When planning for the day ahead, perfume can be an important consideration. You want to smell nice and select a fragrance that adds a touch of luxury and personality to your everyday look.
However, you also need to think about how long it will last and whether or not you are going to need to re-apply the perfume at some point.
So how long does perfume last on skin? While it is not uncommon for perfumes to last around five hours, and some can last even longer than that, the reality is that many fragrances will wear off in as little as two hours. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prolong the effects.
In this post, we will explore the topic of perfume duration in greater detail, explaining why perfumes can last different amounts of time, and outlining some of the ways you might be able to extend its duration.
How Long Will Perfume Last on Skin?
In most cases, perfume lasts between two and five hours on your skin, although the precise time can vary, and it is possible to make your perfume last longer. The exact amount of time it lasts depends on numerous factors, like application technique and the strength of the perfume.
The Basics of Perfume Durations
As a general rule, you can expect that most perfumes will last several hours on the skin. The precise number of hours it lasts will depend on various factors, such as the concentration of the perfume, the precise brand, where you apply it on your body, and the steps you take before applying.
The amount of fragrance you apply on your skin can also have a bearing. Logically, the more you apply, the longer it is likely to last, although putting too much perfume on can cause a separate issue, with the smell becoming overpowering.
As an article for Cosmopolitan points out, the question of how long perfume lasts is made more complex by the fact that the top notes of a fragrance will last significantly less time than the base notes, which linger the longest. This is why the initial smell from your perfume may be noticeably different from the smell several hours later.
Understanding Different Perfume Types
One of the single biggest factors influencing how long perfume remains on the skin is the type of perfume you are using, and this is based on concentration. The following are the main types, ranked from strongest to weakest:
- Parfum – 20-30 percent
- Eau de Parfum – 15-20 percent
- Eau de Toilette – 5-15 percent
- Cologne – 2-4 percent
- Eau Fraiche – 1-3 percent
As you might expect, the stronger perfumes will, on average, last longer than the weaker ones. While there are instances where a fairly strong eau de toilette may outlast a fairly weak eau de parfum, it is broadly true to say that the higher the concentration, the longer your perfume is likely to last on the skin.
For example, if you are currently using an eau de toilette, and are dissatisfied with the length of time it lasts on your skin, you are likely to find that switching to an eau de parfum produces better results.
Tips for Making Perfume Last Longer
While an estimate of between two and five hours provides a basic answer to the question: ‘how long does perfume last on skin?’ it is worth noting that there are several actions you can take to increase this time, as explored below:
1. Apply Perfume Properly
The first and most important piece of advice for prolonging the length of time perfume lasts on skin is to apply it properly. The basic approach here should be to apply between two and four sprays on pulse points of the body. These are the parts of the body where the pulse can be checked, such as the wrists and the neck.
It is also important that perfume is sprayed directly onto the skin and that it is not rubbed in. Avoid spraying the perfume into the air and walking through the cloud, as this is an inefficient way to apply perfume and it will mean less of the perfume ends up on your skin, which can result in a shorter lifespan.
2. Shower and Moisturize First
As explained in an article for Marie Claire, your perfume should be applied to clean skin for best results soon after you get out of the bath or shower. This is because the moisture on your skin provides something for the perfume to stick to, essentially functioning as a base for the fragrance.
With this in mind, if you tend to moisturize the areas where you apply your perfume, you should do this before spraying the perfume. Moisturizing can also serve as a good alternative to having a bath or shower if that is not feasible.
3. Use an Unscented Deodorant
Combining your perfume with a deodorant is common, but it is important that you select the right deodorant to maximize the scent of your perfume and, in reality, this means going with an unscented deodorant.
If you opt for a scented deodorant, you are likely to notice that the deodorant eventually overpowers the perfume over the course of the day. This is because most deodorants are designed to last a full day, while even the best perfumes, in optimal conditions, may only last for around five to seven hours.
4. Select a Sweet, Musky Scent
One of the less well-known ways in which perfumes differ from one another is in their molecular makeup. Essentially, smaller molecules oxidize faster than larger molecules.
Because lighter scents have smaller molecules, those molecules oxidize faster, and the scent does not last as long. By contrast, sweet, musky scents will usually have larger molecules, which means they oxidize slower, and the perfume’s scent lingers for longer.
5. Take Care When Storing Perfume
Finally, one very simple way to make sure your perfume lasts as long as possible is to take care when storing it. Any perfume is likely to explain on the packaging that it needs to be kept in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. This direction exists because heat and sunlight can adversely affect your perfume.
To preserve your perfume, keep it at peak quality, and avoid unnecessary deterioration, you should always make sure it is stored somewhere sensible and enclosed, where it cannot be impacted by sunlight or other sources of light or temperature changes. Failure to store perfume properly can lead to it lasting much less time than it otherwise would.
The Last Word
Perfume plays an important role in day-to-day life for many people, but optimizing the length of time it lasts can sometimes feel like a challenge. To achieve the best results, you should take the right steps when applying your perfume, avoid storing the perfume incorrectly, pair it with a scentless deodorant, and select the right concentration.