How Long Does Perfume Last?

When I was younger, I rarely wore any perfume. If I did, it was most likely a questionable amount of Axe body spray. (Technically, that’s not even perfume, but we’ll get to that later.) It wasn’t only until recently (and probably out of quarantine boredom) that I researched more about perfumes.

Luckily, I’m here to give you a complete rundown on everything there is to know about perfumes and how to make them last longer on your skin. Well, literally not everything but enough to get you started.

In this article:

What is perfume?
What are the different perfume types?
How do I make my perfume last longer?

What is perfume?

According to the Collins dictionary, perfume is “a combination of alcohol and fragrant essential oils extracted from flowers, herbs, etc., or made synthetically, used especially to impart a fragrant and long-lasting scent to one’s body.”

Perfume comes from the Latin words “per” and “fumum,” which means “through smoke.” In ancient times, perfumes were made by extracting oils through the processing of steaming and pressing.

Okay, now about Axe. I’m sure you’re all familiar with Axe body spray. Yes, it’s that strong pungent smell that chokes you to death in the men’s locker room. A lot of men, younger ones especially, use Axe as a go-to perfume. However, it’s not perfume. Axe is a 2-in-1 body spray AND deodorant… yikes. Here’s the thing: body spray is supposed to be a lighter form of perfume. This means the scent shouldn’t be overpowering enough to give you a migraine. Now, I’m not hating on Axe or anything. I was into it years ago, after all. But, if you really want to smell nice and not scare the ladies away, avoid Axe at all costs. Please. I beg of you.

What are the different perfume types?

Perfumes have different types, and these are based on the amount of alcohol and fragrance concentration it has and how long they last.

Eau Fraiche

Eau fraiche is a type of fragrance that has the least concentration, therefore making it lighter and fresher. The only downside to this is that they only generally last up to two hours. It contains only about one to three percent essential oil concentration, making it cheaper than the other perfume types. Its main ingredient is water, which would explain why, when translated, it means fresh water.

This type of perfume is perfect for people who aren’t too fond of strong scents but would still like that nice touch. It’s strong enough to make you smell nice but not overwhelming enough to have the elevator still smell like you long after you’ve stepped out. You’d be surprised to know there’s a ton of men’s eau fraiche out there that won’t necessarily break the bank.

Eau de Cologne

Eau de Cologne is another type of perfume but has a higher oil concentration. This fragrance usually contains about two to four percent oil concentration and a high concentration of alcohol. People often consider this type to be men’s formula, but there are also eau de cologne fragrances for women, too. Due to their low oil concentration, they will usually come in bigger bottles as you would need more applications as you go along. A typical eau de cologne will last about two hours and is on the cheaper side of the scale.

With Christmas around the corner, maybe you’d want to be interested in buying some well-deserved cologne for yourself?

Eau de Toilette

The next one on this list is another type of fragrance that’s stronger than the other two I mentioned before. An eau de toilette (EDT) has an oil concentration of about four to fifteen percent. It can last anywhere between three to four hours. This is the most common and popular type of fragrance available in the market.

A lot of people consider an eau de toilette to be the perfect day fragrance as it is lighter than an eau de parfum but strong enough to last you a couple of hours. Due to its oil concentration, this is perfect for when you’ve got meetings the entire day and want to smell good. Trust me, you can never go wrong with a good eau de toilette.

Eau de Parfum

This fragrance has the second-highest oil concentration. An eau de parfum (EDP) has an oil concentration of about 15 to 20 percent. It can last anytime from four to six hours. People often consider an EDP to be more fit for evening wear than day wear. Although its alcohol concentration is higher than the oil concentration, this type of fragrance is best for sensitive skin.

In fragrance terminology, there is something we call fragrance notes. In EDPs, once the top notes have faded, the heart and base notes then become more noticeable and cling better to your skin. Thus, it’s the perfect fragrance to spray on hair and clothing.

This type of fragrance generally comes in smaller bottles. Since they last longer, you won’t need that much anyway.


Although rather similar, it should not be confused with eau de parfum. Parfum, also known as extrait de parfum or pure perfume, has the highest oil concentration. It ranges from 25 to 30% and lasts anywhere from six to ten hours. Sometimes, it may even last up to 24 hours! On the downside, it is generally the most expensive among the other perfumes.

People with sensitive skin are most compatible with perfumes because of their low alcohol concentration. This means their skin is less likely to dry out. Parfums are rarer than the other types, so I’ve scoured the internet to recommend you some:

Top notes: bergamot, orange
Heart notes: lavender, sichuan pepper, nutmeg;
Base notes: ambroxan, sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla
Top notes: apple, grapefruit, ginger, aldehydes
Heart notes: sage, lavender, geranium
Base notes: tonka bean, patchouli, cedarwood, frankincense
Top notes: lemon, lavender, bergamot, terragon
Heart notes: jasmine, lily of the valley
Base Notes: cumin, vanilla, patchouli, cedar, rhubarb, tonka bean, musk, oakmoss, galbanum
Top notes: lemon zest, mint, bergamot
Heart notes: cedarwood, ginger
Base notes: sandalwood, tonka bean
Top notes: violet leaf, cedar
Heart notes: jasmine sambac, orris
Base notes: leather, tobacco, woody notes
Top notes: cloves oil of Madagascar, cinnamon
Heart notes: geranium oil of Egypt, orris, rose
Base notes: oud, cypriol, copahu balm, incense, sandalwood
Top notes: bergamot, carrot seeds, cardamom, yuzu
Heart notes: water fruits & flowers, rose absolute, jasmine sambac, ylang ylang
Base notes: orris, powdery notes, musk, patchouli, sandalwood

How do I make my perfume last longer?

I definitely understand wanting to get the best out of your perfume so that it lasts longer. Perfumes are an investment, and we don’t want our investments to go to waste. So, here are five simple tips to help you make your perfume last longer:

  • Apply lotion on your skin before spraying the perfume as it will help lock in the scent better. If you want to go the extra mile, rub some petroleum jelly on your pressure points.
  • Spray on your pressure points: wrists, neck, lower jaw, behind the ear, and inner elbow
  • Don’t rub the fragrance in as it breaks down the chemicals and causes the perfume to fade faster
  • Use matching products like shower gels and lotions to maximize its fragrance
  • Keep your perfume in a dark and cool place because warm temperatures and humidity can cause it to break down.

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