Long lasting perfume: 5 misconceptions
Spray a perfume on a blotter. Now smell it again, on your skin this time: do you find it different? Without really understanding why, you may think it does not match with your skin. Or its formula is just too volatile. Discover five explanations regarding the lasting of a perfume and its evolution on our skin, to understand and tame this almost perfect marriage!
🚫 A long-lasting perfume must be expensive
The cheaper a perfume is, the less persistent it will be. Really? The lasting of a perfume partly depends on its composition. Unlike received idea, the most expensive ingredients are not necessarily the most long lasting ones! A perfumer enjoys thousands of materials in his olfactory palette. Some are volatile, others more intense can be used as a fixative such as musk or ambergris for instance. Therefore, the persistence of your perfume is not related its selling price! It depends on the ingredients used in your fragrance formula and their dosage.
🚫 The most a perfume is concentrated, the better it is!
The lasting of a perfume is also related to its concentration in raw materials. For example, our pure perfumes are highly concentrated, promising intense, precious and powerful drops to use sparingly. The difficulty of the perfumer’s work then consists in finding the right balance between the expected olfactory notes and the persistence of the perfume. However, if we concentrate a fragrance too much, the balance can be broken. The fragrance can therefore be unpleasant or even worst, overpowering.
But some compositions are also made to be discreet, fresh, light and delicate. Citrus or some flowers are raw materials with more volatile odoriferous molecules, which will evaporate rather quickly. But this does not remove their olfactory qualities and the emotions they can give us. This is the case of the Eau de Cologne, whose refreshing citrus notes are not very long-lasting, but which provides an incomparable sense of well-being. It’s all about enjoying a fragrance for what it is, no matter how long it lasts on your skin…
🚫 The juice has oxidized, its smell is different on the skin
We hear sometimes that a fragrance cannot be kept for more than 3 years, or when its juice has oxidized it only fit for the bin. Some even think that it can be dangerous for the skin to use an “old” perfume. Close your ears and open your nostrils: you can keep your perfume as long as its smell will please you. We will not lie to you by saying that a perfume is like wine: the older it gets, the better it becomes. It is a lot more complex than that. Have you ever smelled a perfume found in the bathroom of your grandmother? A smell certainly vintage, but still gorgeous and scheming!
So there is no rule, just trust your feeling. We cannot predict exactly how long a fragrance will remain stable. However, you can follow some simple but effective tips to conserve your precious bottles. Sometimes you will have to go beyond a top note where the smell of alcohol comes first. Passed that, you should find the original smell of your perfume. On the contrary, if you smell plastic, a metallic note or a scent of vinegar that persists, it means that your perfume is too transformed, like a corked wine.
Finally, do not worry about allergies and other medical problems: perfumes are widely made of alcohol that acts as an antiseptic. Health risk is therefore very unlikely.
🚫 My perfume is too old, it smells nothing on me
As we have already seen, sense of smell is one of our most primitive senses. However, it can sometimes be tricky! Have you ever had the impression to better endure a disturbing smell by dint of being confronted to it? Well your nose acts the same way for the scents that you like. We get used to the smells that are part of our daily lives. You want to enjoy your perfume every day. But your brain will gradually assimilate it to your own body odour and will not perceive it as powerful as before.
Indeed, the olfactory receptors present in our nose are constantly in touch with our perfume. To avoid saturating and to stay reactive with new smells, they decide not to perceive our own odour. But beware, this does not mean that you have to spray more perfume, or to throw it in the trash! Here is a tip: leave your fragrance aside for a while and come back to it later. You will see that you will rediscover the fragrance you love so much, and you may even discover new shades of it…
You also ask us sometimes if we changed a formula, because you have the feeling that your perfume is not the same anymore. But why would we change a perfume you love?! This impression is also related to your brain that can discovers a new shade of your fragrance. It can also be explained by the age of your previous bottle. Its juice had probably evolved months after months, the volatile ingredients being less persistent and giving way to more powerful ones. By purchasing a new bottle, you rediscover the “real” smell of a recently produced juice. But then, does a perfume have a single smell? How beautiful is this complexity…
🚫 This fragrance changes completely on me!
You have smelt a magnificent perfume on someone around you or in the street. Generous, she discreetly whisper the name of this fragrance and you run to buy it. But there, disaster: the magic does not happen on you! A bad alchemy with your skin? It is true that the skin is a rather unfriendly playground for perfumers: varying temperatures, a combination of molecules that evolve according to climatic conditions, an acidity that we cannot control… However, during the creation of a perfume, the balance is rigorously studied and many tests on skins are realized.
A fragrance consists of odoriferous molecules that can undergo certain reactions because of their environment, until slightly modifying the initial odor. Again, it is a matter of composition. A perfume made of more sensitive natural raw materials such as flowers, herbs or citrus is more likely to evolve on different skins. Unlike the woody notes of oriental perfumes for example, which are much more stable. But the skin will never transform a fragrance that you love into a fragrance impossible to wear: it is only a feeling. This necessary and sometimes capricious alchemy is also what makes your attachment to a fragrance so strong: when you find the good one, it can be for life!
Now you know all the secrets of the lasting of your perfume on your skin, far from the preconceived ideas that we hear sometimes. The most important thing is to find the scent that will stick to your skin, as long as you want!
Do you prefer more concentrated long lasting perfume, or do you think a fragrance smell remains the most important, no matter how long it lasts?