Monday, January 10, 2011

Want Your Perfume to Last? Try These Tips

How often do you hear people say, 'perfume just doesn't last on me?'   

What I often discover, after asking a few questions, is that people often under-apply perfume, expecting one or two squirts to last all day. 

Over the years, I have learned - through trial and error - how to apply perfume so that it lasts and creates the perfect level of sillage without being overbearing.

 Note:  I prefer spraying perfume and find dabbing annoying for so many reasons.  However, the following tips - and the principles behind them - may be just as effective for dabbing application. 

Josephine's Recipe for Lasting Perfume Power and Perfect Sillage

-  When wearing a new perfume, give it a 'test run' at full body application before wearing it in public.  This will familiarize you with its strength and sillage and you will learn exactly how it interacts with your own skin.  Adjust future application up or down accordingly.

-  Apply perfume within five minutes of showering.  Your pores are open then and you'll get more lasting power.   Plus, this gives your perfume time to dry down between the moment you apply and the time you reach your destination.

-  As a general rule, I apply 8 sprays for appropriate sillage and lasting impact.  Front, back and sides of my neck, then wrists and inside each elbow.  If I know I'm going to be in a large, outdoor space, I may add an additional spritz right below my breasts.  

-  If perfume has monster sillage, cut the number of sprays in half.  But don't wimp out altogether.

-   Position the bottle approximately 12 inches away from you before applying perfume.  This allows the perfume to land evenly, and broadly, on your skin.

-  Breathe in and hold your breath while you are applying your perfume.  Walk out of the 'cloud' before inhaling again.  Otherwise, the perfume will burn your nose and you will  have a distorted perception of the sillage you are producing.

-  When applying to the front of your neck, make sure you don't hit the area right under your chin.  Again, this will irritate your nose and make you feel like the Sillage Monster From Hell.  Aim down a bit.

-  When attending a wine tasting or a dinner, reduce the number of sprays in half and wear an eau de toilette that is citrus, herbal or green.  Not floral.

-  If you're going to be in an early meeting, in a confined space, apply less perfume with the expectation that your sillage will diminish earlier in the day.  A small decant in your purse can provide a nice refresher mid afternoon.  Usually, one spritz is enough. 

-  When layering perfume, spray each ( not more than two) on different areas, not on top of one another.  For example, spray the front and back of your neck with one perfume, and the sides with another; one perfume on your wrists, another inside each elbow.

-  Be thoughtful about the occasion, the weather, your wardrobe and your mood when choosing a Scent of the Day.  The right perfume is the perfect start to your day!

What are your secrets to perfume application?

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  1. Love these tips, Josephine. I apply an un-fragranced body lotion to moisturize my skin, especially after the shower. If I'm not showering first, I apply some of the lotion to my arms & neck. This seems to hold onto the fragrance longer. Sometimes I spray a little perfume onto my hairbrush before brushing my hair.

  2. I use 6-8 sprays as a general rule too. Only a few of my perfumes require lighter application (notably, Sonoma Scent Studios and Tauers).

    The shower tip was new to me. Good to know! I usually shower at night, unfortch.

    I also try to get a little bit on my hair and clothes as it's nice to get a renewed breeze when I flip my hair, take off my sweater, etc.

  3. I second the unscented body lotion right out of the shower! I also apply it near the bottom of my hairline on my hair - and one spray on my clothing, in case I can't reapply for a while.

    And in a pinch...a little unscented lip balm on a wrist before you spray works good, too!

  4. Oh, dear. The top of my spritz range is 3-4 sprays, all spots inclusive. It's not that I am one of those folks who self identify as having "skin that eats scent"; more that I have a nose that can only take so much.

    Between that and my migraine history, there is no way I can execute a first run "full body." If it were to turn out to be a monster, I would be eaten alive.

    However, I had great fun reading this. The open pore-post-shower strategy is excellent for moisturizing, too, as you probably well know.

    Oh, and I distinguish between layering "a la cake" and "a la harmonica"...depends on what is being put together; some layerings seem to call for a torte, some seem to call for succession.

    Carry on! :)

  5. Afraid I cannot offer any secrets of my own, as I am a chronic under-applier and refresher, though hope to up my usage in 2011.

    Also, I spray from more like 4-6 inches on the neck area and really close range on the wrists (2"?). I figure that the wrists needs more precise targeting with being a smaller surface area. As for spraying from 12" away - I would probably miss my body entirely, so poor is my vision these days.

  6. queen_cupcake, hello! Moisturizing first is a great idea. I also do this after a shower and before applying perfume. Love the hairbrush tip!

  7. Hi Elisa - yes, I would agree that some perfumes do take a bit less on application (Ambre Sultan and Azuree come to mind). I can just see you flipping your hair and creating a perfumed breeze. Thanks for your comment!

  8. Hi tarleisio - you offer some great perfume application tips! Especially the unscented lip balm...I must try it!

  9. ScentScelf, I can understand your caution - migraines warrant careful application of any perfume.

    When doing a test run of something new, I begin on the light side, 3-4 squirts. Almost always, I end up increasing that for future wearings. However, I have found myself on the 'what reeks - oh, it's me' end of things, too. My last go 'round with Parfum Sacre, a perfume I previously loved, was an over-application nightmare.

    And you're right about layering, but after a number of torte fumbles, I've decided to stick with succession.

    Always great to hear from you!

  10. Hi, Vanessa - I will send my best 'up the application' vibes to you in 2011!

    Your theory of spraying closer on the wrists makes sense, except I have an aversion to 'perfume puddles' anywhere on my skin. As a result, I probably end up wasting a good amount of perfume. But the carpet smells nice.

    Thanks for your comment!

  11. When attending a wine tasting or a dinner, reduce the number of sprays in half and wear an eau de toilette that is citrus, herbal or green. Not floral.... THIS IS REALLY INTERESTING. Thanks for the tips!

  12. How would you know if the fragrances has a great scent and if it is really fit on you? I was looking for the great perfume that can make a longest smell. Anyway,will certainly visit your site more often now. :)


  13. Well, these tips are really helpful to enhances the fragrance of the perfumes but from my view don't spray too much to get good fragrances as it doesn't work use little amount to get the good fragrance . Moreover, you can use branded perfumes like Black Opium Perfume UK to get the natural fragrance and makes your perfume smell last for long duration.

  14. Your tips will help increase the stability of the perfume. I'll try it out today.

  15. You can browse between perfumes and find more about perfume notes and when to wear them. Parfum Donna Karan



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