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Elegance in every spritz.
Gone are the days of overt designer labels—now, it’s all about quiet luxury. This trend is all about conveying sophistication through timeless, well-tailored style. If you’re more of a maximalist, you may be used to piling on loads of accessories instead of restraining yourself to a few simple pieces, but there’s one accessory you can wear that speaks volumes without ever flaunting a logo: Luxury fragrance.
The beauty of luxury perfume is in both its simplicity and its complexity—simple in that it only takes one or two spritzes to make itself a cornerstone of your wardrobe, but complex in their formulation. Fragrance “noses” work tirelessly to create perfume blends that are harmonious yet unexpected, edgy yet alluring, exclusive yet approachable. Shopping for your perfect match is an exciting challenge. The only issue? There’s no time to smell them all.
Best Overall: Robert Piguet Fracas Eau de Parfum
What We Love: This fragrance is sophisticated, sexy, and—despite its age—positively timeless.
What We Don’t Love: If you’re not someone who likes a bold fragrance, Fracas may not be for you.
This iconic perfume launched in 1948 and has been a cult favorite of celebrities and beauty editors ever since. (Fun fact: Old Hollywood actress Ava Gardner is said to have been a fan.) Though the stars of the show here are the fragrance’s heady white florals—including tuberose, gardenia, jasmine, and lily of the valley—it also has notes of juicy peach pulp, velvety sandalwood, and earthy vetiver to keep things interesting. The packaging is also chic, with a sleek black glass bottle (uncommon in perfume) with a subtle pop of pink on the label for a color combo that feels very much of its era without coming across as dated.
Journalist and perfume expert Chandler Burr once wrote in The New York Times that Fracas is “astonishing,” with “huge power and sillage.” That’s immediately clear to whoever has the privilege of wearing it: The perfume is remarkably sultry, striking, and can make anyone feel like a femme fatale. We tend to reserve it for special occasions like important meetings and big nights out, but that’s largely because we’re building up the courage to wear it more regularly. This perfume has real presence and is an absolute head-turner—one of those scents you’ll smell on the sophisticated tastemakers of high society walking down Fifth or Madison Avenues. It’s the maturity and audaciousness of this fragrance that makes it great, but be warned—that means it’s also not for the faint of heart. Wear this one with confidence and style.
Price at time of publish: $130
Fragrance Family: White floral | Key Notes: Jasmine, gardenia, musk | Size: 1.7 oz
Best Budget: Snif House of 8
What We Love: This is a rare gourmand that can be worn by any gender.
What We Don’t Love: If you’re looking for something sweet, this might not appeal to you.
Created in collaboration with YouTube creator Larray, this scent is inspired by the eighth house of astrology, which represents relationships, sex, and taboos. Indeed, this expensive-smelling yet affordable fragrance has sex appeal in spades, thanks to its unique blend of notes that’s sensual on any gender.
A cocktail of dark chocolate and creamy vanilla are balanced by herbaceous sage as well as powdery iris and feminine lavender. It’s this balance that makes it ideal for all, but if you’re the kind of perfume wearer that prefers to smell like the inside of a bakery, this one may not scratch the itch.
Instead, reach for it if you’re looking for something more intimate and musky—it’s great for a night out. Bonus: The travel-friendly bottle features a magnetic cap that won’t easily pop off in your purse.
Price at time of publish: $65
Fragrance Family: Gourmand | Key Notes: Chocolate, vanilla, sandalwood | Size: 1.01 oz
Best Long-Lasting: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum
What We Love: You’ve probably encountered this viral, celebrity-approved perfume at least once a week.
What We Don’t Love: Depending on your skin chemistry, you may not like how this scent wears on you.
If you’re deep into perfume TikTok, you’ve definitely scrolled past this beloved scent. Baccarat Rouge, blended by iconic perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, has an unabashed presence and impressive staying power.
Although many fragrance houses describe their perfumes as unique, this one truly is. It’s a neither here nor there scent, as it doesn’t truly fit squarely in one fragrance family, but somehow touches them as the layers unfold with wear. Opening with a burst of bitter almond and spicy saffron, the aroma dries down into the floral middle notes of jasmine and earthy cedar, before settling into a deeper musky base of ambergris and fir resin. Because this perfume has such an unusual blend of notes, it smells very different depending on who wears it, from a spicy caramel confection to a sharp metallic aroma.
“This happens because we’re all unique in our body chemistry,” explains Ray Mauro, Brand Manager of Fragrance Development and Marketing at Avon. “Our skin releases oils and the balance of those oils varies from person to person.” For this reason, we’d recommend testing it in person rather than going for the blind buy.
Price at time of publish: $205
Fragrance Family: Woody amber | Key Notes: Jasmine, cedar, saffron | Size: 1.2 oz
Best Musk: Le Labo Another 13 Eau de Parfum
What We Love: This clean-smelling fragrance can be worn by anyone and everyone.
What We Don’t Love: Because it’s a skin scent, some may be nose blind to it.
Another 13 is an exquisite example of what’s known as a molecular skin scent, meaning it features molecular structures that create a scent that’s odorless in the body, but transforms on the skin to amplify your natural body chemistry with a clean, fresh, almost indescribable aroma that is bound to earn you many compliments.
Be aware that some people have difficulty smelling this scent on themselves—don’t worry, you smell good. Le Labo also has the expert seal of approval: “Le Labo scents are great fragrances and a great value for the high quality of the fragrance,” says dsm-firmenich perfumer, Alexandra Monet. “They invest a lot into ensuring the quality of fragrance is very high.”
Price at time of publish: $230
Fragrance Family: Musk | Key Notes: Jasmine petals, moss, ambrette seed absolute | Size: 1.7 oz
Best Floral: Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower Eau de Parfum
What We Love: This legendary and massively popular fragrance should be in any white floral lovers’ rotation.
What We Don’t Love: On some, the eucalyptus note can be overpowering.
The nose behind this scent, Dominique Ropion, is a master of the craft, and that’s clear upon first sniff. With tuberose leading the charge, the fragrance boasts a positively elegant mix of white florals as well as unexpected notes of melon, coconut, coconut, and eucalyptus, all resting on a base of musk. It projects and wears beautifully, with no need for spritzes throughout the day.
Remember that perfume projects differently depending on who’s wearing it; while most people get creamy and almost animalic tuberose from Carnal Flower, some skin chemistry amplifies the camphor in the eucalyptus, which may not be your desired outcome. However, it’s that green aspect that makes this white floral more gender neutral than most. We’d recommend testing this one before committing to a full-sized bottle to make sure it’s a fit for you.
Price at time of publish: $295
Fragrance Family: Floral｜Key Notes: Tuberose, jasmine, white musk｜Size: 1.7 oz
Best Warm and Spicy: Krigler Oud For Highness 75 Eau de Parfum
What We Love: This is the most luxurious oud we’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing.
What We Don’t Love: This fragrance is heady with a huge sillage, so it’s not a scent for all seasons.
With the price point to match, Oud For Highness is literally regal: It was formulated for King Hussein of Jordan in the mid-1970s. And while it may have been made for a man, it’s our seasonal go-to for when we want to feel like the powerful women we are. Warm, spicy, and elegant with notes of syrupy honey and indulgent oud (one of the rarest and priciest ingredients used when making perfumes), every spritz will make you feel more confident than the last. If you’re more of a wallflower, note that this scent is bold, both in vibes and strength.
That said, if you feel you are someone who can wear this scent without it wearing you, we highly recommend reserving it for winter. It’s too potent in warm weather, but it stuns in the cooler seasons. Its longevity is so excellent that we look forward to smelling Oud For Highness on our dressier winter outerwear when we take it out of storage.
Price at time of publish: $650
Fragrance Family: Spicy | Key Notes: Honey, saffron, oud | Size: 1.7 oz
Best Woods: House of Bo Espiritu Eau de Parfum
What We Love: The craftsmanship of this scent and its packaging are truly noteworthy.
What We Don’t Love: The leather note in this one is strong, so you may want to reserve this perfume for cooler days.
From the hand-carved cap to the innovative juice inside, you’ll instantly be captivated by this genderless, experiential scent. “The packaging is absolutely stunning, and this scent is the hero scent of the House of Bo collection,” says Meg Gray, Director of Merchandising at Bluemercury. “The leather, floral, and musk notes are absolutely incredible.”
Mexican oakwood, which nods to the heritage of the brand, is the grounding element, supported by a generous dose of leather, which is enhanced by powdery iris, peach skin-like osmanthus, and earthy carrot skin.
In the best possible way, this luxury fragrance smells like a well-loved, high-quality leather handbag that’s long been a staple of your wardrobe; similarly, this perfume is also bound to become a go-to in your routine. Remember that leathery scents tend to perform best in cooler weather as heat and humidity can make a perfume wear you, rather than the other way around.
Price at time of publish: $290
Fragrance Family: Woods | Key Notes: Carrot seed, tobacco leaf, Mexican oakwood | Size: 2.5 oz
Best Chanel Perfume: Chanel No°5 Eau de Parfum Spray
What We Love: This is one of the most legendary and beloved fragrances in the history of perfume.
What We Don’t Love: So iconic, so ubiquitous—if you make it your signature scent, others will be wearing it, too.
Famously worn by Marilyn Monroe (in fact, the only thing she wore to bed) and immortalized by pop artist Andy Warhol, Chanel No°5 is a total classic, and has been since it was created over a century ago. The complex and robust blend of notes features sparkling aldehydes, powdery iris, and warm sandalwood and vanilla that remain as relevant today as they did in the 1920s.
Believe the hype—the instantly recognizable glass bottle deserves a spot on your vanity for both the packaging and the scent inside. Even better, you can enjoy bar soap, body wash, and a variety of other iterations of the scent so you can completely surround yourself in it.
However, keep in mind that this is possibly the most famous perfume of all time, so if you like being the only person wearing a scent, Chanel No°5 may not be for you.
Price at time of publish: $105
Fragrance Family: Floral | Key Notes: Jasmine, aldehydes, sandalwood | Size: 1.2 oz
Best Tom Ford Perfume: Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau de Parfum
What We Love: This light, breezy, dreamy scent is easy to wear all year round.
What We Don’t Love: The longevity leaves something to be desired.
This unisex fragrance is an indulgence right off the shelf, from its beautiful gilded box and stunning turquoise bottle to the alluring juice inside. From the first spritz, you’ll observe how effervescent citrus notes give way to creamy white florals like neroli, orange blossom, and jasmine supported by a gentle, warm amber base, giving an overall effect of sun heating up citrus fields along the coast of Italy. Molto chic.
While we especially love wearing this scent in spring and summer, Neroli Portofino is one of those fragrances that smell like your cleanest, freshest self, so feel free to mist it on with abandon all year round. It is on the lighter side, so remember that you may need to keep applying it to continuously enjoy its delicate aroma—or you can pair it with the brand’s coordinating body lotion.
Price at time of publish: $295
Fragrance Family: Citrus floral｜Key Notes: Lemon, bergamot, neroli｜Size: 1.7 oz
Best Rose: D.S. & Durga Rose Atlantic Eau de Parfum
What We Love: This hyperrealistic fragrance is a unique and modern take on rose.
What We Don’t Love: You may not get more than a few hours of wear out of it.
Too many rose fragrances smell dry, powdery, and dated—like old drawer liner paper—but not this refreshing one from D.S. & Durga. It’s inspired by time spent sipping spritzers cruising the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, and that really comes through when you smell the juice.
Notes of fresh citrus, salt air, and dune grass are grounded by the aroma of freshly-bloomed beach roses wafting from the shore. The briny notes are perfectly balanced by the fruity and floral ones, resulting in a scent that’s truly transportive. One spritz of this aromatic little number is almost enough to let you tell yourself you’re on a real vacation (even if you have no PTO in sight).
Though the whimsical perfume makes more sense when worn in summer, it’s light and airy, so we do enjoy wearing it all year round, whether that’s solo or layered with one of our other favorite fragrances. This helps boost its staying power, as its lighter weight can cause it to fade faster than some perfumes.
Price at time of publish: $210
Fragrance Family: Aquatic | Key Notes: Rose hip, dune grass, salt water | Size: 1.7 oz
Best Fall Scent: Maison Margiela 'Replica' Jazz Club Eau de Parfum
What We Love: This scent is truly unisex.
What We Don’t Love: The smoky qualities of this perfume won’t be for everyone.
Boozy, smoky, spicy, sexy—you’ll get all of that and more from this speakeasy-inspired scent. It starts strong, with bold rum, piquant pink pepper, and sweet neroli, then melts into creamy, sweet vanilla and smoky, expensive tobacco.
Equal parts sultry and sensitive, it’s a very intimate fragrance, especially for cooler weather. It’s also easily worn by any gender, and sharing it with your partner kicks up the intimacy quotient.
While many find that the tobacco notes smell sweeter, like pipe tobacco, some find it wears like a smoky cigar, so consider buying this in its mini iteration to give it a try before going for the full-sized bottle.
Price at time of publish: $85
Fragrance Family: Woody spicy | Key Notes: Pink pepper, vanilla, tobacco | Size: 1.0 oz
Best for Summer: Bobbi Brown Beach Eau de Parfum
What We Love: The aroma of this long-lasting fragrance will make you feel instantly nostalgic.
What We Don’t Love: It’s on the subtle side.
PTO spent soaking up sunshine and air-drying hot skin made salty from a dip in the sea—the delicate blend of notes in Bobbi Brown Beach evoke all of these summer memories and more.
For such a light fragrance, it boasts an impressive lasting power, and you’ll catch a whiff of it whenever you move. We especially love giving our summer wardrobe an olfactory boost by spritzing it over our hair and onto our clothing, especially sunhats and linen beach coverups.
That said, this perfume’s floral and citrus notes rest on a truly oceanic base of seawater and sand, which gives it an aroma reminiscent of old-school SPF for a nostalgic quality that we enjoy, but may not appeal to all. If you’re a beach bum, though, be sure to add this perfume to your fragrance wardrobe.
Price at time of publish: $82
Fragrance Family: Aquatic | Key Notes: Jasmine, mandarin, seawater | Size: 1.7 oz
Best for Everyday: Vilhelm Parfumerie Dear Polly Eau de Parfum
What We Love: This fresh and airy scent smells delectably clean.
What We Don’t Love: Due to its light quality, it’s not super durable.
This refreshing perfume smells like a crisp, frosty glass of iced tea with a squeeze of zesty lemon. As this classic summertime cocktail dries down, it evolves into a light musk, making it the perfect scent to spritz on when you want to wear something soft, pleasant, and neutral.
By way of nearly universally pleasing base notes oak moss and black amber, the aroma has a unisex sensibility, staying far away from traditionally feminine florals and heady masculine ouds. It’s an overall neutral perfume that tends to appeal to all, which is why it’s a workwear classic. (Truthfully, it reminds us of a really high-end shampoo in the very best possible way, which is why we spray on a bunch of it in the AM.)
However, keep in mind that delightful and unobtrusive scents like this one tend not to last very long. We don’t mind this, though. In fact, we look forward to our midday touch-ups, especially considering the brand makes smaller sizes—so we have no need to decant into a travel atomizer.
Price at time of publish: $250
Fragrance Family: Green herbaceous | Key Notes: Apple, black tea, musk | Size: 3.3 oz
Best for Evening: La Perla Let the Dance Begin Eau de Parfum
What We Love: The gorgeous bottle is refillable, making the luxe scent sustainable.
What We Don’t Love: If you prefer a more feminine scent for date night, keep in mind that this one is more unisex.
This perfume from La Perla definitely deserves more attention—inspired by a sultry slow dance, it’s as sexy as the brand’s lingerie (and if you think sustainability is sexy, you’ll love the fact that you can buy huge refills to decant into the sensual glass bottle).
A masterful blend of fresh florals and a delectable whiff of tonka, cinnamon, and caramel are tempered by a bevy of spices as well as woods like cedar and sandalwood. The patchouli is artfully measured here, so it gives supporting actor vibes here, rather than taking center stage over the fragrance.
The result? An ever-evolving scent that starts out fairly feminine, but wears down into a long-wearing, unisex-leaning fragrance. We don’t mind this—we love the versatility—but it’s worth noting for those who prefer a more traditionally feminine scent.
Price at time of publish: $340
Fragrance Family: Amber floral | Key Notes: Black pepper, tuberose, patchouli | Size: 4.0 oz
Best Gourmand: Parfums de Marly Oriana Eau de Parfum
What We Love: This fruity-creamy confection is a sweet scent lover’s dream.
What We Don’t Love: We prefer a transparent perfume bottle so we can see how much is left.
If you like the idea of smelling like a cream puff infused with orange blossom and dotted with fresh berries, snag yourself a bottle of Oriana. It’s sweet and flirty, thanks to marshmallow notes, and features subtle powdery undertones that prevent the olfactory creation from being sickly or overpowering. This ultra-feminine scent is housed in an equally girly bottle made of frosted fuchsia glass topped off with a cheeky pair of tassels.
Trust us—when we say that if you’re into Barbiecore, this bottle needs to be a mainstay of your vanity. Note that the opacity of the glass, along with its heft, may make it a challenge to determine how much of this sugary juice you have left, but once you have finished the bottle, we’re confident you’ll be keeping it around to use as a flirty decorative accent in your home.
Price at time of publish: $190
Fragrance Family: Gourmand | Key Notes: Black currant, chantilly cream, marshmallow | Size: 1.0 oz
Best for Brides: Decorté Kimono Urara Eau de Toilette
What We Love: This elegant, romantic scent is dressed up with a beautiful bow that’ll look great in wedding photos.
What We Don’t Love: It’s an eau de toilette, so it may not last as long on your skin.
We recommend wearing a new perfume on your wedding day that you can spritz on afterwards to remind yourself of the memories made—and this scent from Japanese brand Decorté is perfect for the job.
And the decadence begins at first sight. The fluted glass bottle is wrapped in a wide satin ribbon inspired by the obi of a kimono that will pop in your “getting ready” bridal portraits. Remove the weighty cap to release the juice inside—an ultra-wearable juicy, watery, and fresh fruity-floral fragrance. It features four forms of citrus (including grapefruit, which is fairly uncommon), crisp apple and melon, delicate waterlily, heady rose, and gentle musk. The musk gives staying power, but because it’s an eau de toilette, it won’t have the same staying power of an eau de parfum.
To make it last longer, we recommend wearing it over body lotion—which you’ll be wearing on your wedding day anyway to boost your skin’s glow.
Price at time of publish: $75
Fragrance Family: Fruity floral | Key Notes: Melon, jasmine, waterlily | Size: 1.7 oz
Best Fruity: Ellis Brooklyn Apple Love Eau de Parfum
What We Love: This is an elevated take on a classic fruity fragrance.
What We Don’t Love: While the notes read as very sweet, a confection-loving gourmand aficionado may not think it smells that way.
While you might associate fruity scents with teenage nostalgia, don’t get it twisted—this NYC-inspired perfume is a super sophisticated spin on apple that doesn’t smell like a body wash of yesteryear, but an elegant woman walking down cobblestone streets on a brisk fall day.
That’s due to the balance of notes here: Red apple, peach skin, and mandarin essence are quickly tempered by florals like osmanthus, plum blossom, and lily of the valley, as well as a light dose of sugar cane. It’s all grounded by sandalwood, vanilla, musks, and a caramel-like praline.
While these notes might imply a scent that skews sugarbomb, it’s actually anything but—the musks take this fragrance from being a standard gourmand to more of an amber scent. If you’re looking for a fragrance that’ll give you a cavity, this isn’t it, but if you want to smell chic and a little bit cheeky, give this one a sniff.
Price at time of publish: $110
Fragrance Family: Fruity floral | Key Notes: Red apple, osmanthus, praline | Size: 1.7 oz
What to Keep in Mind
There are a lot of factors that go into the price of a perfume, including its strength, performance, and structure, but the raw materials are the largest determinant in what can cause a fragrance to err on the costly side. In some cases, it’s the overall scent: “Some tonalities can be perceived as more prestigious than others by consumers,” says Monet. (For example, white florals may read as more luxe than fruity scents.)
Typically, though, it’s individual notes. Oud, found in Krigler Oud For Highness 75 Eau de Parfum, is very costly. “Oud is an ingredient that is extremely expensive because it comes from the agar tree, of which about two percent actually produce oud, therefore making it very expensive,” explains Gray. Interestingly enough, rose and jasmine are also pricey, because it takes a great deal of flowers to produce just a small amount of essential oil.
Perhaps the most expensive raw materials used in perfumery is orris root—and because it’s so costly, you’ll have a hard time finding it in most fragrances today. “The ingredient itself requires two to three years to yield the oil from its roots, resulting in a cost of around $80,000 per kilogram,” says Mauro. Orris is an iris root, and while it has a very distinct scent—it smells like a blend of violets, suede, and skin with powdery and woody notes—you can get some of its qualities from fragrances that feature iris blended with woods, like Snif House of 8.
When you’re buying perfume, you’re buying a piece of art, including the carefully-blended concoction inside the bottle and the bottle itself. “The bottle is a key differentiator between mass and luxury fragrances,” says Gray.
You’ll find that pretty much all luxury perfumes are housed in a glass bottle, and those bottles tend to have heft to them—the weight of beauty packaging is often a signifier of opulence. La Perla Let the Dance Begin Eau de Parfum and Parfums de Marly Oriana Eau de Parfum are good examples of this.
The bottle design also plays a role in elegance; even entry-level perfume fans could recognize Chanel No°5 Eau de Parfum and Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau de Parfum if they were completely unmarked due to their distinctive silhouettes and colors. Even the cap makes a difference. Take a look at House of Bo Espiritu Eau de Parfum. “Each of the caps are hand-carved by Mexican artisans from natural materials, so that no two caps are exactly the same,” says Gray.
During the perfume shopping process, you’ll notice a variety of acronyms, mostly EDP and EDT. These refer to eau de parfum and eau de toilette. You might also see the words “cologne” or “extrait.” All of these terms signify the concentration of the perfume oil in the bottle. Extrait features the strongest concentration of perfume, followed by eau de parfum, eau de toilette, and cologne. “The higher the concentration, the longer the fragrance will last on the skin,” says Gray. “This should be considered when shopping for fragrance depending on how strong you want your fragrance to be and how long you want it to last.”
Often, extraits and eau de parfums will be pricier than other formats of fragrance as they use more raw materials. However, that doesn’t mean one is necessarily better than the other.
“The forms of fragrance will really depend on the construction of the fragrance, so there are really no set rules,” says Mauro. Choose a scent by how you enjoy it or even the setting in which you wear it. For example, because Decorté Kimono Urara Eau de Toilette is lighter, it’s a wonderful pick for wearing all year round or to work.
Your Questions, Answered
What makes perfume so expensive?
While not all perfumes will break the bank, a luxury fragrance is pricey because it’s not just an investment for the consumer, but for the brand making it as well. Beyond the raw materials and how much of them are used in a fragrance, the expense will speak to the talent behind the scent, which is the case for in-demand master perfumers like Francis Kurkdjian, the genius responsible for Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum, and Dominique Ropion, the nose who created Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower Eau de Parfum.
But there are other costs too: “Everything from the formula and ingredients used to craft the composition, the cost to mold the bottle as well as the resources spent to create the story, brand positioning, copy and endless hours of creative design work,” explains Mauro.
How do you find your signature scent?
Finding one’s be-all, end-all perfume can be a daunting (albeit exciting!) task. Mauro recommends starting with a fragrance finder. “Begin by determining if you like fresh or warm fragrances, then consider when you want to wear it,” he says.
Gray recommends smelling a bunch of options to find a scent that makes you feel like your most authentic self: “Does it make you feel confident? Sexy? Happy?”
It’s absolutely imperative that you actually apply the fragrance before coming to a final conclusion. “You need to wear the fragrance and try it on your skin, not just on a blotter,” insists Monet. “You need to be able to wear it and live with it for a few hours or a few days—this is when you will know you found your signature.”
But don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to just one scent, says Mauro. “Be open to expanding your fragrance wardrobe to include a range of fragrance families,” he recommends. “Experiment with your fragrances and create your own signature combination.”
If you’re buying perfume as a gift, remember that you’re not selecting a scent based on what you like—it needs to be something they like, and what smells good to you might not speak to them.
“Try to do some investigation beforehand,” says Mauro. “Understanding if the gift recipient prefers fresh or warm notes will greatly improve your selection process.
How can you make perfume last longer?
Once you’ve made the investment in a luxury fragrance, you want to do everything you can to extend its longevity, both on your skin and in the bottle.
For better wear, make sure you’re applying it correctly—and believe it or not, that starts with hydrated skin! “Perfume will last longer on skin that has been moisturized,” says Gray. “Start with a scented lotion for a fragrance layering experience or an unscented lotion to let your fragrance shine.”
Then, consider how you spray it on. You’ll want to focus on applying to pulse points, most commonly the inner wrists, but dab instead of rub. “Rubbing the pulse points too aggressively can cause friction and potentially change the intended character of the top notes,” says Mauro.
You can also spray it on your clothing, adds Monet, so long as it’s not made of cashmere, silk, satin, or leather as these materials are easily damaged. Note: If you like to mist perfume over your hair, you’re not alone, but it’s better to use a hair mist for this purpose. “Avoid spraying eau de parfum directly on hair, as they have high levels of alcohol, which can leave hair dry and brittle.”
For an added scent boost, buy the other products in your favorite perfume lineup. “Combine your fragrance with the ancillaries, such as the lotions and shower gels, to help keep the scent longer on your skin,” says Monet, who also recommends keeping a travel-sized version of your perfume in your bag for midday touch-ups.
To make your scent last longer in the bottle, you’ll need to store it correctly, so if you’ve been keeping your perfume in the bathroom, consider this your warning. “Keep your bottle out of light and in cooler temperatures,” says Monet. The extreme fluctuations of a bathroom—varying levels of heat, light, and humidity—can quickly kill a bottle of fragrance.
“The best thing is to keep them in the fridge if possible,” she adds. If you don’t have the space for this, consider getting a mini skincare fridge in which to store your most precious perfumes.
Why Shop With Us
Emily Orofino is a beauty writer, editor, and consultant with more than a decade of experience in the industry. She has been hoarding perfumes for years and trolls fragrance message boards to find her newest picks. For this piece, she interviewed Meg Gray, Director of Merchandising at Bluemercury, Ray Mauro, Brand Manager of Fragrance Development and Marketing at Avon, and Alexandra Monet, a perfumer at dsm-firmenich, for their encylocpedic knowledge of fragrance.
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