The Concentration Equation
Perfume oil, eau de parfum, eau de toilette… they all mean fragrance, but in varying degrees of intensity. Fragrance is comprised of a mix of alcohol, water and essential oils. These oils provide the lovely scent. Perfume oil contains the highest concentration of essential oils (with no alcohol), giving it the most potent scent that will linger the longest. Eau de parfum is next with roughly 15-18% essential oil. And eau de toilette is the lightest touch with as little as 5-8% essential oil. A purse-sized eau de parfum is perfect for on-the-go refreshment.
Warmer days will activate your fragrance giving you a stronger scent, so you may want to choose something lighter, like an eau de toilette. But this heat will also evaporate the scent more quickly, so you may need to reapply sooner. And keep in mind as the days warm and you spend more time outdoors, your hubby may not be the only one attracted to your new fragrance. Bees and mosquitos may also be drawn to sweet-smelling you. Cooler climates, and the resulting drier skin, will release your fragrance more gradually, with less intensity, so you may want a scent with stronger base notes.
The Skin You’re In
Just as warmer, more humid days boost a fragrance, well-hydrated skin or even oily skin also creates the ideal environment for lasting scents. To promote a moisturized canvas for your fragrance, use a rich, unscented lotion before spritzing your perfume. Or why not use a lotion or body oil infused with your favorite fragrance to really melt the scent into your skin then layer your perfume on top? Get even more bang for your buck by moisturizing then spritzing right out of the shower while pores are still open and skin is damp.
The Application Process
Your skin is moisturized and primed for perfume perfection, but where should you spritz? Your pulse points, where you can feel your heartbeat, are the best spots… inside your wrists and elbows, temples, base of throat, under the earlobes and behind your knees. But don’t scent every spot. Pick a few evenly spaced locations to spritz. And don’t “crush” the fragrance by rubbing wrists together. This can alter the scent or make it disappear altogether. Always go for a spritz over a finger dab, which can leave more fragrance on your digits than your pulse points. And avoid your clothing, where the oils can stain.
Choosing the right scent for you can take some trial and error. What smells great in the bottle may not blend well with your body’s own natural chemistry. Fluctuating hormones can affect your skin’s oily/dry balance, changing your receptivity to a particular fragrance, even scents you previously loved. Sweat can also greatly impact the way a scent smells, causing a reaction that can leave your fragrance smelling less than fresh. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite scent forever, but as your hormones and perspiration levels ebb and flow, you may need to tweak up your fragrance routine.