These Tips Will Help Your Perfume Last Longer

There's nothing like spritzing on some perfume. It's the foolproof way to starting your day right, and it can give you equal doses of confidence, joy, and nostalgia — in a good way! Fragrance lovers know that perfume has near-magic powers, allowing us to feel our very best, even when we have too many stressful things going on in our personal and professional lives. Think of perfume like an antidote to all the possible negativity life throws at you, and spray away!

While we know perfume is pretty amazing, there's actually a scientific reason behind why scents provide this affect. If you've ever sprayed a fragrance and been immediately transported to that lavender field you walked through when you were little, or your grandmother's frosted sugar cookies, then you know how perfume is tied to memory. Why does this happen, though? 

According to Alfredo Fontanini, MD, PhD, the brain sends out smell signals directly to our limbic system. Fontanini told Elle, this system "is responsible for creating, reactivating, storing, and recalling memories and emotions." If your perfume of choice does that for you, it's pretty significant. As author Claire Bingham described to Vogue, "When a perfume has the ability to trigger an emotion, it becomes part of the wearer's life." 

That being said, if you want to make your perfume last longer to keep the feeling going over time, there are a few tips you should follow. 

Where to apply your perfume to make it last

You're probably wondering where to apply perfume on the body to ensure it lasts the longest. Most of us know the feeling of spritzing on an incredible fragrance, only for it to fade away as soon as you arrive at a party. However, if you apply your perfume to the right places, that's much less likely to occur. Just remember to steer clear of fragrances with certain ingredients, like phthalates and styrene, which have negative side-effects.

As per Mind Body Green, you should always apply your fragrance to your pulse points. This means inside the wrists, behind the ears, the back of your knees and elbows, and your neck. If you've heard of this tip before, you might not know the proven reason behind it. Perfume founder Cat Chen told the outlet, "All your pulse points are like little radiators" that emanate warmth. This helps "to diffuse the fragrance" out into the world, and it gets you all the compliments. Makeup artist Rosie Johnston explained to the outlet that pulse points tend to have thinner skin, which is how they effectively emanate this warmth. 

You should also consider the idea of applying perfume to your clothes. According to Cosmopolitan, the fibers in your clothes hold smells for a near-eternity, even after washing them. This ensures you'll smell like your favorite Tom Ford Lost Cherry or Miss Dior all day and night. The outlet also recommends spraying on top of your ears for maximum staying power. The more you know!

Foolproof tricks for applying your perfume

Once you know where to apply perfume on your body, there are tons of tricks you can learn to make sure it lasts longer. While you may think just a spritz should do it, if you really want your fragrance to last, it's a multi-step process.

If you tend to spray your room with fragrance and then walk through it — a method we've all seen in at least one romantic comedy — it's actually just a waste of perfume. As explained by Cosmopolitan, it's better to spray directly onto your body to ensure the scent lasts longer. The outlet also warns against doing something most of us are guilty of: Applying perfume on our wrists before rubbing them together. This makes the scent disappear quickly, since it "breaks off" the most important notes (via Marie Claire). In fact, makeup artist and fragrance expert Rosie Johnston told Mind Body Green that "rubbing together is considered a big perfume no-no" since it "just makes the top notes burn off a little quicker."

If you are combining two scents, you should dab your wrists instead of rubbing them together (via Marie Claire). This keeps every note of your fragrance perfectly intact. Another foolproof tip? Applying perfume right after you shower. According to fragrance developer Vince Spinnato, "your clean pores will open in the steam, making it the perfect time to apply" (via Real Simple).

Making perfume last is all about moisture

Once you know where and how to apply your perfume, you may be surprised to learn that a huge contributing factor in making fragrance last longer is the overall moisture of your skin. This is because hydrated skin holds fragrance for more time than dry skin does. According to fragrance expert Cordelia Smith, "Dry skin will not hold on to your fragrance as long as moisturized skin will, so moisturize, moisturize, moisturize," (via Real Simple). Smith went on to say, "Fragrances will 'stick' to moisturized skin longer and you will smell the scent throughout the day."

Just like a shower can "prime" your skin for perfume by opening up your pores and keeping skin dewy, lotions and oils have a similar effect. Cosmopolitan recommends applying an unscented body oil to your skin before spritzing on your favorite fragrance. This makes your perfume hold on longer, and you won't have to apply it repeatedly throughout the day, which allows you to save product as well. 

Another less expensive, drugstore-friendly option is simply rubbing your pulse points with Vaseline before applying your go-to Chanel No. 5. Just like body oil, Vaseline is a cheaper alternative to holding your perfume on all day. In a pinch, you can also use an unscented body lotion or butter for a similar effect, which will work even better if it's oil-based. Hydrated skin is the key to making sure your fragrance doesn't budge!

Hair is just as important when trying to make perfume last

Lastly, you can't leave hair out of the equation when thinking about how to make perfume last longer. If you've ever smelled your hair after sitting next to a bonfire for a few hours, you know about your mane's ability to lock in scents and hold them there until you wash it. So, it makes sense that getting your hair involved in your perfume application will make your fragrance last even longer. 

Giving us one of the most genius tricks in perfume application, Cosmopolitan recommends spritzing your favorite fragrance on your everyday hairbrush. While some people recommend simply spraying perfume directly on your hair roots, this is a tip that may do more harm than good. Many of us have done this at least a few times and it does work, but it may dry out your hair due to the high alcohol content found in fragrance. Spraying your brush with perfume instead is the key to delivering a light dose of scent to your locks while keeping your hair moisturized from your roots to your ends. 

Another alternative is investing in a hair perfume, preferably one that matches the fragrance you use on your skin. Not only does this extend your no-wash days, but it'll make your entire fragrance situation more potent.