Have you ever wondered why a certain well-groomed woman always smells absolutely smashing, and you who put on scent religiously each morning, feel it has left your skin before you’ve left the house? The answer probably is that you haven’t learned to use it to its best advantage.
Today the art of using perfume is undergoing a change. It is no longer a matter of keeping one prized bottle for special occasions but of enjoying different types of fragrance for many different occasions. You could say perfume has become emancipated.
Does this confuse you? No need to let it, because you will find all you need to know to discover the scent that is right for you. But first there is more to learn. Like a poem, each perfume has a beginning, a middle and an end. The perfume you place on your wrist in a department store will smell quite different as it passes through the three stages of its life.
Perfume or cologne that suits you
During the first stage, when you have spread it on your wrist, you smell the “top notes.” These are the odors that immediately appear. Then the “heart” of the perfume takes over, and this stays for about 40 minutes.
Later, the “heart” fades and the “base” takes over. This is the residual scent – the true aroma. Before it emerges you will have left the store. Before you buy, allow each perfume time to develop to the base – and don’t try more than two at any one time (one on each of your wrists).
Eau de cologne is fun to use. It is light and splashable. If you like to splash scent around your throat, across the back of your neck, along the inner arms, this is for you because it is difficult to overdo it.
If you do the same with a concentrate the scent is overpowering. Concentrate needs only a tiny dab on each wrist, behind the ears and between the breasts. Eau de cologne is usually in an atomizer or large bottle, concentrate comes in small bottles.
Small bottles are best. Those huge bottles in duty free shops are fabulous but they will deteriorate in sunlight and heat. As soon as a perfume makes contact with the air it begins to age. Keep to smaller bottles for choice.
You spray or dab, and you do it about every four hours. That’s approximately how long it takes before a perfume begins to fade. Don’t rub but smear it lightly across the skin so it does not mix with heavier body oils. To carry fragrance all around you, spray a little on the lining of your clothes where they are in close contact with the skin (be careful with delicate fabrics).
Wearing scent is an art. Quite simply it means understanding your skin and body. Did you know, for example, that when you diet, the chemical content of your skin alters? This in turn modifies the scent you wear. If this happens it is time to look for a scent that suits the new acidity level of the skin.
Start scenting your life in your morning shower. If you can, back up your favorite scent with soap and talc to match. Talc absorbs body perspiration. It is good for oily skins, but if your skin is dry you may prefer to smear a bath oil over your body.
- Bath oils don’t have to be costly. Take a bottle of baby oil, put in it three or four drops of your perfume. Use this daily for a skin rub, or use a body cream with a matching fragrance.
- While your skin is still warm and moist, put on your scent. Warm skin accepts scent readily so it gives off its finest notes sooner. Where to apply cologne or perfume? On the wrists, behind the ears, on all the pulse points.
- You’re set, the perfume will last about 4 hours. Then it is time for a touch up, in the same spots, with almost the same amount.
- If you’d like one scent wafting right through your wardrobe, sprinkle a little perfume on cotton wool balls and leave them in drawers, or pinned inside hanging clothes.
How to know if you’re wearing too much perfume or cologne. There is really only one way. If you can smell the perfume on yourself quite definitely, then you have used too much. You don’t necessarily have to wear more scent at night because the senses are heightened in the dark, so it is more easily smelt.
- DO be careful of mixing pearls and perfume. Pearls may discolor if they are in constant contact with certain perfumes. This is no problem: just wear your fragrance on your wrists, between breasts and on the inside of your elbows.
- DO stop smoking if you can. Cigarette smoking affects the acidity of the skin and spoils a good perfume.
- DON’T buy a scent because you like it on a friend. It is almost guaranteed to smell differently on you.
- DON’T buy perfume by smelling it from the bottle. You need to wear it a few hours for the true fragrance to emerge.
- DON’T store scent for a very long time, it will deteriorate. The best way to store it is in a cool, dark cupboard.
- DON’T mix sun and scent. Sunlight reacts with some perfumes and can leave blotchy stains on the skin.