13 Reasons Why Your Perfume Fades So Quickly!

No one likes it when they spend extra dollars only to find out that their perfume just fades away ever so quickly! You almost feel cheated! But, there are multiple reasons why this might be happening to you, and while some of those reasons can be attributed to the perfume itself, there are a few things that perhaps you may be missing out on preventing the perfume to last long!

So, in this article, I’ll share with you some of the most common reasons for perfumes to fade quickly. Plus, I’ll be sharing tips on how you can avoid that. (Note – the factors mentioned are in no particular order. So, while some factors may be applicable to you, others may not be. Thus, read the article till the end.)

So, let’s get started!

1. Low Perfume Concentration

The concentration of your perfume is really the first thing that you should be looking at when you realize that your perfume fades quickly. Perfumes are usually categorized based on the approximate amount of fragrance oil that has been used in them.

The types of perfume are broadly Eau Fraiche, Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum and Parfum. Each of them contain a varying amount of essential oil and accordingly vary in their lastingness.

Here’s a quick table to help you understand the key differences in the concentration of fragrance oil used in different types of perfume and a general idea of how long it may last –

Type of PerfumeConcentrated Perfume Oil (Fragrance Content %)Alcohol and any other Blends (Content %)Duration
(on skin)
Cost of Perfume
Parfum20% to 40% 60% to 85%6 – 10 hoursMost expensive
Eau de Parfum (EDP)15% to 20%80% to 85%4 to 8 hoursExpensive
Eau de Toilette (EDT)5% to 15%
(though most sold in the market are at 10%)
60% to 80%2 to 4 hoursAffordable
Eau de Cologne (EDC)2% to 5%
(though most sold in the market are at 5%)
70% to 85%
(mostly alcohol base)
Upto 2 hoursInexpensive
Eau Fraiche (Splash)1% to 3%Traces 
(mostly contains water)
30 minutes to an hourInexpensive
Aftershave0% to 2%90-95%Upto an hourInexpensive

As is evident from the above table, if you perfume fades quickly, you are perhaps using a lower concentration of perfume oil in your fragrance. In such a scenario, it is advisable to go with a Eau de Parfum or even Parfum to get a longer lasting scent.

Interestingly, some brands will offer the same fragrance in multiple different types of perfume such as Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum. In most cases, you will get an almost identical fragrance, however, an Eau de Parfum will be costlier simply because of the higher concentration of the fragrance oil used.

2. Too Many Layers of Clothing

Another factor why you may feel that your perfume fades so quickly is perhaps when you are wearing too many layers of clothing! This may seem quite obvious at first, but many times, you may not even realize it!

If you spray perfume on your skin and end up wearing multiple layers of clothing, the fragrance may soon get trapped as soon as your top notes evaporate (more on the notes in a moment). Thus, the perfume may actually last longer than you perhaps believe.

Pro Tip!
During winter, use the 2 to 3 sprays of the same perfume over your winter clothes (in addition to using it on your skin) to experience the fragrance for a longer period of time!

Sometimes, you may not really have an option but to wear multiple layers of clothing. For instance – if you are staying in cold weather, you don’t really have a choice to wear less clothing. A quick fix to this would be to spray the same perfume over your clothes and scarf.

It will require a few more sprays, but you will at least be able to make the perfume last longer!

3. Body Chemistry

As most of us may be aware, each perfume reacts different for different people.

Perfume fragrance is really a game of chemistry. The fragrance molecules present in the perfume typically react with the oil produced by your skin; and this reaction is what causes the fragrance molecules to get free from the perfume and diffuse into the air.

Sounds like a pretty standard process, right? What is really interesting is that the chemical composition of the oil produced by your body is quite different from that of another person. Thus, the resultant chemical reaction triggered is also different for each individual. Therefore, the same perfume reacts differently on different persons.

This can sometimes lead to situations where a perfume may indeed not last long or perhaps not induce a strong enough reaction to the oils produced by your skin.

In such a scenario, you would be better off using a different perfume.

4. Hot and Humid Conditions

Another common factor for perfumes to fade away quickly is the environmental conditions.

If you are living in a location that often has either hot or even humid conditions, your perfume may fade away quickly!

Hot weather conditions are especially bad for perfumes as most perfumes can not withstand heat. Furthermore, when perfumes are exposed to heat, the rate at which the fragrance molecules diffuse increases thereby decrease the lastingness of the perfume.

On the other hand, humid conditions don’t directly affect perfume as much. However, staying in a place with high humidity is more likely to make you sweat more. As a result of this extra sweating, the perfume molecules just get washed off of your skin. Thus, as a result, even humid conditions can affect the durability of perfume throughout the day.

To fix this issue, you may want to spray the perfume multiple times throughout the day.

5. Types of Notes Used in the Perfume

One of the most least understood factors that can actually affect how quickly your perfume fades away is the type of notes used in the perfume.

3 Types of Notes used in a Perfume with durability (Image Credit)

There are 3 types of notes or layers of fragrances used in a perfume i.e. top notes, middle notes, and base notes.

As shown in the image above, top notes usually last the shortest and fade away quite quickly. The middle notes, on the other hand, last longer than the top notes but also usually fade away in about an hour or so. The base notes are what give perfume durability throughout the day.

Most perfumes are usually made with a combination of at least 2 of the 3 notes. Even when all the three notes are used, one note can be heavier than the other. Meaning the perfume may be designed to give an effect of one note over the other.

If your perfume fades quickly, it is possible that your perfume is top note heavy!

Image showcasing the fragrance families and types of fragrances (image credit)

Generally speaking, woody notes such as sandalwood and cedarwood are considered as base notes and last longer. A few other examples of the base notes include amber, musk, vanilla, patchouli, moss, etc.

Furthermore, citrus notes usually fade away the fastest. So, check what notes does your perfume contains. If it is containing citrus or even floral notes, you may need to change your perfume and get one that is base notes heavy.

6. Not Spraying Enough

This is another common reason why you may feel that your perfume may fade away faster. Perhaps you just don’t have enough perfume on you!

Some perfumes are just designed such that just a single spray can last you the day. For instance, Parfum de Marley is known to last throughout the even on 1 spray. While, others may need a few sprays to get the same effect!

There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to the amount of perfume used. As a general rule of thumb, 2 sprays each on the left shoulder and the right shoulder should do the job. That said, if you feel that your perfume fades away quickly, try to increase 1 spray at a time to see the effect.

Keep in mind that using too much of perfume does not mean that the duration will also increase proportionately. So, if after a few extra sprays the perfume doesn’t give the desired result, it might be time to evaluate some of the other factors mentioned in this article!

7. Spraying on Sweat Points

Another reason why your perfume perhaps fade away much faster is the regions in which perfume has been used.

It is not uncommon for people to use perfume in the parts of the body that sweat a lot. If you have just advanced from using a deodorant to a perfume, you may notice that you perhaps use perfume the same way out of habit.

The truth is that perfumes are not designed to combat sweat. It is perfectly suited to enhance the fragrance but not mask the body odor.

In fact, if you do use perfume on the parts of your body that tend to sweat a lot, you may be pretty much throwing away your perfume.

8. Using Multiple Scented Products

It is very easy to lose the smell of your fragrance if you are using multiple products designed to produce scents!

Using multiple scented products at the same time can contradict the scents of one or both the products. This means that you may be inadvertently causing the fragrance of your perfume to fade away quicker than it typically would have.

If you are using a deodorant to mask your body odor before using a perfume, then perhaps taking a shower would be a much better solution.

Likewise, if you are using some type of scented moisturizing cream on your skin, then perhaps you can use an unscented moisturizing cream instead so that the scent of the cream doesn’t contradict the fragrance of your perfume.

Lastly, if there is no way to avoid the second scented product, then use a similar scent in both products so that they don’t cancel each other out.

9. Rubbing the Perfume (Don’t Do It!)

Image Credit

One common misconception amongst people is that rubbing perfume and applying it to your body enhances the fragrance!

The reality is that rubbing your hands or parts of your body that contain perfume generates heat due to friction. This heat increases the temperature on your skin temporarily. Thus, when perfume is present or applied to this particular heated section of your body, the perfume molecules tend to break down much faster!

This process actually enables the evaporation of the fragrance molecules present in your perfume, and you will notice that your perfume fades much faster!

Perfume is a delicate substance. So, a lot of care needs to be taken when using it, applying it, carrying it or even when storing it!

10. Not Spraying Perfume Correctly!

Another common factor that can affect how quickly your perfume fades away is not knowing how to spray the perfume correctly!

The most ideal way of using perfume is on the pulse points. You can spray the perfume on the inner part of your wrists, inner part of your elbow, left or right shoulder, back of the neck, behind the ear, or behind your knees.

If you are not spraying the perfume on the pulse points, chances are it will get washed off or erased due to your clothes or sweat! That said, using perfume on the pulse points is just a guideline and not a rule.

Related Article Should Perfume be Used on Skin or Clothes? A Comprehensive Guide!

Every person has their own way of spraying perfume. You can develop your own perfume spraying routine as well. Make a few attempts to see what works for you and make that your routine.

It is important to remember that you do not want to overwhelm the people around you with your fragrance. The scent of a perfume is supposed to make you and the people close to you experience the fragrance. You want only people standing next to you to experience the fragrance of your perfume!

So, identify what works best for you and don’t overdo it.

11. Skin is Too Dry (Moisturize It!)

Another reason why your perfume may fade away quickly is because perhaps your skin is too dry!

If there isn’t enough moisture on the surface of your skin, the amount of oil produced by your skin will be much lower. This means that the fragrance molecules present in the perfume will just not be able to bind and diffuse in the air, therefore, unable to perform at an optimal level. Thus, most of your perfume will just evaporate even before it even has an opportunity to diffuse and produce the scent!

Fortunately, there are a couple of things that you can do to ensure that your skin has enough moisture when applying perfume.

  1. Apply perfume after a shower – One thing that you could do to ensure that your skin is moisturized enough is perhaps using the perfume after a shower. Your skin has enough micro-droplets of water that it remains moisturized. However, make sure that you dry yourself properly with a towel. You don’t want droplets of water running over your perfume as this will just as easily wash away the perfume.
  2. Use an unscented moisturizing cream – If taking a shower is not possible for you (perhaps you are outside and in the middle of the day), then you could use some unscented moisturizing cream to ensure that your skin is able to retain moisture before applying perfume.

Both of these methods will help you ensure that your fragrance doesn’t fade away quickly and rather last long on you!

12. Perfume is Not Stored Properly

Not knowing how to store perfume properly is one of the common mistake that people often make! Furthermore, this can actually lead to your perfume not lasting all that long on you!

Perfume, over time, can just as easily evaporate if not stored properly. In fact, perfume starts to evaporate the minute it is exposed to air. There are several other factors that directly impact the life and quality of perfume! This includes exposure to light, humidity, heat, etc.

Related Article How Fast Does Perfume Evaporate? Here’s What You Should Know!

What’s even more interesting is that if your perfume is not stored properly, not only can it evaporate from your bottle, but it also starts to fade away quickly when applied. This is because the fragrance molecules react with the oxygen molecules present in the air. As a result, this evaporation process leads to the dilution of the scent in the perfume.

In order to store the perfume properly, make sure that you –

  1. Store perfume in a cool, dry, and a dark place
  2. Provide your perfume a consistent temperature of 54℉ to 72℉ (i.e. 12℃ to 22℃)
  3. Store perfume bottles upright in their original container
  4. Do not shake the perfume bottle

13. You Got a Fake Perfume!

Lastly, if none of these points mentioned in the article worked for you, then it is highly likely that you got a fake perfume!

The world of fragrances is a big world. There is a huge demand for good perfumes and good perfumes often come at a premium price. As a result, there a plenty of fake ones out there.

If you have received a fake perfume, there is really nothing much you can do about it. The best thing that you can do is perhaps identify that the bottle is a fake early on so that you can return it before it is used.

Here’s a detailed article on how to tell whether a perfume is fake or genuine.

Make sure that you check for all the telltale signs for a fake perfume before you make your next purchase!

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