How much perfume should you actually wear? We asked the experts

We found out how to get the most out of your fragrance – and some common mistakes you might be making.

Press Association
Last updated: 5 February 2018 - 11.29am

Perfume: it’s such a personal thing. A fragrance that makes one person swoon might make another wrinkle up their nose in disgust – and finding your signature scent can takes years of spritzing and dismissing until love at first sniff takes hold.

[Read more: How to buy a fragrance for someone else]

And while everyone wants to smell nice, you don’t want to be that person who swans around in a pungent, overpowering cloud, causing headaches and breathing difficulties whenever someone is forced to share a lift with you.

Which begs the question: how much ‘eau’ should you actually wear? In a bid to strike the perfect perfume balance, we asked the experts for their olfactory advice…

Assortment of perfume bottles

Where on the body is it best to apply perfume?

“Apply perfume to pulse points including wrists, knees, inside elbows, the nape of the neck and even above the hip bones. These are all places which are naturally warmer and heat intensifies scent,” says Cathy Newman, customer director at The Perfume Shop.

“The wrist area is particularly effective, as it allows you to smell the fragrance through the day as it evolves, learning which scents work best for your body chemistry,” recommends Rafael Trujillo, P&G perfume designer. “Another idea is to give a spritz of perfume to your dry hair so, as your hair moves throughout the day, you add scent to your surroundings.”

Profile portrait of young woman wearing white silk bathrobe applying perfume

2. How many spritzes of perfume should you apply?

“This is very much depending on the individual’s taste and also the type of fragrance they are wearing,” says Trujillo. “Some fragrances tend to be perceived as heavier, such as gourmand fragrances which consist of synthetic edible notes like vanilla or honey. One spritz may be enough – apply too much of these and you may end up smelling like a candy shop!”

Newman agrees: “How many spritzes to apply really does depend on each individual as our body temperature will affect the intensity of the perfume – the warmer the body, the more intense the scent. Some perfumes contain notes which are naturally longer-lasting, such patchouli, tuberose and coffee.”

“This stands in contrast to light and sheer florals which became all the rage in the late Nineties and early 2000’s,” Trujillo says. “They allow for a few spritzes and can even be topped up throughout the day.”

3. How can you make a fragrance last longer?

“To get the longevity out of a scent, the best thing to do is layer. Using the body wash and lotion of the chosen perfume will help intensify the scent,” Newman says.

“Fabric has the ability to hold a scent longer than our skin, and this should be the foundation layer in your scent regime,” says Truijllo, who developed the Parfum des Secrets collection from Lenor, made with premium ingredients that are proven to last longer than fine fragrance. “Ensure it compliments your other fragrances, then even when they fade, you’ll still be enveloped in your favourite scents.”


Who else is Dior mad like me?? 🎀 @diorparfums

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There are a couple of perfume no-no’s to be aware of as well, Newman warns: “There is a common misconception that when one sprays perfume onto the skin it should be rubbed in. This will not only bruise the scent, it will affect its longevity. The best way to apply perfume is to let it settle onto the skin, so patience is key – simply spray onto the pulse points and leave it to soak in.”

How you store your scents is important too: “You wouldn’t store a delicious bowl of fruit in direct sunlight and the same goes for perfume,” she says. “Make sure perfume bottles are kept in a cool, dark place and out of direct sunlight to make sure they retain their beautiful fragrance.

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