The right way to WEAR PER­FUME

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - BODY & SOUL -

Ev­ery­one has their own per­fume rit­ual. Whether it’s walk­ing into a cloud of scent or just a dis­creet dab be­hind the ears, we all have our lit­tle ways. But how should you wear it to make the most of the fra­grance? Where you spritz is im­por­tant as scent works with the heat of your body, so pulse points are ideal, the wrists es­pe­cially. A lav­ish spray across the neck is not a good idea be­cause per­fume has a high level of al­co­hol, which is very dry­ing and age­ing to the skin. If you like to smell the per­fume you are wear­ing, spray it on the back of your neck in­stead. Walk­ing into a per­fume cloud is not wise ei­ther be­cause of the al­co­hol con­tent but also be­cause, with­out skin con­tact, the scent won’t de­velop through the dif­fer­ent notes, or lev­els of fra­grance.

A scent gen­er­ally has three lay­ers: the top, heart and base notes. The top, open­ing, layer of scent is usu­ally what at­tracts you to a fra­grance. It may be an up­lift­ing cit­rus or sweet flo­ral but it will evap­o­rate, and the mid­dle, or heart, notes will emerge. These might be heav­ier flo­rals like vanilla or jas­mine, and as they move away, the base notes will be dom­i­nant. Gen­er­ally these are a blend — san­dal­wood, am­ber and musk are com­mon. They are the fix­a­tive in the scent: they stay longer on the skin be­cause they evap­o­rate more slowly, which is im­por­tant for the de­vel­op­ment of all the other notes.

The next thing you need to fig­ure out is whether to choose an eau de toi­lette or eau de par­fum. Why? Well, the pop­u­lar fruity flo­rals of late are lighter scents nat­u­rally; their notes may evap­o­rate faster in an eau de toi­lette than a more con­cen­trated eau de par­fum so you will be spritz­ing more of­ten. If it’s a spicier or rich Ori­en­tal scent you pre­fer, you might find that an eau de par­fum is too strong for day­time wear or the work­place but an eau de toi­lette works per­fectly well, last­ing nicely on the skin but with­out in­vad­ing any­one else’s space. Some­times a scent is re­leased only in a toi­lette or par­fum ver­sion for these rea­sons, but in the case of some toi­lettes it is to keep the price low so do check to get the best value.

Which­ever strength you like your fra­grance, it is an ex­pen­sive buy so take care of your per­fume. Heat and light help speed up the break­down of in­gre­di­ents, so keep your bot­tles out of di­rect sun­light, and even bet­ter in their boxes, to keep them smelling heav­enly. laura.berming­ham@mailonsun­day.ie

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