Why Does My Perfume Fade So Quickly? (9 Common Reasons and How to Prevent)

You’ve found your favorite fragrance, and it smells wonderful on you, but you realize that throughout the course of the day, its fragrance is more and more faint.

High quality fragrances can remain potent for at least 24 hours, others can last up to a week. But there are some conditions that cause even the best perfumes to fade more quickly than expected. Outdoor temperature is one factor, how your perfume is stored and where you spray it are additional factors.

Keep reading to learn ways that you can keep that signature smell lingering throughout the day.

Why Does My Perfume Fade So Quickly

What Makes Perfume Fade So Quickly?

I get it, you don’t want to overwhelm people with excessive application of perfume, but you also want to know that you have it on. When your perfume quickly fades, it can get frustrating.

Are You Nose Blind?

One of the first things to consider, though, is that you may have become nose blind to your own fragrance.

Olfactory fatigue is real.  If you’ve been wearing the same scent for a while, you may have become so used to the smell that you barely notice it. If olfactory fatigue applies to you, it’s your body’s way of adapting to stimuli. By hindering your ability to detect smells you’ve been overexposed to, your system helps you to be able to identify new smells.

Your perfume may seem weak to you, but others might experience it in the way that you did back when you first started using it.

How Concentrated Is Your Fragrance?

Although this post is about perfume, we can have the tendency to refer to any fragrance spray as perfume, even though not all fragrance concentrations are equal.

Perfume has the highest concentration of fragrance oils, usually 20-30%. This is why its price tag is higher, but only one to two sprays of it is sufficient. With lower concentrations, sometimes more sprays are required. 

Eau de parfum is the next highest fragrance concentration, at about 15-20%. Then there’s eau de toilette (5-15%), and eau de cologne has the least amount of fragrance, at under 5%. So if you are wearing a cologne or eau de toilette, you can imagine the need to spray more of it on your body than eau de parfum or perfume. 

Less concentrated fragrances are not bad or cheap in a negative way, they just serve a different purpose.

If you have an eau de toilette or eau de cologne, then three or four sprays of these less concentrated fragrances might cause them to last longer instead of fading so quickly.

Poor Storage Habits

It’s best to store your perfume in a cool, dry, and dark place. You want to keep it out of direct sunlight and away from moisture and/or fluctuating temperatures. 

If your perfume bottles are lined up on your dresser basking in the sun, then you’ll want to find an appropriate place to store them if you want them to last long and function properly.

Read more: Best Perfume Organizers (And Useful Tips)

Is It Expired?

Perfume can expire. If you’re using a bottle of perfume that you’ve had for more than three years, then it might be time to bid farewell.

Storing it well can help prolong its use, but still, consider the length of time you’ve owned it and whether or not you observe any changes, such in its color or smell. 

Perfume isn’t formulated to hold up for decades. If your perfume is fading, and it’s an old bottle, you might need to part with it.

Bad Chemistry?

Some scents will compliment your body chemistry more than others. If you’re applying a new perfume to your body, you may need to give it some time to determine whether or not this simply isn’t the scent that works well for you. 

Naturally, it’s not something you want to experiment with after purchasing a large bottle of perfume. So consider perfume samples or decants if this is an ongoing problem for you.

What’s the Ambient Temperature?

Scents can fade quickly in extreme heat temperatures. The heat causes the fragrance to rapidly fade because alcohol and water are two of the primary ingredients – both of which evaporate quickly when exposed to high heat, although alcohol will evaporate at a higher rate than water. 

So, in hot weather, perfume will initially have a strong scent, but that scent will quickly fade as the perfume evaporates.

Are You Living In High Humidity Conditions?

Similar to high heat but not the same because high humidity involves moisture. In these conditions, you tend to sweat more profusely, which causes your perfume to fade as sweat beads roll off of your body.

Lighter Scents Tend to Fade Fast

Top notes, like citrus and some floral scents evaporate more quickly than middle or bottom note fragrances. So you can expect for these perfumes to fade sooner than desired.

If you’re wearing a lighter scent during spring or summer, you might have to reapply them once they fade. These scents are unlikely to last a full day.

So if you live in a humid area, you can expect to reapply fragrance throughout the day. An alternative solution would be to spray your clothes instead of your skin.

Some Factors Are Beyond Your Control

Sillage is the scent trail left behind as you go about your day. 

More than just the fragrance, sillage accounts for how that scent interacts with your skin, your body temperature, the moisture level of your skin, the room temperature, and additional factors. 

All of these considerations, combined with movement, determine your sillage trail, so to speak. Fragrance intensity is a different factor, but your sillage is an amalgamation of conditions that can affect how quickly your perfume fades.

This weird combination of facts and events can contribute to a quickly fading scent but in a way that is beyond your control because you wouldn’t really know which factor to adjust. And some of these factors can’t be changed by you personally.

How to Prevent Your Perfume from Fading So Quickly

While certain conditions will cause your scent to fade sooner than you desire, there are also some preventative measures that you can take.

Moisturize Your Skin. Fragrances last longer when they’re applied to well-moisturized skin. You may want to avoid scented lotions that smell differently from your perfume. But an unscented cream, or a raw shea butter can prepare your skin to absorb your perfume’s fragrance molecules better. Perfume clings to oily skin.

Apply Vaseline. High class fragrance brands suggest that you rub vaseline, or any petroleum jelly that you have on hand, onto your pulse points. These are the areas of your body that generate more heat because there’s an artery nearby. Heat plus moisture equals more pronounced fragrance.

Know Your Pulse Points. But in order for the scent to be more pronounced, it helps to know where your pulse points are located. In addition to your wrists and behind your ears, spraying perfume in your inner elbows and behind your knees will also better diffuse your perfume.

Spray Clothes & Accessories. Use caution with this suggestion because perfume can potentially stain clothing fibers. But scents last longer on apparel than they do on the body. Spraying the lining of your clothes can prevent staining. And spraying your perfume on accessories like scarves, hats, pocket squares, ponytail holders, or even fabric headbands, can add longevity to your personal fragrance goals. 

But you NEVER want to spray perfume directly onto your jewelry as it is almost certain to damage it.

There are many different factors that can cause your perfume to fade more quickly than you would want it to. But don’t think that you have to go out and buy the most expensive perfumes to prevent fading.

Consider the points mentioned above first, and then make any necessary changes that are within your control.


Hello and welcome to Fragrance Advice! My name is Grace Young, and I’ve been drawn to fragrances since I was a little girl. There's just something about scent that brings me so much joy! 

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