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8 Beauty Tricks to Make Your Perfume Last Longer

You spritz your fragrance on in the morning, and an hour later the scent is gone. Here’s how to get the most out of your favorite perfume.

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Start with unscented lotion

Lotion acts as a bind to help the perfume stick to your skin, so rub a bit in to the spot you’ll be perfuming. “Your skin is not necessarily the best clinger for perfume,” says Anne Serrano-McClain, founder of MCMC Fragrances. “Skin is kind of oily and doesn’t absorb.” Choose an unscented moisturizer to keep from combining smells, giving all the attention to your perfume. Check out these beauty products dermatologists say are a waste.

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Opt for a strong base note

Different scents have different lifespans. Citruses will fade the fastest because their molecules are so light, while floral and spices will take longer to leave. Scents that stick around longest are the ones commonly used as base notes, like vanilla, musk, and wood, says Serrano-McClain.

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Layer scents strategically

Dying for a citrus-based perfume, but don’t want to be stuck reapplying all day? Layer it with another fragrance with a strong base to extend the life of your scent. “You can combine those to make it last longer,” says Serrano-McClain.

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Let your hair down

Your hair holds a scent better than your skin does, says Serrano-McClain. If you have a long or medium cut, spritzing it onto the ends of your tresses. “I’ve always thought a waft was nicer on the ends because the hair moves a little there,” she says. Avoid these mistakes that ruin your hair.

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Add to your clothes

While the perfume on your skin might fade too fast, it could last long enough to overstay its welcome on clothes. “You could always do a little on clothes, but it’s hard to wash off actually if the perfume is strong,” says Serrano-McClain. She recommends adding a little to a scarf or a shirt you don’t wear much if you want maximum impact all day. When washing the scent out, make sure you’re not making these laundry mistakes.

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Apply to your pulse points

When adding a spray, stick to pulse points like your wrists, neck, and behind your knees. “They radiate a little more heat, and they’re a nice spot to bounce around the smell a bit,” says Serrano-McClain.

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iStock/Sandy Jones

Keep perfume out of your medicine cabinet

If you want your perfume to last longer in the bottle, store it in a cool, dark environment. “A lot of people store perfume in the bathroom, but that’s not a great choice because all the moisture and steam from the shower is not good for perfume,” says Serrano-McClain.

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Give in and reapply

Despite your best efforts, your scent will probably fade between leaving for the office and arriving at happy hour after work. “It’s not like clothes—you don’t put it on in the beginning of the day and have it on until you take it off,” says Serrano-McClain. “It’s all about putting on a little before you want to make that impact.” Carry a small bottle of perfume with you, and add a bit as needed.

Like freebies? Here’s how to score a free perfume from Sephora.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.