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“How do I make my fragrance last longer?” is without a doubt the most common fragrance-related question we receive online and in our stores, and truthfully, we relate! Fragrance is a game-changing addition to your beauty routine. We repeat: game changing. So when you’ve taken the time to find your signature scent (smelling so many to the point you can’t remember what air without notes of sandalwood, amber and bergamot smelt like) finally commit to ‘the one’ and invest in it, you want it to last. But for so many of us… it just doesn’t. To answer this question the best way we know how, we spritzed, sampled and reached out to the best noses in the fragrance business to untap the tips and tricks (that actually work) to make your scent linger for longer.
The rich oils in hydrated, moisturised skin gives fragrance—whether it has an oil (parfum) or alcohol (toilette) base—something to cling to, making sure it won’t dry up and vanish into the nothingness. So for starters, prepping the skin with either companion (Le Labo Rose 31 with Rose 31 Body Lotion, Ellis Brooklyn Myth EDP with Myth Excellent Body Milk, for example) or fragrance-free moisturisers will encourage your fragrance to last that little bit longer and stay more prominent on the skin. In the same vein, this typically means that eau de parfums will last longer than eau de toilettes.
As with everything skin-related, it’s so important to know that everyone is different. For some people, a certain fragrance will naturally linger all day, and for others, the exact same amount will fade away. It’s all about understanding your skin, and catering to it accordingly.
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Taking on your fragrance in different forms will let you layer from head to toe, hitting all pulse points: think creams, oils and hair mists (our obsession with Baccarat Rouge Hair Mist is real).
Le Labo international educator and trainer, Murray Campbell (who unashamedly considers himself the East London, beard-and-bun, Santal-wearing hipster stereotype we all know and love), couldn’t agree more. “I go for a variety of forms and bases—so I have my EDP, my staple piece, but I also use the matching body lotion. And by applying the matching body lotion and then spraying, the scent is truly enhanced.”
He continued; “what I also do to make my scent last longer, is that I look for an alternative base. For some people alcohol doesn’t really work with their skin, it will just fade really quickly. So what I would recommend is trying an oil base.” Campbell praises the brand’s Liquid Balms for fragrance longevity and versatility thanks to its plant oil base. “It’s slightly more intimate, in terms of the diffusion, but you, yourself will experience the scent a little bit stronger. I also use the oil in the ends of my hair and within my beard, and because they’re a natural plant oil base, they’re actually really moisturising for the hair.”
If Campbell is going for a strong impression, he’ll spritz his clothes with his eau de parfum, too—“your everyday cottons and wools.”
Sometimes, we put a little too much pressure on our fragrances to last from 7am to 9pm, and just like we need an afternoon top up (be it a coffee, snack or a shot of fresh air), in most cases, our fragrance does too. If you are prone to a fragrance fade, top up on the go with bag-friendly minis, ready to spritz or roll whenever you might need a boost (it’s honestly that easy and straightforward, yet so overlooked and totally underrated).
In the words of Wham! (or in more recent years, Anne-Marie); “if you’re gonna do it, do it right.” And when it comes to fragrance, the rule still applies. DO spritz your fragrance onto your pulse points, as it’ll diffuse the scent across your body. This includes your neck, wrists, behind your knees, the bend of your elbows and your ankles (if you can feel your pulse, spritz). As your blood pumps near the surface of these points, they tend to emit heat, which helps fragrance to develop. But please DON’T rub your wrists together! It dulls down the top notes of the fragrance, and forcefully combines the scent with your natural oils, which can change the way it smells and lasts (think of it as fast-forwarding the fragrance experience). It’s a habit many of us have, but should definitely ditch, stat.
Also be sure to store your fragrances in a cool, dry place—a.k.a. not your bathroom. Heat and moisture can cause scents to break down, so do yourself and your fragrances a favour, and give them a cool, dry home (avoiding direct sunlight, too).