Experts Guide On How To Apply Perfume

Written By: Lisa Basso
Reviewed By: Ahmed Farah
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Apply your perfume directly onto the areas on your skin known as pulse points, such as your inner wrists, and neck. Make sure to apply 4 to 6 inches away from your skin, and never rub your fragrance either.

Perfumes and colognes are essential components of many people’s beauty routines. However, the method and timing of applying your perfume can make a significant difference between smelling your best or catching your friends off guard with an unpleasant scent.

Applying your perfume is a little more complicated than many may think, and in this article, we will give the best method that gives you the very best possible scent from your bottle.

Know Your Perfume And What You Want From It!

No two perfume bottles are the same. And there are some pretty essential things you need to know about your fragrance before you can take any advice on applying it.

Is it nightwear or daywear? What is the concentration level? How intimate do you want your scent to be? Do you want everyone around you to smell it, or just those closest to you?

Knowing these things can help you take this guide with a pinch of salt, and adjust the rules wherever you see fit.

To learn more about fragrance concentration levels, check out our article here!

Do Not Shake.

Although it may be a common practice for many people to give their perfume bottle a quick shake before applying, fragrance experts actually advise against this.

Shaking your bottle will create heat, due to the kinetic energy, which will oxidate your fragrance, and alter it, weakening the scent and lessening the shelf life of the bottle. Not good.

Shower And Moisturize First

As we looked at in this previous article, showering and moisturizing before applying your perfume is a great way to make your scent both longer-lasting and stronger. Perfume works best on hydrated skin since it sits on the skin for longer. And just after showering and moisturizing, is when your skin is at peak hydration, making it the best time to apply.

Top Tip: Make Sure to use unscented lotions and shower products, in order to not contradict the smell of your fragrance!

Now Onto Where To Apply The Fragrance

Spray On Your Body

Perfumes were designed to be spared on your body, not on your clothes. So in order to get the best possible scent possible, make sure to spray directly on your skin.

Fragrance molecules interact differently on fabric, making the projected scent slightly different from how the perfumers intended. Additionally, fragrances are able to stain your clothes, especially silk!

Pulse Points

Now onto where on your body you should apply your perfume. 

Your pulse points, such as your neck, wrists, and elbow, are highly regarded as the best points on your body to apply your perfume or cologne.

There are a number of reasons for this, but to put it simply, the pulse points are the warmest areas on your skin since these are the points where your blood is closest to your skin.

And since heat retains perfume well, pulse points allow your fragrance to smell stronger, longer, and at its very best!

“Pulse points should be your guidelines for applying perfume. These are locations on the body where the blood vessels are closest to the skin. These spots emanate heat, which helps fragrance project from your skin into the air around you.”

Rasika Bhide, Senior Perfumer at Keva Fragrances

How To Spray Your Perfume


An important factor to consider, is how far away you spray your perfume. 

Spraying too close will concentrate your scent heavily in only one area, and spraying too far will mean not enough of the fragrance reaches you to project a strong scent.

Spraying your perfume 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15cm), away from your skin, is the best distance to get a good amount of fragrance onto yourself, but not oversaturate your scent either.

X Sprays are Enough!

The only thing worse than having no fragrance on is having too much on instead!

How many sprays of perfume you will need will depend on how intense you want to smell, but also the profile of the bottle itself.

Perfumes with higher levels of concentration oil will need fewer sprays than those with a lower level. The below graph shows how many sprays you should use for each concentration level.

Eau De Cologne4 – 7 sprays
Eau De Toilette4 – 6 sprays
Eau De Parfum1 – 3 sprays
Parfum1 – 2 sprays
To understand more about the differences between each concentration level, click here.

Again, how many sprays you use is entirely situational and personality-dependent. You may want to smell stronger with a late-night fragrance like Eros Flame, than a more casual Monday morning scent like MYSLF, so don’t be afraid to use a little more or less than the guideline above.

Fragrance Cloud

Lastly, scents do not last forever. And many will need topping up every couple of hours when they are out.

Although we said applying your perfume directly to your skin is the best way to go, topping up your clothes could be a quick and effective way of helping your scent last longer.

To do this, we use a method called the fragrance cloud where you spray your fragrance in front of you at overhead height, and you walk into this ‘fragrance cloud’ immersing yourself. Make sure not to spray more than twice to avoid overdoing it.

Do Not Rub

The last, but maybe most crucial piece of advice. Do not rub your fragrance onto your skin or clothes. Rubbing your fragrance after applying completely dispenses the top note, which is a big part of the identity of any perfume.

The reason most people rub their perfumes in the first place is that they spray too close to their skin. Instead, make sure to spray from the distances we looked at a little earlier.


So to summarize, apply your fragrance on the areas on your skin known as pulse points, such as your wrist and neck. Apply at a distance of 4 to 6 inches away from your skin, and make sure to never rub after applying. How many sprays you should use will depend greatly on the type of perfume you have.

We hope this article has left you with more knowledge on how much to apply your cologne, leaving you with a great scent every day!

Alternatively, if you would like to know how to make your fragrance last even longer, check out this article here.

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