Your perfume is more than a pleasant scent; it's part of your aura, giving anyone who meets you a subtle memory of your presence. Because designers develop so many fragrances, many in a variety of formulas, you can make your favorite fragrance work for you.
Choose your scents. Although a few people have a signature perfume they wear all the time, many prefer to have at least two fragrances -- one for daytime and one for evening. Designers often designate their creations, especially the women's fragrances, as daytime or evening scents, making it easier for you to narrow your choices. Consider having a lighter fragrance for summer, too, when the warmth of your skin causes the perfume to release its scent more readily than in colder seasons. For more information on the complexities of perfume, including scent notes and families, read our fragrance buying guide.
Decide which strength to wear. Liquid formulas are labeled according to the concentration of their ingredients and, thus, the strength of the scent. Eau de parfum has the highest concentration of ingredients, followed by eau de toilette and eau de cologne. The eau de parfum formulas have the highest prices but also deliver a stronger bouquet per spray.
Prep your skin before applying a fragrance. No matter which formula you choose to wear, from eau de parfum to powder, it will release the scent more effectively if you have well-moisturized skin. Perfumes, like makeup, adhere to the oils in the skin, and the scent won't be as strong on dry skin. After bathing, apply a light moisturizing lotion to your skin before applying a fragrance. Also, use unscented soaps and lotions unless they have the same scent as your eau de toilette, cologne, or parfum. Scented products can interfere with your fragrance.
Layer the scent to make it last longer. Many design houses offer their signature fragrances in several formulas, so you often can find your favorite scent in lotions, powders, body washes and, in men's fragrances, aftershaves and deodorant. Apply a light touch with two or three products, such as a lotion and an eau de toilette, to enhance the overall effect. The fragrance will last the day or evening without overwhelming the senses as multiple sprays from one bottle would.