How Long Do Fragrances Last


Sometimes when you wear a fragrance, you stop noticing you’re actually wearing it. This makes you wonder how long a fragrance actually lasts.

How long do fragrances last? How long your fragrance lasts depends on a few things. The first is the concentration of scented oils in your fragrance. The higher the concentration, the longer it lasts. It also depends on where you apply your fragrance. When you apply a fragrance on your heat points, it will project better and last longer.

But how do you find out how high of a concentration your fragrance has? And how can you make your fragrance last a little longer? In this article, we’ll dive into this.

You First Need To Know What Type Of Fragrance You Have

There are multiple different types of fragrances. When you look at a bottle, you often see something like ‘eau de toilette’ or ‘eau de parfum’. What this represents is the percentage of scented oils in the fragrance.

A fragrance is basically a mixture of alcohol or water and scented oils. The higher the concentration of scented oils is, the stronger the fragrance will be. The four main types of fragrances are eau fraiche, eau de cologne, eau de toilette, eau de parfum, and perfume. These all have a different percentage of scented oils. Sometimes, having a less strong fragrance is beneficial. For example, in the summer you don’t want an overpowering fragrance.

Eau Fraiche

Eau Fraiche is the most diluted type of fragrance. The percentage of scented oils in here is pretty low. You can expect anywhere from 1-3%. This makes the fragrance fade away quite quickly compared to the others. Realistically, you can expect around an hour to a maximum of two hours of performance from an eau fraiche.

A fragrance with an eau fraiche concentration is quite rare, actually. Not many fragrance houses produce these types of fragrances as most people don’t really want a fragrance that is gone after an hour.

The best use for an eau fraiche is to wear it during the summer. The low concentration doesn’t only make it last shorter, it also makes it less strong. This makes it perfect to wear during the extremely hot summer days. When the humidity is high, you don’t want a fragrance that will be offensive. An eau fraiche is ultimately the best type of fragrance to have during these extreme days.

Because of the low concentration, you don’t really have to watch the number of sprays you’re using. Now, of course, you don’t want to use the whole bottle, but you can definietly get away with more sprays than usual.

Eau De Cologne

An eau de cologne isn’t much stronger than an eau fraiche. An eau de cologne usually has anywhere from 2-4% scented oils. This is still not much, making an eau de cologne have a soft scent with short longevity.

Just like an eau fraiche, eau de colognes are quite rare. Again, most fragrance houses don’t want to create these short lasting, diluted fragrances, but rather go for the other types. You can expect an eau de cologne to last around one to three hours.

Eau de colognes are, again, best used during the summer. The lower concentration of scented oils gives these fragrances a softer, fresher scent. This is perfect for the summer. Eau de colognes are also perfect for younger guys, who are just getting into fragrances. The softer scent gives a younger guy the feeling of wearing a fragrance, without it being out of place.

With eau de colognes, you really don’t need to watch your sprays. Often, you end up needing to reapply throughout the day anyway, because of the short longevity. Just don’t drown yourself in the fragrance, as that is just a waste.

Eau De Toilette

An eau de toilette is the most common type of fragrance. These have a concentration of scented oils anywhere between 5 and 15%. This means that these fragrances will last you a while longer than the two mentioned above.

Eau de toilettes are probably the most versatile fragrance types. They are noticeable enough for the night or winter, but soft enough for the summer. They also will last you quite a while. Depending on the fragrance, it can last you anywhere from three to six hours or so.

With an eau de toilette, you do need to start watching your sprays. You can definitely overapply an eau de toilette. But using anywhere up to 4 or 5 sprays won’t be too bad.

Eau De Parfum

With eau de parfums, we start getting into the longest lasting fragrance types. An eau de parfum has a concentration of scented oils anywhere between 15% and 20%. This means that your fragrance will last you a good while, probably throughout the day.

Eau de parfums usually have a stronger, more potent scent, making them fantastic fragrance types to wear during the night, or even during the cold winter days. But this shouldn’t deter you from wearing a nice, fitting eau de parfum during the summer.

Eau de parfums have quite a strong scent. You really should be careful with these, as you can easily overapply. Go for anything up to four sprays maximum, or you will drown both you and others.

Perfume

And finally, the strongest, longest lasting fragrance type is a perfume. Perfumes have a concentration of scented oils from around 20% to 30%. This means you get great longevity, and you can expect this fragrance to hang around even the next day.

Perfumes are quite rare, just like an eau de cologne or eau fraiche. The versatility of perfumes isn’t as nice as an eau de toilette or eau de parfum. The higher concentration of scented oils create a much stronger scent. This makes it so that a perfume can’t really be worn during the summer, as it will be too strong and offensive.

Perfumes are great fragrances to wear during the winter, though, or even at night. The milder temperatures work great with the strong scent of a perfume. But when you’re applying a perfume, make sure to do so sparingly. Go for one or two sprays, this will be more than enough.

The Duration Of Your Fragrance Also Depends On Where You Apply It

How long your fragrance lasts depends on where you apply it. Of course, you can just apply wherever you want, but there are some spots that are much better to apply. These are the so-called heat points.

Some of the better spots to apply your fragrance is on your neck, behind your ears, or on your wrists. The best spots are usually the spots where you can feel a heartbeat. This is where your natural body temperature is higher, making it project your fragrance better, as well as make it last a little longer.

The natural heat of your body works really well with the oils of the fragrance. They both start to work together, creating a stronger and longer lasting scent.

I recommend you apply your fragrance on your neck and behind your ears. I’m not a fan of spraying your fragrance on your wrists, as there is a bunch of traction going on there. You’ll have your clothes or your watch going over it all the time. This traction destroys the molecules of the fragrance, making it last a little shorter.

If you want to read more in-depth on where to apply your fragrance, I recommend you read this article I wrote about: ‘Where To Apply Your Fragrance‘.

Make Sure To Take Care Of Your Fragrance The Right Way

Lastly, the way you store a fragrance can also impact the longevity of a fragrance. Storing a fragrance should be done right, otherwise, you might cause it to lose some of its magic.

For example, when you leave a fragrance out in the sun, the fragrance juice will start to evaporate. This causes the molecules of the fragrance to break down, making it last shorter. When a fragrance evaporates, the first thing to go is the top notes. These are usually fresher notes with a nice, refreshing scent to it. When these top notes evaporate, you’ll start your fragrance in the middle notes, making the fragrance a lot stronger, but shorter lasting.

You should store your fragrances anywhere cool and preferably dark. This allows the fragrance to keep all of its molecules intact, making it last as long as it was supposed to!

Jasper Pieterse

Hi, my name is Jasper and I've been a long time fragrance fan. Ever since 2014, I started to get a huge interest in fragrances and I've had my nose on countless of different fragrances. I'm excited to share my experiences!

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