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How can my perfume last longer in the summer?

At this time of year, the big perfume brands often launch summer variations of their popular scents. The lighter summer versions feature an abundance of top and middle notes while the deep and complex base notes, which normally play a great role in helping your fragrance last longer, are scaled back.

You will find the summer variations often need more regular application as the notes are more fleeting and the heat and warmth of the balmy summer weather and the warmer air surrounding you speeds up the scent cycle. Your favourite brand may be an eau de parfum whereas the summer version is an eau de toilette, so the fragrance could be less concentrated.

The life cycle of top notes is normally counted in hours as they often include ingredients from the citrus family, such as mandarin, grapefruit, sweet orange, lime and bergamot, which grow in abundance in sunny climates. Think Florida, the American sunshine state, and, of course, Italy.

The first classic Eau de Cologne, 4711, was launched in 1792 featuring many citrus notes, including bergamot, lemon, orange, and petitgrain, surrounded by mid notes of gentle rose, rosemary and neroli with lighter musky base notes.

Even in aromatherapy the citrus family of essential oils have a much shorter shelf life than their deeper complex base notes and their life cycle normally lasts around 12 months after a sealed bottle is opened.

So, is there anything you can do to encourage your summer scents to last longer, especially when the air is warmer inside and out? Here’s five tips to help your summer scents last that little bit longer:

  • Wear fragrance-free sun cream or after sun, otherwise your perfume will be competing with the scent in your sun-care products.
  • Wear fragrance-free body lotion, not only to prevent the scents competing with one another, but to help build a base to hold your scent which encourages it to last longer. Depending on the texture of your body lotion, you may be able to blend some of your fine fragrance into the lotion base to give enhanced body coverage. As alcohol is the medium which holds the majority of fine fragrance, a body oil would not be the best solution for this purpose.
  • Some clients suggest Vaseline or fragrance-free balm on pulse points. In the summer months this could become a little oily, so tread with caution.
  • Keep your perfume out of the sun as the heat and warmth will help it disappear inside the bottle and it may encourage the scent to change over time.
  • Store in a cool, dark place. This doesn’t have to be in the fridge, unless it’s constantly hot where you are.

Our perfume notes are all eau de parfum strength for year-round use and some customers design more than one when they come to our masterclasses. Some return to create a bespoke perfume at a different time of the year.

From our selection of 23 notes, our top four favourites to include in summer fragrances are:

  • Bois d’Iris, a graceful and zen-like accord with light musks, gentle frankincense and vetiver,
  • Gentle Floral, a delicate and elegant accord with black and green tea, freesia and bergamot,
  • Musky, a light and charming accord with floral geranium and rose with coriander and peach,
  • Ozonic, a fresh and sparkling accord with zesty mandarin, bergamot and calone. Think sea mists.

To sample these, and a whole lot more, purchase a gift voucher redeemable at our advertised perfume-making masterclasses in Glasgow and Edinburgh which take place all year round.

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