Sometimes, you find the perfect perfume, but it has one serious flaw. After a few hours, the fragrance has disappeared as though you had never put it on! What can you do to make your perfume last a little longer (and be worth the price of the bottle?)
First, here’s a little background about what makes perfume smell. If the perfume never evaporated, we’d never smell it! The scent molecules evaporate and perfume the air around us, where our sensitive noses detect the scent. Different components of the perfume evaporate at different rates, which means that the perfume will change over time. (This is also called “volatility.”)
Why are some perfumes longer lasting than others? Why do some stay on other people, but not on you? The volatility of fragrances also depends on the wearer. Body temperature, weather, and skin dryness affect how fast your perfume launches off your skin.
People with oilier skin retain fragrance longer than people with dry skin. The oil binds the fragrance to the skin and results in a more controlled release of scent over time. On dry-skinned people, the fragrance tends to bounce right off. Redheads or pale blondes with dry skin have more problems with perfume longevity than most.
If this describes you, try applying perfume to the oiliest parts of your body. Since everyone is different, you will have to experiment and see what works best for you. For women, between the breasts is an excellent place for perfume. The hairline is also good for many people, but it may clash with the scent of your hair care products.
Also, do not put your fragrance on immediately after you get out of the shower. The heat, soap, and water strip away your skin’s natural oils. Try using a body lotion first, and give your skin time to recover its moisture balance. This will give the perfume something to latch on to.
Layering perfume with different products in the same fragrance helps to seal in the scent. If you start with body wash and lotion underneath your perfume, it may control and slow the release of the fragrance. You can also carry an eau de toilette purse spray or roll-on oil to refresh the scent after a few hours.
What if your favorite perfume doesn’t come in body care products? You can make your own by adding designer fragrance concentrates to unscented products. The designer oils are not from the original perfume manufacturer, but made by a separate company to be a close – if not exact – match for the perfume. Most people cannot tell the difference between them and “the real thing,” and it is often the only way you will be able to get lotion, shower gel, and other products in your favorite designer scent.
You’d be amazed at how many are available, and most of them are indistinguishable from the “real thing.” Small or specialty brands, such as Demeter, are not available, but almost every modern popular perfume is. Thousands of perfumes have high-quality duplications for you to use.
To scent your own products is simple. If you can make your own ice cream sundaes, you can add scent to a basic lotion. Unscented products can be found in health food stores, such as Whole Foods and Wild Oats, and drug stores like CVS. You can even make scented shampoo and conditioner! The good news is that unscented products are usually good quality because they are for people with skin sensitivities.
Start with a few drops in a small amount of lotion, and increase the strength as you like it. It’s a good idea to buy a few empty travel-sized containers so you can experiment. If you add too much fragrance, your product may separate or thin out. Don’t worry if this happens – it’s still good!
Just shake it up or add more unscented product to dilute it. 1% is usually the limit for products such as shampoo or body wash before they start thinning; you usually can’t add more than 1% concentrated fragrance to any product that washes or bubbles. 1/2% is the recommended amount.
Remember, though, that perfume is a cosmetic. It’s only temporary, and no matter what you do, it will eventually evaporate completely. Enjoy it while it lasts!
Katherine Durkes has written 3 ebooks on how to make bath & body, perfume, and home fragrance products. She runs a website, a newsletter, and a Yahoo Group for aspiring craft business owners. Visit http://www.excellentlivingguide.com for more creative bath and beauty projects.