How to Make Your Perfume Last Much Longer

Updated 09/23/16

Given that really wonderful fragrances are often a bit of an investment, there's little more infuriating than spritzing it on as you walk out the door, only for it to be undetectable by the time your commute is over. (You can practically see the dollar signs disappear into thin air, no?)

But don't necessarily blame the perfume itself, because there really are right ways and wrong ways to apply a scent to make it last. (Spoiler alert: Dabbing your perfume on your wrists and rubbing them together isn't doing you or your bank account any favors.) What's more, seemingly inconsequential things from the way you store your fragrances to how well you're moisturizing your skin are actually key to making them smell their best—and for the longest time possible. Straight from experts in the know, keep reading to find out exactly why your scent might not have the staying power it should.

Your go-to scent is grassy or floral

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A rule of thumb is that fragrances in the oriental or woody category tend to last much longer than citrus, floral, or green scents, fragrance expert Sue Phillips tells Allure. (Of course, if you prefer a lighter scent, then that's cool too.)

You're not applying it in the right places

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Important fact: Heat enhances fragrance, so it's important to spray it in places that generate the most body heat. "Spray on the pulse points—the back of the neck and both sides of the carotids, the neckline, and the wrist,” Parisian perfumer Francis Kurkdjian tells Vogue, “because it is where the skin is the thinnest.” Phillips adds to even consider the spots behind your knees and on your ankles, especially since heat rises. (Genius, right?) We've also found that spraying directly onto your hair is also a great hack, since your strands are basically a built-in diffuser (with every hair tousle or flip, some scent particles are released).

Better yet? Spring for an actual hair perfume, which is very much a thing.

One thing to note: While it's practically ingrained in us from a young age to rub our wrists together, doing so actually breaks down the scent, making it disappear way more quickly than you'd probably like. Dab or spray it on, and just let it be!

You aren't moisturizing enough

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Surprise! There's actually a direct correlation between your skin regimen and how long your fragrance lasts, because scent doesn't mesh well with dry skin. (Just be sure that your moisturizer of choice is unscented.)

You're not storing it properly

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Did you know that fragrances have an expiration date? Phillips says that should your scent start to turn dark and syrupy, it means that it's likely aged (though she also notes that formulas with a lot of synthetic ingredients will last some time). Natural ingredients will develop and often get stronger with time, but there's a fine line between a robust scent and something downright wonky, so use your best judgment. 

On the other hand, while all scents eventually go bad (or at least alter significantly), proper storage is key to making a bottle last. Ideally keep your scents in a cool, dark place (though not the fridge, says Phillips) and away from air conditioning or heating units. 

Did you already know these tips for making perfume last? What are your favorite fragrance hacks? Sound off in the comments below.

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