Rubbing your wrists together after applying perfume is an age-old custom. People do it unconsciously or in a bid to extend the life of their scent. But did you know that fragrance experts don’t recommend this?
You shouldn’t be rubbing your wrists together with perfume because it breaks down the scent, lowering its effectiveness. The action causes the head notes to become dull, and the perfume combines with your body’s natural oils, thereby altering its aroma.
There are proper ways and incorrect ways to wear perfume. Perfumers also recommend certain practices to extend the life of your favorite scent, and this article will expound on a number of them. First, let’s take a deeper look at why rubbing your wrists together with cologne might not be such a good idea.
Rubbing Your Wrists Together Dulls the Head Notes
Spraying perfume on your wrists is okay. Actually, it’s more than okay since these form part of your pulse points – more on this later.
However, rubbing your wrists together after applying perfume is a no-no. Doing so disorganizes the molecules in the fragrance, rendering it less effective. Moreover, the skin heats up suddenly, causing the scent to evaporate from your skin faster. This affects the perfume’s longevity on your skin.
You don’t want this to happen to your cherished cologne, especially if you spent a princely sum to own it.
A fragrance consists of the following note types:
- Top notes. Also called head notes, these are typically the first notes you smell when you sniff perfume, and are what makes you fall in love with a scent instantly. These notes are highly volatile and the most delicate, hence they can easily be destroyed when your wrists rub against each other. They usually last for approximately five-fifteen minutes on your skin
- Middle notes. These notes linger on your skin as the scent settles.
- Base notes. Base notes are the longest-lasting notes, and the fragrance that remains after the scent’s dry down.
Rubbing the skin means these notes fade off before getting a chance to rest or settle on your skin.
It Alters How Your Perfume Smells
Vigorously mixing perfume with your natural skin oils can also change how it smells. The resultant friction warms up the skin, producing natural enzymes. These body oils then mix with the fragrance oils, changing the perfume’s natural progression and, ultimately, its aroma.
For a floral scent, this would translate to it losing its crispness, while a citrusy one would become less fresh.
How To Wear Perfume Correctly
Now that you understand why you shouldn’t rub your wrists after misting them with perfume, you may wonder how to preserve your scent’s integrity while prolonging its staying power.
Here are a few suggestions:
Apply Perfume to Moist Skin
Did you know that applying perfume right after a bath or shower delivers the most impact?
Your clean, damp skin is the perfect canvas for soaking in the scent – and lotion. If a shower isn’t an option, start applying the accompanying lotion (or a non-scented one).
Quick Tip: Remember to use a towel to blot out excess moisture.
Layer Your Scent
This reiterates the point made above. Consider investing in perfume sets. These typically come with perfume, a body lotion, a deodorant, or a body wash or shower gel. Using these products together enhances their performance and prolongs your scent, helping it to last all day long.
Leverage Your Pulse Points
Applying cologne to your pulse points is the best way to get the most out of it. Your body heat helps warm the scent, keeping it active and strong throughout your wear.
Pulse points are areas where blood circulates close to the skin. As the blood flows, the body heats up, helping to diffuse your perfume. They can be found on the neck, décolleté, wrists, inner elbow, and behind your ears and knees.
When it comes to wrists, spritz your favorite scent lightly on both and wait a moment for it to seep into your skin. That’s it! Don’t rub the wrists or press them together. If you like, you can dab the perfumed wrist gently on the base of your throat or neck.
You may want to avoid spraying perfume in the following areas to avoid irritating sensitive skin:
- Your privates
- Near the face
- Your bedsheets
Pro Tip: What do you do if perfume accidentally gets into your eyes? Check out this guide for helpful tips.
Avoid Spraying on Your Clothes
Resist the temptation to douse your clothes in fragrance for optimal output. Not only are you likely to damage your clothes by causing unsightly stains, but it might also not work.
The right thing to do is spritz perfume on your body, allow it to dry, then wear your clothes.
Go Easy on the Sprayer
Exactly how much fragrance should you apply?
With perfume, less is the way to go. Spraying on too much means your scent will precede you whenever you enter a room, loudly announcing your presence before people set eyes on you. This is considered a fashion faux pas.
Wearing a scent well shows sophistication, refinement, and good taste. Your scent should be subtle as opposed to overwhelming. Besides, a good cologne is hard to miss as its powerful effect will radiate all around you. So, the rule of thumb? Less is more.
Pro Tip: The more concentrated your fragrance, the longer it will endure. Parfums offer the highest perfume oil concentration; hence you should use them even more sparingly. A few dabs on your favorite spots is all you need. And remember, while you might not smell the perfume on you (we tend to get used to familiar scents), others will. Spare their noses.
(For insider tips on how much cologne to use and more, read this detailed post from Scent Selective).
You can also try some unconventional ways to extend your perfume’s staying power, such as:
- Spritzing your hair. Be cautious when doing this, as fragrance contains alcohol which can dry out your hair. It’s best to spray the fragrance on your hairbrush and then run it through the hair.
- Spray into the air. Spritzing cologne into the open air, then walking through the mist created can help spread the scent evenly around your body, leaving a lingering scent.
- Spray on exposed skin. Depending on how you’re dressed, e.g., sleeveless//low-necked top, or bared midriff, you can wear perfume on your chest, on the torso, or even the belly button.
Proven Ways To Enhance Fragrance Staying Power
Below are foolproof ways to extend your cologne’s longevity, making it linger longer:
- Don’t keep perfume in the bathroom. It might be within easy reach, but the extreme temperatures lead to unwanted chemical reactions, causing the scent to age prematurely.
- Avoid misting on dry skin. Your scent won’t last, which is not the effect you are going for. Well-moisturized skin will help your fragrance adhere to the skin, making it – you guessed it – stay longer.
- Store fragrance appropriately: A cool, dark place offers the perfect spot. You want to avoid bright light, humidity, and heat since they can affect the aroma and chemical composition negatively.
- Keep the lid on. This is because oxygen in the air breaks down the molecules in your scent, gradually altering its structure.
- Don’t shake the bottle before use. Shaking the perfume bottle could permit air to enter, thus hastening the scent’s breakdown. Additionally, the movement causes air turbulence, and the ensuing air bubbles can impact the quality of the contents.
Wearing perfume right calls for proper techniques and some finesse. However, once you have the know-how, spritzing on perfume – and making it last – will be a breeze. Follow our simple tips and tricks, and you’ll soon be an old hand at this.