Given how expensive fragrances can be, you'll want to avoid these errors.
The use of perfume is as old as civilization itself. Historically, however, it was not only used for maintaining a pleasant personal odor; it was also used for “cleaning” (it was thought to have curative properties), for distinguishing the noble classes from the plebeians, for religious ceremonies, and, of course, for vanity (they say that Napoleon Bonaparte, for example, ordered 50 bottles of cologne per month).
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Nowadays, perfume is part of the art of dressing for many people. However, we unwittingly make some mistakes that can make our perfume less effective.
1. Rubbing your wrists after applying perfume
Who hasn’t done this? You apply a bit of perfume on your wrists, and you bring them together, rub them, and even smell them so you can enjoy the delicious aroma. The problem is that this friction breaks down the structure of the fragrance. Each perfume is built on three kinds of notes, and each one fulfills a function at a different time. By rubbing your wrists together, the last notes are heated up and activated more quickly, so the fragrance will not last as long.
2. Keeping perfume in the bathroom
Yes, there are bottles that are so beautiful that it makes you want to use them for decoration. But the vapor and humidity that is produced every time you take a shower damages the perfume’s chemical composition, to the point of turning it rancid (which is when we see that its color darkens). The container should be in a cool, dry place where it is not in contact with direct sunlight. If you like the bottle that much, after you use up the perfume you can fill it with water and a few drops of food coloring (or rose water) and use it as a decoration.
3. Shaking it before you use it
There is a sort of urban legend that you have to mix the ingredients well before using perfume. Fragrances from good quality companies are already perfectly mixed, and the more they are left undisturbed, the better. If you mix them with air, you can affect their composition. Besides, by not shaking them, you reduce the risk of the bottle slipping out of your hands and breaking.
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4. Applying the perfume to the wrong area
There are people who spray perfume directly on their clothing. This is a big mistake — not only because you can damage your favorite blouse or dress, but also because you won’t get the most life out of the aroma. The different notes of perfumes are activated by body heat, so for the best result, you have to apply the fragrance to places where veins are near the skin: your wrists, your neck, behind your knees, and, naturally, near your heart. Of course, try not to apply it to all these areas at once, since we don’t want to suffocate anyone either.
5. Not moisturizing your skin
One of the secrets for getting an aroma to last longer is to apply a fragrance-free moisturizer to your skin before spraying on the perfume. This will make your skin absorb the fragrance better. This is why there are perfume makers who also sell creams scented with their perfumes, to be used with the fragrance, but I find that using both products is too intense (not to mention expensive).
Want to know another trick? If you have the money, chose eau de parfum instead of eau de toilette, since it is a much more potent formula. Eau de parfum lasts — and is worth — much more.
This article was originally published in the Spanish Edition of Aleteia.