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Spray Or Dab? A Crash Course

Posted by: Perfumeaddict, on: Thursday, 23 January 2014

Most people who wear perfume usually have the popular 3-step regimen: 1) spray on the neck, 2) do the same on the wrist and 3) rub wrists together. Sometimes, vanity calls for a fourth spray above the head, a final mist of halo that can magically cover the entire body for good measure. There are many reasons why the 3-step regimen is not accurately correct and the following will explain why.

Step one: the neck

The first step is somewhat correct but, to be more specific, you should aim for the base of the throat because that is where the pulse points are. Sometimes, people go for the neck because that is where the end of the ear lobes fall. Below the ear lobes is one of the most strategic and convenient points for perfume application but make sure that you apply it below and not behind.

Step two: the wrist

The wrist is another strategic point to apply perfume as it is another pulse point. It is recommended though that this step be taken before you even get dressed in order to avoid perfume oil spills on clothes.

Step three: the rub-the-two-wrists-together

This practice is distinct in perfuming and exudes a level of sophistication seen among the elite. Surprisingly, it is also the most common mistake in perfume application. Rubbing wrists together break the notes of the fragrance. A scent is made with top, middle and base notes. The interaction of these notes with the skin’s chemistry is what produces the scent. Rubbing the wrists would interfere with the cycle of these notes that leads to the scent being broken.

Step four: adding other points

Aside from the base of the throat, the area below the ear lobes and the wrists being most strategic for scent application, you may also try applying inside the elbows, at the temples, behind the knees, above the collarbones and even at the space between breasts. These are other pulse points where the skin is slightly warmer which helps to diffuse and amplify the scent. Other non-pulse points where you can spray on is damp hair, right before blow drying. Spraying on clothes and other articles of clothing can also help the scent last longer throughout a busy day.

Step zero: adding a pre-step

In order to make the perfume last longer, you can also do the layering technique or also called fragrance dressing. The layering technique is a famous method endorsed by most perfume houses who have formulated their own scented body wash, soap, bath oil, bath gel, lotion, cream and even dusting powder to accompany the perfume. Using all in a day will ensure that the scent sticks to the body even without you spraying on your entire day’s ensemble. The layering technique helps to slow down the evaporation rate as it puts layers of scents as opposed to just having a one scent layer on the skin. Layering also coats the skin with the scent without being too overpowering as what usually happens when you do too much spraying in an attempt to spray on enough to last you all throughout the day.

Points on skin chemistry

Your type of skin also determines how a fragrance will last on you. Scents cling better on oily skin than dry skin. The skin absorbs the perfume. Oily skin retains scent molecules better. Contrary to popular belief, perfume mist does not hover above the human skin like a halo. This is the reason why different races absorb scents differently. Blondes have drier skin which means less oil and scent retention, while brunettes have more oils on their skin and thus can wear perfume longer. Redheads, on the other hand, have finer pores and a bit higher body temperature. Among skin types, redheads are most likely to make out most of the notes as their skin combine perfectly with the true notes of most scents. Their biggest disadvantage though is that their higher body temperature melts the notes quickly and makes the scents fade faster.

The 3-hour habit

Since scents do fade, it is advised to reapply it every 3 hours in order to maintain it. The reapplication does not need to be as much as the first application but it needs to be enough to revive some of the notes that have evaporated throughout the day.

Dabbing vs Spraying

Dabbing works but spraying is even better. One usually runs the risk of spilling a little when dabbing. A spray, on the other hand, helps diffuse to fragrance and apply the same evenly. A distance of about 20 cm from the skin is ideal. The distance also helps in diffusing the scent over a larger surface area of the skin thus helping it last longer.

Perfume application may not be rocket science but it is an art in itself. It can be meticulous or simple enough, depending on your needs. No matter how active or busy your lifestyle is, perfumes can accompany you throughout the day and help you win anything while smelling and feeling great.

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 Great advice especially about different skin types abity to retain (or not) perfume. I shall be able to get the most from my fragrance now. Thank you.