I Was Today Years Old When I Learned *This* Makes Perfume Last So Much Longer
To say our beauty team loves fragrance is an understatement. We wax poetic often about our favorites in our Slack channel, but the question remains—how do you get your beloved signature scent to last all day? Well, there's no completely straightforward answer, but there are a few key tips you should know if you want to make your perfume last longer. I tapped two experts to give us a bit more insight.
According to Brianna Arps, fragrance expert and Moodeaux founder, it's first important to understand what makes up a fragrance. "Most perfumes and colognes are composed of three layers with top, middle, and base notes," she says. "Top notes are the elements of a fragrance you smell first. They're an introduction for what's about to unfold, if you will. They tend to evaporate rather quickly, making room for the middle notes—the 'heart' or 'body' of the scent—to develop and take center stage. When those dissipate, you're left with base notes that serve as the fragrance's anchor. They usually consist of rich, deep elements like sandalwood, vanilla, patchouli, and musk, for example, that impart the longest-lasting impression."
For insight on how you can give your favorite perfume a boost of longevity, keep reading. There are lots of good tips ahead.
1. Always properly store your fragrances.
Arps says proper storage can actually make your perfume last longer. "A lot of folks (including myself at times) forget that perfumes and colognes are best kept away from sunlight in a dark, cool environment versus on a vanity facing windows or a bathroom countertop," she says. "This helps safeguard your 'juice' against light, heat, and humidity—all of which accelerate degrading. If you've tossed the original box your fragrance came in, try to avoid misplacing its overcap by keeping it on tight when not in use to reduce oxidation and slow evaporation."
2. Make sure your skin is well moisturized.
I'm sure you've heard many times that hydration is key when it comes to skincare, but I bet you didn't know it's also essential if you're looking for ways to make your perfume last longer. Arps says, "I always spritz on well-moisturized skin aka the perfect canvas to ensure the oils inside my favorite perfumes have something to 'stick to' for lack of better words. If you're down to experiment, try applying perfume or cologne to your erogenous zones—the spots on the body that emit heat like the inner wrist and elbow—as they're known to help develop and amplify scent throughout the day."
3. Apply generously to your clothing (with caution).
Perfume wearers everywhere have long debated whether it's better to apply your signature scent to clothing, your body, or both. Arps says that both are the way to go. "The oils inside a fragrance need something to bind to for peak longevity. That's why it's said that well-moisturized skin is the perfect canvas to apply your scent. However, if you're someone who likes to leave a scent trail behind you, applying perfumes and colognes on your clothing can take things from zero to 100 real quick. Proceed with caution, though—all it takes is one spritz to cause permanent damage or staining, depending on the fabric in question."
4. Keep reapplying throughout the day.
I know, you might be saying "well, duh" to this tip, but it really is one of the only real ways to ensure that your perfume lasts all day. D.S. & Durga founder David Moltz can back me up on this one. "There's no real way [to make your perfume last extra long]," he says. "Everyone's skin and perception is different. I'd say spray more or spray more often if you feel your fragrance doesn't last as long as you want. If you love the top notes, they'll be gone in an hour tops anyway."
5. Try a woody or musky scent for longevity.
Moltz also says there are definitely materials that tend to last a bit longer on the skin than others: "Musks and woody ambers last the longest and are the workhorses of our industry."
Long-Lasting Perfumes We Love
Key notes: white tea, orange blossom, red rose, lavender, dry musk, vanilla woods, amber
Moodeaux's Worthy strikes the perfect balance of sweet and musky. I carry the travel pen around in my purse for touch-ups, but even without it, I can definitely smell the scent long after I leave the office for the day.
Key notes: tonka beans, cedarwood, juniper berries
Diptyque fragrances always score high when it comes to longevity for me, but Orphéon is a standout with its heady notes of tonka bean and cedarwood.
Key notes: red mandarin, orange, yellow elemi resin, green cedar, blue almond flower, indigo grass, violet, vetyver
The concept for D.S. & Durga's newest offering was to use materials from every color in the rainbow.
Key notes: pear accord, lily of the valley accord, musks
Caitie Schlisserman, WWW's beauty director of branded content, says this beautiful floral fragrance from Maison Margiela lasts quite a bit on the skin.
Key notes: cinnamon, cardamom, carrot, orris butter, ginger, patchouli, papyrus
This Byredo scent is WWW associate beauty editor Kaitlyn McLintock's pick for longevity.
Key notes: radiant wood, copper, cedar, sandalwood, radiant iris, boronia, balsam fir absolute, coconut musc, ambergris
Any of my friends could tell you that I regularly talk about how much I love D.S. & Durga fragrances (my ode to the brand says it all), and this woody offering is one of my favorites. It's totally different than the other perfumes I tend to go for, but I love that it's so crisp, woody, and musky. It also lasts pretty long on me.
Key notes: Italian bergamot, lemon sfuma, lily of the valley, pear, tuberose petals, golden gardenia, jasmine sambac, honeysuckle, cedarwood Virginia, sandalwood spicatum, Ambrox
I recently smelled this one on a friend and immediately had to know what she was wearing. I kept catching whiffs of the delicious scent throughout the night, and I wasn't mad about it at all.