How to Apply and Wear Perfume: Tips, Tricks, and Cardinal Rules

Coco Chanel said, “No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory.”

The fashion legend knew the powerful allure of a beautiful scent. No matter how stylish the outfit, it’s not polished without the right fragrance. The perfect scent makes the wearer feel confident and ready for what’s to come while also projecting an image of glamor and grace that turns heads.

There’s more to wearing fragrances than you think, and there are pro tips that many of us don’t know. (Why you shouldn’t rub your wrists together after dabbing perfume on them is a surprising one—more on that later.)

In this easy-to-follow guide, we will unveil tips and tricks about wearing fragrances the right way. We’ll let you in on the techniques for extending the longevity of the scent and give you recommendations on what kinds of perfumes suit a particular time of day.

So, let’s talk about how to wear perfume. 

 

What's the difference between EDT and EDP?

Eau de toilette (EDT) and eau de parfum (EDP) are part of perfume-speak that can be confusing. EDT and EDP are the two main categories of fragrance, and you can distinguish one from the other through the amount, or concentration, of fragrance oils they contain. The more concentrated a fragrance, the stronger it smells and the longer the scent lasts on your skin.

An eau de toilette is less concentrated than an eau de parfum- with a concentration of 8% to 12% versus 12% to 18%. That means your EDP fragrances will have heavier, bolder perfume notes and last longer than the EDT in your collection.

 

How Do I Apply Perfume Properly?

Here are seven perfume tips, tricks, and rules to ensure a long-lasting application of your favorite scent.

1. Know where on the body to apply perfume

As a general rule, you should apply perfume on your pulse points. You can find several pulse points on your body, including wrists, inside the elbows, on the neck, below the midriff, on top of the ears, and behind the knees.

These areas are warm enough to diffuse the scent throughout your body, but you must follow the proper method of applying perfume to your pulse points—and that is through dabbing, as you’ll learn next.

Pro tip: Spray your ankles and calves with perfume, and smell the scent rise as the day goes on.

2. Don’t rub—just dab

Rubbing wrists after applying perfume is one of the most common mistakes among perfume enthusiasts, unaware that doing so only causes the fragrance to fade faster.

By rubbing perfume into your skin, you’re not allowing the head notes—the top layer of a fragrance that gives it its distinct scent—to settle on your skin. The perfume notes won’t mix with the natural oils on your skin, and you can’t expect the fragrance to last for long periods of wear.


Rubbing is also synonymous with friction, and the heat produced can alter how the scent works on your skin. So, the next time you dab your wrists with perfume, just let your skin absorb the fragrance.

3. Store your perfume in a cool, dry place

Vanity drawers or dressers in your bedroom are suitable storage for perfumes, as these typically don’t receive too much heat or light from the sun, as long as they’re a good distance away from the windows. 

The bathroom is the least favorable spot since any  because water, steam, or humidity that may come into contact with your perfume and can alter its composition, shortening its shelf life as a result.

4. Apply scent to clothes

We’ve all done it —misting our clothes with perfume on  when taking them out of the closet to cover up any odd odors. This trick can help the scent last all day long, but be careful not to spritz on fabric that stains, such as silk.

Don’t be surprised, either, if the fragrance smells powdery on your clothing—it’s the fabric catching the scent differently than your skin’s reaction to perfume.

How to fix this? Go for the inner lining when spraying perfume on clothes, so the fragrance sits next to your skin and lingers longer.

5. Walk into a perfume cloud

A perfume cloud is a great way to immerse yourself in your favorite scent since  because the act of walking into the mist lets you catch the full effect of the perfume. To form a perfume cloud, spritz the fragrance in front of you (once high, once low), then walk into it and back out, leaving a light scent you can take with you wherever you go.

6. Prep your skin with oil before application

If you have dry skin, consider applying unscented lotion or oil to lock in the fragrance. The moisturizer creates a layer that perfume molecules can hold on to longer.

Pro tip: If you’ve run out of moisturizing lotion or oil, pressing a bit of Vaseline into your pulse points before spraying the fragrance can work just as well.  

7. Layer your perfumes

Layering fragrances involves using different perfumes that complement one another, creating a unique scent you can’t buy off the shelf. It’s like coming up with an exclusive perfume line for yourself. The best thing about it is that you can create as many perfume combinations as you like, anytime you want.


To perfect the art of layering perfumes, starts with the stronger fragrance first, then top off with the lighter one to tone things down. A word of caution: Avoid strong fruity fragrances when customizing your scent; they can be tricky to layer with other perfumes.

Can I Use One Scent at Any Time of Day?

Choosing a fragrance is a purely personal matter. There’s absolutely no one else who can decide what scent makes you feel the best at any point in your day.

While it’s wonderful to have a signature scent, no single fragrance will be perfect for all times of day and all occasions.  Rotating among a few bottles now and then -- or maybe picking a particular scent profile to wear at certain times of the day -- will elevate your fragrance selection game.

You also need to consider that not all scents work for both daytime and nighttime. Here are a few simple rules to remember about choosing your perfume profiles:

  • During the day, go for airy, light, and fresh fragrances so the scent isn’t overpowering, especially for people sharing your office or traveling with you on morning commutes. Wearing fragrances with notes of florals or fruits is always appealing for daytime.
    Rich and complex fragrances are ideal when you’re going out in the evening. At this time, you can be more sensual in your choice of perfume—with deeper florals, musk, aromatic woods, or vanilla.  
  • When winding down for bed, choose a touch of whatever scent is soothing to you, one that will transport you to a calm and peaceful place for optimum sleep. 

Although an eau de toilette may seem more like a morning perfume because it’s not highly concentrated, there’s no strict rule that says you can’t use an eau de parfum during the day. The choice is entirely up to you!

 

Here are our top recommendations for using fragrance right throughout your day:

> Morning - Start the day with a light and fresh EDT:

Portofino - Maioliche Eau de Toilette is a made-in-Italy fragrance brand with sweet lemon and raspberry notes to perk you up when your latte doesn’t cut it.

 

> Daytime with a light EDP:

Florio Eau de Parfum is formulated with early spring wildflowers of Sicily, perfect for the nature lover in you and also for your on-the-go lifestyle.

 

> A richer, complex scent for the evening:

Teint de Neige Eau de Parfum translates to the “color of snow,” alluding to the fresh scent of aromatic talcum powder, but with more intensity for an air of mystery during your date night.

 

> Weekend / Special occasion EDP:

La Magnolia Eau de Parfum has a nice balance of the sweet scents of magnolia, rose, and lily that highlights your femininity and fierceness. 

 

> An anytime lift, especially great for travel:

White Moss Travel Size Eau de Parfum uses precious essential oils from lavender and juniper, and is made for both men and women who live and work to travel.

 

The Art and Science of Wearing Perfume

There really is more to wearing perfume than simply choosing a fragrance because it smells nice. Knowing the strengths of your fragrances such as EDT and EDP, the proper application and storage, and the various perfume profiles all play a role in your scent selection. With the tips here, you should be on your way to wearing perfume like a pro.


For your next perfume indulgence, shop Mozzafiato, the premier retailer of Italian beauty brands in the U.S.