Here’s a real first-world problem: I have so many beauty products that they’re starting to expire before I can even try them. Face creams from last year are getting yellow and chalky, and saddest of all, my perfumes are smelling a bit…funky. Not only that, but they’re wearing off before I even get to the office. I asked Sue Phillips, president and CEO of Scenterprises and owner of the Scentsorium, an appointment-only, custom-fragrance studio in TriBeCa, how to extend the life of fragrance.
How to choose a long-lasting scent: “Citrus, green, and floral scents are brighter than woodsy ones, but they don’t last long. If you want a perfume that you won’t have to refresh after four hours, look for words like ‘spicy’ or ‘oriental’ in the description.”
How to make it last: “Fragrance lasts much longer on moisturized skin, but don’t apply a scented moisturizer first—it will conflict with your fine perfume. Instead, use an unscented body oil, like almond oil, all over your body.”
Where to spritz it: “Spray your perfume on your ankles, behind your knees, in the crooks of your elbows, on your cleavage, and on the nape of your neck.” [Your pulse points generate more heat—which diffuses the fragrance—than other areas on the body. And because scent rises, your fragrance will last a lot longer if you start on the lower points, like the ankles.]
Where to store it: “The best place to store fragrance is in a cool, dark place away from any humidity. Contrary to popular belief, it should not be stored in the fridge and never in your bathroom or near air conditioners or heating units. The precious oils will become distorted when they’re exposed to extreme heat or cold. Also, always make sure the lid is on securely so the air doesn’t cause the perfume to oxidize.”
How to tell when perfume is hitting its expiration date: “When your fragrance starts to get darker and more syrupy, it’s a sign that the perfume has a lot of natural ingredients, like vanilla and oakmoss, and as a result, will get stronger. Think about how wine turns after it has been opened. When you go to a store, ask to see the testers, as they are have been on the counter for a while, and make note of the color compared to a new bottle. If the color is different because it has been exposed to air and usage, then you will know that there are a lot of naturals. If the color is the same, then it likely has a lot of synthetics and won’t go bad.”
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