How to make your perfume survive the hot, hazy summer

How to make your perfume survive the hot, hazy summer

By Adriana Ermter

Since 1867, Canadians have talked about the weather. And nothing gets banter going faster than extreme conditions, like a heat wave. In the 1950s, summer-weather-survival chatter included DIY tips, like de-cluttering the house for a cool, crisp vibe; embracing loose dresses with thinner stockings to allow for a breeze; and storing your Chanel No.5 in the refrigerator for a refreshing, cold spritz. Since then, we’ve hired Molly Maid, ditched the tights and are entertaining three new, easy-to-follow rules to stay fragrant when the heat rises.

Rule No. 1: Know how your perfume responds to heat
Like you, perfume responds to an increasing Humidex index. As your body’s natural AC kicks in, you perspire and your fragrance either evaporates, off of your skin or is released to perfume the air but leaving you sadly scentless. “Weather is one factor that plays a role in the long lastingness of a fragrance but not the only one; it is also the construction of a fragrance [that impacts its staying power],” says Alberto Morillas, a master perfumer with international perfume house Firmenich, based in Switzerland. Fragrances built with lighter, fresher ingredients, like cucumber, green tea, freesia, pear blossom and aldehydes disappear faster during the summertime – the heat and humidity speed up this process. Heavier, headier notes, such as vanilla, lilies, amber and honey swirled into fragrances “become more powerful, so will always last longer,” says Morillas. We’re thinking of such beauties as the recently launched Hèrmes Jour d’Hèrmes Absolu when we hear of these ingredients.

Rule No. 2: Know where to spritz
Spritz your pulse points, arms and décolletage. Give your legs and hair a misting, too. This strategic spritzing will help make your fragrance last longer. “The perfume will diffuse when you move,” explains Morillas, whose latest Marc Jacob’s creation, Daisy Dream is easily worn from head to toe. The new toilette is light and airy, but it boasts rich florals too, like jasmine and blue wisteria, and they come mixed with blackberry, musk and coconut water. “And [spray] on your hair too,” adds Morillas. “It helps prolong [your fragrance’s] longevity, as your hair remains cooler than your body.”

Rule No. 3: Know how much to spritz
Just because your favourite vanilla-, oud-, pepper- and cognac-laced elixirs intensify this time of year, doesn’t mean you have to stop wearing them. Just apply them sparingly. “Humidity causes these heavier notes to sit closely to the body,” explains Morillas. “This greater density of moisture in the air lessens a fragrance’s ability to diffuse in the air around you.” On the flip side, eaus like Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Escape to Panarea feature fresh, clean, watery notes like citrus and orange blossom in combination with earthy ambergris and can be spritzed just once or for increased intensity, reapplied multiple times throughout the day.

Hèrmes Jour d’Hèrmes Absolu EDP, $125 (50 ml); at Hèrmes boutiques

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream EDT, $85 (50 ml); available across Canada at Sephora, Hudson’s Bay, Sears, Shoppers Drug Mart, Ogilvy and Jean Coutu.

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Escape to Panarea EDT, $89 (50 ml); at Hudson’s Bay

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Deborah Fulsang has spent the last two decades as a journalist covering news and trends in the worlds of style—in fashion and beauty, design and décor, food and entertaining. Her long-held love of fragrance led her to launch The Whale & The Rose, a destination for all things perfume-related. Now, when she indulges in a crazy-expensive bottle of fragrance, she can do so guilt-free. Well almost. It’s all in the name of research after all.