‘Long after one has forgotten what a woman wore, the memory of her perfume lingers.’ Christian Dior said so – so it must be true. But does it linger? Or do you liberally spritz your favourite perfume only to feel like it’s all but faded away by the time you’ve struggled out of the Tube and made it into the office?
To ensure your fragrance sticks around for longer than the time it takes to get from dressing table to dance floor, we enlisted the expertise of Shay & Blue‘s founder Dom de Vetta, and fragrance expert and trainer at Miller Harris, Nick Gilbert to get some much-needed advice…
Know the difference
All scents called eau de cologne, eau de toilette or body spray, will be pretty subtle and won’t have a strong fragrance concentration. Whereas an eau de parfum or extrait de parfum is far more intense and will last longer. In addition, “Woods and musks help keep fragrances lasting longer on the skin – so keep an eye out for sandalwood, cedar wood, vetiver, patchouli, gaiac and oud – all of which create longevity and warmth in a fragrance.” Nick Gilbert explains. If you prefer fresh, lighter notes, look for blends of citrus with woods, musks and amber, such as Shay & Blue’s Blood Oranges, as these will still help the fragrance last.
Layer your scents
Layers aren’t only the remit of your transitional wardrobe. Nick says: “The single most important factor in keeping fragrance on the skin is moisture – the more moisture in the skin, the longer it lasts. Combining your fragrance with a body lotion or butter that matches, is the very best way to help the scent last, as it builds layers of the scent on the skin.” We love L’Occitane’s four-piece collection which includes an eau de toilette, shower gel and body lotion, perfect for creating that layered effect.
If that’s not to hand, try dabbing some regular petroleum jelly on your pulse points before spraying your perfume of choice. This will help to hold the fragrance for longer. Your pulse points include your wrists, neck, inside elbows, behind knees, and on ankles and calves, and are areas on your body where the veins are closer to the skin. This means they emit heat, which then helps fragrance develop faster.
You can even experiment with different combinations of fragrance to create a scent that’s uniquely yours. Just be sure to layer the lighter scent on top of the strong perfume so that the heavier fragrance doesn’t overpower it.
Where else is fragrance most effective?
Dom advises applying perfume to clean skin, especially around the chest or decollété area. “Also try spraying a little of the scent onto the clothing you’re wearing, or a scarf. It lasts longer on fabric – but don’t spray on to delicates like silk! Every fragrance performs differently on different people, depending on your skin’s chemistry and natural oils. So you will often see reviews online of the same fragrance where two people give completely opposite verdicts. One will say their fragrance lasts brilliantly, at least 8 hours and another might say they couldn’t smell it after fifteen minutes – they are both right, it is just completely different skin in each case.”
Nick adds, “Fragrance evaporates more slowly from the hair because it is more porous. Spray scent into the hair and around the back of the neck, it will create a beautiful trail, and every time you move you’ll get a burst of fragrance. It’s also important to know where to place your fragrance for your own enjoyment – many of us spray on the wrists and neck, but we don’t get much of the fragrance there for ourselves. A spritz on the décolletage (as long as you are using sun protection or it’s covered!) will send gentle wafts of scent towards your nose for you to enjoy.”
It’s also much better to dab on your fragrance rather than rub it in as this can change the way it reacts on your skin. The top notes in any fragrance are typically lighter and rubbing the scent dissipates them very quickly, so it’s actually better to let the fragrance unfold naturally. Plus if you top it up later in the day, it will refresh those delicate top notes.
Change up for the season
Nick’s advice is that “as the seasons change, so should our fragrances – our wardrobes adapt for the seasons, and fragrance is no different. In summer, brighter and zestier fragrances are perfect. Spring or autumn with their slightly cooler weather calls for gentle florals and woods, and then the winter asks for richer, woodier and muskier fragrances.”
Dom adds that “in summer, because of the heat, fragrance doesn’t last as long, so use a light fresh perfume that you can reapply easily. In winter, use cosier, warmer scents to match the comforting mood of the shorter days and crackling fireplaces.” As we head into those colder days, we’re loving the Miller Harris Lumiere Doree Eau de parfum, and Shay & Blue’s Black Tulip Eau de Parfum for their rich, heady scents – perfect for autumn/winter.
So when you’re getting ready tomorrow morning, take on Nick and Dom’s advice and enjoy your favourite scent for much longer. They may even have given us a great excuse to update our fragrance wardrobe for the season with something new.