Spraying on your favorite perfume before you leave the house is like the icing on the cake.
The fragrance you choose can help to complete your outfit, reflect your personality, invigorate your mood, and leave you feeling refreshed. But sometimes, the scent that was lingering when you left the house fades away sooner than you’d like.
So, why do some perfumes last longer than others? Claude Dir, a renowned perfumer and master nose at the international fragrance manufacturer Mane, has been creating perfumes for fashion designers, beauty brands, and celebrities for over 40 years.
Dir explains that the construction of a fragrance and the ingredients used both play a big part in the longevity of the scent.
“A perfume is constructed as a poetic blend of natural ingredients and nature identical raw materials,” he says. “The molecular system of ingredients creates a pyramid structure consisting of top, middle, and base notes.”
When shopping for your next fragrance, Dir suggests that there are a few ingredients you can look out for that often contribute to a long-lasting scent.
“From an olfactive point of view, longer lasting fragrances typically present variations in wood, musk, and resin ingredients; this will establish the base foundation on the skin which will extend the wear for six hours and up," he explains.
Another key factor is the oil concentration in the fragrance.
“Whether a fragrance is an eau de toilette (EDT), eau de parfum (EDP), or parfum will help determine the lasting power based on the fragrance oil concentration percentage," says Linda Levy, who currently serves as president of The Fragrance Foundation and has worked with leading fragrance houses and retailers for over 30 years. "A higher fragrance oil concentrate can help a consumer distinguish how strong and how long-lasting the fragrance will be on their skin."
Parfums or eau de parfums often have over 20 to 25% of fragrance oils, compared to eau de toilettes, which have much lower concentration of oil.
“When sampling a fragrance in person, you should spray it on your own skin and wait beyond the first impression, the top note," says Levy. "Let the scent linger and go beyond the middle note to the base note in approximately 20 minutes or more. Climate, weather, geography and your own body chemistry affect how a fragrance lasts on you personally."
But where you spray your perfume and how you layer it can also help the scent last longer.
“The pulse points of the body are the most common for fragrance application," explains Dir. "If you have a signature scent that you wear daily, my recommendation would be to spray it on your clothes as there is no reaction to body chemistry so the scent can last longer. Also, if the fragrance is available in ancillaries such as body cream or oil you can also establish the base prior to application.”
Of course, with COVID-19 still lingering on, shopping for perfumes isn't exactly what it used to be. That's why we've done some of the heavy lifting for you.
Below, 15 of our favorite long-lasting scents.
VIDEO: 10 New Fragrances to Get You Through a Summer of Social Distancing
Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée Cologne Absolue Pure Perfume
To shop: $140; nordstrom.com
A unisex fragrance that plays well with the unexpected contrast between vanilla and woody moss. Its exotic ingredients are 91% natural and include vanilla from Madagascar, lime from Mexico, and coriander from Russia.
Chanel Chance Eau de Parfum
To shop: $105; sephora.com
Great for a busy day, this spicy, floral scent leaves behind a subtle, sweet linger in the air. Jasmine, pink pepper, and vanilla are just a few of the ingredients that help give this fragrance a warm depth.
Christian Dior Oud Rosewood Eau de Parfum
To shop: $220; dior.com (available Aug. 1)
Infused with a duo of oud and sandalwood, this potent blend creates an instant presence. The contrasting ingredients provide an evocative signature and are enhanced by essences from the far east.
Gamine Eau de Parfum
To shop: $185; gaminenyc.com
The heavy influence of natural raw materials gives this fragrance a greater diffusion on skin. Composed of blue hemp, vetiver root, chocolat noi, and wild Indonesian patchouli, this scent has an aromatic quality that is both herbaceous and woody.
Giorgio Armani Si Passione Eau de Parfum
To shop: $74; sephora.com
This is the perfect fragrance for any time you want to be remembered. Infused with cedarwood and highlighted with woody vanilla and rose blooms, this fruity, floral combination creates an intense, uncompromising scent for every type of woman.
Hermès L’Ombre des Merveilles Eau de Parfum
To shop: $113; nordstrom.com
The blend of incense, black tea, and tonka beans captures the senses and leaves behind a timeless, tender trail. This is a unisex fragrance that is truly captivating.
Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum
To shop: Starting at $65; nordstrom.com
This perfume embodies the Jimmy Choo brand: glamorous, sexy, and seductive. At the heart of the fragrance, an aura of rich and exotic tiger orchid. The lingering scent is created with sweet toffee and Indonesian patchouli, leaving a subtle, sensual memory on the skin.
Jo Malone London Peony & Blush Suede Cologne
To shop: $140; nordstrom.com
This luxurious, fresh fragrance from the iconic British brand fills the room with its combination of peonies, red apple, jasmine, rose, and gillyflower. A contrasting infusion of blush suede enhances the scent, bringing an enticing sensuality to the fragrance.
Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum
To shop: Starting at $83; nordstrom.com
A unisex fragrance created with the perfect blend of ingredients. The combination of cardamom, iris, violet, cedarwood, and musky notes come together to form a unique aroma that smells great on just about anyone.
Lancôme La Vie est Belle Intensément Eau de Parfum
To shop: $99; macys.com
This passionate creation captures the fire that blazes and glows in those who live by the mantra, “my happiness is here and now.” At the heart of the fragrance is red iris, blended with bergamot, red vanilla pod, and raspberry. The ingredients come together to create a textured aura that makes the iconic smell resonate with a unique intensity.
Maison Margiela Replica Sailing Day Eau de Toilette
To shop: $130; sephora.com
Transport your mind by awakening memories of walking along the shore of a sandy beach. This light, fresh fragrance is inspired by a memory of the warm sea breeze and sailing towards the horizon. The lasting scent is intensified by base notes of red seaweed, rose essence, and iris absolute.
Narciso Rodriguez For Her Pure Musc Eau de Parfum
To shop: $128; nordstrom.com
A woody floral scent that will grab the attention of any bystander, while the signature musk at the heart of this fragrance is combined with jasmine and orange blossom to add freshness. The base notes, cashmeran, amber, and patchouli create a seductive lasting aroma.
Philosophy Amazing Grace Magnolia Eau de Parfum
To shop: $62; philosophy.com
Created to enhance your well-being, lift your mood, and leave you feeling energetic, this is definitely a feel-good fragrance. A fan favorite, the woody, floral scent is sophisticated, serene, and whimsical.
The Harmonist Yin Transformation Parfum
To shop: $305; neimanmarcus.com
The first Maison de Parfum was inspired by the Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui. Designed to ignite energy and align with your harmony and aspirations, Yin Transformation presents a rich parfum composed of rare, precious natural ingredients from all over the world. Calypso orchid, mandarin, and Bulgarian rose are fused as top notes and almond milk, ylang ylang, and iris make up the middle notes.
Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Intensément Eau de Parfum
To shop: $128; sephora.com
Remember the last time you received a bouquet of fresh roses, bursting with a sweet aroma? Now, imagine that smell bottled up. This new variation of the classic fragrance Mon Paris is literally a lush bouquet of roses in a bottle. The intense scent is made up of bold blackcurrant, roses, and white musk.
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