Beauty // Perfume & Fragrance // Self-Improvement

Perfume Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Fragrance

By DeAndrea Douglas
perfume etiquette the dos and donts of wearing fragrance

Perfume can be an incredibly intimate and playful part of your beauty and self-care routine. A scent can solidify your signature sense of style and allow you to become embedded in someone’s memory. With such great power also comes great responsibility. Practicing proper perfume etiquette allows you to fully enjoy your fragrance without upsetting the sensibilities of those around you. There is an art to applying perfume that has been refined through chemistry and techniques that are tried and true. These tips will have you applying your perfume like a pro and will help you protect the integrity of your chosen fragrance.

How To Use Perfume The Right Way

how to use perfume the right way

How To Store Your Perfume

Do: Store In a Dry, Dark, and Cool Place

Heat and sunlight can deteriorate any kind of perfume. Perfume is a delicate and complex product, and it is important to store it properly to keep it looking and smelling its best. The ideal storage conditions for perfume are dry, dark, and cool. This will help to prevent the perfume from degrading over time and keep it smelling and looking new.

Don’t: Open The Bottle Unless You’re Using It

As soon as you open your fragrance bottle the countdown to expiration begins. A bottle of perfume will expire about 2 years after it’s opened. You will know if your scent has expired because it will smell a little metallic and not as harmonious as it used to.

what is the best perfume to use

What Is The Best Perfume To Use?

The best perfume to use depends on three things: the time of day, the occasion, and the people around you.

Time of Day

A rule of thumb for choosing which perfume to wear is to use lighter scents when the sun is up and heavier, more concentrated fragrances when the sun has gone down.

Eau de Parfum vs Eau de Toilette

You should be mindful of the concentration of the fragrance you are wearing. The most common concentrations are eau de parfum and eau de toilette. Eau de toilette have a fragrance that is less concentrated than an eau de parfum. This typically means that an eau de toilette will have a lighter scent than eau de parfum. Wear eau de toilette in the daytime and apply eau de parfum of the same scent in the evening. These aren’t rules set in stone so adjust them however you’d like. Not everyone has to wear fragrances the exact same way.


Another rule of thumb is to wear lighter, more floral scents in the spring and summer and heavier, oud, and woody scents in the fall and winter. Again, this is just another common rule of thumb. You can choose to wear your fragrance however it best suits you.


Are you going on a date? To a wedding? A business meeting? A job interview? You should consider where you are going as you are choosing your scent. You don’t want to wear a heavy scent to a business meeting or job interview because you never know if the person you are meeting is allergic to perfume or has a highly sensitive sense of smell. It is a best practice to wear light perfume for business and professional interactions and more concentrated scents for social gatherings.

People Around You

Your scent should be kept personal. No one should be able to smell you from across the room. Your scent should only be detectable if someone is within arm’s length of you. You should be wearing the perfume, not the other way around. Be mindful that everyone has different tastes so overpowering them with a scent they potentially will not like will also make them not want to be around you.

what is the best way to apply perfume

What’s The Best Way To Apply Perfume?

Do: Apply Directly To Your Skin

Though applying fragrance to your clothes isn’t automatically a bad thing, for your fragrance to last longer you should apply it directly to your skin. If you want your scent to have even more staying power, you should apply it right after you moisturize. The lotion or oil will help bind the fragrance to your skin and make the scent last longer than if you had only applied it to your clothing or on dry skin.

Do: Spritz On Your Pulse Points

The insides of your elbows, the backs of your knees, your chest, and the sides of your neck are some of the best places to apply perfume because they are naturally warm and a little moist. This helps with scent adhesion and diffusion.

Don’t: Rub The Scent Into Your Skin

If you rub your fragrance into your skin like you would lotion you’re missing out on the full experience of the scent. When your rub your fragrance into your skin the top notes fade and evaporate quicker. Your fragrance should sit on top of your skin to it will mix with your natural oils.

Don’t: Spray Perfume In Your Hair

Most concentrations of fragrance have alcohol in them and will dry out and damage your hair. If you want to add a scent to your hair look for one that is water or non-alcohol based.

Do: Apply Fragrance To Your Clothes

Though fragrance will typically last longer when applied directly to your skin, you should apply some to you clothes too. Check the material that your clothes are made from before applying. You don’t want to accidentally ruin something you love by spraying perfume on it. A good rule of thumb is that you can spray on your clothes if you can wash the fabric.

Do: Layer Your Scents

Once you’re more acclimated to the types of scents you like the real fun can begin. Layering scents can create a scent that is truly your own and put a refreshing spin on something you’ve gotten used to. Single-note fragrances are the best ones to layer with more complex scents to not get olfactory overload and headaches. A wood, musky, powdery, or earthy scent is a great option for layering. Be very careful when layering anything fruity or floral with a layer with a complex fragrance. These can be overpowering based on what they are layered with.

Perfume Etiquette Tips

Some people view the scent that they wear as a highly personal matter. It’s acceptable to tell someone they smell nice, but it can be perceived as rude to ask what perfume they are wearing. If they offer the information once you mention how nice they smell that’s fine, but if they don’t elaborate don’t ask.

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