How to Apply Perfume: 5 Secrets to Make Your Scents Last

Applying your perfume is probably the final (and fastest) step in your beauty routine—a spritz here, a dab there, and you’re out the door. And you probably never think about how you apply perfume because well, it’s so easy! But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to wearing fragrances—where you place perfume on your body, how much you spritz on, and even where you store it (like a steamy bathroom vanity) can impact how long it lasts on your skin and in the bottle.

So if you’re wondering if that bottle sitting pretty on your dresser is safe (hint: you might want to move it before reading this), we’ve got five easy steps you can follow to guarantee your perfumes are good to their very last drop.

1. Don’t rub perfume into your skin.

You’ve probably seen it—your mom, grandmom, or friends dabbing perfume on their wrists and rubbing them together. It’s one of the first fragrance habits we ever learned (and one of the hardest to break, TBH). But rubbing perfume into your skin causes the top notes to fade and evaporate before they can settle. This means the notes that made you fall for the scent to begin with never truly translate onto your skin (gasp!). You want your perfume to slowly mix with your skin’s natural oils—it’s what makes your scent last and smell slightly unique to you. Also, rubbing perfume onto your skin causes friction, which can heat up and change the scent. So how should you apply your perfume? Focus on the spots your fragrance loves most—your pulse points.

2. Spray it onto your pulse points.

First things first—what and where are your pulse points? Your pulse points, located on the inside of your wrists, inner elbows, below your belly button, and behind your ear lobes and knees, are where your veins sit closest to your skin, so you can (literally) feel your pulse. These warm spots on your body emit extra body heat, which helps to naturally diffuse a scent. To apply perfume to your pulse points, spritz or dab it (remember, don’t rub) on a few or all of them, and your fragrance will linger all day.

3. Where you store your perfume matters.

Perfumes are pretty and (depending on their price tags) precious, too. If you’re like us, and you treat your favorite eau de toilette like a gem lighting up your vanity—you’re in for a surprise. Storing your fragrance in your bathroom where steam from daily showers can interact with them is a no-no. Water, humidity and drastically changing temps can change a perfume’s composition and cut short the shelf life of your favorite bottle. Additionally, any form of light (especially sunlight) can break down a perfume’s makeup. Where should you keep your perfume? The answer: a cool, dark, dry place. Before you bury your bottles in your closet, try inside a bedroom dresser or vanity drawer, or simply, inside the box, your fragrance came in. Most of these were made to keep your perfume happy and safe for the long haul.

4. Spritz, then walk into your perfume.

Ever find yourself lost in someone else’s perfume cloud? Not fun, right? The key to keeping your perfume pleasant and not overpowering is to diffuse it all over, and not concentrate it in one (or every) area. You want your fragrance to compliment you and enhance your natural scent—not completely mask it. Instead of spraying perfume all over, dab it onto your pulse points and then do what we call a “spritz and step.” Spray your perfume in front of you, then walk right into it and back out. This will leave a light layer on your clothes, and make sure you’re covered (without overdoing it).

5. Feel free to spray your clothes.

Speaking of clothes, applying a little perfume to your clothing is a great way to keep your scent going all day long—just make sure it’s not something that can stain (like silk). Fragrance interacts with fabrics differently than the skin, so it’ll probably smell lighter or slightly different—but still like your favorite perfume. Try spritzing some perfume in the air and waving your clothes around in it, or spritzing a bit on the inner lining of your coat or blazer. The result? A light wafting of your favorite perfume that will travel with you, wherever you go.

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