How to Wear Fragrance

Ever wondered if one spritz is enough or is five too many? We find out how to wear fragrance from a perfume expert.

There’s something quite magical about the power fragrance has to transport us to another time and place. Just one sniff of a fragrance you’ve been wearing year after year can take us back in time to when we very first smelt it. Zingy notes of crisp lemon and mandarin can make a dark and gloomy day feel all the bit more like summer. “From birth we store every smell in the olfactory bulbs sensory receptors area of the brain, like a computer, the smells are stored for life and are reawakened when we experience them again, sometimes surprisingly, many years later,” explains fragrance expert, Mary Hayward, training and education manager for Coty Luxury Australia and New Zealand. “Our sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than any other of our senses and recognition of smell is immediate,” she says. Because fragrance has the ability to transform and uplift our mood, says we really should embrace it. Here are Hayward’s top tips on how to wear fragrance. 

Don’t Savour it – Wear it Often

“Some people believe fragrance is a luxury product that should only be worn on special occasions,” Hayward says. If you’ve ever invested in a very special bottle of perfume, it’s likely you’ve used it sparingly. But rather than savour our scents, Hayward says we should be using them on a daily basis. “Fragrance is something that should be enjoyed every single day of the week,” she says. “It’s an amazing sensorial experience and it’s a feel-good product. A little bit of scent can be very uplifting.”

With some of the most coveted names in fashion – Gucci, Givenchy and Chloe to name just a few – having ventured into the fragrance world, a fragrance collection has become an entry into affordable luxury. “But you need to use it,” Hayward reminds us. “Don’t buy it and squirrel it away.” After all, as Hayward explains, just like skincare and make-up, fragrance comes with an expiry date too. Most fragrances, when cared for properly tend to have a lifespan of two to three years.

Look After it and it Will Last Longer

“Although we are often attracted to a fragrance because of the flacon (bottle) that it is presented in and love to show these off as part of our bedroom or bathroom décor, in actual fact fragrances are best kept safely inside the carton they are housed in when we purchase,” Hayward says. Hayward says the worst thing you can do when it comes to how you store your fragrance is expose them to heat or light. Keep them out of the bathroom if you can, she says. “The best place to store your fragrance is in a cupboard or drawer, away from direct light and heat.” Another surprisingly yet effective storage tip that Hayward recommends involves popping your favourite fragrances in the fridge. “For those of us that enjoy a wardrobe of fragrances and have favourites that we wear summer and different ones for winter, we can actually store these from season to season in the vegetable crisper of our fridge, very safely,” she explains.

Invest in a Wardrobe of Scents

While some of us might have that one signature scent that we wear every day of the year, having a wardrobe of fragrance has become much more common. “One fragrance is nice, a wardrobe of fragrances is fun and exciting and a way of expressing your personality from day work wear to evenings and weekend casual wear – each can have their own identity,” explains Hayward. Hayward suggests investing in two for four fragrances that you really love.

Don’t be Afraid to Try Something Different

As for how you decide on what fragrances those should be, Hayward says there’s been a big shift away from fragrances that cater to a certain person or age group. “The fragrance itself defines who the consumer is,” she explains. “Perfumers are cleverly designing scent that’s more about the interest in a story or the brand, it’s not about age,” she says. Although we might assume certain scents are “old-fashioned” or for younger fragrance fanatics, there really are no rules says Hayward.

“Buying a fragrance because it is a popular or well-known brand name is normal, but be sure the fragrance suits you and your personal chemistry, no matter how beautiful the brand, it still needs to be beautiful on you too,” she says. And don’t be afraid to experiment. “Be adventurous, sometimes we go back to the same scent or brand, look outside your traditional and past choices and find your new signature scent.”

Always Try Before You Buy

Before you even worry about how to wear fragrance,  Fragrance reacts differently on the skin than it does on a paper blotter, so it’s very important to spritz it directly on your skin to experience the true scent. “Buying from a card only, can sometimes disappoint when we get it home and then apply to our skin, where our own chemistry will kick in,” says Hayward.

It might be tempting to buy it straight away, but fragrance develops over time and the initial experience of a scent when spritzed is its top notes. Overtime, the fragrance’s middle and base notes will become apparent as the scent evolves over time. “Choose the fragrance that you have sampled, had applied to your skin and allowed to settle and develop with your own body chemistry, before making your decision,” Hayward recommends.

Less is Often More

Once you have decided on your new favourite scent, Hayward says it should be worn as an aura. “Subtle, discreet and pleasing,” she explains. “We should not be able to smell the wearer before we see them and an arm-distance away is the general rule from where I can smell the fragrance you are wearing.” Hayward says it’s important to consider the situation you’re wearing your scent in and then apply accordingly. “Over applying your fragrance, particularly if you are going to be working or socialising closely with a group of people can be overpowering and even offensive to those around you,” she says. “Consider the style and strength of the fragrance you apply that day or occasion.”

Apply it as Soon as You Get Out of The Shower

While most of us grab the bottle and spritz as we head out the door on any given morning, Hayward says the best way to ensure the longevity of scent is to apply it once we hop out of the shower. “For longevity, our fragrance is best applied before we get dressed and misted across the front and back of our bodies, even across the back of the hair,” she explains. “This allows the fragrance to be captured in the pores of our skin, particularly if we apply after a warm shower or bath when our pores are open, and as we cool down and warm up during the day, the fragrance is gently released from our skin until we remove when we take a shower or bathe again.”

Layering scent can also increase the longevity of fragrance. “Shower gels areas the first step, followed up with a body lotion that will not only gently scent and moisturizes our skin, but both add a layer of oil to the skin surface that will then allow the fragrance applied to hold onto the skin for longer and throughout the day.“

Now that you know how to wear fragrance, discover our some of our favourite scents that remind us of warm summer days in the gallery below. Click here for more tips on how to find the fragrance of your dreams. 

We Tried Elizabeth Arden Prevage Progressive Renewal Treatment

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When it comes to our skin’s needs and concerns, we are more educated than ever before – and as a result, we’re looking for at-home skincare treatments that do exactly what they promise. “There’s increased awareness about skincare and ageing from a health and beauty perspective” explains Dr Dendy Engelman, dermatologist to the stars and consulting dermatologist for Elizabeth Arden. “People are taking their skincare into their own hands.”

So even though we might be investing more in in-clinic treatments, we’re also looking for products that help us maintain the results at home. “Patients are looking for more aggressive peels and treatments to enhance their skincare routines with extra at-home boosts,” Engelman says. This is where Elizabeth Arden’s recently launched PREVAGE Progressive Renewal Treatment steps into the spotlight. Elizabeth Arden is leading the way when it comes to making powerful and effective ingredients gentle on the skin, and PREVAGE Progressive Renewal Treatment is no exception. Engelman says that “PREVAGE Progressive Renewal Treatment was formulated to be powerful yet gentle, harnessing PREVAGE’S scientifically proven technology and breakthrough ingredients at progressively higher concentrations.”

The Science Behind Elizabeth Arden Prevage Progressive Renewal Treatment

While traditional peels can be harsh on the skin, Elizabeth Arden’s new treatment has been formulated to deliver real results while caring for your skin. “The peel contains Polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs), which are excellent exfoliating acids that have a larger molecular size and therefore are less irritating than traditional Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs),” says Engelman. She adds that when the PHAs are mixed with PREVAGE’S star ingredient – the powerful antioxidant Idebenone – they gently resurface the skin while protecting the skin cells from environmental aggressors. As we age, the skin cell renewal process slows down and once radiant skin can become dull and lacklustre. Fortunately, chemical exfoliants such as Polyhydroxy Acids can get your complexion glowing again. The PREVAGE Progressive Renewal Treatment (RRP$299) might come with four different steps, but as I soon found out, it’s an easy-to-use, graduated skincare system that delivers real results without irritating your skin. “Each week of the four-week treatment, the concentration of ingredients is gradually increased to further optimise efficacy and minimise the potential for irritation,” states Engelman. ”Each ampoule delivers increasingly higher concentrations of Hydroxy Acids that help the skin acclimate to the acids for maximum benefits.” To ensure ingredients remain stable and as active as possible, each ampoule is only activated when you press the button releasing Idebenone into the formulation.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Progressive Renewal Treatment

PUT TO THE TEST: Elizabeth Arden Prevage Progressive Renewal Treatment

Although the treatment system is four weeks long, after the first week of use, I noticed my skin was more luminous and clear. I’ve been teaming up my Progressive Renewal Treatment with other PREVAGE skincare products – a cleanser, essence, eye cream, serum, day and night moisturiser – to enhance my results and keep my skin protected from external aggressors. In the past, at-home peels have left my skin feeling sensitised, but the graduated Elizabeth Arden system means it’s easy to work your way up to ampoule number four, which contains the most potent skin-renewing ingredients, without any unwanted irritation. By the end of the four-week PREVAGE Progressive Renewal Treatment, my skin was luminous, lines were less obvious and, remarkably, my skin tone has improved to the point where I’ve stopped using foundation and am using just the tiniest amount of tinted moisturiser to cover up minor imperfections. In short, not only is it the perfect antidote to dehydrated, dull skin; it’s the ideal treatment to include in your skincare routine any time your skin health and luminosity needs a boost.

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