Makeup and hair hacks are fairly common. Who hasn't pinched their cheeks to sub for blush flush or tucked their hair under to create a gloriously messy faux lob? But what about perfume hacks to make sure you constantly smell good? Yes, those actually exist and Steve Johnson, Certified Scent Sommelier for Scentbird, the subscription fragrance service that allows you to sample perfumes every month, has exclusively shared five tips with Bustle via email about how to extend your scent this summer (and beyond) and how to get the most out of your favorite Eau de Whatever... whenever!
"You should always get the most enjoyment possible from perfume, without feeling like you have to cart the entire bottle around with you just to get your money's worth," Johnson tells me via email.
These are things you likely didn't know and therefore don't practice re: prolonging the life of your fragrance. But the good news is that you can easily incorporate these habits into your daily routine and into your fragrance regimen.
Three of these hacks are active, meaning you have to actually do something, while one is passive and involves where and how you keep your perfumes.
Ready, all you perfume obsessives?
1. Layering is Your Friend!
In summer, I personally prefer a lighter, fresher scent. I spritz my clothes with a mist, spritz the scent into the air, and then walk through it, so it lands on my hair because #layering. The Clean Eau Fraiche range is my favorite fragrance for this task. The splashes come in giant bottles that will last forevs and you can spritz generously without overpowering your nose and everyone else's with your fragrance. I find myself having to reapply my scents throughout the day, which I don't mind. But there is a further hack that makes your aura linger longer.
"If you find that a particular perfume doesn't have as much lasting power as you prefer, layer that scent with either a lotion with a slight trace of the perfume already in it, or a light neutral scent," Johnson says.
2. Reverse The Application Process
Here's another layering hack. Apply lotion after your scent, thereby trapping it. "You create a barrier over your skin that keeps the perfume from evaporating too quickly. Applying a light layer of moisturizer or scented body lotion after you spray will occlude the scent, or create a barrier that prevents it from leaving the skin," Johnson explains.
Another added benefit of layering is customizing your fragrance wardrobe.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Here's something you probably didn't know! "Overly dry skin is the enemy of perfume longevity," Johnson says. How so? "Dry, chapped skin minimizes the chance the essential oils have to soak into your skin and bond with your chemistry," he explains.
Ultimately, with parched skin, perfume will evaporate more quickly. "Drink water and refer back to Hack #1 for hydrated skin," Johnson suggests.
4. Store Perfume Properly!
Where you keep your perfume wardrobe is of critical importance.
"Perfumes are a lot like wine — if they are exposed to too much heat or light, they will break down faster," the sommelier reveals. "The top notes will burn off and you'll miss out on the sparkling introduction your favorite scent has to offer."
You can avoid this issue by taking care to not expose favorite scents to the elements. Don't store them in an environment that's overly hot or with a drastically variable temperature. "A colder, drier environment is always best," Johnson says. Like the fridge.
Yes, he's serious. Move over, water bottles and milk cartons! Make room for Chanel No. 5. "Most designer scents are made to handle various temperatures," Johnson affirms. "But it's also best to take care of your collection. You can even go as far as storing your all-time favorite scents in the refrigerator, which is always temperature-controlled, and when the door is shut, absolutely dark."
Another added benefit is that a blast of cold perfume on pulse points wakes them and you up.
5. Know Your Concentrations
If your favorite perfume pick isn't lingering as long as you wish, here's something to consider. "It may be you just need to bump up the actual perfume percentage," Johnson states. Translation: By a different version. "When you look at a perfume bottle, it will usually read 'Eau de Cologne,' 'Eau de Toilette,' 'Eau de Parfum,' 'Extrait,' etc. These are not just fancy French labels; they are actual volume measurements of how much perfume oil you have to wear in that bottle."
OK, so what does all this mean?
"The more perfume oil in a bottle, the longer it will last, and the stronger (and more complex) the perfume will be," according to Johnson. "So if your Eau de Toilette bails after two hours, see if there's an Eau de Parfum version that makes you equally happy." So do a little research on the percentages and proceed accordingly.
One final tip that's not really a hack? "If for whatever reason your scents don't last, always have a travel atomizer on hand for on-the-go spritzing," Johnson suggests. "A simple twice-a-day spray is a small price to pay for feeling fantastic and smelling fabulous, right?"