Surely, wearing a perfume is just a matter for spritz and go? What else is there to possibly know about applying, wearing and enjoying fragrances that perfume insiders – the perfumistas – can reveal? Well, in this post, we cover some top tips to help you make the most of your perfume purchases or gifts. From layering perfumes to using body lotions, our techniques will help you enhance your fragrance experience so it makes a lasting impression.
1. Choosing the Perfect Niche Perfume
Why niche perfumes in particular? It’s oh-so-easy to just pick up a mainstream or designer / celebrity fragrance from a discount store like TK Maxx, but far more satifying to seek out a lesser-known, more congnoscenti scent from a niche perfume brand or artisanal perfumery house. If you get it right, you will be complimented and asked what you are wearing. How often have you been at in a hotel lobby, airport lounge, theatre or other public space and got a waft of the selfsame fragrances – usually heavy on the same cloying musks?
Dare to be different and find something unique and personal to you. Niche perfume may have a higher price tag, but often they are of parfum strength and last longer. Selecting the right fragrance is crucial when it comes to wearing niche perfumes. Consider these factors to make an informed decision:
Fragrance Families: understand the different fragrance families such as floral, amber, citrus, marine/ozonic, chypre, or woody. This knowledge will help you find scents that align with your preferences as most online perfume stores divide perfumes up into these categories, or families. We have several articles with tips on wearing perfume from different fragrance families and that explore various perfume notes.
Seasonal Considerations: opt for lighter, fresh fragrances in warmer months and richer, warmer scents during colder seasons. See our articles on the best summer fragrances and some Mediterranean perfumes to try.
Sampling: take advantage of sample programmes offered by niche perfume brands, ourselves at Olentium included. Sampling allows you to experience scents firsthand and discover which ones suit you best. We also bundle a free sample with every 50ml flacon so you can trial the fragrance and return to us, or gift it onwards if it doesn’t suit you. It’s our ‘trial with trust’ mode of sampling. We know the outlay on a niche perfume is not something you wish to make lightly, and blindly.
2. Layering Perfumes for Unique Combinations
One of the joys of becoming a perfume aficionado and adding a few niche perfumes to your stock, is the ability to create your own signature scent by layering multiple fragrances. Some perfume houses – Jo Malone, for example – create their ranges with this in mind. Jo Malone has mainly lower-strength colognes and suggests other fragrances in their range to pair with and complement each scent. You can easily create your own combinations with any perfumes mixing and matching from different brands. If you follow the threads on perfume review sites like Fragrantica, you’ll have plenty of ideas about what to layer with what.
Here are some tips on wearing perfume in layers
Complementary Notes: choose perfumes with complementary notes to ensure harmonious layering. For example, pair a floral perfume with a citrusy or woody fragrance to create a well-rounded blend. Pair a floral with an floral-less amber-leather perfume to take it from dark depths to more everyday wear.
Test and Experiment: start with a small amount of each perfume and test the combination on your skin. Experiment with different ratios until you achieve the desired scent. If you have perfume blotters to hand, they are ideal for spraying your chosen layering scents to trial them, but any relatively stiff, textured card will do. Fragrances tested on card perform differently and will generally last far longer than on skin. This means you can see how the dry-down or base notes smell and perform and see how the perfume combo lasts.
Order of Application: apply the lighter fragrance first and allow it to settle before adding the second perfume. This technique ensures each fragrance maintains its distinct character.
3. Maximising Longevity and Projection of your Perfumes
If there is one cry we hear time and again from the perfumistas, especially those Fragrantica commenters, is that this or that fragrance has poor longevity. Why pay a lot of money for something that won’t last more than an hour? There are of course varying points of view on the issue of longevity. What is wrong with a more intimate skin scent, for instance? Do we really want a perfume to last the next day after a shower or two? Some do actually take scrubbing off! But, generally, if you are out and about at work or on vacation during the day, you may wish you perfume to last longer and project beautifully. In which case, try these techniques:
Moisturise Your Skin: apply an unscented moisturiser or body lotion to your skin before spritzing perfume. This is perhaps the simplest of all our tips on wearing perfume as everyone generally uses a body lotion anyway. The emulsion cosmetic creates a barrier that helps retain the fragrance for an extended period. You will see some perfume houses offering body lotion versions of their popular fragrances and this can help anchor and extend the alcohol versions.
Pulse Points: focus on applying perfume to pulse points like the wrists, neck, behind the ears, and inner elbows. These areas generate heat, intensifying the scent and enhancing its longevity. Olentium’s French flacon parfum and extrait strengths are ideal for dabbing perfume on, and using it like a slow-perfume ritual.
Hair and Clothing: when perfumes were first used, and certainly in the early modern era, they were not intended for use on the body, but rather for clothing. Perfume would have been used on handkerchiefs or removable lace edging on clothing in the 17th century. In much the same way, we are seeing a trends now for people to experiment with fragrance in hair or clothing, perhaps on account of the rise in allergic reactions for various perfumery ingredients and compounds.
Our advice if using on hair, is to lightly mist your hairbrush or comb with perfume and run it through your hair. This is far better than spraying perfume on your hair as it ensure you avoid getting the perfume mist in your eyes, nose and mouth.
If spraying on clothing, be cautious with delicate fabrics and light colours as they can be damaged or get stained by some perfumery materials, especially natural ingredients, although many mainly synthetic perfumes use colourants. But, a gentle spray on scarves or clothing can provide a subtle and long-lasting fragrant aura throughout the day.
4. Storing and Preserving Niche Perfumes
Proper storage ensures that your perfumes, especially those with a higher percentage of natural ingredients, maintain their integrity over time. Consider the following tips and read our FAQs which have more tips on this topic:
Avoid Heat and Light: store your perfumes in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Exposure to heat and light can degrade the fragrance. This advice applies to all your cosmetics.
Original Packaging: keep perfumes in their original packaging to protect them from external elements. The packaging is designed to preserve the scent’s quality and prevent oxidation. The packaging will also have full details of the perfumery ingredients, including any declared allergens, and the batch number. So it is recommended to retain this.
Limited Air Exposure: limit the exposure of perfumes to air by tightly sealing the bottle after each use. This helps maintain the fragrance’s freshness and prevents evaporation. Even if the perfume is in an atomiser or spray, some will evaporate through the nozzle.
Be aware that if you haven’t sprayed a perfume for a while, the immediate first spray will contain perfume that may be partly oxidised. Give a small spray in the air first if using perfumes left untouched for a while. Citrus tops notes, especially naturals, can oxidise so while the bulk of the perfume in the flacon is fine, the residue in the nozzle may not smell as desired.
Be an insider with our top tips on wearing perfume
By implementing these our top tips on wearing perfume, you can join the perfume insiders and make the most of every ml or ounce of your fragance purchase. These techniques will help you fully appreciate the luxury and craftsmanship of artisan and niche fragrances too. Remember to explore Olentium’s niche perfumes to find your next signature scent. Happy perfuming!