How to make a perfume last longer according to fragrance experts

Stop rubbing your wrists together after spraying perfume and 5 other expert tips to make your perfume last longer this summer

an image of a woman demonstrating how to make a perfume last longer
(Image credit: Future)

Learning how to make a perfume last longer will benefit you in two ways. Firstly, it'll help you smell great all day long - who doesn't want that? It'll also give you more bang for your buck - we've all noticed our favorite scents' prices gradually creeping up.

There's nothing worse than spritzing your favorite perfume for it to disappear by the time you’ve arrived at your destination. Despite your best efforts to pick long-lasting perfume, or trying fragrance layering we can still find our perfume fading a couple of hours into wear. But why is that?

"Our skin is unique, with differing quantities of oil, which changes the way a fragrance behaves when it is sprayed on our skin," Rebecca Herd, Fragrance Expert at The Perfume Shop explains. "The scent reacts to the oil content in our skin so this will differ for everyone," she continues. There are a lot of reasons your favorite fragrance isn't lasting as long as you hoped. Here, Herd and other scent experts share their expert tips on how to make a perfume last longer. 


1. Don't rub your wrists together

Some of us unconsciously rub our wrists together after we’ve applied our perfume but this is actually something we should avoid doing. It turns out that this movement actually disrupts the aromas of the perfume. 

“Spraying your fragrance onto wrists and rubbing them together does you and the scent no favors," insists Emilie Bouge, Perfumery Expert for Miller Harris. "First of all, wrists are in the hand-washing territory, but beyond that - this motion accelerates evaporation and can even alter the scent’s composition. Simply put, the scent won’t continue to work its magic for long when worn this way.”

2. Learn to layer

“Scent-layering is my top tip in making fragrances last,” legendary perfumer Jo Malone reveals.  “I would start with your best smelling body lotion or body cream and then top it all off with a complementing perfume,” she continues. 

“Layering is a technique to maximize the longevity and impact of your scent,” Herd agrees. “We suggest using a matching or similar scented shower gel and body lotion before spraying the perfume this will help capture the scent for longer through the day.” Taking the time to apply a body lotion beforehand will really make such a difference in how to make a perfume last longer, plus, your skin will thank you.

Our beauty writer recommends...


Jo Loves Mango Thai Lime A Fragrance 50ml|RRP: $90/£75

Bursting with zesty notes of lime and juicy mango, this addictive summer scent is inspired by the wonders of Thailand. A mix of intoxicating sharp, sweet, and zesty aromas, this is the perfect summer fragrance that lingers on your body and clothes all day long. It also has a matching body and hand lotion, to layer up that scent. 

3. Pick your ingredients

Whilst we all know that fragrance develops over time and throughout wear, certain notes can last longer than others. Looking out for certain scents in a fragrance will ensure that it lasts longer than some other aromas. 

“You’ll almost always find these at the base," reveals Bouge."Musks, woody notes, and ouds are the notes to look out for - simply because they don’t evaporate as quickly as the more fruity perfumes and floral scents.”

We have a guide to the best oud perfumes if you want to invest in a scent to last all day.

Our beauty writer recommends...


Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum 50ml | RRP: $220£157

Globally one of the most popular and recognizable scents, this unisex perfume packs a punch and truly doesn't fade. Combining the musky and heavy scents of cedarwood, sandalwood, and Cardamon, this really packs a punch.

4. Spray onto pulse points

Knowing where to apply is also key to how to make a perfume last longer. Bouge recommends that “to get the most out of your fragrance, try these pulse points - the backs of knees, the nape of the neck, and the dip of your elbow.” She explains that “...the natural heat from your body will continue to push the scent outwards - a sure way to keep those compliments coming.”

Herd says, "You can also lightly spritz your perfume onto your hair. Meaning when you hug your loved ones that’s the first thing they will smell.” 

Our beauty writer recommends...


Byredo Gypsy Water Perfume Oil 7.5ml | RRP: $58/ £52

Bursting with the gorgeous scents of bergamot, lemon, pine needles, and sandalwood, this handy roller ball is so worth a place in your handbag. Ideal for topping up onto pulse points like wrists, elbows, neck, and behind your knees while out and about. 

5. Understand EDT vs EDP

Knowing the difference between eau de toilette and parfum is a key way of understanding how to make a perfume last longer. 

Eau de parfum (EDP) sprays are more expensive for a reason and this is down to the levels of fragrance concentration in the product. Eau de toilettes (EDTs) contain less fragrance than eau de parfums, so if you're after a longer-lasting fragrance it's definitely worth spending more on the parfum version of your favorite scents.

Our beauty writer recommends...


Miller Harris Hydra Figue Eau de Parfum 100ml | RRP: $185 / £125

Smelling just like your favorite Greek holiday, this intense yet lightweight perfume is top of our summer scent wishlist. Combining the aromas of fresh cedrat and lemon, with sea salt and fig, this is so beautiful and crisp. Plus, all Miller and Harris fragrances are Eau de Parfum for the ultimate staying power. 

6. Add some Vaseline

Oilier skin types can hold onto perfume longer than those with dry skin, so it's worth adding some oil or moisture to areas you apply your perfume prior to application to make it stay for the long haul. Plus, it's such an easy, quick, and affordable hack!

"Moisturized skin always holds on to the fragrance better," explains Octavian Ivaniuc, Miller Harris Fragrance Specialist. "Applying a little Vaseline to the pulse points can help your perfume last much longer." 

6. Go for intense concentrations

Every perfume contains different levels of oil and fragrance concentration, so it's recommended to check before splashing out on an expensive fragrance. "The higher the concentration of perfume oils, the better the longevity," Ivaniuc explains.

Most EDPs have a concentration of between 20-40%, so look for buys on the higher end of that spectrum for the ultimate long-lasting scent.


Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense Spray 100ml RRP: | $170 / £140

Did you know a lot of your favorite scents come in concentrated 'intense' formulations? Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle is a brilliant example. Uniting the notes of patchouli, vanilla, rose and jasmine this is long-lasting yet still carries delicate aromas. The intense version promises not to budge and will linger all day long. 

Why does my perfume fade so quickly?

If you've been spritzing on your best-smelling body mists and then wondering why it's disappeared before you've left the house, it's because it contains lower levels of fragrance and fades much quicker than EDPs.

"Depending on the concentration of the fragrance, Eau de Toilette products will last anywhere between 2-5 hours, and Eau de Parfum lasts around 6-12 hours depending on the fragrance," Ivaniuc explains. 

So ultimately, if you've tried all of the aforementioned tricks for making a perfume last longer and it's not working for you, it could be down to the actual perfume you're using. 

Does perfume last longer on skin or clothes?

Perfume lasts longer on clothes, usually. "Fibers like cotton, linen, or wool always hold the fragrance for longer, that's why when you pick up your scarf after several days, you can still smell the fragrance," Ivaniuc explains. 

So if you were wondering how to make a perfume last longer, then make sure to spray it all over your clothes as well as your pulse points. This tip is such a great way to increase your fragrance's longevity.

Where's the best place to store perfume?

"Always store away from direct heat, sunlight, or dampness. We never want to store them in our bathroom where there are frequent temperature and moisture changes. I recommend keeping them in their box and in the cupboards," advises Ivaniuc.

How many sprays should I use?

While there's no limit to how many times you should spray your perfume, you don't want to waste it after you've invested in it. Spraying more perfume on doesn't necessarily mean that it will last any longer - it's all about where and how you apply, not how much you use. 

Ivaniuc advises, "As many as your heart desires. Usually 3-4 sprays on skin and clothing should be enough for a long-lasting scent but feel free to experiment and add or subtract to suit your needs."

Annie Milroy
Beauty Writer

Annie Milroy is the Beauty Writer for Woman & Home and other publications.

She spent three years studying Journalism and English Language at the University of Portsmouth before starting her career in magazines in 2017.

After 5 years working as a Fashion & Beauty Writer, she refined her career and is now working at Future as a Beauty Writer.