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8 Fragrance Questions You've Always Wanted Answers To

Spraying an atomizer on the hand

We recently caught up with our in-house perfume expert and UK National Trainer, Eva Carlo to discuss all things fragrance. Having a wealth of industry knowledge behind her, Eva has given answers to some of the industry's most burning questions. 

These perfume tips and tricks for men and women should aid you in understanding the complex world of perfumery, help you get the most of your existing perfume and guide you in your approach to future fragrance purchases.


1.) Should I Spray My Perfume On My Skin Or My Clothes?

Certain perfume notes definitely thrive from our body heat and putting them directly on the skin is the perfect vehicle to getting the most from your fragrance. 

However, saying that, it is very much dependent on your skin’s sensitivity levels. The majority of us can wear perfume with ease, and can take pleasure in this beautiful ancient ritual. If you do suffer with sensitive skin, then spraying your perfume on your clothing is an amazing way to still enjoy your fragrance.

There are also many other benefits to spraying perfume on your clothes. Your clothing fibres will absorb and retain perfume much longer than your skin. As you move throughout the day, the fabric will allow the perfume to release a captivating halo around you. Just one thing to be aware of is applying dark juices on pale fabrics and certain delicate fabrics – it may stain the fabric due to the oil content present in all perfumes.

I’d say the best texture for applying perfume is either the hair or the nape of the neck. During the day, as this area heats up, it will diffuse the fragrant notes of your perfume, making it the best place for you to enjoy your own scent. Of course, let’s not forget the cruelty mistress that is perfume – as soon as you fall in love, you can no longer perceive it.

2.) Should I Store My Fragrance Away From Sunlight? 

Yes. Sunlight and heat will, most certainly, deteriorate your perfume very quickly. As much as we all like to display beautiful bottles on our dressing tables, ideally you want to store them in a cool, dark place. Keep in mind that the more oxygen that is present in the bottle, the faster it will oxidate, meaning the less fragrance you have left, the faster you want to be using it up.

3.) Will The High Alcohol Content In Perfume Irritate My Skin? 

Alcohol can be an irritant and if you have very sensitive skin you will probably already be avoiding perfume halls and perfumed products. However, this is actually much rarer than we are lead to believe. Alcohol, and indeed the whole perfume, is going to evaporate from your skin, which minimizes the possibility of irritation. If this is a concern, scenting your clothes is the perfect way to still enjoy the pleasures of perfume. 

4.) Why Does A Perfume Smell Different On Myself Compared To Other People?

Being individuals, the make-up of our skin will vary from person to person, however closely related we may be. The complexity of natural ingredients, in particular, can vary greatly on different skins. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the thrills of finding the perfect perfume.

5.) I Find That After Wearing My Perfume For A While, I Can No Longer Smell It - Why Is This? 

Our sense of smell is primarily designed for our survival. Once the brain understands that what it is smelling is not putting our life in danger, it will move on to the next big thing. Therefore, it stops being aware of it and the end result is you can no longer smell your own perfume. It’s a bit like when you return from holiday and open up your front door. You are suddenly aware of your house scent but almost immediately it disappears.

We tend to use the medical term, anosmia, for this phenomenon, although this is less severe, of course, as it only effects scents that our brain is already familiar with.

Our nearest and dearest will also have a similar experience with your scent, which is probably a good thing, as being constantly aware of someone else’s perfume can become quite invasive. 

6.) How Can I Make My Perfume Last Longer Throughout The Day? 

Well-nourished skin is key! The perfect place to start is a body lotion or oil that has a complementary scent to your chosen fragrance. Otherwise, opt for a very low scented oil. Apply it before spraying fragrance onto the skin to help retain the scent for longer. Be sure to spray your hair and clothing also for added longevity.

7.) How Should I Change My Evening Scent To My Daytime Scent? 

Typically, in the world of fragrance we talk about fresher and more transparent notes in the day – think citrus and floral notes – then we move onto deeper perfumes for the evening such as those that sit in the oriental fragrance family.

Try applying the same rules to your perfume as you do with your clothing wardrobe. Think about complementing fabrics and colors or matching your fragrance to the way you feel in that exact moment, rather than thinking of it specifically as a daytime or evening scent. Likewise, looking at your fragrance as a seasonal change can be a great way to interpret this, opting for fresher fragrances in summer and deeper or richer fragrances in the winter. There are so many ways to look at this approach and I’d encourage you to experiment to find your own personal style and rules. 

8.) How Often Should I Change My Signature Scent? 

The concept of a signature scent is a little vintage - and it is certainly having a bit of a renaissance with some. However, I’d recommend building a wardrobe of fragrances to reflect the various moods and styles that takes you from day to night and from one season to another. It is a very personal choice and I certainly don’t like to create rules when it comes to the art of perfumery and signature scents.

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