The One Common Mistake That Makes Your Perfume Wear Off Quickly
Perfume is dynamic, and it smells different on everyone. You see, fragrance notes can shift depending on your skin's pH balance, oil composition, body temperature, and so on; and each of these factors can affect how your skin interacts with each scent. That's why, for example, you may absolutely adore a friend's perfume, but when you try it out for yourself, it doesn't have quite the same impact. Essentially, your signature scent is just that—it will always be uniquely you, and isn't that something to smile about?
On a similar note (had to), your skin type can also affect how long your perfume lasts, and there's one giant mistake experts say to watch out for: If you don't hydrate your skin, your perfume will practically vanish within the hour.
Why perfume lasts longer on hydrated skin.
"Hydrated, moisturized skin is really going to hold fragrance a lot longer," says celebrity makeup artist Rosie Johnston, founder of by/rosie jane. That's because a healthy, moisturized lipid barrier offers more natural oils for the fragrance to cling to—whereas the juice will simply dissipate on skin that's dry and cracked. Those with happily moisturized skin may not even need as many spritzes to achieve an all-day-long scent; not only does the perfume last longer on the skin, but the fragrance delivers way more impact.
In fact, you may come across a popular hack to spray perfume on right after a shower. The reason this works—aside from the hot steam, which helps diffuse the fragrance—is because your skin is hydrated naturally from the water, which helps it latch on to the scent. After a shower, Johnston recommends patting dry, coating your body with a moisturizer to trap in all that water, then spritz a little fragrance. "You have this beautiful foundation of clean, hydrated skin," she says.
Of course, a midday hit of hydration works, too: "A body oil, body lotion, or balm to hydrate will also help hold the fragrance longer as well," says Cat Chen, founder of clean fragrance brand Skylar, as these coat your skin with nourishing oils that can cling to fragrance. Just apply your product of choice to the areas you want to spritz (or all over your body, because why not send your skin some extra love?), and the splash of moisture should help the perfume leave a stronger trace.
I also like to dab mindbodygreen's postbiotic hand cream onto my pulse points, especially if I'm already dressed and don't want to slather on another round of body lotion. The rich and creamy formula contains natural oils and butters that grab onto fragrance and instantly hydrate my skin, but it's soaked up quickly and doesn't leave my wrists feeling sticky. And because this hand cream doesn't leave my side (it's that good), I can quickly grab should I ever want to re-spritz my fragrance.
In case you needed one more reason to focus on hydration this winter: Moisturized skin will hold on to fragrance easier, which will give your perfume more staying power. That's why in addition to general skin care methods (find our full guide to moisturized skin here), many experts recommend applying a moisturizer or lotion before spritzing—usually, that one extra layer can make a difference.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and more. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.