How to Make Your Perfume Last Longer, According to Fragrance Experts

Smell you later.

A woman holding her hand to her neck.
(Image credit: Spotlight/Launchmetrics)

Marilyn Monroe famously said she wore Chanel No. 5 perfume to bed, so she smelled like the luxe fragrance come morning. Some perfumes—like the classic floral aldehyde fragrance—are known for staying with you long after that initial spritz, lingering on your skin and clothes for hours. Other fragrances are more fleeting, so it's important to know industry hacks to make the perfume last longer.

"Many factors influence longevity in fragrances. The ingredients play a significant role, with elements like woods, resins, vanilla, and musk known for their lasting power," explains Dsm-Firmenich perfumer Alexandra Monet. But light fragrances ideal for summer, or those made with lower alcohol concentrations, tend to fade fast. If your signature scent is dissipating quickly, we're here with some good news: There are six easy tricks to make your fragrance stay put all day long.

Here, our experts explain how to make perfume last longer—and share their favorite long-lasting scents for when you don't want to fuss.

How to Make Perfume Last Longer

Choose a Highly Concentrated Perfume

When choosing a fragrance, it's important to know what concentration you're getting. "People often choose perfumes that last a long time because they seek value and want their fragrance to endure throughout the day," explains Monet.

Finding a product that wears for hours is doable; just make sure you pay attention to its name. An Extrait de Parfum or Eau de Parfum will likely give you longer wear than an Eau de Cologne or Eau de Toilette, even if you're purchasing the same scent. "The fragrance dosage—the ratio of fragrance oil to water and alcohol—can affect longevity," explains Monet. "Higher fragrance oil dosages generally result in longer-lasting scents."

  • Parfum or Extrait de Parfum: The highest perfume concentration (and therefore the most expensive). They contain 20 to 40 percent perfume concentration and can last 8 to 12+ hours on the skin.
  • Eau de Parfum: Has a perfume concentration of 15 to 20 percent and can last 6 to 8 hours on the skin.
  • Eau de Toilette: Also known as "refreshing water," Eau de Toilettes have a perfume concentration of 5 to 15 percent and last for about 3 to 5 hours on the skin. They are usually fresher and lighter.
  • Eau de Cologne: Has a perfume concentration of 3 to 5 percent and a high alcohol concentration. They are the most fleeting, lasting about 2 to 3 hours on the skin.

Keep Your Skin Hydrated

We're big believers in happy, hydrated skin here. So how lucky is it that moisturized skin equals a longer-lasting scent?

"Before you apply your fragrance, use a rich, nourishing moisturizer," explains fragrance expert Eudora Nwasike. "This will help to hold the scent longer. If you struggle with [extremely dry] skin, I recommend combining body oil with your body cream to ramp up the moisture." Simply mix a few drops of the body oil in with your body cream and say goodbye to that dry, flaky texture.

Don't Rub Your Wrists

If you don't know this very important piece of fragrance-wearing information yet, it's important we let you know now. Do not rub your wrists together after spraying your perfume.

"Doing this creates heat that causes the fragrance's top notes to evaporate quicker, ultimately changing the way the perfume will perform on your skin," explains Nwasike.

Spritz Your Clothing

When spritzing on your perfume, add a spray or two to your clothing. Nwasike says that your clothes will always retain the scent for longer by slowing down its evaporation process.

Multiply Your Fragrance With Body Care

Many fragrance brands carry bodycare products—such as body washes, body oils, soaps, sprays, and creams—in the same scents as their perfumes. If you use the entire range, your scent will be amplified. Plus, who doesn't want to use Dior bar soap?

Store Your Scents Safely

You want to store your fragrances in a cool, dark, and dry place away from sunlight to prevent their molecules from breaking down and thereby reducing longevity.

"To extend the longevity of a fragrance when in the bottle and stores, consider storing it in the fridge. Cooler temperatures and protection from light exposure can slow the breakdown of fragrance molecules, helping the scent stay potent for longer," notes Monet. "This is particularly beneficial for fragrances with delicate natural ingredients. By keeping your perfume in the fridge, you'll create an optimal environment to preserve its quality and freshness."

The Best Long-Lasting Perfumes

Meet the Experts

Eudora Nwasike
Eudora Nwasike

Eudora is a fragrance specialist by the Fragrance Foundation U.K., published journalist, and magazine contributor promoting and demystifying the art of fragrance across various audiences.

A woman with shoulder length blonde hair and blue earrings smiling with a gray background.
Alexandra Monet

Sparkling and spontaneous, Alexandra Monet is the personification of joie de vivre. At the age of 13, her curiosity led her to discover the programs at ISIPCA.

The love of her profession brought Alexandra to Munich, Germany for six years. She wanted to start her career living in the German culture, with its reputation for order and structure – in keeping with her own character. Her creations at that time reflected a certain expression of balance and organization.

Alexandra loves to travel. One of her most wonderful travel destinations is India; it’s a place she loves and which she has visited many times, finding it a country of great contrasts. “There you can find both the most horrible and the most extraordinary smells all at once; somber colors as well as the most vibrant and shimmering.”

Sophia Vilensky
Freelance Writer

Sophia Vilensky is a Freelance Beauty Writer at Marie Claire with a beauty, wellness, and entertainment journalism portfolio that includes contributions to Byrdie, Bravo, Teen Vogue, and Us Weekly. Growing up in a family of beauticians—and through her own personal studies—she developed an in-depth understanding of aesthetics, cosmetic product formulation, and beauty treatment development and has also held roles as a senior copywriter, content strategist, and proofreader for top beauty and wellness brands. Even so, you'd be hard pressed to find her with her hair and makeup actually done. Sophia is based in Minneapolis and is a 2019 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she majored in English and minored in cinema studies. During her time at the university, she was the Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Minnesota Daily, earning the 2019 Editor of the Year award for her work. She connected deeply with the Twin Cities arts scene, collaborating with leading beauty professionals, designers, and artists. Graduating Summa Cum Laude, her thesis—a close-reading of Vanderpump Rules—was featured on NPR. When not immersed in writing or testing new products, Sophia enjoys watching reality TV, reading, and exploring the newest woo-woo wellness trends. Keep up with her on Instagram @sophiavilensky.