Perfume is a highly personal matter. A fragrance that one person finds enticing might repel someone else. Worst of all is wearing too much and becoming an overpowering cloud of scent that leaves its traces wherever the wearer goes. We spoke to Scent Split on what is the right amount of perfume to use.
Scent experts say that you should apply perfumes to specific points on your body such as the wrists, the nape of the neck, knees, inside elbows, and above the hip bones (called pulse points) which tend to be warmer parts of the body and intensify the scent of perfume. The wrist areas are regarded as the most effective because they enable you to check the effect of the fragrance throughout the day and see how it interacts with your body chemistry.
How much you should apply, though, depends on your individual taste and the specific fragrance that you are wearing. Some fragrances tend to be heavier, such as those based on vanilla and honey, and just one spray is enough otherwise they can become overpowering. Others, such as those based on florals, can be used in a higher concentration. Once again, it depends on individual aspects such as personal taste and a person’s body chemistry with the general rule being that a warmer body temperature will tend to intensify a scent. Wearing a fragrance well requires some skill and finesse, according to the experts. They say that the correct use and placement of perfume depend on the environment in, and outfit with, which it is worn.
One of the most important recommendations they make is to not rub perfume after you have sprayed because the friction created by rubbing heats the skin which produces natural enzymes that can change the character of the scent. To preserve the integrity of a fragrance and have it last longer, you should spray it on your body lightly and let it sink in – nothing else.
There are some common-sense rules that you should keep in mind when applying perfume. First among them is that a scent does not last for a long time on dry skin; it should be used in combination with a matching body lotion or a moisturizer that has no scent to extend its life. Where you apply perfume matters as well and it should never be covered up with clothing. You should instead target the pulse points identified above; only in very hot climates should perfume be applied directly all over the body.
Nonetheless, even the best smelling and high-quality perfumes can become overpowering. The goal of fragrance is to extend a scent that trails delicately behind you and not to turn heads with wrinkled noses everywhere you go. Remember that what smells good to you might not be attractive to others so keep the amount you use just under what you consider right: you should be able to catch just a touch of your scent now and then but no more.
Remember that applying perfume behind your ears can result in using too much, especially if you’ve also applied it to your neck. A single spray on the wrists and the sides of your throat should be enough. Another approach to ensuring you don’t use too much perfume is to spray it in the air and then walk through it before you get dressed and apply no more afterward.
If you’re finding that your perfume is stronger than you think, consider using eau de toilette instead of its equivalent perfume. This tends to be lighter, and you can apply a little more if you like. Most perfumes are made up almost entirely of the oils that contain the scent while eau de toilette contains more water which makes it lighter and less overpowering.
In general, terms, if you’re wondering how to keep from overdoing your perfume, remember that during the warmer months your scent will tend to be stronger. During those times you should keep your perfume use light and delicate and perhaps opt for the eau de toilette during these periods (especially during the day). Save the perfumes for special occasions and at night and use them sparingly so that you can avoid making an olfactory scene. If unsure, ask a friend or your partner to check whether you’ve used the right amount. You will know you have mastered the art of perfume use when you charm others with a delicate whiff of fragrance rather than drowning them in a cloud of your perfume.