You’ve been eyeing a fragrance and, now, you’re confronted with a choice: the size of the bottle. Apart from the obvious price differences, the question that almost always lingers is, “How many sprays are there in a bottle of perfume?”
As a general rule of thumb, 10 ml (0.33 fl oz) of perfume is about 90-120 sprays based on how generous the atomizer. A 50 ml (1.69 fl oz) bottle can have anywhere from 450 to 600 sprays, and a 100 ml (3.38 fl oz) bottle has 900 to 1,200 sprays.
Obviously, some perfume bottles have better atomizers than others. The best atomizers deliver a fine mist that helps you apply just enough of your favorite fragrance to your skin, without making it rain on you.
The average person uses 3 to 5 sprays of perfume a day, depending on its concentration and notes. Other factors that affect how much perfume we put on are where and when we plan to wear it, how long the scent lasts, and how many hours we need it on us.
How do we know, you may be wondering?
It’s simple, really. The best places to spray perfume are the pulse points of the neck and the wrists or inner elbows, which gives us at least three sprays. But many of us spritzing our necks twice or doing so behind our ears, and—especially on a long day—we may do so more than once. So the counter can easily go up to five or more.
To understand how these factors affect the number of times we spritz perfume, let’s take a closer look at each of them.
One of the key factors is the fragrance’s concentration.
When wearing Eau Fraîche, which contains 1-3% pure perfume, or Eau de Cologne, whose perfume content comes in at 2-4%, you’ll need to spray more times than when putting on Eau de Toilette (5-15%) or Eau de Parfum (15-20%).
Unless, of course, you want to stop traffic in the streets or have the subway car all to yourself. And, let’s be honest here, who doesn’t— especially when they’re wearing their signature scent?
Another factor is the notes that make up the character of the fragrance you’re about to wear.
Generally speaking, we are more prone to over-spraying lighter, citrusy or floral, scents than heavier, gourmand, musky, or wooden, ones. Since the latter are more intense to our senses than the former, it’s easier to put on too much perfume and have it become overwhelming.
In some cases, you may be anosmic to perfume (or, to be precise, insensitive to the notes in a specific perfume).
Each note in a fragrance, be it naturally derived or synthesized, comes from one or multiple molecules with varying complexity. Top and middle notes tend to have simpler molecules, and base notes are characterized by more complex molecules.
For reasons that scientists have yet to uncover, we are more prone to being anosmic to complex-molecule scents (base notes) than we are to simple-molecule aromas (top and middle notes). It’s as if, sometimes, the olfactory receptors in our noses struggle to read the whole book, so they simply give up trying.
When that’s the case, it can become surprisingly hard to tell exactly when you’ve sprayed enough perfume on (and remarkably easy to put on too much of it).
Ask someone at home to help you find out how many sprays of that fragrance are enough to give you an alluring trail (called sillage) without warding off everyone unfortunate enough to be standing close to or behind you.
How many times we spray perfume also depends on the setting in which we wear it. When you find yourself in a confined space that puts you in a more intimate setting with others, such as traveling by car, train, or plane, or working with others in a room rather than an open office, three sprays are typically enough.
When going out to a café, bar, or club, some people prefer their scent to make more of an impression on others, so they’ll spray it on them as many as five to seven times (yes, you read that correctly).
All of this, of course, is affected by a perfume’s longevity.
Some scents will stay on your skin for as long as 12-24 hours; others will begin to fade away in as little as 1-2 hours. This is unique to the concentration, ingredients, and formula of each fragrance, so it’s hard to give out a rule of thumb.
However, it’s a fact that perfume stays longer on oily skin types than it does on dry skin types. So you can “extend” the longevity of a fragrance by applying unscented body lotion after showering in the morning (before you put it on).
The important thing to remember is that you may need to freshen up and spray perfume on a few more times during the workday or while you’re out, depending on its longevity.
How Many Sprays in Perfume: A Handy Table
|Bottle Size||Number of Sprays||Number of Uses|
|7.5 ml (0.25 fl oz)||67.5 – 90 sprays||17 – 22 days|
|15 ml (0.5 fl oz)||135 – 180 sprays||34 – 45 days|
|20 ml (0.67 fl oz)||180 – 240 sprays||45 – 60 days|
|30 ml (1.01 fl oz)||315 – 420 sprays||79 – 105 days|
|50 ml (1.69 fl oz)||450 – 600 sprays||113 – 150 days|
|100 ml (3.38 fl oz)||900 – 1,200 sprays||225 – 300 days|
Basically, this means that:
A 7.5 ml (0.25 fl oz) bottle of perfume has between 67 1/2 and 90 sprays. At an average use of 4 sprays per day, the bottle will last you from 17 to 22 days.
A 15 ml (0.5 fl oz) bottle of perfume has between 135 and 180 sprays. At an average use of 4 sprays per day, the bottle will last you from 34 to 45 days.
A 20 ml (0.67 fl oz) bottle of perfume has between 180 and 240 sprays. At an average use of 4 sprays per day, the bottle will last you from 45 to 60 days.
A 30 ml (1.01 fl oz) bottle of perfume has between 315 and 420 sprays. At an average use of 4 sprays per day, the bottle will last you from 79 to 105 days.
A 50 ml (1.69 fl oz) bottle of perfume has between 450 and 600 sprays. At an average use of 4 sprays per day, the bottle will last you from 113 to 150 days.
A 100 ml (3.38 fl oz) bottle of perfume has between 900 and 1,200 sprays. At an average use of 4 sprays per day, the bottle will last you from 225 to 300 days.
What Size Perfume Should You Go For?
Which size of perfume to go for comes down to your wants and needs.
For example, fragrances in 7.5-30 ml (0.25-1.01 fl oz) bottles are highly convenient for carrying around and traveling with, especially if you’d like to take more than one scent with you, but you’ll run out of them quickly.
50 ml (1.69 fl oz) and 100 ml (3.38 fl oz) bottles are considered “the gold standard” for most fragrances, and they’re excellent choices when you’re building up a collection of perfumes. However, they are inconvenient for frag heads who live a nomadic life, as they’re heavy and bulky to carry.
And, yet, you can have the best of both worlds if you buy a big bottle of perfume and get an atomizer, which allows you to carry small portions of it around with you hassle-free when traveling.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed 1 ml instead of 10 ml as being equal to 0.33 fl oz. As a result, it wrongly identified a 0.33 fl oz bottle as having 9-12 sprays of perfume instead of 90-120 sprays. On March 11, 2023, we corrected the typo thanks to reader feedback.