It’s always disappointing when your favorite scent seems to evaporate from your skin before you can even arrive at your destination. While staying power sometimes depends on the perfume itself, you might be able to increase longevity by learning a little more about the things that affect the potency of perfume.
Perfume is extremely sensitive to its environment. That’s why a professional perfume archive like the Osmothèque is so particular about its storage space (12º C and no sunlight). Anyone can get more potency and more longevity out of their scents by following similar guidelines. The biggest keys are to keep your perfume out of sunlight, heat, and humidity. That means no displaying your bottles in the bathroom and no leaving your go-to scent in the car for convenience.
As long as you’re not rubbing your wrists together after you apply, the wrists are a great place to put your perfume for long-lasting scent. These and other pulse points, like behind knees, elbows, and ears are good spots for application. You want to pick areas that will not be covered by clothing, and areas that are naturally warmer, as this will help them emit the scent. My favorite quirky place to apply scent is at the outside top of my armpit. However, do not put perfume directly on the armpit, since the ingredients could potentially irritate that sensitive skin.
Dry skin doesn’t do so well at maintaining scent. That being said, you can often get a lot more mileage from a perfume if you first apply an unscented lotion to the skin. You can also take advantage of the moisture left over after a shower by applying your perfume immediately after bathing.
The frequency of wear doesn’t truly affect how long a perfume lasts. However, it does have an effect on how much the wearer notices or enjoys it. If you love a scent, you might be inclined to wear it every day. But the better way to get the most personal mileage out of your favorite smells is to build a library of a few (or a lot) of perfumes that you enjoy, preferably with different styles. You might come to see perfumes like articles of clothing, and pick them depending on the mood or event. Sometimes it’s good to skip a scent all together, and instead spend the day enjoying your natural odor as well as the odors I experience wherever I go. When you come back to on of your favorites, it will have more potency to you throughout its wear.
All-natural is almost always an appealing descriptor, but when it comes to perfume longevity it might not be the best option. Essential oils often evaporate more quickly than man-made ingredients. For the best longevity, opt for scents that blend synthetics with essential oils and absolutes.
Perfumes are designed to evolve in a symphony of notes in a particular order. Top notes disappear the quickest, followed by middle and base notes. Since base notes last the longest, and have the heaviest molecules, perfumes that highlight notes like musk will be stronger longer. Lots of Possets perfumes highlight strong base notes. If you’re looking for earthy staying power, start with these recommendations from our post on Musk.