How to make your perfume last longer

We’ve all been there: found our dream fragrance, which we completely adore – but are horrified to discover it only seems to last a couple of hours on our skin. You lug that perfect perfume around with you everywhere, reapplying throughout the day. All that spritzing means that you’re getting through the perfume a little more quickly than you’d like.

You might be willing to take a hit to your budget to top-up on your fave perfume more frequently, but what you really want is for your perfume to last longer.

Here are some tips to boost the longevity of your favourite fragrances.

#1 Keep out of harm’s way

Fragrances are perfectly balanced concoctions that age and evolve over time. If you want to keep your perfume in its intended form, keep it out of the way of heat, light and humidity. These all damage the fragrance and will reduce its potency. Instead of storing your perfume on a windowsill in direct sunlight, tuck it away in a cupboard or drawer. You wouldn’t store your milk at room temperature or fruit in the freezer, so why would you leave your perfume in conditions it doesn’t enjoy?

#2 Dry vs. oily skin

Perfume will last much longer on oily skin. If you have dry skin, be sure you moisturise thoroughly before applying your fragrance – choose unscented lotions, or a lotion that’s the same brand as your perfume. You can also use tiny dabs of Vaseline where you apply perfume to help lock-in the scent.


In the same way, experts advise that the best time to apply perfume is immediately after showering. The moisture on your skin and open pores are ideal for holding scents.

#3 Pulse points?

Traditional fragrance know-how suggests that you should apply perfume at the pulse points – your wrists, your neck, inside your elbows and so on. These warmer spots help the perfume develop in a way that cooler areas of your body simply can’t compete with. However, if longevity is your goal, you may actually want to avoid the pulse points. The heat from your pulse points speeds up the evolution of your perfume, so you’ll reach the heart notes, then the base notes, of your perfume quickly.

Experts recommend applying perfume to hair if you really want to maximise sillage. Don’t worry about the alcohol in the fragrance damaging your hair – the alcohol is usually present in such small quantities that it shouldn’t harm your hair. Alternatively, you could first spray the perfume onto a hairbrush and then brush through.

#4 Rubbing your wrists

A quick and easy way to destroy the longevity of your perfume is to rub your wrists together immediately after application! This generates heat which destroys delicate top notes and alters the chemistry of the perfume. If you want those top notes to last, don’t rub your wrists!

#5 A lighter spray

If you’ve got a lighter perfume to apply, one way to make it last longer is to try and apply it evenly. A good tip is to spray the air in front of you with the body mist, then walk through it after. Don’t do this with a stronger perfume!

#6 Something more potent

If you’ve tried all these steps and you’re still not making any progress, it may be time to switch it up and opt for a more potent perfume. Body mists are the weakest perfumes, followed by eau de cologne, then eau de toilette, eau de parfum and finally extrait de parfum and fragrance oils. Try heading a step up the fragrance ladder to see what difference a stronger perfume makes.


Also, do you research. Sites like Fragrantica rate each perfume on their longevity and their sillage (their projection), so you can see how different fragrances match up. As a general rule, citrus notes don’t last long and woody notes tend to linger.

#7 One final point…

Importantly, your perfume may be lasting a lot longer than you think.  Our noses get used to smells and filter them out as we become familiar with them. It doesn’t hurt to ask your partner or a friend how your perfume’s doing instead of reapplying straight away! You don’t want to waste a fragrance or turn it from pleasant to overpowering…

How do you make your perfumes last longer? Share your tips in the comments!


One comment on “How to make your perfume last longer

  1. […] rub your wrists together, and apply to your hair rather than your pulse points. Read our complete guide to improving perfume longevity for more tips! And don’t forget that your perfume won’t last […]

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