I Tried a "Fragrance Primer" to See If It Actually Makes My Perfume Last Longer

I'm a beauty editor, so it's no surprise that I love fragrance… and I mean love. I own over 25 bottles of perfume. They're sitting on my dresser right now, painting the wall behind it in varying shades of gold, amber, and rose, depending on the color of the liquid inside. My little apothecary of perfume brings me joy and allows me to switch up my scent based on the situation and season that I'm in.

There's only one thing that I don't love about fragrances, and that's the fact that some of them simply don't last. I'll spritz them on my pulse points in the morning, and they don't even linger until lunchtime. No matter how sweet, sultry, or intoxicating a perfume smells, it's simply not worth it if it doesn't stick around—especially when that scent has an expensive price tag.

So, what's a girl to do? Well, there's always fragrance primer. Yes, you read that right. Fragrance primer exists, and just like makeup primer, it's designed to prep the skin for and extend the wear of the products that follow it (in this case, your favorite perfume). The latest one to launch promises to keep scent locked to your skin for up to 24 hours. So obviously, I had to try it.

Future Society Optimal Habitat Fragrance Primer

(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

The ingredients include standard moisturizing and skin-softening ingredients like glycerin and squalane, as well as biotech ingredients. These include:

Aeonome: a marine ingredient that moisturizes and soothes the skin while reducing oxidative stress and supporting the microbiome.
Ceramide NP: an ingredient derived from olive oil that plays a critical role in the skin's outer layers.
Sr-Hydrozoan Polypeptide-1: an ingredient that's similar to marine collagen and supports the skin's moisture and antimicrobial barriers.

How's that for high-tech? Together, these ingredients not only prime the skin for fragrance, but they extend the wear of fragrance and even intensify it upon application. In other words, it promises to amplify your favorite perfume and save you from having to reapply it throughout the day, saving you money in the long run.

Future Society Fragrance Primer

(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

I was curious about how this product would feel and smell. Upon first look, I figured it would be slightly viscous thanks to its milky-white color, but when I spritzed it on my wrists, it felt lightweight and all but disappeared after a few seconds. There was virtually no residue and it felt more like a hydrating mist than anything. As for the smell, there was none.

I applied it to my wrists and neck, let it dry for 30 seconds, and then applied perfume.

Experiment #1: Body Mist

Experiment #2: Eau de Toilette

Experiment #3: Eau de Parfum

Bonus Experiment: Cologne

The Verdict

Future Society Fragrance Primer

(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

While I can confidently say that this fragrance primer extends the longevity of my favorite perfumes, there's no hard-and-fast rule as to how well it works. Based on my experience, I feel like it depends on the specific fragrance you're pairing it with. Still, though, I can see how this can come in handy—especially when it's paired with lighter, fresher, and more fleeting fragrances.

It's worth noting that some dermatologists say petroleum-based products, like Vaseline and Aquaphor, can work as fragrance primers in that they hold onto perfume and extend its longevity. While these don't contain the same hydrating, soothing, and microbiome-supporting ingredients as the Future Society Fragrance Primer, they're inexpensive and accessible. Personally, I'll stick with the actual fragrance primer to avoid thick, greasy residue on my wrists and neck.

Shop More of My Favorite Fragrances

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.