Not Under The Armpit! The Best Way To Apply Perfume

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The most popular packaging for fragrance is a giant glass bottle, usually so elegant or intricate it can be considered a piece of art. But then there’s also have those handy rollerballs—your saving grace post-workout—and perfume solids. Clearly, perfume is packaged in a few different ways, but does that mean we should be applying them in different ways?

Surprisingly, no—turns out that the answer to the eternal “how to apply perfume” question is fairly universal. While that atomizer looks a heck of a lot different than perfume necklaces (yes, those exist), fragrance, no matter what form, should be focused on what’s called the “pulse points.” So if you LOVE your rollerball, you can pretty much apply it on the same exact way you would your traditional perfume.

“The pulse points are the best locations on the body to apply fragrance—these areas naturally emit heat, which helps activate the fragrance and allows it to diffuse into the air,” explains Yves Cassar, a perfumer at the at the IFF fragrance house (and “nose” to the Vince Camuto fragrances that package their scents in both diffusers and rollerballs). Pulse points are the places on your body where your pulse can be felt most clearly, so think the inside of your wrist and your neck.

In fact, applying to the pulse points is also the best trick for making that scent last longer. “You can apply fragrance to clothing, but the fragrance won’t project the same way it does when applied directly to the skin,” Cassar told us.

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If you are one for layering fragrances, you can even accent each of your pulse points with a different scent.

“Personally, I like to apply my base scent liberally when I step out of the shower in the morning, and then accent my pulse points with a complementary scent,” notes Chris Wyatt, executive director of global education at Jo Malone London .

However, there are a few, extremely minor differences you should take note of. Cassar says that with difusser sprays, you’ll likely end up applying more product. We’re all guilty of walking through a cloud of perfume, so this makes sense.

Also, there may be differences in how long your perfume lasts based on the packaging and the formula. “The wear time for solid perfumes varies depending on the fragrance, concentration and formula being used,” notes Cassar.

No matter which form you prefer (shout out to those handbag-friendly rollerballs!), don’t make these common application mistakes! While it may seem natural to rub your wrists together after a spritz, it’s one of the worst things you could do. “This actually reduces the fragrance’s staying power,” Cassar tells us.

You should also try to apply perfume to moisturized skin rather than dry skin, as he notes that it helps “facilitate absorption and long lasting scent retention.”

Now get out there and smell amazing!

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