Leave a lasting impression.
Photo Courtesy of Maison Margiela
Can you smell that? If not, sorry, your perfume probably isn’t as long-lasting as it should be. While many of us spend months, even years, trying to find the perfect fragrant soundtrack to our lives, be it the latest vanilla or floral scents, the reality is we just want our perfumes to survive past our morning commute. However, knowing whether your new scent has a high sillage or is fast fleeting is tricky.
What Makes a Perfume Long-Lasting?
It comes down to understanding what type of fragrance you have. If your scent of choice is eau de toilette, the chances are it won’t have the same aromatic lifespan as an eau de parfum. Though there are some exceptions to this rule (see Maison Margiela’s Autumn Vibes), traditionally eau de toilettes contain a smaller concentration of fragrance oil, therefore minimizing the longevity of its scent.
Another aspect to consider is your perfume’s composition—what is it made out of? Perfumes work somewhat like a pyramid (think father, son, House of Gucci) consisting of top notes, middle notes, and base notes. The top notes are the introductory ingredients to the fragrance, what you smell when you first spritz. This can be anything from a powdery rose or a delicate peony. The middle notes are the scent you’re greeted with once the dust has settled and the formula has had a chance to sink into your skin. However, for the purpose of long-lasting perfumes, what we care about are the base notes—the ingredients that hold the fragrance together and will be your aromatic safety raft throughout the day. We recommend looking for fragrances that contain extracts such as wood, oud, amber, or musk, as these work to center your perfume. But don’t be afraid to try sweeter infusions courtesy of vanilla and patchouli.
Last but not least, it’s important to understand your climate. Perfume is naturally responsive to heat, so if you’re in a warmer environment, we suggest opting for fragrances with base notes that are more attuned to these conditions such as amber and musk, with a hint of floral extract. In winter, call on fragrances with woody undertones to combat the cold and work as a sensual treat on your favorite turtleneck.
Finding the right fragrance is like finding a perfect lover: it can take years. To save you some time, we have rounded up the best long-lasting perfumes that are sure to make people remember you, even after you’ve left the room.