Fragrance Do’s and Don’ts

Scent has a magical power to bring nostalgic memories back. I still remember my Mom’s perfume from when I was a little girl. I speak in past tense because sadly she no longer wears that fragrance anymore. In fact, she’s copied mine now, but she says that it doesn’t matter, because we don’t live in the same city anymore! Ha!

Bailey’s Hi-5 is a feature I do every day at 17h08 on my Afternoon Drive radio show on Smile 90.4 FM. It’s a lifestyle feature that bring you 5 tips, 5 life hacks and so on to enhance your life. You can see all of them here.

A while ago I did something on Bailey’s Hi-5 about where to spray perfume so that you get its true fragrant benefits. I started applying it this way and I’ve noticed a huge difference.

I very rarely smell my own fragrance on me. I’ll smell it in the morning when I apply it and every so often I’ll get a whiff of it when I move my head or the wind blows (see the very first “Do.”)

I know that these pointers are working because I’m getting more compliments over my fragrance (the same fragrance I’ve been wearing for a few years now) from complete strangers and that is a good sign.

Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to applying fragrance.

Do spritz you hair. Believe it or not, some believe that your strands are an even better vessel for carrying fragrance than your skin—you’ve just got to be careful about application.

Don’t spray it directly on your hair (remember: alcohol dries it out.) Spritz it on your brush so that it will be dispersed more evenly and subtly. This honestly works a charm and whenever people hug me or my hair blows in the wind, you’ll smell my fragrance. 

Do spray behind the ears. Like your wrists, the areas behind your ears are considered “pulse points,” where the veins are closest to the skin, generating more heat and amplifying your scent. Dabbing your fragrance on these points will give you more immediate results, as opposed to parts of the lower body, which will rise up through the day.

Don’t rub your wrists together. Some people still do this out of habit, but you bruise some of the notes of the fragrance.

Do apply to the inside of your elbows. Yip, it’s another obscure pulse point, it’s a more tucked away alternative to your wrists.

Do maximise the diffusion of your fragrance, by ensuring you moisturise your arms (or any other part of your body) before you spritz on your scent. In fact, they usually say using the matching lotion and fragrance is power. Body oil also works a charm – fragrance loves an oil base.

Do spritz behind your knees. Heat rises. It makes sense to apply fragrance somewhere on the lower half of your body that will evaporate throughout the day. Like the insides of your elbows, the areas behind your knees are pulse points, so it’s the most logical part of your lower limbs.

Do spritz down your back. It may seem odd, but it strikes the balance between giving your fragrance a long shelf life and not having it be too overbearing for those around you. Pull the collar of your top back, and spritz down your back between clothing and skin. If it’s a light fragrance, do it twice. Your natural movements through the air will diffuse the scent more subtly.

Don’t assume that the fragrance you love so much that your best friend wears is going to also work on you. We have different skins, acidities and so on. Fragrance notes work better on certain skin types than others.

Do experiment. When you find your signature scent it’s like finding that R100 note in your pockets.

My favourite fragrance is Elie Saab. It was also my fragrance I wore at my wedding. Sadly, I’ve just finished my bottle, so I couldn’t photograph it. I also adore the Thierry Mugler Alien fragrance and Azzarro pour Elle. The Moschino I Love Love fragrance is very light, fruity and fresh for Summer. I alternate depending on season, time of day or night, occasion and mood.


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1 Comment

  • Reply Brenda Myburgh

    Such a helpful post! I got a fragrance as a gift from my mom for my birthday on Wednesday and had to choose one. I have my signature scents that I adore but I wanted something different. I spent over an hour in the perfume section of the store and finally chose the perfect one. It’s so important to choose what you are happy with! Alien is definitely one of my favorites too!

    December 9, 2016 at 10:25 am
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