Make Your Perfume Last Longer in Hot Weather

Four perfume bottles laid out on a fluffy, white carpet

Finding your signature perfume can be a really tricky task. But making that scent last through the hot summer can be even trickier. When it comes to perfume, the weather plays an important part in how quickly the scent can fade.

The warmer months, for example, can bring great challenges to those who love to stay smelling great. When the temperature is soaring, your fragrance can disappear in a matter of hours, making it difficult to stay smelling fresh in the heat. If you have a favourite fragrance that just won’t last on your skin, then take a look at the following essential dos and don’ts that show you just how to preserve the smell of your scent in hot and humid conditions.

These helpful hacks will enhance your fragrance and its longevity, so you can stay smelling sweet for longer in the heat.  

Why Don’t Perfumes Last as Long in Hot Weather?

empty perfume bottles lying on a pink background with sunlight glazing upon it.
Any type of perfume can dry out in high temperatures.

Firstly, we found out why fragrances can lose their scent due to increased temperatures. This is because the seasons and climate have a big impact on the strength of perfumes. The summer heat and humidity can really affect the staying power of your scent.  Plus, the sun, the sea, and increased perspiration can all cause your perfume to wear off even quicker during the warmer months. When mixed with moisture and sweat, perfume evaporates quicker and therefore the scent fades a lot faster than during the colder, winter months.

    • Perspiration and perfumes do not mix well together.
    • Heat and humidity that enhance sweat during hot temperatures can destroy fragrances.

Therefore, the type of scent you use and the way you apply it should be adapted from season to season to maximize the staying power and strength of the fragrance.

How to Pick the Right Perfume

Know the Strength of Scents

Miniature perfume bottles on top of a white box beside a sprawl of magazines.

If your favourite fragrance is fading too quickly, you may need to bump up the strength of it.

While many people may choose a perfume by the scent alone, reading the fragrance bottle to understand the perfume percentage can make a huge difference in understanding which formulas last longer.

Fragrances are usually made with a mixture of alcohol, water and scented oils. However, certain formulas contain higher levels of these scented oils, making the scent stronger and more likely to last longer on the skin.

Eau De Parfum has a stronger concentration of fragrance oils compared to lighter Eau De Toilette formulas, for instance, so they are likely to be more pungent.  You may also notice the difference in price when shopping for either. The higher volume measurements of perfume oil in the formula will mean that the scent lingers is more likely to linger for longer.

Choosing the Right Base Note

a red-haired woman holding a white flower, whilst smelling it.
Base notes can include scents like cedar wood, iris, sandalwood and musk.

Just as you might wear darker colours in the winter, there are certain types of scent that are better suited for certain seasons.

So, for hotter months, bid farewell to your rich, winter scents and freshen up your fragrance by switching to refreshing, airy summer scents by choosing the right base notes.

For that fresh, summery scent, you may choose citrus-heavy or fruity fragrances. However, these top notes will disappear quickly once you have applied it. While citrus notes may smell fresher, they are lighter and tend to evaporate quickly.

So don’t forget to choose a fragrance with heavier base notes, but still sweet-smelling for the summer.  The base notes are the longest lasting elements of a fragrance, so scents with deeper base notes such as vanilla, musk and wood are known to last longer on the skin and linger once the top notes have disappeared.

When to Apply

Apply After Having a Shower

When you choose to apply your fragrance can greatly affect its performance.

Most people wait until just before they leave the house to spritz their perfume – assuming that this will help it last longer throughout the day. But, really, the best time to apply your fragrance is after you step out the shower. Your skin absorbs fragrances better if it’s warm and the steam from the shower will open your pores – allowing your skin to really soak up the scent, while the moisture will hold it better.

Don’t forget to use a soap that matches your perfume to avoid the scents clashing. You could always use a bath bomb that has similar base notes to your favourite perfume, to find out how to make your own why not give our post How to Make Natural and Affordable Bath Bombs at Home a try?

Apply To Moisturized Skin

To give your perfume extra staying power, make sure your skin is nice and hydrated first. The moisturizer does the same job for perfume as a primer does for makeup. Unless your skin is properly moisturized, it won’t absorb the scent as well. You can even attempt to incorporate similar base notes within you both your moisturiser and perfume.

So, before you reach for your perfume, grab a good body lotion and create a good base for the perfume to cling onto.

Your perfume will lock onto your skin if it is smooth and hydrated and extend the life of the scent.

How to Apply Perfume

two hands, one holding a perfume bottle whilst leaning it against the other wrist.
A popular place to spray your perfume is the pulse point located on your inner wrist(s).
Concentrate On Pulse Points

The warmer parts of your body retain scents better than the rest of your body. So, rather than spritzing your perfume everywhere, focus on your pulse points where there is good circulation. Your pulse points are located in various areas and are easily found as to where blood vessels are visibly closest to the skin. These parts of the body radiate more heat and therefore project scent better. 

Focus on applying it to your wrists, elbows, neck, behind your ears and also behind your knees. As well as this you could attempt to lock the scent better by applying petroleum jelly to your pulse points before spritzing on your spray. The perfume will stick to the jelly molecules in the product rather than into your pores, keeping the scent alive for longer. This is an especially great trick for those humid summer days, however, always be careful to protect your skin from any sunburn.

Build It in Layers

For maximum scent capacity, it is best to layer your fragrances in layers on top of a moisturizer or lotion. By using an unscented body lotion it should prevent different scents from mixing together. Doing this will add moisture to your skin and the oils in the lotion will give the perfume something to cling onto. However, using a lotion that matches the scent of your perfume will allow for the fragrance to last, even once the perfume has worn out. However, don’t worry if you don’t have a matching scented lotion! Simply pour a tiny bit of your perfume into an unscented lotion and mix it well to keep your scent going strong throughout the day. Be that as it may if you’d prefer to not mix your perfume you could find the best type of perfume and lotion combinations.

Don’t Rub It into the Skin

Rubbing wrists together after applying perfume is a common mistake that most people make in order to distribute or warm the scent. However, doing this can have the opposite effect. Rubbing the perfume can cause friction that breaks down the molecules in the product, causing the scent to fade.

So, if you want your scent to last through the hot days, resist the urge to rub! Dab the perfume lightly onto your skin instead.

Brush It into Your Hair
hair stylist spraying a lady's hair whilst preparing her for an event.
Brushing a small amount of perfume through your hair can lead to the fragrance lasting longer throughout the day.

You may have noticed that your hair carries scents longer than your skin and this is because fragrances latch onto fibres. So, don’t neglect your hair when it comes to applying your scent! In fact, UK based company Ormonde Jayne is to release a perfumed hair mist for this exact purpose, however, it is also said to condition your hair at the same time.

However, perfume does contain alcohol so spraying perfume directly onto your hair can cause it to become dry and damaged. The best method, therefore, is to spray the fragrance onto your hairbrush and gently comb it through your hair. The scent will settle into your hair strands and hold for longer.

Be sure to only apply scents to freshly washed hair or else the natural oils will affect the fragrance. 

Be sure that you don’t have any allergies to your chosen perfumes before having it in contact with your hair as this, along with many other products, can cause the skin to become red/sensitive.

Storing Perfume Properly

a collection of perfume bottles on a mirrored silver tray on a shiny white desk.
It’s always a good idea to correctly store your perfumes.

How you store your perfume is crucial to increase the potency and to keeping it lasting longer. While most people may store their perfumes in the bathroom the humid air from warm showers can damage it greatly. So, if possible, keep your perfume away from heat and light, both of which degrade the ingredients in it.

It’s a good idea to store your perfumes in your bedroom to give it more shelf life. Doing this helps to keep the ingredients fresh so your scent lasts longer throughout the day.

Just like perfume make sure to also store your makeup products well, away from humid areas, they need to be looked after too!

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