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Looking after your perfumes

A few simple suggestions to keep your favourite fragrance smelling sweeter for longer

August 25, 2011
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Did you know that the better you treat your perfumes, the better they will keep? There's no magic recipe to make that favourite scent last for ever without losing its wonderful aroma, but we do have a number of useful tips that should help stop it spoiling before its time

  1. Not so hot - Perfume needs to be kept away from light and heat. The bottles may look pretty on your dressing table, but if they sit there in full sunlight while you're out at work, you're simply speeding up the process of deterioration for no good reason. It's far better to put scents back in their boxes or keep them in a drawer or cupboard.

  2. Use it - There's no point in keeping a perfume just for special occasions in the hope that it will last for ever. It's made from natural ingredients, and you can expect it to have a life-span of around two years: don't be afraid to use it and enjoy it while it's at its best.

  3. Big bottles - What to do if you've been given an XXL of your favourite perfume? The best thing is to decant a small quantity into a pocket-sized spray and keep the super-sized bottle in a cool place well away from the light.

  4. Keep it legal - Beware of products that are sold cheaply or from dodgy outlets. If it's actually the real thing, you're buying stolen goods. And if it's an imitation, even if it smells good to begin with, it almost certainly won't have the same longer-term effect or staying power as the genuine article.

  5. When travelling - Don't carry your usual fragrance in your bag, or, at least, not a big bottle of it. The motion is likely to alter the composition and speed deterioration, so it's better to carry a travel-size spray.

  6. Skin type - Dry skins retain perfume worse than oily skins. If this is a problem for you, try using a fine layer of – unperfumed – moisturiser before applying your fragrance to prolong its duration.

  7. Gentle mist - One of the best ways to apply a spray perfume is to surround yourself with a gentle mist. Simply spritz the product up in the air in front of you and step forward: the droplets will fall gently and evenly like a soft rain.

  8. In the wrist action - when you apply scent, don't rub your wrists together to spread the perfume. This can actually alter the chemical structure and may cause anomalies in the carefully-tuned release of the different notes.