How to Apply Perfume Properly


Victoria's Secret Angel Jasmine Tookes launches the new 'Scandalous' fragrance and bra collection at the Victoria's Secret Lincoln Road store

Victoria’s Secret Angel Jasmine Tookes launches the new ‘Scandalous’ fragrance; image: JLN Photography/

Have you ever really thought about how you apply perfume? Applying a scent is a ritual and for many women it can incite nostalgia. Whether your mother or grandmother was a perfume wearer or you’re particularly attached to a certain scent, every woman has her routine that she subscribes to when applying it; but are you actually doing it right? Are you a spritz and rub type of girl or do you subscribe to the pre-teen favorite application style of spraying into the air and dancing your way through the flying particles? There may not be an official way to apply perfume, but there are steps you can take to ensure your fragrance lasts.

“It is best to apply perfume before you get dressed,” says Michelle D’Vaz, National Advertising and PR Manager for The Perfume Shop in the UK. “Many people already know the key pulse points such as behind the ears and the wrists; however, there are a number of other areas that can be effective such as behind knees and in the crease of the elbow where the natural heat of the skin slowly releases the ingredients in the perfume.” 

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Many practices that women subscribe to have been picked up from the movies, other women, or the almost always misleading fragrance advertisement. It turns out, the old spritz and rub technique actually damages the scent. “Don’t rub your wrists together once applied as this can break down the notes of the scent,” says D’Vaz. “We always advise that people use a layering technique to ensure they get the best from their chosen scent.” Many women believe that lotions, body gels, and mini atomisers are overkill but layering a moisturizer or bath oil under your perfume can ensure a long-lasting scent. Moisturize your skin while damp and the product will fully absorb into the skin. Before dressing, spray your fragrance on the pressure points mentioned above and let it dry naturally. 

Beyond application techniques, storage and expiration dates are factors we seldom think of when applying perfume. “Like any beauty product, specialist ingredients have expiration dates and sometimes people can keep perfumes for too long and run the risk of the scent going off or fading,” says D’Vaz. “You can tell if your perfume has seen better days because the top notes begin to smell sharp, rather than fresh.” As a rule, a fragrances should last about a year but as many women constantly change their fragrances, you should keep an eye out for any changes in the scent. You will get the most wear our of your fragrance if you store it right. “Perfume shouldn’t be left where it can be affected by sunlight,” says D’Vaz, as the heat can damage the ingredients.

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