Spots You Shouldn't Bother Applying Perfume To

We have the ancient Greeks, Arabs, and 17th-century France to thank for the sweet-smelling scents we dab on ourselves before we rush out the door every morning (via McGill University). The origin of liquid perfumes can be traced back to these civilizations. However, the substance we see in exquisite bottles at department stores doesn't explain the science behind how the product is made. What starts off as essential oils taken from plants goes through a careful process of distillation, dilution, cooling, filtering, and packing. To get just one kilo of perfume oil can require thousands of kilograms of flowers, proving just how precious the end product truly is. 


Given such a meticulous manufacturing process, it is no wonder that we treasure and want to make the most of the pricey scents we purchase. We spritz them on ourselves with the hope that we carry the scent with us all day long.

Perfume enthusiasts have come up with plenty of tips that will make your perfume last longer. And while there are certain parts of the body that retain scent more easily than others, there are some areas of skin that aren't worth bothering with when applying fragrance. 


If the stinging in your eyes after you accidentally spritz them with perfume doesn't tell you something is wrong, you can listen to medical professionals. Ophthalmologist Dr. Arvind Kumar tells Health Shots that the alcohol-based liquids "are very toxic to the superficial layer of our cornea and conjunctiva." The high concentration of ethyl found in the alcohol is what causes the irritation, per Reader's Digest


However, accidents do happen and you can probably recall a time or two when you hurriedly held the nozzle of your perfume bottle at an angle that hit your eyes as you were spraying. Luckily, there's no need to panic. There are some simple things you can be doing at home to relieve the discomfort, such as immediately rinsing your eyes with cold water or applying a cold compress. What you shouldn't be doing is rubbing your eyes or applying any other creams to your already irritated peepers, especially without asking a doctor first. 

If the stinging persists, seek medical advice. 


The logic might seem tempting. Your hair catches in the wind and the wind will help waft the scent of your perfume wherever you go, right? Actually, it may not be as simple as that.

The alcohol in perfumes can be damaging to your tresses, which is one of the main reasons you shouldn't be spritzing perfume in your hair, Readers Digest reveals. To avoid the risk of ruining your hair by drying it out, opt instead for perfumes that you can safely spray on your locks such as oil-based and water-based scents. Try spraying some of these on your hairbrush before combing out your hair.


Hair mists, hair-specific serums, dry shampoo, and even leave-in conditioners can be used as scent alternatives in your hair (via Style Craze). You'll be nourishing your hair while adding perfume to a spot that's sure to envelop you in a nice scent throughout the day.


You may have heard experts say that shaving under your arms is a bad idea. However, it might seem like an innocent addition to your perfume ritual to spritz some on your wrists, behind your ears, and then on your armpits. After all, if you can put deodorant under there, why not perfume? The answer might surprise you. 


The skin on your armpits is sensitive and the sweat glands could get irritated by the chemical-laden perfume (via Reader's Digest). Also, your armpit skin is porous and holds the scents for a long amount of time, which means the irritating substances can stay on the surface for more than 24 hours, per Alexandria Fragrances

It's best to stick to the pulse points instead when it comes to applying scent. Go for the wrists, neck, and even behind your knees. You won't irritate the skin there and the fragrance will last a lot longer too.


Leave your lips for lipgloss, lipstick, and exfoliating. Don't bother spraying perfume on there as it will be wasted and could cause more harm than good. Your lips are in motion most of the time, and the skin is sensitive and absorbent. 


Just like with your eyes, there may have been times when you've accidentally got perfume in or near your mouth while aiming for behind your ears. As long as you didn't ingest much of the scent, it's likely nothing to worry about. There's a marked difference between accidental spraying on your pout, full-on spraying inside the mouth, and properly ingesting the liquid. Ingesting perfume in high doses could become toxic, or you could have an allergic reaction to some ingredient in the scent. You may want to read up on what happens to your body if you accidentally drink perfume while you're on the topic. 

Again, this is another example of why it's better to stick to applying perfume to pulse points only.



While your wrists are a great place to spray on your favorite scent, your hands are not. You may be inviting dry and damaged skin or even get perfume in your eyes if you happen to touch them immediately after application.


You use your hands to do pretty much everything throughout your day. You're going to be eating, touching people, and doing lots of other activities, meaning the likelihood of experiencing longevity with fragrances applied to them is pretty slim. 

As a side note, did you know that rubbing your wrists together after applying perfume on there is actually not recommended? Perfume enthusiast and founder of the unisex perfume brand DedCool Carina Chaz told Byrdie, "Fragrance should sit on skin in order to mix with your natural oils. When wrists are rubbed together, top notes will fade and evaporate." Rubbing your wrists together actually goes against the delicate nature of how scents should be applied to your body.  



According to gynecologist and obstetrician Dr. Aruna Kalra, women tend to think that using perfumes, wipes, cleansers, and deodorants will keep their vagina area smelling nice and clean. Kalra clarified to Health Shots, "A normal vagina doesn't smell like roses, and there is certainly no need to make it smell like that. The vaginal perfumes can do you more harm than good." 


Cologne in the penis region is also a big no-no, according to dermatologist Anthony Rossi (via Dollars Shave Club). The alcohol in the perfume can irritate the skin. 

If you want to get the best out of your perfume and go through the day carrying a subtle yet sweet scent around you, you may want to target the expert-recommended spots instead. Even walking through a cloud of perfume after you spritz the air is an efficient trick, according to perfume enthusiast and businesswoman Carina Chaz, per Byrdie. So is applying some to your clothing. Just make sure it's not satin so you don't get stains!