A woman smelling perfume

How Long Does Perfume Last On The Skin?

Some perfumes stay on the skin for more time than others. Thankfully, there are several ways you can make your favorite perfume last longer.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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Perfume can be the perfect compliment to a great outfit. Smelling good makes us feel good and can give us a huge confidence boost when we’re out on the town.

But how long does perfume last on the skin? Do we need to be constantly worried about topping it up every couple of hours? We did some digging.

How long does perfume last on the skin?

Generally speaking, perfume can last up to 24 hours on the skin. However, this completely depends on the individual product and brand. Some of the most popular perfumes can last much shorter times, usually between 3-10 hours. This can be due to the nature of the ingredients, the formula, or just a marketing ploy to get you to buy more.

Interestingly enough, people with more oily skin tend to report their perfumes lasting longer. This is because the molecules on the perfume can cling onto the oil, whereas someone with dry skin will have trouble retaining grip.

Perfumes are produced by extracting oils from plants, before being dissolved in alcohol to create a highly concentrated perfume oil. This is then blended with all the other desired ingredients, then left to age for months on end like a wine to complete the final perfume. The length of time a perfume’s scent stays on the skin can also be determined by how that particular perfume has been made.

How to make a perfume last longer

If you’ve found your favorite scent but don’t think it is lasting long enough, there are ways you can prolong the amount of time perfume stays on your skin. Of course, results may vary between different people and individual products, but these techniques can have a lot of positive benefits.

Layer the skin first

Before spraying the perfume, it is a good idea to prepare the skin with other products. Using a body cream on your neck, for example, will layer and smooth the skin with emollients, which can help the perfume stay attached better. Use an unscented product to avoid a clash of different smells.

Spray the hair

As well as spraying perfume on your body, it’s actually a good idea to spray it on your hair too. The hair follicles may be able to hold the perfume for a decent amount of time, and the movement of the hair throughout the evening will waft the scent around.

Use stronger perfume

This seems obvious, but if you’re unhappy with the longevity, or lack thereof, of your current perfume, you can instead opt for a more powerful formula that will definitely last longer. This might encourage you to use less of it too, so you can avoid overdoing it.

How to get perfume off the skin

It’s important to know that while you may think your perfume has lost its potent scent, your friends and other people around you will probably still be able to smell it. This is because our nostrils and smell receptors get used to the scent after about 30-40 minutes, giving us the false impression the scent has disappeared. This can lead us to then spray too much perfume on our bodies and turn ourselves into a walking biohazard.

If you find yourself needing to do a bit of urgent perfume reduction, we’ve written a great article on the best ways to quickly and easily get perfume off the skin. Trust us, you need this information.


Perfumes come in a variety of scents and potency, but generally speaking, they can last a long time on the skin. Oily skin tends to hold perfume more effectively, but a powerful product will usually retain its odor well.

Remember that our noses get accustomed to our perfume very quickly, while other people don’t. Avoid over-spraying perfume as much as possible, and take measures to remove some of it if you need to.

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