The sense of smell is one of our five senses, along with sight, hearing, touch, and taste. It can remind you of your lover, the caffè latte you drank back in Paris, or the house of your childhood.
Not surprisingly, your fragrance can leave an equally lasting impression on others. Perfume is one of the best ways to make a statement, express yourself and make a mark. But how can you leave a lasting impression if your signature scent doesn’t last on your skin to begin with?
Today we will talk about the main reasons why perfume does not last on your skin—and, in doing so, we will discuss what you can do about it.
Why perfume doesn’t last on your skin:
The main reasons why perfume doesn’t last on your skin are your skin type and body chemistry. Dry and acidic skin shakes off the scent, especially if you don’t spritz the juice on your pulse points.
If your skin fits this description, perfumers (or noses, as they are often called) would say that “your skin throws off scent.” Luckily, there are a few ways to work around this, and we will introduce them to you in the remainder of this article.
First, the spraying.
Many of us don’t know how to properly apply perfume to the body because few perfume houses put these instructions on the back of the packaging. Instead, they assume that we somehow know instinctively.
Your body’s warmth intensifies fragrance. For a more potent, longer-lasting scent, apply perfume to your pulse points, including the base of your throat, behind your ears, in your inner elbows, on your wrists, and, in the heat of summer, behind your knees.
After putting perfume on, don’t rub your wrists together or dab your skin. Fragrances—which consist of fragrant oils diluted in alcohol—take time to settle on the skin, react to its chemistry, and then unravel.
If you haven’t always worn your perfume this way, you should notice an immediate improvement in longevity once you apply it properly.
When troubleshooting why perfume doesn’t last on your skin, your skin type plays as big a role as how you spray on the scent in the first place. So let’s take some time to talk about it.
Perfume lasts long on oily, well-hydrated skin and fades quickly on dry, unmoisturized skin. As it turns out, wearing perfume is one of the very few occasions when oily skin can be considered a blessing!
The Mayo Clinic explains on its website that many factors can cause dry skin. These include hot or cold weather, low humidity, and taking a hot shower or long bath without applying body lotion afterward.
To make perfumes last longer on you, especially for those of you with dry skin, our best advice is to put them on in the morning, just after you have showered and moisturized your skin (preferably with a fragrance-free body lotion).
Keep in mind that some fragrances last longer than others, regardless of how well you moisturize your skin. There are many reasons for this, which we’ve already written about in detail, but they come down to the ingredients used and the formula that makes up the scent.
Before jumping to conclusions, bookmark this article on your browser and keep coming back to it for a week or two as you try out the tips we just gave you with at least two or three perfumes.
This way, you can determine which perfumes in your dresser drawer last longer on your skin—and which ones fade away too quickly.
Then, there’s the acidity of your skin.
Acidity, expressed as pH on a scale of 1 to 14, indicates how acidic or alkaline the surface of your skin is. A reading of 7 is considered neutral, anything below 7 is deemed to be acidic, and anything above 7 is deemed alkaline.
Your skin, as Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson tells Everyday Health, has an “acid mantle” made up of amino acids, lactic acids, and fatty free acids. That acid mantle is like a protective natural barrier that safeguards it against aging and irritation.
If you then add the content of sweat, which is about 99% water and 1% salt and fat, and of which our body evaporates up to a quarter every day, you get a cocktail of acids and salts to which the perfume reacts as soon as it lands on your pulse points.
There are many ways to test skin pH, and all kinds of devices have hit the market in recent years. But you don’t need another $149 fad gadget in your already crowded drawer to find out if your skin is acidic or not.
Instead, you just need to taste yourself. Yes, you read that correctly. No, it’s not what you think. Lick your wrist and observe the taste of your skin. If it is sour and tangy, it means that your skin is acidic.
For all the other hypochondriacs out there, there’s no need to panic and start obsessively googling skin pH (although I am sure you will not listen to your good old friend Simona and do it anyway).
This means nothing other than the fact that it’s good to carry a bottle of perfume in your purse or backpack and re-apply it to your skin at least a few times a day.
P.S. If the problem persists but with just one or two fragrances, you might as well have grown anosmic to them.