Fragrance 411: Perfume & You

As you know, I’m a bit of a beauty junkie. Especially when it comes to perfume. I’ve purchased my fair share of fragrances and have picked up some great tips along the way that I am going to share with you today… Below, I have outlined the basics of what you need to know when it comes to perfume and you:

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How do I pick the right scent for me?
Just because something smells fabulous on your BFF doesn’t mean it will smell as delicious on you. That’s the cold hard truth, ladies. The manner in which fragrance oils interact with our natural scent and body oils varies. We each have our own unique body chemistry and pH balance, which affect this interaction. When you go to pick a perfume, test it on your skin and allow it to soak in for 10 minutes or so before making a final decision. It’s also a good idea to only test two at a time, or else your senses will be on overload. If you have no idea what perfume you want to try, tell the salesperson two scents you love, such as vanilla or jasmine, so they can help narrow your choices down. Finally, bring a friend to give you a second opinion.

How much is too much?
When I was in 5th grade, many of the boys in my class started wearing cologne. The boys would literally drench themselves in musk. Ms. Barker’s room smelled pungent to say the least. Needless to say, I remember Ms. Barker finally telling the class, “Less is more.” To this day, I couldn’t agree more.

Where shall I spray?
It’s really a matter of personal choice. However, pros would argue that the best place to apply perfume is on your pulse points. Pulse points are areas on our bodies where blood vessels are closer to the skin’s surface. When blood vessels are near the skin’s surface, they give off more heat. As heat emits from these points, fragrance is pumped outward as well. Pulse points include the inner wrist, the inside of the elbow, behind the ears and knees along with the base of the throat. I usually spritz a bit on each wrist. Then, I spray it twice about a foot in front of my body and immediately walk through it.

How do I make it last?
This is a matter of body chemistry. Generally speaking, perfume lasts anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. However this time limit differs based on your skin type. Fragrances are basically oils that are absorbed by our skin. People with lighter complexions typically have dryer skin, which causes a fragrance to soak in faster. On the other hand, scents last longer on those with darker skin tones and oilier skin. If you’re looking for a longer lasting fragrance, pick something with a greater concentration so the oils will evaporate slower. Parfum has the most oil, but it’s also the most expensive. Then there is eau de parfum and eau de toilette, both of which are great for everyday wear. The weakest is eau de cologne. Also, it’s important to know that citrus-based fragrances fade faster than musky scents. So when it comes to making your perfume last, I suggest you shop wisely and pick something with an oil concentration that fits your skin’s needs. Another factor that affects the intensity of your perfume is diet. If you consume a lot of fats and spicy or hot foods, fragrances will register more intensely. Interesting, right?

Where do you spray your perfume?

XO Lauren

You might also like…
ID Me: My Fancy Pants Polo Look
Style Guide: Find Your Fall Coat
Beauty Note: Kiss & Makeup
Natural Instincts: My Favorite Fall Perfume

Photo: nestprettythings
Sources: Annie Fritz for About.com, YGo Makeup, Wikipedia, Artelier Perfumes
Categories: Fragrance, Primp
Share This
  • Melissa Panici

    Cool post! I spray my perfume on my wrists, neck, and I spray in front of me and walk through as well:) Thanks for sharing!

  • Sarah Heckle

    I just spray it around my neck area — just one spritz! I use Marc Jacobs Lola — I love it! But I think new perfume will be on my Christmas list this year :)

    http://tulleandtrinkets.com/

  • Cherie LaFlamme

    I spray my wrists and behind my ears usually… today I rediscovered my Chanel Chance perfume, and it just smells so lovely on me! :-)

    Speaking of ladylike things, check out this bag: http://eyeblinkfashion.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/ladylike-perfection/

    - Cher

  • Alicia Hoaks

    Interesting post. I spray perfume on my neck and wrists.

  • Rachel Galindo

    “”Spray perfume where you want to be kissed.”” ~ Coco Chanel

  • Rachel Civ

    I spray it on my wrists and my neck (normally behind my ears). And I also spray it in front of me and then I walk trough hahaha I thought I was weird for doing so, but I see I’m not the only one!

    Thanks for this post! :) xoxo

  • DMichelle

    Thanks for this post! I had been wondering just the other day where most people spray perfume! I spray on my wrists and put just a dab on my neck when I want a little extra.

  • Kim Scott

    I also learned a trick on Queer Eye.

    It sounds gross, but apply perfume to your wrist and lick it. If the taste is bitter, the fragrance does not work with your body chemistry. If it’s soapy, it’s a good fragrance for you.

  • Stacie Grissom
  • Smgrimes13

    I do the spray in the air and walk through too! Then I do on wrists and back of neck. I think its the best way to make it last. My favorite high end one is Burberry Brit. I absolutely love it! Then I also love anything from bath and body works, especially the new holiday scents that are coming out!

  • Kortney Spaeth

    Awesome post- answered a few questions I’ve always wondered but never took the time to look up.

  • Christina Akin

    I spray on my lower neck, and usually one spritz on my shirt (it soaks into the cotton and lasts till you wash the clothing item!) If I am amping up the fragrance for a special night, I will also do my wrists and the back of my neck. My favorite fragrance in Burberry Britt – I get so many compliments!! Most other popular fragrances smell “”grandma”” on me.

  • Alba Cuci

    Hi Lauren, I’m so glad you posted this. My previous career was beauty manager at Victoria’s Secret and I learned a lot of these secrets during my time there.

    One trick to making your scent last longer is to layer it with the matching lotion, especially if you have dry skin. I would recommend just lotion on nights when you want to go dancing. Your natural heat will give off just the right amount of fragrance.

    Also, do not spray body spray directly on your skin because of the high concentration of alcohol. It will dry out your skin, so always moisturize first.

    Hope this helps :)

  • Toni Collings

    I’m a big fan of spraying my perfume onto my hairbrush. Just one spritz, wait a moment for it to dry and then brush as usual, it gives your hair a fine layer of fragrance and lasts ages!

  • Mariella

    I apply perfume in my pulse points like you! It’s the best way to make it last..

    My perfume is Miss Dior Cherie and I love the smell of it on my skin.

  • Shellz

    Great article!!I spray behind my ears and on ma wrist!

    http://www.shellzdoll.com/2011/11/01/style-crush-beyonce-giselle-knowles/

  • Sarah Morrone

    I’m a Chanel Chance, Marc Jacobs Daisy kinda girl, and I love this! I call myself a perfume snob, lol, perfume is probably my favorite accesory! I always spray on my wrist and dab behind the ears.

  • Jennifer Sellen

    these are such great tips…. i will definitely keep these in mind next time i’m shopping for a perfume. i like to spray mine on my inner wrists, my neck and on my decolletage.

  • Ashley Dodge

    My favorite scents: Britney Spears Fantasy (the originial and Midnight Fantasy) and Victoria’s Secret Amber Romance. I spray on my pulse points, and sometimes, spray and walk through.

    I love these tips- just like I love perfume!

  • Stacie

    Great!!! I’d always wondered what all the eau de toilette/cologne stuff meant. Thanks for enlightening me!!!!

  • Elisee prummel

    I’m so glad you post this, I love perfume. That nice fresh scent delicious!

    I usually spray my perfume on my wrists and my neck. I like to hear it behind the ears or on the knees and feet is used, i didn’t know that!

    nice tips

  • Caroline Paredes

    I love this, such great tips, but I usually put perfume on my inner wrist, and out towards me and I walk through it.

  • Marlynn Gonzalez

    my favorite scent is Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift. Smells aaamazing

  • Jordan Maddox

    Vera Wang’s Princess and American Eagle’s Bohemian line is amazing!
    I spray on my wrists and walk into it with my body.

  • Ana S

    thanks

  • Anna James

    so interesting. loved this Lauren. I can think of a few boys that still drench themselves like they did in 5th grade. lol. xo

    http://fashboulevard.blogspot.com/

  • Kimberly

    @ Jordan Maddox: I do that too!!

    My favorite is Christina Aguilera, I love her scents!!

    Xx

  • Kimmy S

    This is seriously one of the most helpful posts! Thank you!

    I spray my perfume on my wrists and then walk through as well.

  • Morgan Cooke

    Great post!

    I agree with the pulse points. I normally spray my perfume on my ankles (because it will rise when the perfume fades up top), my wrists, and with my wrists rub right under my ears for a little nice fragrance ( for when your giving out hugs).

    It’s never too much, and it’s always worked for me!

  • Tyonna Brooks

    I usually spray my perfume a couple of inches away from my NECK & wrists. It’s interesting what you said about the pulse points because I spray in those locations without having the knowlege of why. I guess what they say is true, MOTHER KNOWS BEST! I copied my mom’s spraying routine for years.

    Also, it’s a great idea to spray on pulse points because when you’re greeting someone they will automatically smell your wrist when giving a hand shake & neck when giving a hug!

  • Angel LaMae

    I usually wear Britney Spears’ Fantasy but lately I’ve switched to Taylor Swift’s Wonderstruck, just for something different. I only spritz 2-3 time right on my chest, kinda right on my breast bone, and it seems to do the trick

  • mask

    Interesting indeed lol. i spray my wrists and then rub behind my ears. I always thought some perfumes didnt smell as good on me as it did my friends, and now i know im not crazy!

  • minniemariss

    I have a question! How do you decide which fragrance to wear on different days? Do you wear the same fragrance every day for a while, or do you switch it day by day?

  • Chantele Robinson

    I love Jennifer Aniston’s perfume, it is my all time favourite. I cannot get enough of it. I spray it on my wrists and rub than always spray and walk through it!

  • candigirl

    i love maybe baby by benefit it smells so classy and sexy

    i spray on my wrists and some on my neck

  • laura sacco

    I’m like you Lauren, I spray my perfume on each wrist, then spray the bottle twice in front of me and walk directly through it! I switch my perfume day to day because i have serveral different perfumes (flower smelling, strong scents, light&airy scents), and it all depends on my mood and what im wearing

  • Valerie Tasse

    i get lots of compliments when I wear my Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy.. i have even a couple of teachers telling me I smell awesome! The perfume lasts alllllll day .. i spray myself 3 times

  • Maria Abbruscato

    Peace love and juicy couture

  • Christine G

    I spray behind my ears/neck, bellow my throat where the collarbones meet, decollatage, wrists, and inside elbow.

    I always go for EDPs! My favs are Miss Dior Cherie, Oh Lola!, Wonderstruck, Coach Poppy Flower, J’Adore, Acqua di Gioia, and L’Eau D’Issey.

  • Janelle McNeal

    I spray on my inner and outer wrist and rub it with the other side and on both sides of my neck

  • Rachel Bonello

    I always mist my wrists and nape of the neck when I put on perfume for the day.

    Any scent from Victoria Secret I ADORE! I currently have Dream Angels Heavenly Enchanted and Very Sexy Now, which is so yummy smelling I bought two bottles!

  • Joanne Kim

    victoiras secret pink body mists are really popular where i come from, and they smell really good :)

  • Michelle Vinther

    Coco Chanel said that you should only spray perfume the places you wanted to be kissed…

  • alaina childs

    Lauren, i learned a great trick when choosing a perfume that fits your body chemistry! When you find a perfume you like, spray a little on the tip of your finger and touch it to your tongue. The perfume should taste soapy and clean. If it tastes bitter and unpleasent, then it wont smell good on you! Ive used this trick everytime i have picked out a perfume and it really works!

  • tinamarie

    wonderstruck, tswift (:

  • Connie Lofska

    I spray my perfume on my inner wrist and then rub it behind my ears.

    Sometimes I’ll spray a little bit on the inside of my elbows. And other times I’ll spray it twice in front of me and immediately walk through it.

    <3 only Chanel <3

  • Natasha Hussain

    I’m a bit of a perfume junkie, which makes sense because my mother is a fragrance vendor for brands such as Calvin Klein, Prada, and Vera Wang (among others). I usually get my bottles some time before it is released in stores, and I’m normally defined as “”the one who, at the very least, always smells good”” LOL. I usually spray it on my inner wrists and in the air above me so it can sprinkle down.

    I prefer Calvin Klein Euphoria, and Sarah Jessica Parker’s NYC. Those are my hubby’s faves on me too =]

  • Monica Castillo

    I prefer roll on perfume because when I travel my bottles always break! However when i do spray I spray on my forearm and dab(not rub) my other forearm on it. I also spray in the air and walk in it. When I use roll on I put it on my forearms also and roll on the sides of my neck

  • sophie carter

    Chanel Coco Madmoiselle :) on the back of my neck, behind my knees (is that wierd?!) on my wrists and on my hair brush!

  • lissette bustamante

    I love perfumes. They define who we are because of the scent. I personally prefer Chance Eau Tendre, Flowerbomb and everything that is floral.:)

  • ForeverSunshine

    I spray my perfume on the back of my kneck right at my hair line. I spritz twice and that’s it. I contantly get compliments on how good I smell. It’s the perfect place because it isn’t ovewhelming to anyone. My husband loves it because it’s more intimate and not overpowering.

    I get nausieted very easily by smell and spritzing on the back of my kneck alleviated my nausiea. I can even wear musky, heavy fragrances like Angle or CK Euphoria.

    P.S. Don’t spray and rub. You crush the fragrance and it goes away faster.

  • Kimberly Reed

    For casual…and beach I love J LO Jennifer Lopez “”Miami Glow””..is smells like the beach! It really does…I wear a lot of Rose…and Orange Blossom oils, and perfumes..soaps.etc…and recently Feather by Serious Skin Care…all over….my wrists…..between my breasts….lower back…hair…under arms….!

  • Mawii Armengol

    i loveeee perfume ! my favs are def. miss dior cherie, chanel chance, and chloe <3 and my bf just got yves saint laurent the parisienne so ive beeb using that one lately too.

  • Sarah Cowden

    I apply my perfume to my wrists, back of the neck, behind my ears, and when I’m going out, the backs of my knees. And before I blowdry my hair, I’ll spray it onto my hair just so the scent is “”consistent.”” It works for me without being too much :)

  • Julie Liu

    Dear Lauren,

    Would you ever come out with your own fragrance line? Why or why not?

    -Julie

  • xoxime

    I apply my perfume on the nack of the nexk, behind my ears ad to my wrist. now i

  • Ana Vizotto

    IMPORTANT: Something very important to keep in mind when applying your perfume, try to spray it on a warm part of your body. I always spray it on my chest kind of in between my cleaveage and then behind my neck under my hair. Those are very warm parts of your body, and i heard once that it works so i have been doing it ever since and it has been working pretty well for me, so def giive it a try yourself :)

  • Martin M

    I think it is always good not to put on too much perfume. Always a bit behind the ears and on my neck and et voila! :) Greetings from Germany :)

    http://www.look-scout.blogspot.com

    http://www.look-scout.blogspot.com

  • Sarah Perreault

    I spray it on my wrist and neck :)

    What is your favorite perfume Lauren? :)

    Sarah, from Quebec, Canada

  • Audrina Denise Garupa

    love it ! very informative . I go for fresh scents , like , you just got out of the shower kind of scents … :)

  • Lauren McVicar

    I usually apply my perfume behind my ears. I had one that was my favourite, it was called Blackberry Vanilla Musk. My aunt sent it to my sisters and I, along with a bunch of other samples, one year for christmas. I immediately fell in love with it but it’s only sold in the United States. I can’t seem to be able to find it anywhere here and she can’t remember where she got it. Can anyone tell me where I can find it?

  • CGA

    Lauren–The Blackberry Vanilla Musk perfume is one of my favorites too! It’s by Trish McEvoy and you can find it online at Blue Mercury, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom & Neiman Marcus. I know a lot of these sites have international shipping now, I just don’t know how much it would cost. Hope that helps!

  • Lauren McVicar

    cga – OMG thank you. I just <3 that scent so much. By the time I needed to buy more the brand name had rubbed off of the sample. I was fairly positive it was Trish McEvoy, but no one carries Trish McEvoy up here so I couldn’t find it to be sure. I thought I was completely SOL.

  • tennisfan

    I spray it on my wrists and walk through once when I spray it in the air.

    My new favourite perfume is Miss Dior Le Parfum….an absolutely magical, intense scent!

  • Moni

    i spray it on my wrists, neck and hair. spraying it in your hair makes it last longer!

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  • Claudia

    G’day from Australia! I usually spray a little perfume onto my wrists and also on my neck. For the last two years or so I have been using Chanel ‘Chance – Eau Tendre’, which I LOVE – and it lasts all day, which is an added bonus :)

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