong fragrance or a better batch of perfume, it can quickly go bad or become weaker if you don’t take good care of it and store it properly.
To store your fragrance correctly, you have to:
- Store your perfumes and colognes in a dark, cool, and dry place.
- Keep your perfumes away from any location with temperature fluctuations (e.g., The bathroom).
- Don’t put your bottles in direct sunlight at any cost.
- It’s preferable to keep your perfumes away from any source of light in general.
Give Your Perfume Some Time to Mature
As we discussed earlier, some fragrances will need some time to mature in the bottle after you start using it. For that reason, don’t give up on your perfume early on just because it doesn’t perform well.
Make sure to give it several months after you open it and come back later. You will often be surprised!
Spray Your Clothes
I left this tip for last because it’s my least favorite but practical in some cases. I advocate for spraying perfume on the skin because it develops naturally as the perfumers intend.
The scent won’t develop that much if you spray your clothes, staying on its top note. The other thing to consider is some perfumes may stain and ruin your clothes if they have heavy and dark ingredients that may not come off easily or ever.
On the other hand, spraying your clothes will make any perfume last longer for an extended amount of time, so consider this option if you like.
Some tips have nothing to do with applying the scent itself but on making your perfume last longer by merely choosing a long-lasting fragrance in the first place or a particular version of it, in addition to wearing it at a suitable time of the year.
Try to Find Long-Lasting Perfumes
If you prefer long-lasting perfumes regardless of their scent profile, you could focus on the following types:
- Fragrances with heavy components, like Oud, Leather, and Frankincense.
- Perfumes from a longer-lasting family, like Oriental, Woody Oriental, or Dry Woods.
- Scents with a higher concentration oil, like Parfum or Eau de Parfum.
You have to keep in mind that all the above can’t ensure that you will get a long-lasting perfume. If you want to take it one step further, you have to check what people say about the performance of a specific scent on one of the popular perfume databases on the Internet, like:
Take the Seasonality Factor into Consideration
The general rule in the perfume world is that you can wear whatever perfume you want whenever you want. However, sticking to fragrances that are better suited towards a particular season has some advantages.
That is because many fragrances perform their best at a specific season. For instance, if you try a light and aquatic scent in Winter, you will notice that it will disappear very quickly in cold weather and not perform well.
However, when you try the same scent in summer, it will perform as it should be without any problem.
Try to Find the Best Batch or Formula of a Perfume
This tip is not an easy one, but it’s necessary if you like a particular scent so much and are willing to put some effort and money into tracking down a specific batch or formula.
Some batches or formulas are better than others, sometimes making a massive difference in the fragrance’s performance.
You have to search the Internet for a particular batch or formula on eBay or some Facebook Groups to find what you want.
Do You Really Need Strong & Long-Lasting Perfumes All the Time?
Despite all the tips and tricks on extending the life of your perfume and making it project more, some situations in everyday’s life call for light and subtle scents, such as:
- Dates and Intimate Situations: Wearing a heavy projecting scent to dates and intimate situations could choke your date and give you the opposite result. Make sure to be gentle when you apply your perfume and choose a lighter one.
- Indoors and Family Gatherings: There is no need for a heavy projecting scent when you are indoors. You will be in short proximity to everybody around you.
- In The Office and Work Environment: Many workplaces would consider a heavy scent a violation of everybody’s space, so be careful with your choices.
- In the Gym or any Sports Event: When you work out, your body will generate a lot of heat. And when you wear a heavy scent, heat will intensify your perfume a lot more and make it project fiercely, which could annoy many people around you.
- If You Put More Than One Fragrance a Day: If you have the habit of putting a perfume for the day and a different one for the night, it’s unnecessary to have them both be strong and long-lasting. You could mix things up.
It’s always a great idea to plan your perfume wearing according to the situation.