If you ever feel disgruntled by the fact your expensive perfume doesn’t smell as good as it does in the bottle, or has faded away within an hour of leaving the house, the way you’re applying it could be to blame.
Award-winning French perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, who created Le Male for Jean Paul Gaultier – one of the world’s best selling perfumes – when he was just 26, has revealed to Vogue the five biggest mistakes women make when applying fragrance.
Kurkdjian, who is also behind fragrance hits for design houses such as Dior, Carven, Burberry, Kenzo and Lancôme, told Vogue that you must take into account both the environment you’re wearing it in and the outfit it complements in order for your perfume to smell its best.
Not only that, if you’re not in the habit of using the same perfume each day, you’d be wise to buy smaller bottles – as the typical scent has a shelf life of just three months, the expert says.
Here, we reveal his guide to the dos and don’t of how to wear fragrance.
DON’T RUB YOUR WRISTS TOGETHER
If you’re in the habit of spritzing your wrists and then rubbing them together, you’re actually ruining the scent.
That’s because the friction ‘heats up the skin, which produces natural enzymes that change the course of the scent’, with the top and middle notes being worst affected as well as the dry-down – the long period during which the fragrance unfolds.
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If you’re wearing a floral perfume, for instance, this heat makes it lose its crispness.
To keep your fragrance smelling like it should, as well as making it last longer, spritz it once and then simply let it sink in.
DON’T KEEP IT IN THE BATHROOM
Perfume is extremely sensitive to environmental changes and will be impacted by changes such as going from cold to hot.
This process sets off ‘unexpected chemical reactions within the natural ingredients’ of the perfume such as patchouli, meaning your perfume will age faster and start to smell ‘off’.
The best way to store your fragrance is in its original box at room temperature.
DO OPT FOR SMALLER SIZES
If you are lucky enough to have lots of bottles or you don’t use your favourite perfume every day, oxygen will start to break down the molecules as it languishes on your dressing table.
A typical bottle has a shelf life of three months so if you’re not using a perfume daily, you’re best off buying a smaller variety.
Or you could decant your bigger bottles into smaller containers and keep them in the fridge to maintain perfection.
DO EMBRACE SYNTHETICS
The idea of a perfume that boasts of being all-natural might sound appealing, but the fragrance may well let you down.
Musk, which was formerly derived from animals, is probably the most popular fragrance ingredient but must be created synthetically.
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Other popular smells, such as peony, freesia, and lily of the valley, can’t be extracted naturally as they don’t release enough aroma so they must be re-created.
According to Kurkdjian the ideal formula is a blend of essential oils, absolutes, and man-made ingredients.
DO SPRITZ IT ON YOUR HAIR
Perfume actually doesn’t last too long on dry skin, according to Kurkdjian and as you sweat the natural oils destroy the fragrance.
You can combat this by using the matching body lotion or making sure your moisturiser isn’t scented so it doesn’t interfere.
If you want to ensure longevity, mist your scent lightly on your hair or on a scarf.
‘Because they move with the air, it helps with the diffusion of the scent,’ he explained.
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If you are putting perfume on your skin, target spots that are exposed to the air.
It’s no good putting it on pulse points such as the wrists and inner elbows if they’re covered up