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How to apply perfume properly? Skin or clothes?

Posted On: 2/18/2022

Why wear perfume?

We think that the right question is "why not wear perfume?". A good perfume can make your outfit complete. It can boost your confidence and make you feel fresh and energized in any situation. Not to talk about things related to the fact that others might fall in love with the way you smell.


It is just amazing how much more you will remember when you wear perfume during some big events in your life. As soon as you sniff that scent again, you will be able to relive that moment once again. Senses can help us a lot to remember things. That is scientifically proven fact.


So, after hearing this, why would you decide not to wear perfume? Are you worried if you know how to apply it properly?


We got you covered there!

Here is how we recommend you to apply fragrances


First, let's discuss the basics. If you are interested in this topic and would like to know " How to pick a perfume for any season of the year?" , or maybe " How to pick a perfume for any occasion?", we have blog posts just waiting for you!


But first, let's cover some basic things about proper ways to apply perfume. When we are done with that, you will have quite a few aces up your sleeve on how you can extend the longevity and performance of your perfume by a large margin. And get the desired result with any perfume, in every situation and even you are attending.


The first question is if you should apply perfume on the skin or clothes, and the answer is not simple. This is why we want you to buckle up and enjoy the ride with us while we give it our best to explain as much as possible. This way you can at least bring educated decisions based on your needs after reading this post.



Why apply perfume to our skin?

There are quite a few reasons you should apply perfume to your skin directly. We will share with you a few of the most important and rewarding examples.


Let us start our discussion by sharing that most world-renowned perfumers are very strictly against the perfume application on our clothes. They say that perfumes are created to be mixed with the skin and all the chemicals present on its surface. There is one exception that we will share in the section related to perfume application on our clothes.


Perfumers do not want you to miss the magic show

In most scenarios, you should wear your perfume by applying it to your skin. At least that is what perfumers are recommending. And we understand why they are so emotional regarding this statement.


It is because of the magical part of their perfume creation process. Yes, perfumers might be compared to magicians.


Perfumes are creating something called a dry-down phase for each perfume. We talked about it in detail in one of our posts related to perfume notes. Of course, you can read more about it by clicking here.


Here is a short explanation anyway, a dry-down is a phase in the lifecycle of any perfume when the base notes of the perfume start mixing with the chemistry of our skin. That is the phase where each perfume starts smelling differently on each person wearing them.


Of course, perfumers are proud of their skill to make this magical segment for their perfumes and make it great, and they wish to enable people to enjoy its magic.


Sadly, when we apply perfume to our clothes, that magic show does not take place.


Our skin's heat is great

It sounds weird when just thrown around like this, but it is true. Our skin's heat creates an amazing environment for perfumes to evolve into what they were intended to. The heat of our bodies is being radiated through our skin, and it enables the evaporation process of alcohol present in perfume.


That evaporation process is what is going to ensure the projection of our perfumes. If you are not familiar with the reason why alcohol is an essential part of almost every perfume, feel free to read our post about it here.


The perfume's performance will be worse, when compared to the scenario when you apply the perfume on your clothes. And that is the main reason why people tend to love utilizing their perfumes on their clothes as well.


We have prepared a set of quite a few ways you can enhance the performance of your perfume when applied to your skin. Feel free to check it out in our post called "Tips to make your perfume last much longer".


Great, now you know the main ups and downs of applying perfumes to our skin. But you do not know the best body parts that should be bathed in your favorite scents to get the most out of it. Here is a post about "Best body parts to apply perfume", we hope you will find it beneficial. But here is a brief overview.


The best places to apply perfume are naturally warm and moist areas of our bodies. Places like:

  1. Sides of our necks
  2. Insides of elbows
  3. Chest
  4. Backsides of knees

These are the best choices when you wish to make your perfume do its magic optimally.


When applying perfume on dry areas, the main issue is that the skin tends to absorb the playfulness provided by the perfume's top notes. Not sure what top notes are? We have a post created specifically to teach you everything about perfume notes. It is called "What are perfume notes? Complete guide", feel free to browse it.


And now we can talk a bit about the process of applying perfume to our clothes.



Why wear perfume on clothes?

Whoah, this question tends to bring up a lot of noise these days. Some people think that applying perfume on our clothes is a crime, while others swear by it in their everyday lives.


Our take on this subject is very political. We think that both options might be both good and bad for you. Of course, depending on your preferences and expectations from your perfume.


This answer means nothing to you, but we are about to elaborate and share what the differences between these two approaches are. After that, you can decide on your own what you prefer. Of course, some testing is always the best approach to find what works best for you in practice.


1. Make sure that your clothes are going to survive

The first situation when you do not wish to apply perfume on your clothes for sure is when the perfume leaves color marks. There are quite a few perfumes on the market that are far from colorless. Those perfumes will leave marks for sure, and your favorite shirt might be forever lost if you do not test if your perfume is really colorless or not.


Another essential thing you must check before you hurry and apply your perfume is if the piece of clothing you are about to soak in your signature scent is washable. There are quite a few pieces of clothes that can't be washed. So if you apply some perfume to them, you will have a challenging time removing the last scent molecules from them. You can be sure of it.


Now that we got requirements out of the way, we can focus on some more enjoyable things. Things like scent-related differences that can be noticed when you apply perfume on your skin and clothes are about to be unveiled in front of you.


2. No dry-down magic

Applying perfume on clothes removes the magic that occurs in the dry-down phase in your perfume's life. If you are not sure what the dry-down phase is, we got you covered in our post called "Commonly used perfume terminology". There you will see a section dedicated to explaining the dry-down of a perfume.


So, if you apply perfume on top of your clothes, the perfume will not react to your skin's chemistry. This process makes each perfume smell unique on the skins of different people in their dry-down phases. This might not sound that exclusive, but it is for most perfume enthusiasts. Most people enjoy feeling unique and seeing examples of their uniqueness, and this is a perfect way of sensing your uniqueness.



3. Perfume performance will be enhanced

Wow, this is amazing, right? Hell yeah! When you apply your perfume on your clothes instead of your skin, you will for sure experience a lot better performance and a longer-lasting scent in your presence. As stated in our post about perfume projection, it can be significantly increased by applying the perfume on our clothes instead of our skin.


The molecules of perfume note oils get attached to clothes fibers and become a part of them, thus enabling the fragrance to linger for ages.


The projection will drop as time passes by, of course, and significantly so. That is because the projection results from alcohol from the perfume evaporating (see the explanation about alcohol in perfumes below). As soon as the alcohol from the perfume evaporates completely, the projection will stop almost completely. But that is not where it ends. The scent will still be present on the clothes in the form of oil that has attached itself to the fibers. So if someone comes close to the application area, they will undoubtedly be able to smell the heavenly mixture of oils that are still dancing on your clothes.


4. Perfume will smell a bit more powdery when applied to clothes

Keep in mind that perfumes tend to change their signature a bit when applied to our clothes. That is because perfumers usually create them with skin application in mind.


When we say that the perfume will smell a bit more powdery, it is a generalization, but it usually is the case. That is not necessarily a bad thing. We are stating this just to warn you to test your perfume's behaviour on your clothes before heading to the office and finding out that you do not appreciate the powdery nature of the aroma.


Did we forget something?

Yes, we did. We promised you one exception when perfumers are completely for applying perfumes on our clothes. That scenario is when you live in hot areas of the world.


How does that fact affect perfumes? Well, it does affect perfume's behavior a lot. Perfumes will not be able to do their magic when soaked in our sweat, which is why it is recommended to apply them to clothes in this case.


Now you know the main concerns and differences between the application areas. Everything is in your hands from now on. You need to decide if you prefer the performance boost provided by applying perfume on your clothes or the artistic and magical results of chemistry developing on your skin. Now you certainly are ready to bring an educated decision with ease.


Now we can talk about tips we have prepared for you when applying the perfume.



Is rubbing perfume into the skin bad?

Let us make the answer short and simple. Yes, it is bad for the perfume's performance in many ways! Keep reading and find out why and how it gets affected.


When you rub the perfume in, you are creating a lot of heat. That heat is the byproduct of friction created from your skin being rubbed.


That heat can interfere with the perfume notes and make them lose their desired properties. Also, when you apply heat to the freshly applied perfume, you make alcohol from the perfume evaporate much quicker.


Why is alcohol evaporation a bad thing?

If you want to know why perfumes contain alcohol, we got you covered. We have prepared an in-depth post related to that topic alone. It is called "Why perfumes contain alcohol?". In it, you will find out everything related to the perfume-making process and why it almost exclusively includes alcohol.


Now that you understand why perfumes contain alcohol, you know why you do not want the alcohol from your perfume to evaporate quickly. That way, you will restrict that wonderful feature of spreading scents around you.


Another bad thing that will occur if you rub your perfume in and the excess heat is present is that top notes of the perfume will pay the price for that move.


As stated before, top notes are the most sensitive out of the fragrance pyramid, and the excess heat will bring their power way down. That way, again, you will lower the playfulness of your perfume and drop its energetic features from the first moment.


Is layering perfumes bad?

If you are careful and educated when doing this, it might be a great way for you to make any fragrance unique. But if you wish to do this, we must warn you to be very careful! If you wish to get the most out of perfume layering, you must educate yourself on scents and the rules of their combining.


If you mix scents that do not go well together, you will do a very bad thing. You will easily create a very heavy and intolerable cloud of incompatible odors that can make you and the people around you sick with ease.


This topic is very complex, so we decided to dedicate an entire post to it. If you would like to find out more on the topic, feel free to check out our post called "What is perfume layering? And how to get the most out of it".


There you will be able to learn everything to make you start layering perfumes right away!



Apply perfume by walking through a perfume cloud

Is this a good idea?


Well, the answer is yes and no. In our experience, it is not that good of an idea. In most cases, that is.


We sure do feel great to walk through the cloud of our favorite fragrance. That way, we can fully embrace ourselves in its awesomeness. But before you do this, make sure that you are 100% sure that your perfume checks all of the following points:

  1. It has to be biodegradable
  2. It has to be colorless
  3. It has to be nontoxic

Please do not use this technique if you aren't completely sure about any of these points.


If you are sure, and you know that your perfume is completely safe, you still wish to think twice before applying it like this. That is because you will lower the performance of your perfume and significantly so. This is the result of the fact that you are going to lower the concentration of the perfume a lot, thus making the layer applied on your skin and clothes a lot thinner, thus making it easier to get absorbed or evaporated quickly.


Of course, if you wish to do this application routine for your own enjoyment, do not read a word of this post. Go right ahead and enjoy your personal moment of connection with your favorite perfume. We get the feeling. It is worth every bit!


We just wanted to enable you to make a rational decision in every situation. If you wish to go on a date and you need your perfume to perform over a long session of hugs and kisses, you must help it so it can help you. The cloud application will be a bad choice in this case for sure.


And that is it for this post. We hope you liked it and that you have learned quite a few useful things about ways to apply your perfume.

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