Who doesn’t love smelling fabulous? Perfume has become a product so embedded in our daily ritual that we’d feel naked without a spritz of our signature scent before running out the door. Of course, we’re all familiar with the usual triumphs and struggles that come with picking out a scent but surprisingly, there’s more to know about perfume beyond just how it smells. Before you sniff more tester wands than your nose can handle, we’ve listed below 10 surprising (but important!) things to know about perfume — just in time your next shopping trip!
1. Moisturizing beforehand is a must. Before applying any fragrance, grab your favorite lotion and moisturize the area properly. Perfume diffuses well when applied on moisturized skin, and hydrated skin will hold fragrance longer.
2. Perfume isn’t great for your hair. We’re all guilty of spritzing a little extra on our hair to reassure ourselves that others (even ourselves) can really smell it. However, we’ve been doing a lot more harm than good. Many perfumes contain alcohol, which can cause dryness if applied frequently.
3. Rubbing your wrists is a no-no. If you have the habit of rubbing your wrists against each other after spraying a scent, nix the habit immediately. Typically, perfumes are complex combination of top notes, heart notes, and base notes. The top notes are more delicate and fade quickly, while the base notes are long lasting. The friction caused by rubbing your wrists increases the interaction of the fragrance with your skin’s natural oils, which can end up distorting the scent.
4. You can maximize the smell of your perfume. Instead of spritzing fragrance all over yourself, opt for applying your scent to certain areas of the body, or pulse points. Pulse points are locations on the body where the blood vessels are closest to the skin. These spots radiate heat, which help the fragrance radiate from your skin into the air. Increase the life expectancy of your bottle and spray only on the inner wrists, base of your neck, behind your earlobes, and your inner elbows.
5. The same scent can smell different on two individuals. When perfume is applied, it can mix with your skin’s own chemistry. Sweat, the environment, and even your diet can play a huge role in how your perfume smells on you versus on your friend.
6. Give your nose a break. When testing new perfumes, avoid trying more than three in a row. Your nose will have trouble differentiating the aromas if you happen to overload. A quick way to clear your nasal passages? Take a deep breath against your shirt, or a bowl of coffee beans (which fragrance stores usually have on hand).
7. Perfumes today are not made with real flowers. Because of perfume’s mass production, the use of real flower essences had to be replaced with synthetic fragrances. The upside? The life expectancy of a bottle of perfume has now been doubled due to longer expiration dates.
8. Some perfumes contains animal ingredients. These ingredients are synthetic as well and used in a variety of fragrances. Many include civet, an ingredient extracted from the feces or anal glands of a civet cat. Yuck.
9. Scents can alter the mood you’re in. Research has shown that a quick spritz can lift your spirits. Feeling overwhelmed? Apply a fragrance that contains lavender to promote relaxation. Coffee didn’t wake you up this morning? A citrus-infused scent will awaken your senses.
10. Men’s fragrances aren’t just for men. One third of men’s fragrances sold are worn by women. Surprisingly, there’s little inherently masculine or feminine about a particular scent, it’s all how it’s presented.