So you want your fragrance to linger rather than disappear in delicate puffs but, when it comes to which perfume lasts the longest, there are several factors to take into consideration.
The way a fragrance is constructed, and the ingredients used, both play a big part in the longevity of a scent. Put simply, some are simply not designed to go the distance.
The beauty of perfume is that it evolves on your skin during the course of the day, travelling from light breezy top notes that create an initial impression, through to floral middle notes before drying down to heavier musks and woods—otherwise known as base notes—which add lasting depth until the end of the day.
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Remember: citrus notes evaporate fast
It's no coincidence that many fragrances contain citrus as their top notes, hitting your nose at first spritz but evaporating after just a few minutes.
Perfumer Roja Dove says: "Citrus scents are hugely volatile, so their burst of energy is intense but short-lived. When you wear them, you experience the movement of lemon and orange molecules evaporating on your skin. That's what makes them so stimulating."
So it follows that if your fragrance contains a heavy dose of citrus throughout, you'll need more than a modest spritz or two for it to hang around. Whereas a fragrance featuring predominantly woods, musks, vanilla, and resin ingredients like amber, will last upwards of around 6 hours.
Eau de parfum vs. eau de toilette
The concentration of perfume oils is also something to consider, says Michelle Feeney, founder of fragrance brand Floral Street: "Skin type, sebum production, hormones and the pH balance of your skin can all affect the way a scent smells.
"These factors also play a part in how long the fragrance lasts. For maximum strength and longevity, choose a fragrance that has a high perfume oil level. Eau de Parfums can boast as much as 20% —which is the concentration used in all our Floral Street fragrances—while Eau de Toilettes only contain about 5-10%."
Layer up you fragrance
Where you spray your perfume, and how you layer it up, will also prevent it from being a fleeting experience.
The heat from your pulse points—wrists and neck—helps a scent to radiant upwards, surrounding you in a fragrant haze all day. But the soft skin at the back of the knees is also a prime spot to spritz as the area is warmer than elsewhere on the body and is able to capture a strong scent.
Finally, dry skin struggles to hold on to perfume molecules. So if your favorite fragrance is available in ancillaries such as a body cream or shower gel, use them to anchor the scent.
5 of the best long-lasting fragrances: tried and tested
Red hibiscus is nothing like your average big blousy floral scent. Nor is it soft and pretty. Instead, Jo Malone has hit the sweet spot for floral fragrance lovers by evoking sun-drenched blooms in tropical climes, while jasmine and vanilla intensify the heat.
This floral and amber blend takes its inspiration from the flora and fauna of desert landscapes. Its subtle sprinkles of Balinese coconut blends with the spiciness of Madagascan black pepper and the second skin feeling of salted musks. One word: addictive.
Consider this the fragrance equivalent of power dressing: heady jasmine, orchid, and orange blossom meet the creamy warmth of vanilla and amber. If you like stealing your boyfriend's scents, this is the perfume for you as the masculine elements are there, but with a badass feminine twist.
It's a bittersweet mix of moods—bright bergamot, smoky birch, and tobacco elements with a dash of blackcurrant, which smells like syrupy, berry-flavored cough sweets. Once on, this scent is going nowhere and it's frankly so unusual, people will stop you on the street to ask what you're wearing.
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Gucci Bloom Profumo Di Fiori Eau de Parfum
Master perfumer Alberto Morillas has seemingly done the impossible and created a sunny fragrance with staying power. There's no danger of finding a vaporous citrus note loitering in this juice, which is a veritable explosion of scent from first spritz: jasmine followed by ylang ylang, sandalwood and powdery orris.
Master perfumer Alberto Morillas has seemingly done the impossible and created a sunny fragrance with staying power. There's no danger of finding a vaporous citrus note loitering in this juice, which is a veritable explosion of scent from the first spritz: jasmine followed by ylang-ylang, sandalwood, and powdery orris.
Fiona Embleton is a multi-award-winning beauty editor who has tested over 10,000 products in her 10 years + of writing and shooting beauty stories. For the past four years, she was the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, having previously worked in the role of Beauty Editor at both Stylist and Cosmopolitan. She has recently gone freelance and alongside My Imperfect Life, she has written for titles including ELLE UK, ELLE Canada, Buro 247, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Vogue Scandinavia, and ES Magazine. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first-class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography, and catwalk trends. She loves jumping on the latest internet-breaking beauty news, dissecting the best red carpet looks, and having the crème de la crème of dermatologists, make-up artists, and hairstylists on speed dial so she can tap them for the best advice. She’s a discerning beauty shopper and knows it can be confusing trying to navigate what’s hype and what really works. So if she really likes something, you can trust that she has reached that opinion by vetting it against everything else she’s ever tried. Her career highs? Interviewing Cate Blanchett and winning a Jasmine Award for the deeply personal feature Cancer Stole My Mother’s Scent.
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