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How to Make Perfume Last Longer

Helping your fragrances last longer

We love our scents and want to make sure we are getting the most out of them. Fragrances are an investment that can last a very long time and bring pleasure for years after their purchase. To keep yourself smelling great and getting the most out of your scents there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your perfumes. 

Taking care of your perfumes

Perfumes are a complex mixture of molecules suspended in a solvent, usually ethanol. Through time these molecules can degrade or break apart, especially the lighter top notes. This can produce off notes or just have the scent not smelling quite as rich as it first did. Though you can never fully stop the breakdown of these molecules there are a few things you can do to significantly slow the process down. 

Perfume can be easily damaged by heat, light and humidity however, which is bad news for folks who store their perfumes in the bathroom. Changes in temperature, especially warmer temperatures accelerate the breakdown of these molecules. Bright light will also accelerate this breakdown though oxidization. Humidity can cause moisture to accumulate in the perfume which means the ethanol is less effective as an inhibiting agent, making the perfume more susceptible to bacteria. Bathrooms tend to be a mixture of all three of these factors, heating and becoming very humid with every shower. 

The best way to store your perfume to ensure it lasts is by keeping it somewhere cool, dry and dark. Keep the bottles out of direct sunlight and away from fluctuations in temperature and your perfume can last indefinitely. You can store it in the original box as well if you want to make sure it stays out of the light. Some perfume companies claim that perfume can expire after a few years but if it is stored properly alcohol based perfume can last a very long time. There isn’t much risk of a perfume becoming dangerous to wear if it starts to degrade as the ethanol does a great job of preventing bacterial growth. The main issue is that it just won’t smell the same or perform the way that it used to. 

When buying non alcohol based, whether water or oil based perfumes, it is important to remember that the solvent does not help act as a preservative so it is doubly important to keep these perfumes out of humidity and heat. Perfume oils can break down in the same way as alcohol based perfumes but additionally are susceptible to bacteria growth. For this reason we do recommend replacing perfume oils after 3 years or so even if stored properly. 

Making your perfume last longer 

Now that your scents are stored properly and won’t degrade how can we get more life out of each application. When we apply fragrance to our skin, the heat from our bodies as well as the pH of the skin can create a very different experience from person to person. Factors like how warm or how dry your skin tends to be can really affect how long a scent will last.  The single best thing you can do to extend the how long a perfume lasts is to apply it to well moisturized skin. Dry skin allows the fragrance to be absorbed much more quickly. Applying an unscented moisturizer to wherever you apply your perfumes will act as a shield between the scent and skin and make your scents last much longer. You can also try experimenting with where you apply the perfume. Typically the insides of the wrists and the neck have been where people apply scent because the skin is thinner and therefore warmer. This can help the perfume diffuse but if you are having trouble with scents not lasting, experiment a little. See if the back of your arm holds the scent a little longer.

Where else to apply your scents

The modern perfume industry was formalized in 18th century Europe not to create perfumes for people but to scent clothing, mainly leather goods. Another option for making your perfume last longer that is often overlooked is to apply it to clothing. When you apply perfume to skin the heat from your body helps the perfume to radiate and create a scented cloud around the body. That heat is also causing more perfume to escape into the air more quickly than if it was applied to a neutral surface. The next time you wear a scent try spritzing a scarf or the inside of a shirt collar. You will find that the scent can linger on the fabric for days if not weeks or until the next wash. This is a great option if you have a signature scent that you wear frequently. The main downside with this option is you take your scent off as well if you take your clothes off.

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