How to Make Your Perfume Last Longer

Perfumes make me smile, they make me happy and brighten up my day when I smell them. I feel you're not fully dressed without perfume. Do you have a favorite perfume but can't smell it a couple hours later? Well I got you covered! Most of my perfumes are from niche brands (not from fashion houses) because I don't want to smell like everybody else, but those also tend to be a bit pricier. So if I'm going to spend all that money on a perfume, I want everyone to smell me! And  I want to make sure when I go out for date night that my perfume projects. 

The three perfumes pictured above become a skin scent 30 minutes after applying, but I loved their unique scent so much I bought them anyway because they were love at first sniff! I would describe them all as beautiful, sophisticated, and classy fragrances but have weak performance. Someone might say the cost isn't worth it with such poor projection, but I found a solution to fix the light sillage. But first, let me introduce you to them and explain why I loved these fragrances so much. I'm a big fan of deep, multi-faceted olfactory creations. I've been wearing these three a lot this March as transitional spring scents. This are all perfect inoffensive scents to wear in the office once we return.

Memo - Kedu

Named after a volcanic plain on the island of Java in Indonesia, the scent is so unusual, I don't have anything like it in my collection. It's a subtle fragrance that smells like creamy toasted sesame seeds. (You may know sesame seeds from when they are ground up to make tahini which is the main ingredient in hummus, so its like a nut butter.)  This beautiful fragrance opens with a citrus neroli, then smells like warm spices and chocolate, it's buttery and rosey, with a musk drydown.

Van Cleef & Arpels - Gardenia Petale

Jasmine and rose are my go-to floral scents, and though its somewhat in the same family of light florals, gardenia is a flower I've always overlooked until now. (Must buy a gardenia bush this summer.) This perfume by Van Cleef has a lighter juice but smells creamy and absolutely beautiful. Its not a synthetic scent, it smells very natural.  

Atelier - Vanille Insensée

This is perfect for someone who isn't particularly crazy about notes of vanilla in their perfume because Atelier has toned down the sweetness of the vanilla. Thus, you won't walk around smelling like a bakery. It has notes of coriander, vetiver, jasmine and oak so it would be classified as a woody vanilla. Not your boring vanilla, but also a very intimate scent. I bought the travel size bottle since this is my first vanilla fragrance and I wasn't ready yet to commit to a full size bottle. But now I'm scared to spray it because I see how fast the juice is going down. lol 

In my last perfume post I gave you these tips for making your perfume last, but I want to dig a littler deeper:

When you apply your perfume, put lotion/vaseline/body oil on first, then your perfume on top.  This will hold your perfume better. Also spray your clothes which will hold the perfume longer than your skin. Do not store your perfume in the bathroom, the humidity can destroy the perfume. 

First I want to mention a couple myths that I don't follow. One I don't put perfume on when I 'm fresh out the shower, I put my perfume on the minute before I walk out my door. Two I don't rub my wrists together when I apply perfume to my pulse points. That rubs off the top notes. 

My secret to making perfume with poor longevity last longer is more sprays and using a perfume primer. If you're just spraying 4 sprays (two on wrist and two on neck), with the average perfume people aren't going to smell you unless you hug each other and their nose is your neck.  You have to also spray your clothes because that will hold the fragrance longer than your skin. I spray my work from home shirts and can smell the perfume all day!  I also spray my coat so that I leave a trail of fragrance as I walk through the grocery store. I also do one spray on the outside corner of my face mask so *I* can enjoy my fragrance when I'm out and about. There are people who do up to 30 sprays of perfume, I'm not there yet, I'm more at a happy medium. I do two sprays on each side of my neck, one spray on each wrist, then I spray twice on the front of my coat, two sprays on each arm and my facemask.  That totals 10 sprays. Might as well! I'm never going to finish a bottle of perfume otherwise and perfume does lose it potency after some years. 

I started off using unscented body lotion on my wrists and spraying perfume on top of that. But I found I have an even better result with a perfume primer (oil).  You put the oil on your skin first then spray your perfume right on top of the oil. The oil locks the perfume into your skin and the perfume lasts much longer!

Maison Martin Margiela - Replica Filter Glow Perfumed Oil

I'm sure you've seen this brand on display at Sephora. Flower Market used to be one of my favorite scents from the house. This dry-oil is meant to be layered under your perfume.  Calling it a dry-oil is a misnomer, it's still a wet oil. It has notes of  neroli, grapefruit blossom, bergamot, and rose absolute so it pairs well with your floral perfumes.

 Escentric Molecule 01 

This has one ingredient in it - Iso E Super which is in a lot of perfumes. Iso E Super is defined as a "synthetic note with cedar woody abstract facets that create a glue with the skin, extending and helping a fragrance composition radiate from the skin." It smells woody and musky but it is also transparent and neutral. Some people wear this on its own as its a very versatile scent, but some people can't smell it on themselves. The scent will disappear for awhile, then come back. This is the most popular scent enhancer you will hear people talk about.  Amazon  has a cheaper dupe that I haven't tried yet. 

Escentric Molecules 02

This has one ingredient in it - Ambroxan. This is a very non-obtrusive scent that some people can't smell at all. It's the perfect inoffensive scent to layer under floral perfumes. To me it scent has a salty celery vibe. This ghost perfume does zap the sweetness out of perfumes but it gives it more ours of longevity.

Hermetica Oils

Hermetica is a collection of molecular fragrances of a hybrid formula of a perfume elixir that combines natural ingredients and synthetic molecules. You can buy samples from their website. My favorite ones are Ivyitie, Megaflower, Rosefire,  and Vaninight. They make your perfume last 10 hours! 

D.S. and Durga - I Don't Know What  

The brand's description is: "A fragrance enhancer with transparent radiance that gives any perfume a certain, as the French say, “I don’t know what.”" I think it's overpriced, since it's not a perfume, it shouldn't be in the same price range as the rest of their brand. This is a citrus/woody mix with Iso E super and ambroxan. The masculine scent is quite strong, more so than Molecule 01, so this would work best with your deeper fragrances. 

OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil

This is something I discovered by accident as I already had this in my stash and decided to try this as a perfume primer and it worked perfectly!  Do note, this is an oil so it comes out quite wet and takes awhile to absorb. The ingredients consist of a mixture of the following oils: rosehip, shea, camelina, and sunflower. The rose smell is barely there, I think they only added fragrance to cover the smell of the oils.  

Jasmine Gardenia Body Oil

This applies very wet obviously but smells oh so good! It's a great all body oil and I wear this everyday. 

Magnolia Lotion

This is a very light, plant based lotion. But it has such a unique scent that it's perfect to pair with floral perfumes. Magnolia smells like a sweet lemon. 


Hair Perfume

The alcohol in perfume can dry your hair out, but still I do know some people who spray their hair. I've also heard of spraying your hairbrush then brushing your hair. I purchased hair perfume which is lighter in alcohol. Sephora  and Nordstrom  have lots of different hair mists to choose from. So if you like the perfume Black Opium, you can get the same coffee and vanilla notes with the infusion of argan oil in a hair mist. Other perfume brands that come in a hair mist are Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Frederic Malle, Acqua di Parma, Diptyque, Ex Nihilo, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Parfums de Marly, Jo Malone, Tocca, Aerin and Memo. Brands sell their perfumes at a much cheaper rate when it's called a hair mist. When hair perfume is added to your hair, you have a lasting fragrance because it clings on to your hair. I have Byredo's Flowerhead which is half the price of a bottle of Byredo perfume but still has the same strong fragrance. It smells like beautiful crisp jasmine with some tuberose, it's a sharp white floral. If you're familiar with Gucci Bloom, it's quite similar. When it's sprayed in my hair, I get a big burst of fresh cut flowers all around me!  

In conclusion, make sure you are storing your perfume in a dark cool place to keep its integrity.  Put a perfume primer on your skin before spraying. Then spray yourself a dozen times and spray your hair.  Tom Ford said, "The way you smell can make as much as an impression as the way you look."

Related post:

Fragrance Wardrobe: What Perfumes I Wear


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