Our perfumes are like prized possessions; they can impact our mood and make us feel great when getting ready for a day or evening out. The spritz is the final flourish just before we walk out the door, and I think we all want our perfumes to last all day and evening. So, what ingredients will help make your perfume last longer?
The base notes of a perfume generally last the longest. Long-lasting base notes commonly include woody notes, resinous notes, musky notes, or generally heavy-smelling notes such as vanilla, oud, and tobacco.
Let’s take a look at some of the individual ingredients that will last ages. To not only name the obvious, we’re also going over some surprisingly long-lasting floral notes.
Sometimes called Agarwood, this perfume ingredient is among the most expensive in the world. Oud is expensive due to its rarity; it’s only found on the Aagar tree, which must be infected with a particular type of mold that causes it to secrete oud.
On top of that, only around 2% of all Agar trees in the world actually produce it, hence why it’s so expensive. As you might imagine, it’s mostly produced synthetically unless you’re lucky enough to obtain a premium perfume, which has natural oud as an ingredient. You can find some amazing oud-based fragrances for men and women by following these links!
Oud is a resin with a rich and musty scent and a hint of nuttiness that complements other woody notes exceptionally well. It is a standalone long-lasting ingredient, but it’s also called a fixative, meaning it prolongs the length of time other ingredients are noticeable for. This versatility (along with its gorgeous scent) makes it such a popular choice for many different types of perfumes. It’s commonly used in oriental and darker, richer fragrances but also rounds out lighter scents perfectly.
It’s widespread in unisex fragrances such as Oud Wood by Tom Ford, Dark Aoud by Montale, and Oud Satin Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Patchouli is a woody scent known for its use as a base note in many types of perfumes, including oriental and chypre fragrances. Patchouli oil comes from the leaves of a bush found in India and was used for many years to cover the scent of marijuana. Thankfully, it’s less synonymous with that clientele and has a much better reputation as it’s now used widely across all perfume brands.
Patchouli has a rich, woody scent with an aromatic and exotic air and a touch of sweetness, which is why it’s the perfect base for oriental fragrances. It’s often paired with resins, spices, and woods to heighten their underlying nuances and offer a grounded and heady scent.
Patchouli is an ingredient in Velvet Patchouli by Dolce & Gabanna, Aromatics in White by Clinique, and English Pear and Freesia by Jo Malone.
Tobacco tends to be a smell we associate with cigarette smoke and cigars rather than a beautiful perfume ingredient. It might even put you off buying a perfume if you know tobacco is included because we all know how long it takes to get cigarette smoke out of clothes.
In reality, tobacco smells nothing like this; it is certainly long-lasting, but that’s the only commonality it has with cigarette smoke. In fact, it’s a sweet, herbaceous note that is warm, rich, and dark. It’s used predominantly in men’s and unisex fragrances and is often found in more robust scents ideal for the winter months when we need a stronger perfume to fight through all the layers of clothing.
Tobacco also has gorgeous undertones of caramel, whiskey, and hay, depending on how it’s used, which does well to complement a wide array of other notes. It helps prolong other richer, woody notes and ensures the dry down of any perfume lasts a long time and remains strong over a long period.
It appears in some female fragrances, such as Red Musk by The Body Shop and Nirvana Amythest by Elizabeth and James. However, it’s more commonly found in unisex fragrances like Tobacco and Mandarin by Jo Malone and Naughty Fruity by Mugler.
Musk is a fixative ingredient found in the vast majority of perfumes and colognes. It’s immensely popular due to its ability to make other ingredients last longer. It doesn’t have a particularly strong scent itself; it’s mild with powdery nuances, meaning it’s great with other powdery notes such as rose, iris, vanilla, and amber. But musk can also be the main star of a perfume, where it usually projects a clean and fresh scent.
There are different kinds of musk, all of which have unique origins; for example, civet musk is extracted from civet cats, and deer musk comes from glands of male deer. Nowadays, it’s mostly artificially synthesized, but that doesn’t make it any worse.
You’ll usually find musk in the base notes, and if you check the ingredients, chances are musk is included in almost all perfumes you have on your dresser. It’s a great, versatile note that will ensure your perfume lasts a long, long time on your skin. You can find more musk-based fragrances for both men and women by following these links!
You’ll find musk as an ingredient in J’Adore by Christian Dior, The One by Dolce & Gabanna, and Daisy by Marc Jacobs.
Sandalwood is another commonly used woody note; although most woodsy notes last a long time and are included in a huge number of scents, sandalwood is among the most long-lasting. Sandalwood has roots in Asian and Indian religion and culture and is used as an ingredient for many exotics, overseas and oriental scents.
It’s also used much closer to home as it has a beautifully light yet rich woody scent that’s soft with refreshing green nuances. Therefore, it’s often paired with other woods but complements florals and fruits wonderfully and is combined with other oriental notes like vanilla, amber, and patchouli. It’s aromatic and balsamic and also works well with spices and resins.
It’s also used a great deal in aromatherapy due to its relaxing effect but is sometimes used as an aphrodisiac so next time you’re heading out on a date, wear a scent with strong sandalwood… they won’t forget you in a hurry! You can find some amazing sandalwood fragrances for men and women by following these links!
Sandalwood is used in Prada by Prada, Coco Noir by Chanel, and Angel by Mugler.
Benzoin is a resin that comes from the bark of various species of Styrax tree and was originally used in incense and medicine as it has antiseptic properties and is good for helping minor wounds. In recent years, it has found its way into many perfumes and is now among the most popular fragrance notes.
Benzoin has an oriental scent similar to amber and vanilla; it’s sweet and warm with an aromatic, balsamic smell and spicy undertones. This is why it’s often used in oriental perfumes; it’s the perfect base as it’s rich and sturdy and lasts a long time.
It works perfectly alongside other oriental notes as well as enriching woods and darker notes commonly found in men’s fragrances. It’s used in women’s perfumes to portray sensuality and can be used as a sweetener for citrus-based fragrances, as well as just being used as a fixative to prolong the scent of faster-fading notes.
This is another very commonly used note and is found in Prada Candy by Prada, Burberry Her Intense by Burberry, and Sensi Jewel by Giorgio Armani.
Vetiver is technically grass that originates from Southern India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia but is now cultivated worldwide. It was primarily used in incense and ancient perfumes, and it still commonly appears as an ingredient in oriental perfumes.
It’s used both for its own scent and its fixative properties and is generally more common in men’s fragrances than women’s. It does an excellent job of stabilizing unstable or delicate ingredients ensuring they’re potent and long-lasting.
Vetiver has a smoky, dusty, aromatically balsamic scent with hints of woodiness and leather, but it can smell greener and fresher depending on where it comes from and how it’s synthesized. This is also primarily found in the base notes, and it blends well with spices, woods, and mosses and brings out the freshness of green notes. It is sometimes used as a stable, aromatic base note for floral and fruity perfumes too.
Vetiver can be found in Sycomore by Chanel, Hypnose by Lancome, and Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent.
Jasmine is a white floral note with a gorgeously opulent, light, and sweet scent. It’s often used in conjunction with other florals, fruits, and citruses and will be found in a vast array of fragrances. Usually, florals don’t last as long in perfumes as they’re light and evaporate quickly, but jasmine is the exception.
Jasmine manages to accentuate any other floral notes, but it also sweetens and calms citruses and darker, richer and bitter notes. Not only that, but it’s great at extending the life of other ingredients – we can see why it’s used so much!
Jasmine is also one of the most expensive perfume ingredients in the world due to its long, complicated and delicate production method. Jasmine flowers are hand-picked and they have to be transported in particular ways as they are so fragile.
It also takes 2000 pounds of jasmine flowers to make just 1 pound of oil, which explains why it’s so expensive. Because of this, it’s often synthesized to keep costs down, but this can sometimes result in slight scent variations. It can feel greener or fresher in some perfumes and perfectly sweet in others – it depends on the way it’s used. You can find amazing jasmine-based fragrances for men and women by following these links!
It’s a very common fragrance note and is used in some big brand perfumes, such as Alien by Mugler, Beauty by Calvin Klein, and Tendre Jasmin by Yves Rocher.
Lavender is another surprising note that we wouldn’t necessarily associate with perfumes. It’s used heavily in aromatherapy, essential oils, and herbal medicine and is used in all sorts of ways; luckily, it smells great too!
As it’s a floral note, we wouldn’t expect this to last a particularly long time, but like jasmine, it’s a surprisingly long-lasting note. It does well to extend the lifetime of other ingredients as well as providing a fairly potent and intoxicating scent itself. It’s actually a popular ingredient, as seen in these men’s and women’s lavender-based fragrances.
Lavender has a complex scent, which is aromatic, fresh, and clean with strong green nuances and a spicy, licorice-like facet. The scent of lavender can actually vary slightly depending on where it’s grown as the soil has a huge impact on the fragrance; for example, lavender grown in France tends to be sweeter. Lavender has so many different nuances; depending on what it’s paired with, it may smell more herbaceous, smoky, or crisply floral.
Lavender is found in a select few fragrances, such as Mon Exclusif by Guerlain, Musc Ravageur, and Essence Lavender by Donna Karen.
Fixatives And Other Long-Lasting Notes
We decided to take an in-depth look at several long-lasting ingredients, but there are many, many more. Notes such as vanilla, cedar, amber, incense, coconut, almost all spicy notes, and nearly every gourmand note will also last ages.
Lastly, we should touch on fixatives. Fixatives are notes that give off a scent and slow down the evaporation process of the other notes. Musk, for example, is quite robust, so when combined with other notes, it slows down the evaporation of the whole perfume.
That’s one of the main reasons why musk is present in nearly every perfume that exists. But musk isn’t the only fixative. Most resinous notes are used as fixatives, and nowadays, there are also many synthetically produced fixatives.