13 Mistakes You're Probably Guilty Of Making With Perfume

Applying perfume is often seen as the final step when getting ready. The right smell can make us feel amazing and enhance our mood. It can transport us to happier times and trigger memories of an important event (we often associate a specific smell with a particular moment in time, which may be why we choose a perfume for our wedding day and a different one entirely for work functions).


There are many reasons to be drawn to fragrance, and smell is a powerful sense. According to Rachel Herz, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University (via Live Science), the memories produced by smells are "experienced as more emotional and more evocative." This makes it even more compelling to experiment with perfumes and find the right one for you, regardless of the occasion. 

The problem is that there are many common misunderstandings about perfume and how we use it. This could include not realizing the right places to apply it, choosing the wrong scent for individual skin chemistry, or picking a fragrance for the wrong reasons. If you want to make your perfume last longer, avoid these mistakes and smell great all day. 


You may be tempted to rub in your perfume, but this is a big no-no!

After spraying a breathtaking new scent onto your wrists, one of the most common things to do is rub your wrists together. Is it instinctual, or have we been led to believe this is the best perfume application? Regardless of the reason, this is one of the most common mistakes made with perfume (and if we are honest, most of us have done this at least once). But what is so wrong about rubbing your wrists together, or any body part where you applied your perfume, for that matter?


The problem is that it will reduce how long it lasts. The action "heats up the skin, which produces natural enzymes that change the course of the scent," French-Armenian perfumer Francis Kurkdjian told Olfactory Club. Instead, you should spray your chosen fragrance onto your body and wait for it to sink in. That's it, and it is amazing how a simple change can have such an impressive result. 

Perfume should not be worn everywhere: Ditch it when you go to dinner

Perfume is often associated with special events. The right scent can make you feel powerful and confident, so it's not surprising that you want to wear it everywhere. But this is not necessarily a good idea, and there are some places where it is best to skip out on perfume altogether. For example, when heading to a new restaurant where you can't wait to eat the food, skip the scent.


If you are eating a meal and want to enjoy it with all of your senses, a strong fragrance can ruin your experience. This is why it's time to ditch the perfume and enjoy being able to taste the subtle flavor combinations in your food fully.

"When you go to the restaurant or you go to the theatre, don't put perfume on. Because when you got to the restaurant, it is really to appreciate what you are going to eat," Cartier perfumer Mathilde Laurent told Who What Wear. "If you are too perfumed, you will not appreciate what you will eat. The restaurant is a spectacle for the mouth, so you need to have your mouth free of perfume." 

You don't realize that there are different concentrations

Have you ever wondered why the smell of your fragrance disappears so quickly? This could have something to do with how you apply it, but it could also be the types of perfumes you choose.

You can't make body spritz last for hours because of its low concentration, so if you want a scent that lasts, consider investing in a parfum. Parfum has the highest concentration of oils and will last around 16 hours, which is also why it is the most expensive option on the market. In contrast, eau de parfum will be cheaper but last around a third of the time before the scent fades.


The worst offenders are cologne, with a low concentration that will not last more than three hours, and body mist, although often affordable and fantastic if you want a light and unoffending aroma, it's only expected to last an hour. The takeaway is if you want a long-lasting fragrance, invest in the higher concentrations (and be prepared to pay for them).

Not spraying your clothing could make your smell fade faster

We have all been told that it is best to add perfume to specific areas of the body, but even the most potent fragrance will fade when applied to the skin. A great alternative would be to spray your clothing, too. "If you want to get the best of your perfume I would perfume your clothes because as the skin is warmer, the perfume will always evaporate quicker," perfumer Mathilde Laurent told Who What Wear. "To perfume your clothes is a good way to smell it and to keep it on for longer."


However, there is some debate about this point, with one of the biggest reasons people are told not to spray their clothes being that it can result in unpleasant stains. The chemicals in perfumes can react with your clothing. So, if you take this advice, be careful about where you spray the scent to avoid ruining your clothing. It is probably also a good idea to try it out on cheaper items before you start spritzing your favorite designer coat.

It is always a good idea to whip out your lotion first

Have you found that after spraying your perfume, it disappears too quickly? There is a moisturizer hack to counteract this, and that is to ensure the skin is moisturized first. "Fragrance stays longer on hydrated skin, so make sure to lotion up," the national fragrance ambassador for Maison Margiela REPLICA, Ross Barry, told InStyle. The lotion is great for keeping your skin soft and moisturized, but it will also work to absorb the smell of perfume, making it last longer than if applied to dry skin (which would result in a more rapid rate of evaporation). 


As for what lotion works best? Some people like to use the same brand to intensify the smell, while others opt for an unscented cream that will not interact with the fragrance. Next time you shop for your signature scent, consider adding a lotion to your basket and see the difference it makes. This may be your new favorite trick! 

When shopping for a new smell, don't sniff too many

Shopping for a new fragrance can be an exciting experience but also daunting because so many products are on the market. When you head into the store, you will see perfumes of different colors, concentrations, and various scents, from light and fruity to spicy and sensual. This can make choosing the right one challenging, and you may be tempted to try multiple kinds.


Even if you are not applying the fragrance directly to your skin and using one of the blotters, after sniffing multiple scents, even the whiff of coffee beans will not be enough to give you a clean slate. "It will mask what you have smelled before but will not give you a clean palate to continue smelling more scents properly," Veronique Gabai, who has her own perfume brand, told InStyle. This means you cannot judge the fragrance properly, and taking a break after each smell is better. 

It is also advisable to try the perfume on your skin because the smell can change when it interacts with your skin chemistry and warms up, and you won't truly know if it works for you until then.

Where you store your perfume will make all the difference (be sure to avoid the bathroom)

You want to keep your fragrance in a cool, dry place to ensure the scent lasts longer. This is why keeping it in humid rooms, like the bathroom, is a bad idea. This revelation may come as a surprise because this location seems to be the perfect place for storage because of its convenience and darkness. However, humidity is terrible for the perfume, as are the fluctuating temperatures commonly found in the bathroom. This will result in the chemicals in your perfume breaking down more quickly.


It is also good to keep them away from light, another perfume offender. "A sunny windowsill or a cabinet or shelf near a heater will degrade perfume more quickly than storing in a dark, cool area," luxury expert, writer, and editor Kristen Shirley told Real Simple. So, where should you be storing your perfume? Try a drawer somewhere in your home with a relatively constant temperature that is cool and dry. 

Don't choose your perfume to please others (it is for you)

You may be tempted to choose your perfume because you love the way it smells on someone else. Or perhaps you have picked it because the branding is appealing, or you feel it is a more socially acceptable smell, but perfume is all about you.


Too many people are guilty of choosing a perfume for the wrong reasons without realizing this is a unique and personal choice. It will also smell different on each person as the fragrance interacts with your skin. This is why something that smells incredible on a friend or family member will not necessarily work for you. This is even more reason to embrace the right smells, and once you have found a scent that works for you, it is a good idea to wear it often. A distinct smell adds another layer to your personality; people will associate you with it. That means they will still be thinking of you once you have left the room, so make it a good one.

Less is more, so don't overdo it

You may think that spraying a lot of perfume all over your body and clothes will make it last much longer and help intensify the smell. While this may make sense in theory, the general rule is always less is more when it comes to perfume.


Too many people are guilty of applying much more perfume than is needed, resulting in an overpowering, sometimes even offensive, scent. "What's important is not to apply too much perfume," perfumer Mathilde Laurent told Who What Wear. "I always advise that the first day of wearing a new perfume, you apply the perfect dose. You do four sprays, never add more. Even if you don't smell it, other people smell it."

The idea of other people being able to smell your fragrance while you can't is an important point. It is known as nose fatigue and can be explained like this: When you first apply the perfume, you can smell it, but as the day goes on, you might not. This is not necessarily because it has faded or evaporated but because the body adapts to become used to the specific scent, and you won't notice it.


You don't use a different scent for each season

If you have found a fragrance you love, you may be tempted to wear it all year round, but this would be a mistake. It is best to have a go-to smell for the summer and a completely different one for the winter. But why?


The weather will impact the smells you choose because it affects our body temperature. Some scents are better suited to the warmer months, while others thrive in the cold. Keep the light, floral, and fruity fragrances for the summer, and be more daring with heavier scents for the winter (when we have a lower body temperature and the skin is dry). Perfumer and the Experimental Perfume Club founder Emmanuelle Moeglin better explains this concept. "Our biology naturally goes into a sort of hibernation mode in winter; we sleep more, tend to eat more and want to feel warm. We are guided by our senses, including smell so most of us are drawn towards warmer scents varying from sweet and ambery to woody and leathery," Moeglin told Elle.


Remember, perfumes react differently depending on the environment

Your perfume will react differently depending on the environment; heat is the key to making your chosen fragrance smell stronger. This is why it is often recommended to spray pulse points. To get the most out of the scent and to make it last longer, it is good to know which places on the body to add it to. The most commonly recognized options are the wrists and neck, but the back of the knees and your ankles are also good choices. Some people also add perfume to their hair because it is believed to retain the scent for longer.


Rahul Sharma, the brand manager of Vanesa Care Pvt. Ltd., told Financial Express why certain places on the body will work best. "The places on the surface of the skin where the arteries are most visible are known as the pulse points. Because of these pulse sites, the odour is noticeably more intense," Sharma said. "Your scent will be able to linger for a longer period of time if you apply it in strategic locations, such as behind the ears, on the fold of the elbows, on the wrists, between the clavicles of the neck, and behind the knees. They can also be applied to the cleavage, calves, ankles, and belly button in addition to those areas."

Smaller perfume bottles are the hack you need to know

You may be tempted to purchase the biggest bottle when shopping for your perfume. This is a good idea if you intend to use the fragrance daily, but there are many pros to opting for the smaller sizes, too.


Smaller bottles of perfumes can be beneficial because you will use them up faster. This will result in the bottle having less oxygen inside it (unlike when you have a big perfume that is half full), which breaks down the molecules. Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian told Olfactory Club that oxygen is the "natural enemy of perfume." Strong words indeed, and essential to remember as the introduction of oxygen will affect the integrity of the fragrance.

There are other reasons to be drawn to lower quantities of your favorite smell. Smaller perfumes are cheaper and allow you to try multiple scents instead of waiting for one larger bottle to finish.

Don't take your favorite fragrance with you everywhere

It may seem like a great idea to be able to reapply your favorite scent whenever you want, which is why many people choose to keep a bottle in their handbag and take it everywhere. But it's not only breakage you must worry about, it's also exposing your perfume to different temperatures.


Perfumes last longer when not exposed to fluctuating temperatures, and we cannot say that a handbag will ensure this does not happen. A Fragrance Direct spokesperson (via Harper's Bazaar) explained why this is, noting that "heat also affects them as it breaks down the chemical bonds that give a perfume its scent. Direct heat is not only bad for the fragrance, but it can warp or melt plastic bottles, and even lower heat over the long term breaks down perfume."

Storing your fragrance correctly will make it last longer. Also, you may need to realize that although long-lasting, perfumes actually have an expiration date, which is something to be mindful of.