Perfumes FAQ

Where should I apply perfume?
Always spot test any perfume first on the back of your hand. Then apply it where the skin is warm with good blood circulation, because the heat helps diffuse and magnify the aroma of fragrance. The pulse points on the body are the perfect activators for perfume, which include the base of the throat, inside the wrists, inside the elbows, below the ear lobes (not behind), at the base of the throat and behind the knees. Basically anywhere you feel a heartbeat.

How can I make my fragrance last longer?
The secret to long lasting fragrance is in fragrance layering. Build up layers of scent on the skin by using different forms of the same fragrance, such as foaming bath whip in the shower, massage oil or dry oil spray after shower on damp skin, body cream, then spray perfume spray and a couple dabs from a perfume roll on. Each reinforces the impact of the other to increase the life of your favorite scent.

Why doesn't fragrance last on me?
Unfortunately for some people, your body chemistry causes perfumes to evaporate more quickly from your skin. Perfumers would say that your skin throws off fragrance. Instead of lasting for some 3 to 4 hours, it disappears within an hour, sometimes shorter. The rate of evaporation triples or even quadruples on your skin.
Why? The acidity of your skin is a possible culprit. Lick your wrist. Does it have a sharp, tangy taste? That is a sure sign of acid. And the more acidic your skin, the more it will tend to throw off perfume. Medicines, too, will change your body chemistry. Low fat diets, stress, spicy foods, fast foods all affect body temperature and encourage the skin to throw off perfume. Add dry skin and pregnancy to the list and you will see why so many women complain about the staying power of their fragrance.
The solution? Put an emollient layer between your skin and your perfume. Layer your fragrance to extend its life. Use a body cream that matches your fragrance to create an emollient foundation for the perfume. It will slow down the rate of evaporation and increase the life of your perfume.

What is the best way to spray on perfume?

Spray about 8 inches away from your skin. An even spray over a wider area will help your fragrance last longer than a generous amount in a small area. Do not rub one wrist against the other to dry the fragrance, it will bruise the notes and dull their development.

How should I store my perfume?
Keep your fragrances in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Extreme heat or cold will upset the delicate balance of the oils and change their scent. As with all personal care products, the standard shelf life is one year.

What should I do if I develop an allergy to a perfume? If a scent makes you cough, wheeze or gives you a headache or a feeling of nausea, immediately get away from the perfume and take a deep breath of fresh air. Breathe deeply for a few minutes, blowing through your nose to clear the nasal passages. If the perfume makes your skin red and itchy, splash the area with cold water for a few minutes and pat dry. If you have an allergic reaction to any of my scents, contact me immediately.

I do not like this scent, how do I remove the perfume? Sometimes you'll apply a scent that just does not do it for you (been there many times). Here's a few simple ways to slay the fragrance beast:
1. Dip a cotton pad in rubbing alcohol or witch hazel or vinegar and wipe away the scent.
2. Create a paste of equal parts of baking soda and warm water. Rub it into the skin, let sit for several minutes and rinse away.
3. Use hand sanitizer to remove the scent.
4. Use baby or personal wipes to remove the scent.

Can I tell if I like a fragrance by sniffing the opened bottle? No. When you cold sniff an open bottle, your nose inhales the volatile top notes. A fragrance needs to be applied to your skin to come alive. It blooms as it reacts with the warmth of your body to create a fragrance that is unique to you.

Why can't I smell the fragrance I am wearing after a while?

Several of the senses tire after constant stimulation. The sense of smell classically cuts off within minutes. Because you cannot move away from your own perfume, you become used to it. You may think it has disappeared, but others can still smell it.

Why do I hate some fragrances and love others?
Scientific studies say our response to fragrance is partly learned and partly genetic. We are born with definite likes and dislikes, as well as sensitivity to certain smells. Very early on, life experiences start modifying and adding to them and we build up a complex scent bank of memories and associations. All this stored information determines whether or not we like a fragrance.

What else might affect my sense of smell?
Sinus problems, respiratory infections and head injuries are all common causes of persistent loss of smell. Prolonged exposure to toxic substances such as air pollutants, industrial chemicals, tobacco smoke and certain drugs can diminish and even damage the olfactory cells. A womans sense of smell also fluctuates more than a mans. These fluctuations seem to be influenced by the release of certain hormones during the menstrual cycle or during pregnancy.

Why does a perfume smell wonderful on a friend, but not on me?

Because each of us has a unique scent print that influences the development of a perfume. This odor-identity is the combination of our genes, our skin chemistry, diet, medication intake, stress level and skin temperature. It is not as simple as saying that fragrances react differently on different people because of their body chemistry. The warmth of our skin is critical. Some people have more pores per inch than others or more layers of fat in their skin. These unique factors will influence the scent of a fragrance. We are all created equal until we use fragrance.

I have been wearing the same fragrance for years, but it seems different now?

Probably because your personal chemistry and body temperature have changed slightly. Perhaps you are on a low-fat diet or taking some new medication. Have you changed your brand of contraceptive pill? Are you pregnant? Are you exercising more or less frequently? Has your skin become drier? Are you using more moisturizer? Fragrance formulas rarely change but diet or medication changes produce new chemicals that come through the pores and can change the fragrance balance on your skin.

Will smoking affect the way a fragrance wears on my skin?
Yes. Nicotine is a psychoactive substance that changes your body chemistry and affects the way you smell. If you smoke, not only will fragrances tend not to last as long on your skin but you will also find that your sense of smell is duller.

Can antibiotics change my fragrance?
Yes. Firstly, because many antibiotics change the smell of your skin. Secondly, because their action decimates the bacteria on your skin, which, in turn blend with your skin oils to produce a fragrance that is distinctive to you.

What are the fragrance notes?

They are the different phases through which a fragrance develops when you spray it on your skin. Each of these stages or groups of notes has a different degree of volatility. The head or top notes are the first impression of a fragrance. These are the light volatile notes that burst on your skin as you first spray, the fragrance you experience as you open a bottle. The head notes are volatile and usually wear away within 10 to 15 minutes. As they fade, the heart or middle notes bloom on your skin. These form the core of the composition, and are the dominant theme of the fragrance. This theme is accentuated and fixed by the base notes. These are the foundation of the fragrance, the notes that bind the other ingredients together.

Ways to use the fragrance oils:
Put a few drops onto a cotton ball, rub on your wrists and neck for a quick and easy fragrant body perfume
Pop the cotton ball into your pillowcase for sweetly scented dreams
Add a few drops to an empty spray bottle, add water, shake well and spray
Put a few drops in your tea-light oil burner (with water)
Put a few drops in your electric tart warmer
Put a few drops on your cloth car floor mats or place a scented cotton ball under your car seats
Add a few drops to a warm bath
Make your own soap, candles, tarts, lotions and body sprays.

Fun facts about the sense of smell (blog post)