A fragrance that cannot be overlooked: to choose the most persistent perfume, you can focus on concentration

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There are certain qualities that make one fragrance last longer on the skin than another. Among them are scientific factors: composition, percentage of aromatic oil and evaporation rate. However, a lot depends on your taste. To choose a truly long-lasting perfume, it is best to take a mixed approach based on facts and feelings. We offer you a three-step guide.

Step 1: Pick the Right Perfume Concentration

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An important factor for consumers when purchasing a fragrance is longevity. This is the time during which spirits can be detected. Their different concentrations will hold for different times. Keep in mind that most fragrances last longer on clothes than on skin.

Because so many of us have to shop for perfume online, it's especially helpful to understand these differences and determine which perfumes last the longest. As a rule, concentrations have different styles. Here's a handy cheat sheet.

Gilbert's cheat sheet

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  • Colognes: fresh, based on citrus and herbs, containing 3 to 5% fragrance oil.
  • Eau De Toilette: A fresher fragrance with an aromatic oil content somewhere between 8-15%.
  • Eua de parfum: focuses more on the heart notes and warmth of the fragrance, 12-20% essential oil content.
  • Pure parfum: concentration on base fragrances, fragrance oil content 20-30%.

Knowing these definitions will help you figure out which fragrance lasts the longest, but that's not all. Longevity is affected not only by concentration, but also by the combination of ingredients used.

Step 2: Look for notes that linger

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When it comes to knowing which perfume lasts the longest, it pays to understand the notes. The industry has developed a “pyramid of notes” for this. When you ask what's in a perfume, shop assistants often list three top notes, three middle notes, and three base notes. The top ones are the most volatile and disappear first, perhaps thirty minutes, the middle ones will smell for up to four hours, and the base ones will last the longest, perhaps eight hours or more.

What notes should you look for?

At the heart of many fragrances you will find woody and musky notes. They are made up of large molecules that require a lot of energy to keep warm on the skin. For this reason, they last much longer than, say, citrus fruits, which are made up of small molecules. Long lasting fragrances are sandalwood, iris and resins.

Saturated floral, as a rule, are located in the middle of the pyramid. Heady, meaty notes like jasmine and tuberose have more staying power than crunchy neroli or fresh “green” notes like lily of the valley.

Resins and herbs. Oud is a modern perfumery phenomenon made from a resinous tree and popular in men's colognes for its excellent longevity and distinctive scent.

If referencing these elements seems complicated, don't worry. Good perfumers combine long lasting ingredients with stronger and more concentrated fragrance compositions.

Step 3: apply fragrance

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The way you feel about your smell helps to maximize its properties. Many experts recommend applying fragrances in layers, on clothing and hair, and on skin. Try rubbing some petroleum jelly into your skin and spraying it with perfume, as the occlusive (moisture-blocking) properties of this substance “trap” the scent molecules.

If you find that the fragrance doesn't hold on to you, it may be due to dry skin. To increase durability, use a moisturizer.

How you store the fragrance also matters. Light and heat spoil the perfume, so if you use the fragrance occasionally, keep it in the dark, for example in a box.

With all of the above, you can now choose a truly long-lasting fragrance. Good luck to you!