A Fragrance Expert's Tips For How to Smell Better, Longer

Photographer: Mark PopovichRestrictions: Editorial and internal use only. No advertising, no print.
POPSUGAR Photography | Mark Popovich
POPSUGAR Photography | Mark Popovich

I'm so in love with my latest fragrance obsession — Dolce & Gabbana's Dolce Garden ($76) — that I'd honestly use it as mouthwash if that was a safe, normal thing to do (ICYMI: it's not). On particularly snoozy mornings, one of the only motivations to get moving for a fragrance-junkie like me is getting to spritz the strawberries-and-cream-scented stuff on my pulse points. But, like clockwork, by the time midday rolls around, I can no longer smell it and usually reapply. Why you wanna do me like that, Dolce Garden?

Because I have serious separation anxiety, I reached out to fragrance expert and Scentbird co-founder Rachel ten Brink for tips on how to make my perfume stay on my body longer. First things first: she told me that like most things this anxious lady deals with, the problem might just be in my head.

"The first thing we have to assess is that a lot of times your nose will get used to a scent and you stop smelling it, but it actually does still smell to others," ten Brink told me. I tested this on my office mate, Sarah, who I often make smell me before I head out on dates. (Ladies, find yourself a Sarah.) She got whiffs of Dolce on me at 4 p.m., long after I stopped noticing it myself. So, rest assured: your perfume probably lasts longer than you think it does.

"A lot of times your nose will get used to a scent and you stop smelling it, but it actually does still smell."

Ten Brink also offered up some helpful application tips, including another reason to drink your recommended 11 cups of water a day: "The way your skin reacts with a perfume has a lot to do with the pH level, and with the moisturization level," ten Brink explained. "If you think about how we smell, what we're doing is picking up molecules that are floating in the air, but the molecules have to dissipate first. Very dry skin literally sucks in the fragrance, and then it doesn't dissipate in the air."

Another way to keep your skin moist is by using body lotion. "The traditional advice is usually to use an unscented one, because you want to keep a clean, blank canvas on which you'll apply your fragrance." However, ten Brink notes that layering scents such as vanilla and woodsy notes is a new trend.

Finally, I had to ask one very important question that I couldn't live without the answer to: How many spritzes of perfume will suffice without being overpowering? "I generally say two spritzes is about the right measure, because you're covering a large surface area so you want to get enough that it will last all day," ten Brink said.

She also advises spraying your fragrance into the air and then walking underneath it, because that trick makes the scent latch on to your hair and clothes. "It'll last a lot longer, because different surfaces such as your fabrics will release the scent at different speeds," she said.

Now, who's up for some fragrance shopping?