Friday, January 13, 2012

Frequent Questions: How & Where to Apply Perfume Effectively

How do you apply your perfume? Do you spritz on neck and wrists? Do you spray a cloud and walk through the mist? Do you dab from an old style splash bottle? Is there a wrong way to apply perfume? The method of application influences the way a fragrance smells and projects into the environment much more than what is called "body chemistry". Let's do some myth busting on this proper perfume application guide and suggest new and exciting ways to maximize your chosen perfume's potential, helping it expand at the pace you're comfortable with and last through the day.

Let's start with the most common myth: That perfume smells best on pulse points, specifically the wrists and behind the ears. Though it's a nice spot to bring up to your nose gingerly, you might be doing yourself a disservice. According to renowed perfumer Jean Claude Ellena (current in-house perfumer for Hermès) the Ph of the skin on the inside of the wrists can be a bit acidic/sour, thus subtly swifting the aroma of your fragrance. This is especially crucial with fragrant compositions which present tart or floral notes. Additionally, wrists are the places we often wear a wristwatch, bracelets or other jewelry and use to rest our hand on a mouse pad/handrest (here's a very pretty one!). These are materials which can also influence the scent of your perfume. A metallic watch or bracelet interacts subtle, while a leather band lends its own inherent aroma to the mix (sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way). Not to mention that in the case of a mouse pad the transfering of different perfumes ends up in a haphazard mix-up rather than a deliberate olfactory collage.
A better area to use, if you want to be able to lift up your fragranced body part to your nose at any given time to enjoy, is the upper hand or upper forearm. Not only are these areas with a more consistent Ph acidity with the rest of your body, giving you a truer picture, the existence of slight fuzz (or actual hair for the gents) aids the projection of the fragrance to those around, prolongs its lasting power and aids its wake (what the French call "sillage").

Behind the ear is a rather bad place for perfume, too even if very evocative, immortalised in hunderds of advertisements and films due to its erotic significance of ear lobe kissing & suckling, because at the back of the ears there are glands which produce an oily-smelling substance which distorts your posh perfume. You can judge just how much your own glands produce by rubbing a wet towel behind that spot and sniffing (or giving a long sniff at the sidebands of your spectacles/sunglasses). Heavy consumers of dairy products will notice a curdled milk, butyric note that is rather displeasant (and which prompts the Japanese to consider Westerners as "dirty"-smelling). Those who eat a lot of spice will have a production of sulphurous byproducts which can make their fragrance smell rotten, heavy or sour.
The best practice is to forsake behind the ears application for the front of the neck (assuming you don't wear neck jewelry, especially pearls which get tarnished by perfumes). This also aids the trailing of your fragrance during social hallos, as the scent rises uniformly during being given kisses to the cheeks.

Spraying in a cloud in front of you and then walking through the scent mist to get just the right amount is a technique which began by the launch of Aromatics Elixir by Clinique in 1971. This method was especially divised to cater for the bombastic blast of this superperfume and was then transfered through all of the Lauder Group companies.
It is rather wasteful so best used for anything that has a projection and trail as big as a house (most Estée Lauder scents indeed), so it's perfect for Angel and the like if you're wary of offending but still want to wear such a powerhouse. (In the case of Angel, even waving a Q-tip soaked in it in front of you is enough to transfer enough scent for you to smell of it!). Use it if you're adamant that spraying in profusion is the last resort of luxurious abandon in a rationed age.

Another common myth says you're not supposed to spray on your clothes because that way perfume doesn't get the chance to interact with your skin. Though it is a wonderful, romantic notion, giving every woman the idea that her fragrance is hers alone, because magically the scent is different in accordance with one's skin, this is a marketing technique that was specifically conceived for Chanel No.5. To make the iconic Chanel perfume regain a bit of its individual cachet after the mass popularisation of it, following its exhibition in the army shelves market during the 1950s, some new approach was needed. According to author Tilar Mazzeo, in her book about the venerable classic and its history, the Wertheimer brothers devised this plan to make No.5 not lose its sense of being a precious commodity even though it had become a bit too accessible. (This was a concern after the infamous days of American GIs photographed standing in a long line to claim a bottle of the classic perfume at the Parisian boutique during Nazi-occupied France). The plan worked: The marketing line was added even into commercials well into the 1970s and Chanel never became Coty or Dana. Most contemporary fragrances -excluding all-naturals artisanal perfumes and a few with a particularly high ratio of natural ingredients in them- small exactly the same on most skins. Think about it; this is why we're so quick to recognise their trail on a stranger on the street or across the cinema!

Therefore, unless we're talking vividly coloured juice (such as Serge Lutens Sarassins which is deep purple and stains like ink would), you're quite safe with spraying your clothes (apart from silks). If in doubt, a small secret patch test on an inside corner will convince you. Perfume is retained best on cloth, especially natural fibers (linen, cotton, wool) and rich aroma materials such as vanilla, amber, resins and balsams of the oriental & floriental family (hence the concept of "cashmere wrap fragrances" or "scents on a wool scarf").
One especially neat idea is spraying the flanks of your body, extra handy when wearing a jacket, as the natural movement of your arms brushing off when walking releases and re-releases fragrant molecules as you go through your day. Yet another nice spot is under the jacket lapels, or spraying a handerchief and tucking it in your breast pocket. Spraying your clothes also presents the advantage of extending the perfume progression's arc, making the notes appear in slow motion; especially nice with fragrances with complex bouquets and full-bodied character in which you want to savour every phase.

Skin does play a role into how scent "holds", but not how you think it does! In the movie Chéri (based on Colette's novel by the same name) the older courtesan, played by Cathy Bates, says to her -poignantly coming to terms with aging- peer Michelle Pfeiffer (as Lea) "you retain perfume so much better now that the skin isn't as smooth as it used to be". This very characteristic observation of La Belle Epoque is also confirmed by top  perfumers working today, who add that the same applies to people with big pores; which -I infer- might explain just why oily skin (which often is more "porous"/bigger-pored by nature) retains scent better and longer. It might also explain why some obese people are considered "smelly" by some in the general population (it's not that they don't wash enough, but sweat might get trapped in skin folds).
The fascinating part is it all turns out to be a matter of simple physics, rather than of chemistry!

Hair is a particularly good spot for perfume. Sales assistants might say anything to discourage you from it (from implying your hair might catch fire if a stranger holding a lit cigarette stands close enough, to saying it will completely dry out your hair and wreck it). They're in the business to sell as much products as possible and there are now hundreds of hair mists and hair enhancing scented sprays to buy (incidentally, notably good are those in the Thierry Mugler, Narciso Rodriguez and Chanel ranges, quite true to the actual perfumes). Buy them if it makes you feel all pampered up and you're a completist, but if not, you're just as well with spraying your hair brush or doing a quick spritz/dab on the nape, letting hair pick up the scent and release it with every move of your head. Frederic Malle agrees:
"For a special occasion, apply perfume on the back of your neck. The heat rising up your body and the movement of your hair will diffuse the scent. Also, the oil in your hair is a fabulous fragrance keeper, so you could spray some in your hair too. Just don't do it every day because the alcohol will dry out your hair." [source]

Pop perfume lore handed down by sales assistants tells not to rub your wrists together when you apply perfume "because you'll crush its molecules". Nothing could be further from the truth! Molecules are not that sensitive to physics, otherwise the time-space continuum would have been shattered long ago. The most you're going to do is annihilate the top notes through friction (which generates heat, which in turn will aid the rapid evaporation of the most volatile ingredients in the perfume, the so called "top notes"). You're essentially losing the introduction to your personal fragrance. Given that many modern fragrances are specifically conceived to display a particularly attractive overture so as to catch the attention of potential consumers, it's a shame missing it! On the other hand, this is a quick & practical way to judge the "heart notes" or "core" of a fragrance (the middle stage) you're eager to get into, when pressed for time. It will give you an immediate idea of what it's about beyond the usual 30-minute window frame given for the dissipation of the top notes. Proceed accordingly. 

When not wanting to offend with your fragrance in an office setting or in close proximity with other people or in hot weather, you might want to consider other tricks to tone down your perfume's potency. One simple trick is to spray your calves (not the back side of the knees when it's really hot, as these naturally sweat a lot when we bend them to sit down) and let the perfume rise slowly. Since noses are stuck in the place they are and you're typically not dealing with midgets, most people will get a small amount of rising perfume and not a full blast coming off the neck and decolletage. Another, especially welcome tip for romantic rendez-vous is spraying your belly-button (make sure it's free of lint too!) or under the breasts (or the equivalent spot for men): The belly is warm, the scent rises uniformly and you're guaranteed a restrained sillage that gets more intimate & intriguing as clothes get off....

Last but not least, there is "the cotton ball technique" of applying perfume. This does not consist of dragging a perfume-soaked piece of cotton wool on your body to spread the scent. You would be wasting precious juice that way, as cotton wool is so very absorbent. Instead you're supposed to lightly soak the cotton ball with fragrance and then tuck it inside your bra. This provides a subtle scent that you yourself can perceive at all times (a little tilting of the head can confirm it) while it doesn't suffocate everyone around. 

Back in the old days they had a more romantic technique; dabbing from a dab-on extrait de parfum bottle using a silk handerchief which was then used to simply aromatize the insides of a feminine purse. Isn't it totally sublime? That way you're not contaminating the perfume with skin debris from your fingers or through transfering with the perfume dauber/stopper and you have a scented memento you can toss at any aspiring beau....

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Perfume Myth Busting, How French Women Apply Perfume.


  1. "In the case of Angel, even waving a Q-tip soaked in it in front of you is enough to transfer enough scent for you to smell of it"--wow! Must remember to try this with other hard-to-handle scents (not Angel, though, never have come to terms with what Luca Turin dubbed its "refreshingly toxic" facet).

  2. Excellent article, thanks for posting.

  3. Cheryl15:58

    My favorite place is the back of my neck along my hairline.

    Thank you for a wonderful post.

  4. Eliam16:12

    Wonderful article! I love the idea of dabbing the perfume with a silk handkerchief. I'm especially glad that you've explained why the inside of the wrist is not a great place to apply perfume since I've noticed a "dirtier" scent from the perfume when I've dabbed on my wrist versus on my cloths or elsewhere on my body and always wondered why.

  5. Thank you for this great article! Inerestingly enough, I've noticed that the same scent will smell different on each wrist, even when the inside of each wrist has been bathed. I will definitely try some of these ideas.

  6. Fascinating article - thank you! I might print out this article and bring it with me next time I'm perfume smelling....the SA's get SO frustrated if I even touch my wrists together - let alone rub them - when I am short on time and want to smell the fragrance "warmed-up" and closer to the heart notes.

    I would love to try "tossing a scented memento to an aspiring beau", but if I didn't get my ass kicked, I'm sure I would be arrested for littering.....;-)

  7. Sombreuil20:56

    It is such a romantic ritual, perhaps one of my favourite bits of perfumania. Thank you for another fascinating article - I shall certainly start spraying lower on the body when a more demure sillage is required.

    Generally I apply according to scent: light perfumes like Bronze Goddess are spritzed lavishly everywhere (such such fun!); scents of a more 'usual' weight (standard edt) get about three sprays (to the forearms and nape of the neck); and really intense scents (vintage Youth Dew, Elixir...) a tiny dab or waft-through walk.

  8. This was FANTASTIC! And has given me a reason to stock up on silk scarves! :-)

  9. I haven't read your column in its entirety as I am exhausted (MS)m and I apologize in advance, but I did want to let you of my experience with eyeglasses and spraying eau du toilette. I put my eye glasses up on my head when I am getting ready, and always throw a towel around me when I put on makeup or spray and walk thru perfume. But I started having trouble cleaning my glasses, and even sunglasses. The non-glare coating seems to be bothered by my stock of fragrances. So I had to get new glasses, and repay extra again for the coating, and I always put them in a drawer while I am tip toeing thru my tulips, lily of the valley, or especially, carnations. This seems to have solved my problem, so I can't put out a 'consumer alert' for non-glare coatings on glasses. But, your clientele may take note and see if t hey have experienced a similar problem.

  10. I remember doing that old cotton wool ball in the bra - it was horrid!

    Now I just spray it everywhere - life is too short Helg! LOL

  11. Anonymous12:08

    Fantastic article! Bravo and thanks for the useful tips..

  12. A fabulous article! Thank you so much for all the tips and the myth busting.

    And to Taffy above ... I am relieved to discover I am not the only one whose wrists smell different when the same perfume is applied to each. :-)

  13. I usually rotate on my perfume spraying. During the summer, I like to spray the back of my knees. Spring and fall, I like to spray the back of my neck. I usually spray perfume into my hair.

  14. A,

    take this figuratively rather than literally!

    But I do think that just fanning yourself with a paper soaked in Angel and the like (I mean similar in strength) lends a faint odour on you. ;-)

  15. Cheryl,

    glad you enjoyed, you're welcome.

    The nape is a sexy place to put perfume too....

  16. E,

    there is usually a logical explanation behind everything, if one looks for it. :-)

    Make sure you have some small handkerchiefs, the ones they used to use for the nose or la pochette, and use those. If you carry a keepall, it's beautiful to have one tucked inside to smell from time to time...

  17. Taffy,

    thanks and glad you liked it.

    Interesting obersvation, thank you! I believe what you say also has a sound, logical reason behind it: we have one dominant hand and that hand usually has a more forceful blood circulation (from being used more), which in turn influences heat and emission of scent.Plus we just touch more things with that hand which might also help pick up scent in various ways (thinking of making-up one's face, rubbing cream on, chopping vegetables, squeezing juice etc.)
    It makes sense, don't you think?

  18. Marko,

    I'm eager to see the face of sales assistants when they see some of the other articles on these pages, too! Perhaps though, let us not shutter their perceptions so very violently. :D

    Touching the wrists does nothing more than spread the scent from one to the other. Dah.

    Tossing a scent handkerchief to a beau. On second thought, don't do it. You might send the wrong message. LOL!

  19. Sombreil,

    there's a ritual to applying perfume and I think modern living is so very scarce on rituals (with all their symbolical meaning) that we need to re-introduce it any way we can. Which we do, don't we!

    Excellent monitoring of dosage, you're a star!

  20. NoD Charlie #5,

    I'm ever so pleased you enjoyed it! Thanks for saying so!

    Silk scarves are the best. Thought if you use those decorative ones around the neck, don't spray them with perfume directly, they'll stain. (but they do keep one's neck's perfume very nicely indeed!)

  21. Nadine,

    that's all right, I'm not that easily offended.

    That's weird, but perfectly logical. Even hair products sometimes influence the coating of the lends (this is one of the reasons I usually don't use anything, as I so often put my sunglasses on the head, over the hair, throughout the day).
    Do I understand correctly that specific fragrances -and therefore specific ingredients to achieve specific effects- tarnish/spoil your glasses? That's fascinating! I need to investigate this further.

  22. M,

    I'm one for doing what I like too (and there's nothing more indulgent than spraying yourself with a phooost of perfume), but the summer heat restrains me sometimes into using it only on legs or belly. It works wonders. ;-)

  23. Ioanna,

    ευχαριστώ! :-)
    It means a lot to me your saying so!

  24. CC,

    you're most welcome, I hope it proves useful to readers.

    See my reply to Taffy above, I think what you describing can be explained through the reason I gave to Taffy.

  25. Eldarwen,

    sound practice and I bet you know how best to use it to always keep it nicely attuned to the surroundings :-)

  26. Anonymous00:36

    i concur, this was a great article...i have no sense of hoo.. since i was a teenager i have been identified with the fragrance i wear.....i am now in my 60's and nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing "you smell wonderful, what are you wearing"?...
    besides the fragrance my technique for application is to take a cotton ball..soak the cotton ball in frangrance and apply to neck, inside of arm, around my breasts and tuck the cotton ball inside bra...if my cotton ball survives the day it gets placed in lingerie drawer(sp?..doesn't look right)....i have people taking notes on my fragrance many secrets can i divulge in this one time i will ask where someone puts their fragrance...i think cary grant said perfume should be worn around the ear..when i go to a dr i might place perfume in more strategic locations...smelling wonderful is a great luxury...

  27. I always dab on the sides of the neck, or spray between the breasts. A spritz in the hair is also good. I read an old perfume guide from the 1930s and it mentioned that you can apply perfume to your fingertips and eyebrows. The eyebrow one might be good for solid perfumes.

  28. Eleonore12:08

    I love this article and its tips!thank you!!:-) ! I read that we aren't supposed to spray fragrances on our hair but I love doing it, and on the nape of the neck and on the front too: and I'm glad to read it's all right in your article. And I love spraying the lining of my coats or jackets, the fragrance stays longer!

  29. Anon,

    thank you for your kind words, glad you enjoyed and thanks so much for the additional tips and the Cary Grant quote!
    Sorry that you don't smell now, but you must have hit upon a particularly successful combination/technique for people to notice and comment favourably. Perfuming IS a luxury and a pleasure to us and those around us; why forsake it?

    May I ask what fragrance you identify with for all these years or are you uncomfortable with sharing? (totally OK if so, in that case don't tell!)

  30. CB (sorry I forget your actual initials),

    thanks for commenting!
    Yes, sides of neck and between breasts are wonderful spots. So is hair.

    They did romance properly these days, didn't they. How very interesting re: brows! I guess it's because the hairs pick up the scent and it's very erotic to have a lover kissing you and getting whiffs of your scent from the brow.
    Fingertips, now that would mean you'd leave scent on everything one cunning!

  31. Eleonore,

    thank you! Your coats and jackets must smell fantastic.

    Yeah, a lot is handed down making absolutely no sense at all and yet it's perpetuated to the point that it becomes a mantra: "no perfume on hair, it will damage it", "don't pluck your stray hairs, you will get them multiplied", "no blue eyeshadow on brown eyes" etc. Pointless but verbatim perpetuated in eternity... There must be some atavistic aspect to following beauty "rules".

  32. Cotton ball in the bra? Well, if one wears a flour sack, then. Or if their bra is five sizes larger. Otherwise I can't imagine how it wouldn't bulge. It has to be pretty uncomfortable.

    I'm a self-centered beeyotch when it comes to fragrance. I can't go unnoticed so I at least try to wear interesting stuff in reasonable amounts but that's just about it. I wear the stuff to smell nice to me myself and as such, I apply it on my shoulders where I can sniff without dropping stuff from my hands.

  33. Anonymous00:28

    i was a teenager when everyone was wearing jean nate...but i wore abano by prince longer availabale...i did wear l'air du temps for a very long time..but we changed?...perfume formula just stopped i tried several other perfumes...karl largerfield in that fan shaped bottle..l'heure blue (sp?)...etc...then my husband liked musk...those formulas changed too...for the past 20 years or more i have been into annik goutal's heure exquisite and gardenia passion...mixed with keihl's original musk...sometimes i mix all three or either one with keihl's musk...the oil of the musk cuts the alcohol of the perfume..and the musk makes the scent last longer...finding a personal scent is also like wearing the right shade of husband does most of my mixing now as he says i am the helen keller of smells!!!!!!!..after all my husband is the "nose"...
    he also wears a mixture of keihl's with his personal cologne called PATRICK..i have no idea where it is he buys in quantity from the source..both of us are contatntly hounded by people requesting the formula...there was a time when you could buy exquisite heure in large bottle only in europe...but since the dollar doesn't go that far today i haven't made my friends buy it for me..however i am going to inquire about that as i can't seem to replenish my current supply at discount...i only use the eau de parfum...
    i adore your emails...with your descriptions there is no need to smell!!!!!...symphony to the senses!! colors in a painting!!!
    i would love to send you a personal atmozier to fill with your own favorite..( i mentioned in a previous post finding the right personal scent is a luxury..always buy the best you can afford...and then stock up!!!!!!!!!
    silk scarves are great as they generate many tips out there...once you find what works for you application is a no brainer...the soaked cotton ball though has worked for me...
    now my scent permeates all my clothes...i pet the dog and she ends up smelling like me!!!!!

  34. L,

    I'm not a subscriber to the cotton ball in bra school of thought either. I surmiss that it would entail having a "valley" between the breasts and breast cups in which to tuck it. It seems rather akward to me (wouldn't it fall down to your lap if you raised your arms over your head suddenly?)

    Shoulders is nice though...especially in summer with tank tops.

  35. Anon,

    how very very exciting to hear so many things and tips! Thank you!
    I have heard of Kiehl's being an excellent carrier for other scents, I have only experimented with the Bonne Bell (and it does a good job, I have to admit). The Kiehl's is so very naughty I recall, I bet it's totally sexy!

    "Patrick"...Maybe something by Patrick Cox? Or something that Roja Dove made for Patrick Cox? I seem to recall there is one out there. There is another after actor Patrick Demsey, I believe too. Do these ring any bells?

  36. Lilli07:09

    I just wanted to tell you how much I love your posts! I don't know very much about perfume, and your blog is so wonderful for learning bits and pieces, and even some history! Unfortunately my means are slender, so I do not have a very extensive collection. I think you would call the ones I do have "too sweet"! ;-) I wonder if you have any posts about perfumes that are good to give as gifts? Thank you for sharing your writing!

  37. Lilli,

    thanks so much for taking the time to say so and come forward! I appreciate it. Hope you enjoy it around here and by all means, sweet can be nice too (see Prada Candy which I praised!).
    I also had a rough guide on best inexpensive fragrances, maybe you will like something out of those.
    Gift giving: I had posted bits and pieces. Check out these links:

    Christmas gifts
    Fragrance gift guide

    Do a search on the personalised Google search on the right hand column too with the word "gift", it will take you too all the posts mentioning gifts in the archives.

    HOpe that helps!

  38. Lilli03:33

    Thank you so much for those links! I will definitely use the mother's day one to figure out what to get for my Mother's 55th. Thanks again, and so looking forward to more of your posts.

  39. L,

    you're welcome! Glad they provide enjoyment and practical help.

    (and may I say how sweet of you to buy your mother perfume!)

  40. Mike22:09

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I am very new to the wearing of perfume/scents and have found great inspiration here. Especially the piece about applying a scent to ones clothes. Being a man, there is obviously less skin where one should apply, being "exposed"! Also the back of the hand seems a more sensible place than inside of the wrist that is then covered by a shirt cuff and a jacket sleeve.

  41. Mike,

    I think you're set with spraying your clothes. Wools especially grab fragrance wonderfully.

    Thanks for stopping by and for commenting so sweetly!

  42. Like yours, my site gets a lot of questions as to where to and how to apply perfume, here are some of the answers I give my members and friends.

    An old tip is to apply pure parfum extrait to the lining of your furs.

    Jeanne Lanvin of Lanvin Perfumes suggested that you should apply perfume wherever your clothes cover your body, that way it will seem if it is coming from within and blend with the natural oils of your skin to make a truly individual fragrance. She also said the best time to apply perfume is 15 or 20 minutes before you are about to go out, that way the perfume has time to "set".

    A 1924 ad for Ann Haviland perfumes suggests:

    #1. to apply perfume to your eyebrows as the short hairs of the eyebrows retain the perfume longer than the skin since evaporation takes place more slowly.Besides, this is an ideal two-some,the girl usually comes up to a man's chin, not far below his nose.

    #2. One little known method of applying perfume is to saturate a piece of cotton with your chosen scent, place it under the shoulder strap of your slip. Body heat releases an aura about you.

    #3. A glamorous method of using perfume is to spray it on the hem of your evening gown, then as you walk or dance, the fragrance is wafted into the air around you. This is the best way to do it.

    #4. Another pointer is to apply perfume to the inside of your gloves, while your gloves are on, the warmth of your hands attract the perfume which will cling to the fingers.

  43. G,

    thanks for posting these additional tips! :-)

    I especially like the one with the gloves: yes, scented hands leave a lovely trail on everything they touch. It's so clever.

    I admit I had heard about the Lanvin advice but never dared apply perfume on my vintage furs! It does souns very romantic though.

  44. I also find that all fragrances are best applied on the back of your neck. One spritz or two spritzes somewhere along the hair line.... But that's only for those perfumes that are most precious for their basenotes. So that throughout the day you can feel their warm presense... Chanel N5, L'Heure Blueu and so on...

    The citrus ones are best applied on the front of your neck and on your chest. After all the most precious moments are the 1st 15 minutes... then they fade and you have to either reapply or live not feelng it. That's why I don't own much of the citrus scents. I love to feel the presence.

    And finally - the cloud application. I like to test perfumes this way. I buy a fragrance - have a shower with something unscented - wait a couple of hours till I can't smell anything at all - and that's whem I apply something new with this cloud method - it's fun and it helps to get acquainted to te fragrance the fastest possible way. Vintage Opium was best applied this way...

  45. De Merveilles,

    you're absolutely right, what a delightful way to describe the process. Thanks for sharing!

    I too find that the more "exhilarating" scents are best applied in the front (catching the aaaaah factor as they evaporate quickly) and the more "robust" applied on other places (hairline is an excellent spot!) I hope readers will read and borrow your fabulous idea!

    I sorely miss vintage Opium sprayed any which way. It's a shame that they kept it so very good for so very long, then thinned it out due to those spicy molecules regulations... :-(

  46. Anonymous19:06

    Hi, thanks so much for your excellent tips. How many sprays and specifically where would you recommend for strong perfumes for men ? Love and frequently use thierry mugler, acqua di gio, joop, azzaro silver black,bvlgari pour homme extreme and one million. They are all fairly strong. I do 2 shots to the large pulse points in front of the neck, 1 to the back of the neck and 1 to the chest. Found that I can smell the shot to my chest most day but hv started getting acne around that area. Not sure also if the perfume lasts the whole day for others. Being fairly expensive perfumes,am worried they aren't being best utilized :(

  47. Anon,

    thank you for your nice words on the article, glad it was enjoyable.

    I would suggest spraying a couple of moderate sprays on your chest indeed (which wafts off nicely, as you note) but if you're getting irritated there, then on your stomach. Or if you still get problems, over your shirt in said regions. My S.O. sprays his in miniature spraying motions all over his stomach and the scent retains without being too projecting to others (but it's beautiful to me when he takes his shirt off!) ;-)
    Nape of neck is also a fine place for one short spray, especially for men who usually have shorter hair.

    Hope this helps! Thanks for reading and hope to see you around these pages :-)

  48. Cannot see if my comment posted or not!

    Here goes again, hoping I am not duplicating something written previously:

    Well! I can't remember the last time I read such an interesting article. There were a lot of great ideas/facts. However, as one of those who cannot abide anything "perfumey," I don't wear perfume myself. Still, it was a well-written piece and loaded with great eye-openers.

    I ended up on this site because I am trying to find out if there's a difference between a perfume bottle dauber and a stopper.

    ***Note to the author*** You misspelled "uniformly" and "contaminated." (Look to the bellybutton tip and then your last paragraph.)

    Thanks for posting such a fun and fact-filled article. I really, really enjoyed it.

    1. Hi Mi! As you can see, your comment published.

      Thanks for the very kind words. Also thanks for the misspelling edits, they have slipped me and now they're corrected, thanks to you.

      Glad you enjoyed and a great question. The answer is a dauber and a stopper both "seal" the bottle of perfume from the air, but the dauber was also used in previous decades to apply perfume (extrait) on the skin. Of course that way you also transfer dead skin cells into the bottle (little floaties), so it's not really recommended, especially if you don't go through a perfume quickly, but it's a visually nice and very sensual move all the same. Hope this answer your question.

      Hope to see you again on these pages ;-)

  49. I always used to buy Chanel #5 without the sprayer, the kind you dab on your wrists. I was recently given a bottle of Chanel #5 with the spray top and I feel like way too much comes out in just one spray and I get migraines from so much perfume. Which method would be the best for me to use so there is only a subtle hint of fragrance? Thank you.

  50. I always used to buy Chanel #5 without the sprayer, the kind you dab on your wrists. I was recently given a bottle of Chanel #5 with the spray top and I feel like way too much comes out in just one spray and I get migraines from so much perfume. Which method would be the best for me to use so there is only a subtle hint of fragrance? Thank you.

  51. I always used to buy Chanel #5 without the sprayer, the kind you dab on your wrists. I was recently given a bottle of Chanel #5 with the spray top and I feel like way too much comes out in just one spray and I get migraines from so much perfume. Which method would be the best for me to use so there is only a subtle hint of fragrance? Thank you.

    1. I think spraying in the air and walking through the mist might be one way to avoid that (only a little bit rests on you and your clothes) though it might get costly :/
      Another might be switching to the parfum extrait version which is almost always a dab on presentation, though that might be costly too (but in a different way, no waste). A third way would be to spray on a cotton ball and use that or to spray on a little bit of lotion in the palm of your hand and applying that all over. That should be really subtle.

  52. i have 'roller ball' perfumes, and i worry that because the roller ball comes in contact with my skin, that will cause a breakdown in the perfume/oil, and change the scent of the perfume. is it best to apply perfume with a cotton ball, or something similar, so the minerals and oils in your skin don't 'contaminate' the scent?

  53. Perfume is best sprayed on those key hot spots. Inner elbow, wrist, ankles, back of hand,neck,and even a mist of spray in the air and walk through it to get a light mist to cover your body so that when you put your clothes on the scent will be on your clothes. I love this because when I remove my blouse the scent is there and lingers. Just one spray in the air is all thats needed.

  54. excellent article!! love it!

  55. As an Artisan Perfumer I have been telling my Clients to spray on their hair and clothes. Thank you for an excellent article.


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