Words: Alex Twohey
You may not be aware of it, but you’ve probs already made half of these. Guilty or not guilty?
Mistake #1: rubbing your wrists together
We’re all guilty of it: a quick spritz of your fave fragrance (mine is Hugo Boss The Scent Intense for her) and before you know it, you’re rubbing your wrists together. But it’s time to fight that instinctive move because it seriously affects your scent’s staying power by creating friction, which quickly burns through the top notes. Resist the urge to rub, and let your fragrance air dry instead – you’ll soon notice the difference.
Mistake #2: overdoing it
That man on the tube you can smell from the next carriage? The co-worker who leaves an overpowering whiff every time they’re within a 100-metre radius? It’s tempting to spray, spray, spray your fragrance, but nobody wants to be that guy. The intensity of perfume (and aftershave, for that matter) isn’t always obvious to the wearer, usually because you tend to become immune to your own scent. The truth is, you shouldn’t be able to smell your own fragrance: if it’s obvious to you, it’s likely to be overpowering for others. Scents are there to be subtle and draw people in, not drive them away – so remember, less is more!
Mistake #3: keeping your bottle on display
Perfume bottles are a thing of beauty, so keeping them stored away would be sacrilege, right? Wrong. Those pesky designers might draw us in with their gorgeous dressing-table-worthy ornaments, but leaving your fragrance in a bright, humid place will quickly cause notes to break down, become darker and even put your scent at risk of going rancid! If you can’t bear the thought of banishing your bottle to a drawer, especially when it’s as beautiful as Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal, make sure it’s displayed in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Mistake #4: hoarding your scents
Finding a signature scent isn’t for everyone, but if you prefer to keep a range of fragrances to hand, be careful to check on the length of time you’re storing them. Perfume begins to lose its intensity after about two years, and experts suggest that it’s time to bin it after five years. Like most things in life (sigh), perfume will naturally deteriorate over time – tell-tale signs include a darkened colour, or a faded bottle, which suggests sun damage. So if you’ve been saving that cool vintage perfume for special occasions only, it might be time to start spritzing before it’s too late.
Mistake #5: only applying it to your wrist and neck
Neck, wrists, maybe a quick spritz on your chest for luck – and done. It’s the natural rhythm of most people’s spraying habits, but everyone who does this is missing a trick. Perfume is activated by body heat, so you need to be targeting your pulse points to get long-lasting results. Wrists, neck and chest (the closer to the heart the better) are good starting points, but experiment by dabbing on your inner elbow, behind your ear and even on the inside of your knees. These heated areas of your body will radiate your scent. Discover the different perfume points here...
Mistake #6: skipping the moisturiser
Dry skin is a common problem, but did you know it could also be affecting the longevity of your fragrance? Dryness causes perfume to evaporate more quickly, so be sure to moisturise before spritzing, to ensure your scent has maximum staying power. You can use your perfume’s matching body lotion, which will help you layer your fragrance. Watch our guide to layering fragrance below...