How to apply perfume
Of all the beauty products in the world, perfume seems like one of the most straightforward to use. Of course, one spritz and you’re done makes complete sense, but if you want to get the best out of those (often very pricey) bottles of fragrance, there are some helpful guidelines to abide by.
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Let us spray
One of the most perpetuated ideas about perfume is that rubbing your wrists together after spritzing scent there is a good idea. Alas, it’s not. The action damages or dulls the top notes (or the initial smell you encounter) of the fragrance and the movement also heats your skin suddenly, both of which changes the way it smells. To preserve its integrity, spritz your skin from around 10cm away and let it settle without touching the area until it has dried.
Where and when
Perfume lasts longer when skin is slightly damp, even more so if it’s been prepped with an emollient base as fragrance molecules will ‘bind’ with it, so after you’ve had a shower and applied a moisturiser is ideal. Of course your scent will become distorted if it’s battling for attention with other fragrant body washes and lotions, so stick to less scented options if you want your perfume to shine. Even better, take to layering your favourite product by using the body wash and body lotion made with the same scent you normally wear. These are usually easier to find in gift sets, so keep an eye out over the festive season.
Skin is in
Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness is a big fan of the "spray, delay and walk away!" approach where you spray perfume into the air and walk into the mist. This is great when you want just a hint of scent but perfume works best when applied to your skin, particularly in areas where the body has pulse points closer to the surface of the skin. Those areas gently emit more heat than others so do a good job of dispensing your scent. Stick with areas exposed to the air rather than ones that get covered up with clothing.
The tried-and-true wrists and collarbones are definitely worth your while, but consider also the nape of your neck, your inner elbows or the back of your knees.
Take it from the top
If you have very sensitive skin, you may find it reacts to direct application of perfume, but a good alternative is to try wearing it in your hair. It’s also a good idea if you’re in a very hot or sunny climate as some dermatologists suggest the alcohol in perfume can cause photosensitivity, in turn triggering pigmentation in the skin.
Your hair holds on to fragrance well and as your locks move during the day it helps with the diffusion of your scent, leaving a beautiful fragrant trail. Alcohol is also a downfall with this approach as repeat application can have a drying effect, so if you’re someone that wants to use this approach often, look into buying a dedicated hair mist. Some brands like Tom Ford and Byredo offer hit releases in hair mist form as well as parfum.
Main image: @onabeautybender