What is a Perfume Dabber? Everything You Need to Know!

So recently, I was going through an online store researching for a new perfume to buy. I finally selected a splash-on perfume. Interestingly, as I was at the check out cart, I kept seeing this suggestion that I add a perfume dabber to my purchase. That got me wondering, what exactly is a perfume dabber? So, I did a little research, and here’s what I found out!

A perfume dabber is usually a small pencil-like stick that has a soft cushion on top. It allows you to quickly apply small quantities of concentrated perfume on your skin without accidentally splashing the entire contents of the bottle on yourself in one go.

The first look at a perfume dabber may grab your attention. However, you might wonder, is it even used with perfume if at all! However, once you understand its role, you may actually want to invest in one.

So, let me deep dive a bit on this subject so you can decide whether you need to grab one too!

What is a Perfume Dabber?

Perfume dabbers are actually quite helpful to have for both – men and women!

As I mentioned earlier, a perfume dabber usually looks like a pen or a stick with a soft cushion on top that allows you to apply small quantities of concentrated perfume.

The below image will perhaps give you a visual understanding on how a perfume dabber may look like –

A beautiful perfume dabber
A beautiful perfume dabber (Image Credit)

Perfume dabbers can actually also come as glass or crystal sticks that have a bulb on top that can also act as a perfume bottle stopper. 

Perfume dabbers were more common in the olden days. In fact, you might have seen your grandmother using a small crystal pen or handmade wooden stick to apply perfume. That my friend is possibly now an antique or vintage perfume dabber. Such items are often being sold separately on sites such as Etsy, eBay, etc. 

Clearly, perfume dabbers belong to the class of the refined and sophisticated. However, you might wonder why did they use dabbers when you could easily just use your fingers,

Why is a Perfume Dabber Used? 

Honestly, this was an immediate question that I had when I learned that a perfume dabber was used with perfumes. Even though I understood how it is used, I initially didn’t quite understand why was it required.

A perfume dabber is primarily used to apply just the right amount of perfume. It also prevents you from using your fingers to apply perfume, which can contaminate the entire contents of the bottle. A dabber also helps you avoid any accidental spillage of the perfume in one go.

Perfume dabbers are used usually with splash bottles to avoid soaking yourself in large quantities of fragrant oils. If you do not own a dabber and have a splash bottle, then you will tend to use your fingers to stop-and-dab.

However, that method can contaminate the perfume and contribute to making the perfumes smell a bit ‘off’. It is, therefore, more prudent to use a dabber with larger perfume bottles.

If you are still using your fingers to dab perfume, then it will be better to use it with a bottle that holds a smaller quantity and that you know will not be stored for several years instead. 

How to Apply Perfume with a Dabber? 

Applying perfume with a dabber is pretty straightforward. Nevertheless, here’s a step-by-step explanation on how you should apply perfume with a dabber – 

  • Take your perfume dabber and place it inside the bottle.
  • Tilt the bottle to the side a bit so that some of the perfume covers the cushion or at least touches the dabbing stick.
  • Once you are satisfied, pull out the dabber and apply a small quantity to your pulse points.
Pulse Points – Areas to Apply Perfume (Image Credit)
  • You can run the perfume dabber across your inner wrists, the base of your neck, behind your ears, inner elbows, and the back of your knees. These pulse points are usually warm so your body heat will act as a natural diffuser for scents. 
  • Remember not to rub it in as it will change the quality of the fragrance. The top notes of the perfume will become dull as it will mix in with your natural body oils.
  • Once you’ve gently dabbed yourself, please remember to make sure the perfume dabbing stick is still nice and clean. You can even clean it with a soft piece of cloth after use. You do not want to soak a dirty dabber into your expensive perfume and ruin it. Ideally, an independent perfume dabber is stored neatly in its own box.
  • Now that you have perfumed yourself, you can enjoy the fragrance!

Now, some of you must be wondering why not just grab a perfume spray instead? I’m quite certain, you won’t be alone in that line of thought!

Is a Dab-on Perfume better than a Perfume Spray?

There is a raging debate on whether a dab on perfume is better than spray-on perfume. I think it is really a concept of choice. 

Dab on perfumes are stronger in concentration and require a bit of care. Yet they allow you to be discreet in the amount you want to apply directly to the pulse points on your skin.  It is also a more personal and delicate affair. Dabbing feels definitely more intimate. 

Spray on perfumes are easy to use and ensure you do not overdo it; unintentionally at least. In fact, many of my friends prefer to create this mist with a spray and walk into it to get better coverage.

Also, spray-on perfumes work well with machine-wash fabrics as you can apply it as a mist without staining them. Spray on also work well when you’re in a hurry and do not have the time for the dabbing routine. 

So the choice is yours! However, would I prefer to dab perfume directly on my skin or clothes? Well, skin yes but clothes not so much. Let me explain a bit more.

Should you Apply Perfume on Your Skin or Clothes?

Knowing where to apply perfume can make a lasting impact on your fragrance!

Perfumes should be applied directly to your skin as applying perfume to your clothes might stain them. Ensure that your skin is moist and hydrated before applying perfume as this will make the fragrance last longer. The best time to apply any perfume is after a shower.

To moist your skin and make it hydrated, you can also try using an unscented body cream or oil and then apply some perfume on your pulse points.

It is important to understand that while perfumes can also be applied to clothes, dabbing perfume on the clothes might stain them.

However, if you wish to wear perfume on your clothes, I would recommend that you spray clothes with perfume from a 4 to 7 inches distance.

Another point to note is that perfumes are oils so they bind differently to fabric and may not be as powerful or layered as when applied to your skin. 

Can Perfume Dabber Vials be Transferred?

Another question you might have is that you have got a fragrance that you love but it comes only as a Dab on perfume. You also – like some of us – have collected a long list of dab on sample vials while walking through the shopping malls. Could you transfer it to a spray bottle?

You can certainly transfer dabbing vials of perfume into spray-on bottles. There are a lot of spray-on bottles available on Amazon – of all sizes – where you can decant your perfume. In fact, it works well if you want to just carry a small amount while travelling. 

Final Thoughts

Ok, so all my research did conclude that yes – man or woman – owning a perfume dabber is a little bit of personal luxury. I would, therefore, surely add a perfume dabber as a gift item when now choosing dab on perfume the next time!

Lastly, I would also happily recommend that you do the same as well when purchasing your next dab on perfume!

Image Credit for Featured Image

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