Welcome to Fragrance Friday, where each week we’ll be keeping you abreast of the newest and most iconic releases in the dynamic world of men’s fragrances. Born out of the desire to showcase one of the most overlooked, yet versatile, elements of any discerning man’s style this weekly column will help you finesse your own signature scent.
Loud, divisive fragrances are funny in the way they work sometimes. I didn’t know how last week’s Fragrance Friday on Kilian Rolling In Love would go down, both amongst readers and in the office, but the consensus was that this gourmand amber floral fragrance is a clear winner. To give a bit of space between that and the next fragrance I want to highlight in this column, I thought it’d be nice to do something a bit different and focus on a broader idea to help you get the most out of whatever signature scent you’re choosing to build. As such, here are some tips on how to make your scent last longer, regardless of the concentration of perfume oils in the formula.
Here’s a quick primer on the different types of concentrations and what longevity you can generally expect from each.
- Parfum or Extrait – This concentration typically contains essential perfume oils between 15% and 40% with noted longevity of around six to eight hours.
- Eau de Parfum (EDP) – This concentration typically contains essential perfume oils between 15% and 20% with noted longevity of around four to five hours.
- Eau de Toilette (EDT) – This concentration typically contains essential perfume oils between 5% and 15% with noted longevity of around two to three hours.
- Eau de Cologne (Cologne) – This concentration typically contains essential perfume oils between 3% and 8% with noted longevity of around two hours.
There’s a fifth type, Eau Fraiche, but it’s the weakest of them all and is rarely something to be considered. Most of what you’d find if you dial back through the pages of Fragrance Friday are Eau de Parfums given they are typically the most common type in the growing market of niche fragrances. If an EDT and EDP is popular enough, you’d usually find that brands will eventually release a “louder” Extrait (or elixir) version. A good example of that would be Maison Crivelli Hibiscus Mahajad, which I looked at a few weeks ago.
But concentration isn’t the only thing that determines how long a fragrance will last. It also depends on your individual skin as well as a variety of other factors like whether or not it is alcohol-based or oil-based. Alcohol-based fragrances tend to be more pronounced and sharper, but oil-based tends to last longer as they hug the skin a little tighter, trading a sharper, shorter fragrance for something longer but more subtle.
How To Make Your Fragrance Last Longer
There are a few things you can do to make your fragrance last longer throughout the day regardless of any of the above factors. It all helps in the end, and if you’ve decided you want something that particularly resonates with the style you’re going for to last a bit longer then it’s worth giving these techniques a go.
To help, I asked Michael Marzano, Agence de Parfum’s National Education Manager, for a few pro tips I could pass on to BH readers to help them realise that if you want your signature scent to last, these are the simple things you should be doing.
1. It’s All About Warmth
If you’re going to start thinking a bit more strategically about how best to incorporate perfumery into your personal style, then you need to think about body warmth. The reason you would typically be told to apply your perfume to pulse points as these parts of the body hold the most heat. They are the warmest, and body heat generated here can help intensify your fragrance. This will hold your fragrance longer than dry skin, which leads to the next tip.
As such, perfumes will generally be stronger and longer-lasting on people with good circulation that run a little warmer than others.
The best places to apply fragrance are on the warmest areas, so your wrists, inner elbow, upper abdomen and behind the knees. Marzano also adds that people should avoid applying to the neck and upper chest, as these areas directly feed aromas to the nose throughout the day and you might get what Michael refers to as “long term scent fatigue.”
2. Stay Hydrated
Obvious for various reasons, of course. But you should know that the skin’s moisture level has a significant impact on your perfume and how it wears on you. This is one of several reasons why perfume smells so different from other people. If it’s weak on you but strong on someone else, you could be a bit dehydrated. You can maximise the lifespan of your scent by keeping your skin as hydrated as possible.
3. Post-Shower Application
One of the easiest ways you can make your scent last longer is to apply your fragrance after drying down immediately after a shower. The body warmth will help absorb and transmit the fragrances more effectively, meaning you’ll get much more out of that expensive bottle of niche perfume and you won’t need to re-apply throughout the day.
4. Use Matching Products
Lastly, and probably the most interesting point, is to use ancillary items. A lot of popular scents like Juliette Has A Gun’s Not A Perfume, Creed’s Aventus, Santa Maria Novella’s Melograno, Dior’s Sauvage and Penhaligon’s Halfeti also have complementary products on the market that you can use to add extra moisture to the skin.
As above, dry skin doesn’t hold a fragrance as well, as by adding extra moisture you’ll do plenty to prolong your scent as your skin binds with oils and humectants found in something like a body moisturiser.
Of course, this means a further investment so you have to make sure it’s a scent that you’re already deeply fond of before taking the dive. A bottle of Creed Aventus Shower Gel, for example, will set you back $129 for 200 ml.
Aside from purchasing matching complementary products, these tips are easy and effortless ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your fragrance so you aren’t feeling a bit short-changing next time you drop $400 on a bottle of high-end perfume.
There are plenty of expensive perfumes out there that end up disappointing because of how quickly they disappear or how weak the projection is, but hopefully some of the above will give you an idea that your body plays just as much a part in the fragrance’s performance. If you make those easy changes like paying attention to where you’re applying your perfume, staying hydrated and applying immediately after a shower then you should see a difference.