Every Tip You Need To Ensure The Scent Of Your Expensive Perfume Actually Sticks Around

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

It's always a bummer when you apply your favorite perfume only to have the scent vanish in a matter of hours. Thankfully, there are some sure-fire tips to make sure your expensive fragrance stays put all day. We've got you — and your fragrance — covered. There are a few basics worth knowing when it comes to perfumes. First of all, light fragrances like citrus and floral simply don't have the staying power that heavier scents do. So if your favorite scents are bright, tangy, and fresh, expect that they might not be able to span the course of a full day. However, if your preferences are woody and heavy, with musk and oriental base notes or vanilla undertones, you can expect these fragrances to last.


Another important element to know from the get-go is that eau du toilette has less perfume oil in it than eau de parfum. This is typically why eau du toilette is cheaper than its richer counterpart, so for lasting scent, opt for the better investment. With all of this in mind, there are a few things you can do to enhance the lasting quality of your perfume.

Post-shower is the best time to apply your fragrance

There actually is an ideal time to apply your perfume and that's right when you get out of the shower. For one thing, your skin is at its freshest, cleansed of dirt, sweat, and oil so there's no natural odors to compete with the scent of your fragrance. On top of that, pores are open thanks to the heat of the shower and therefore more receptive to absorbing the fragrance. "After a shower, your clean pores will open in the steam, making it the perfect time to apply your perfume," fragrance developer Vince Spinnato told Real Simple. An extra shower hack is to purchase the accompanying body wash or shower gel for your perfume, if your favorite brand makes those additional products. That way you can start the fragrance process in the shower and layer the scent.


However, don't apply your perfume to wet skin. Gently towel dry your body first, moisturize, and then apply your fragrance, so that you don't end up rubbing it off with your towel afterward.

Moisturize before putting on perfume

It's key to moisturize your skin before applying perfume. After you towel dry, apply an unscented moisturizer to your body. Perfume performs best on well-hydrated skin. In fact, the more moisturized your skin is, the longer your perfume will last on it. "Dry skin will not hold on to your fragrance as long as moisturized skin will, so moisturize, moisturize, moisturize," fragrance expert Cordelia Smith told Real Simple. "Fragrances will 'stick' to moisturized skin longer, and you will smell the scent throughout the day."


A fragrance-free moisturizer is key, though. Any other scents will compete with your perfume and alter its scent. However, in order to extend and enrich the scent of your perfume, you can layer with a moisturizer or body milk of the fragrance. Several different perfume brands make scented body lotions and washes so that you can fortify the longevity of the scent.

If you aren't showering before putting on your fragrance, moisturizer is still an ally. Simply apply moisturizer to the areas you wish to apply your perfume and enjoy the staying power of your scent.

Apply your perfume on your pulse points

The old visuals of women applying perfume to their necks and wrists have stuck around for a reason. You want to apply your perfume to the warmest parts of your body since heat activates its scent. This is why pulse points are the ideal places, as the skin is thinner and more quickly warmed by blood flow. Apply perfume to the inside of your elbows, your wrists, behind your ears, the nape of your neck, the center of your throat, and behind your knees. Of course, you may not want to apply fragrance to all of those pulse points. Pick one or two spots that feel best.


"Spritz fragrance directly onto the pulse points to produce heat and help a fragrance develop faster and acclimate to the wearer, helping it to smell stronger," Eduardo Valadez, U.S. director of marketing for Diptyque, told The Zoe Report. As your body temperature fluctuates throughout the day, your perfume will react to the temperature in order to maximize its fragrance.

Avoid the wrist rub... and other ways to care for your perfume

Contrary to traditional belief, rubbing your wrists together after applying perfume there is not good for the longevity of the scent. It can diminish the top notes of your perfume, which are the first scents you experience when you apply it. It can also damage the longevity of the fragrance for the rest of the day. Proper storage of your perfume is also crucial. The good news is that a quality perfume can last anywhere from two to 10 years, but there are tell-tale signs if it has turned. The color changes and sometimes even the texture of the fragrance will be different if it's getting too old. You will be the best judge of that; if your favorite scent is starting to smell off, then it has likely hit its limit.


Perfume doesn't need to be stored in a refrigerator, but it should be kept out of direct sunlight or anywhere that gets warm. Keep it away from heaters and radiators, and even air conditioning units, as extreme temperature fluctuations are hard on a fragrance.

Applying perfume to your hair

You can even spray your hair with perfume for a longer-lasting scent. As your hair moves throughout the day, the strands release the fragrance. "The fragrance will permeate your strands and last throughout the day," Vince Spinnato explained to Real Simple. Some perfume brands create specific hair perfumes, too, so you can layer and amplify the already-existing fragrance. For example, fragrance houses like Byredo and Diptyque make hair fragrances to accompany their perfumes. Narciso Rodriguez also has a hair mist in the scent "For Her."


However, you want to be cautious when applying perfume directly to your hair. Apply minimally. It's worth noting too that some hair stylists warn against applying perfume to your hair because of the alcohol content. It can dry out your strands, so if you have very dry hair to start, this may be something to avoid. An eau de parfum may be a better option than an eau du toilette, since a perfume has more oil.