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Make your natural perfume last longer

There are very few negatives when making the switch from synthetic fragrance to natural perfume, but sometimes you may find yourself wishing your favourite natural scented lasted through the day, just like your favourite commercial fragrance did, right?

Michael Edwards (Fragrances of the World) states that how long any perfume should last (whether it be natural or synthetic) varies from person to person. Usually, a perfume or extract, the most concentrated form, should last for 6-8 hours; an eau de toilette or cologne, for 3-4 hours, sometimes longer if it is more concentrated. 

What makes synthetic scent last so long?

Synthetic perfume is composed of, well, synthetic ingredients! These molecules are engineered to maintain their scent for longer, and virtually stay the same throughout the drydown of the perfume, unlike natural ingredients which, by their very nature, will break down over the minutes and hours and expose many different notes and nuances as they do. In addition, synthetic fragrances contain many other chemical additives designed to help the scent adhere to the skin and last longer (such as toxic phthalates and synthetic musks) and project a stronger scent trail. (You can read more about natural vs synthetic perfume here).

Why do some natural perfumes last longer than other?

You may have noticed a variance in the longevity of your natural perfume from brand to brand, and even from one scent to another within the same brand. These variances are caused by many factors, including:

  • Composition: a perfume that contains more deeper heavier (base) notes will generally last longer on the skin than one composed mainly of lighter, fresher notes

  • Ingredients: the type of ingredients used and the extraction method of each of these (for example steam distilled vs CO2 extracted vs cold pressed etc.), can create great variations in the longevity of the finished product due to the variation in ingredient volatility. The more volatile an ingredient, the faster it will break down. The inclusion of natural isolates can also effect longevity, often extending the dry-down longer than what an essential oil can on its own. (Natural isolates are single molecule components of essential oils).

  • Quality: the quality of the ingredients used has a significant impact not only on the quality and beauty of your natural perfume, but also on its staying power, depth and character

  • Skill:a better-skilled perfumer will be able to compose a perfume that has greater staying power by utilising specific blending techniques, and by a greater understanding of ingredient properties

  • Concentration: the higher the concentration, generally the longer your fragrance should last on your skin. Keep in mind that there is no exact standard concentration (only a general rule) within each segments, so you could find an eau de parfum in one brand is 10% concentration and 15% in another.

How to make your natural perfume last longer on your skin

Here are some tips to help your natural perfume go the distance:

  • Moisturise first. Ideally, use an unscented oil-based moisturiser or body oil to hydrate the skin. Once the oil is absorbed, apply your natural perfume as usual. Dry skin won't hold a fragrance so well, but moisturised skin can hold your fragrance up to 30% longer!

  • Layer your fragrance. It's a traditional way to enhance your favourite scent, but it does work. Try using a body wash or bath soak in the same or complimentary fragrance family, then follow your shower with a beautiful body oil in a matching scent, before you finally apply your favourite fragrance (hopefully a ONE SEED perfume!)

  • Don't just apply to pulse points. Pulse points are great activators for your natural perfume, and they tend to be warmer, so emit a stronger waft of scent initially. But applying only to pulse points may also cause your fragrance to break down faster. You may also like to apply fragrance to the lower part of your body, such as the back of your knees. (Editors note: Our favourite places to apply are to the hair (just one spray so you don't dry your hair out), back of the neck and décolletage.)

  • Keep your perfume out of direct sunlight and heat. Heat and light cause the delicate top notes to disintegrate and disappear quickly. Keep your perfume in a darker place away from direct sunlight. You may even like to keep your fresher scents on the fridge during colder whether!

  • Don't get overheated. If you wear your natural perfume and go running for the bus, working in a heated office, or working out at the gym, your body heat and sweat will certainly have worn out your scent within a couple of hours. If that happens, just re-apply!

  • Don't rub your wrists together after applying. Rubbing the perfume on your skin will break down the delicate top notes and make your natural fragrance disappear more quickly. Just spray and gently pat wrists together instead.

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