How Long Does Perfume Last? Eau de Parfum? Eau de Toilette?

In this article we answer the question: How long does perfume last?

It is a question we are being asked repeatedly by our customers and most want to know:

  • How long do Parfum, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette or Eau de Cologne last?
  • How can I make my perfume last longer?
  • Why does my perfume not last?

Generally speaking, how long perfume lasts depends on multiple factors:

  • perfume oil concentration
  • perfume type
  • temperature & humidity
  • skin type & area
  • product type
  • covered area

Depending on the fragrance concentration, your skin type, weather conditions, product type and where you have applied your perfume, your perfume will last longer or less.

We appreciate this is not the straight forward answer you may be looking for but bear with us, have a look at what we write below and you will develop a better understanding of how you can make your perfume last longer.

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Perfume Oil Concentration

The simple answer is: a fragrance with a higher perfume oil concentration will last longer.

There are several types of perfume available in the market and we sorted them from the highest to lowest perfume oil concentration:

  • parfum, extrait or perfume: 6 – 8 hours
  • eau de parfum intense or extreme: 5 – 8 hrs
  • eau de parfum: 4 – 5 hours
  • eau de toilette: 2 – 3 hours
  • eau de cologne: 1 – 2 hours
  • aftershave: upto 1 hour
  • eau fraiche, splash cologne, sprizter: upto 1 hour

One of the significant factors that influence the longevity of perfume on the skin is fragrance concentration. Fragrance concentration will indicate how much fragrance oil is present within the perfume. The more fragrance oil contained in the perfume, the stronger the scent and the longer it will last. Perfume with a higher fragrance concentration, such as pure perfume or parfum, will last longer compared to perfume with lower fragrance concentration, such as eau de toilette, eau de cologne, aftershave or splash cologne.

We offer a more indepth answer in our Frequently Asked Questions section on perfume.

It’s also essential to remember that the number of times you apply perfume to your skin will determine how long the fragrance lasts. In other words, the more you apply, the longer the perfume lasts.

Pro Tip: instead of worrying about how long your favourite perfume lasts, consider buying a ‘travel size’ of your favourite fragrance. Take it with you to apply it several times throughout the day, e.g. after sports, just before you meet friends or go into a meeting, when you meet your partner for dinner.

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Types Of Perfumes And Their Longevity

The fragrance type or perfume style has an enormous impact on the longevity of the scent.

A light and fresh cologne will never last as long as an overtly oriental, ambery or woody perfume (a ‘heavy’ perfume). This statement refers to natural, inherent volatility of the ingredients used within the perfume that determines the longevity of the ingredient.

Here is an example: one ingredient famous for its longevity within the Arabic world is Oud.

“Fixatives” are the exception to this rule, as this type of material acts like a ‘glue’ or ‘magnet’ to reduce the evaporation of other perfume oils.

The ingredient quality or grade of the oil also impacts on the longevity: two similar ingredients but in different grades will last differently. Generally speaking, this means that a more expensive perfume will typically last longer.

When choosing your favorite fragrance, it is crucial to understand the fragrance notes so you can determine how often to apply the scent.

Another trick to make a perfume last longer, is to layer fragrances. Choose two or more different perfumes with complementary olfactory profiles with at least one scent being a note that you know last long, and apply them one after the other. This method will create a unique fragrance that will last longer on your skin.

Pro Tip: if fragrance longevity is vital for you, then only choose heavy perfumes, e.g. oriental or overtly wood perfumes. Avoid light and fresh colognes. They will never last.

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Product Type

Today, many different product types are available on the market. We highlight the impact of each on the longevity of a fragrance.

You will notice a trade off between ‘fragrance intensity’ and ‘longevity’. If a product type is strong right from the start, it can’t be longlasting, simply because there is less perfume left behind to last.

Keep this in mind when reviewing the different product types below:

  • spray: this is the most common type of perfume. The spray releases a beautifully fine mist that applies the fragrance over a wide surface area. Sadly, the finer the mist and the wider the spray pattern, the less the perfume lasts. However, a perfume spray will have a beautiful fragrance intensity right from the start and it is the benchmark against which all other product types are measured.
  • roll-on: this product type is well established but not very popular. Typically, roll-ons are used to apply perfume in specific areas, such as the pulse. As the area is quite small where the roll-on is applied, this product will allow perfume to last longer than a spray.
  • attars, perfume oils or alcohol-free perfumes: as this product type does not contain alcohol (or low levels of alcohol), the products don’t push or accelerate the evaporation of perfume. In other word, you may reasonably expect that their perfume lasts longer but equally they tend to feel weaker.
  • solid perfume: these products tend to be formulated with waxes that bind the perfume to the skin. Their fragrance will last but they won’t feel strong. Also, you tend to add only a small amount of perfume when you apply a solid perfume with your fingers.
  • perfume pen: their performance depends on formula. An oil based pen will last longer and an alcohol based version will not last as long, for the reasons already explained above.
  • perfume lotions: here the oil within the lotion acts as a fixative to allow the perfume oil to adhere to the skin better. Generally though, perfume lotions contain a low concentration of perfume. In other words, don’t expect the perfume to be strong or longlasting, simply because these products don’t contain a lot of perfume oils.
  • body perfume: these products tend to be formulated around water and a variety of skin caring oils. These oils will work like the oils within the perfume lotions. However, expect this product type not to last as long, as the oil content will be less than in a lotion.
  • hair perfume: this is an interesting and new type of product. They tend to be sprays and their formulas contain oils that allow the fragrance to bond with the hair to last longer. Also, when you lift the hair and spray perfume underneath or into your hair, this will naturally hold back the fragrance evaporation to allow the fragrance to last longer. When you move your head you will boost the evaporation of the perfume because the hair moves and air flow stimulates perfume release.

Depending on how important the longevity of your fragrance is for you, you should choose the most suitable product type.

Pro Tip: when spraying your perfume, don’t hold it too far away. This will reduce waste and applies the perfume to a smaller area on your skin. You will probably notice that your perfume will last longer using this tip.

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Skin Type & Area

The longevity of perfume on skin will also on your skin type. The main differentiator being whether your skin is dry or oily. Why?

The oils of your skin will bond with your perfume and will hold back your perfume to allow it to last longer.

You skin temperature also has an impact on how long your perfume lasts:

  • exercise: if you exercise, you lift your body temperature and perfume will evaporate faster
  • natural body temp: some people have a higher metabolic rate and have a naturally higher skin temperature. They will find a perfume will last less on them than on a friend, for example.
  • area: the closer blood vessels are to the skin surface, the warmer your skin. Your pulse point is the prime example here and it explains why this is an area where many apply perfume.

The roughness of your skin’s surface also has an impact and this can actually work to your advantage, as perfume tends to last longer on rougher skin.

Pro Tip: if you want your perfume to last longer, apply a little bit of unscented oil to your skin before you add your perfume. The oil will bind your perfume to the skin. It will act like a fixative.

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Temperature & Humidity

When you live in or go on vacation in a high temperature & humidity climate, e.g. in the Middle East, you will notice that your fragrance doesn’t last as long. The wonderful heat and humidity drastically stimulate the evaporation of your fragrance. Your fragrance will feel strong when you apply it but it won’t last as long as you would like it to.

There is very little you can do about this apart from using our tips above.

Something which is seldom mentioned is air flow or wind. For example, sailors will find that their fragrance doesn’t last as long on the open water. Air flow stimulates the evaporation of perfume and your fragrance won’t last as long, as you are used to.

Pro Tip: the best solution we have found is either using non-alcoholic perfumes and/or a perfume type that is heavier, e.g. oriental or oud.

Covered Area?

Where you apply your perfume has a significant impact on how long your perfume lasts.

The main question is: does something cover up the perfume or not?

  • covered: if your perfume is covered by your clothes or under your hair, it will last longer.
  • exposed: if you exercising and your skin is exposed, you will stimulate air flow over your skin and your perfume will evaporate faster.

Pro Tip: add your perfume before you put on clothes. This ensures your perfume is always covered.

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The Importance Of Longevity In Fragrances

The following scientific studies show how import the Longevity of Fragrance is for all of us:

“Consumer Preferences in Fragrance Longevity: A Market Analysis”

  • Summary: This study delves into consumer preferences when it comes to the longevity of fragrances. It found that a significant percentage of consumers are willing to pay a premium for fragrances that last longer.
  • Source: Journal of Consumer Behavior

“The Psychology of Scent: How Fragrance Longevity Affects Consumer Choices”

  • Summary: This research paper explores the psychological aspects of scent and how the longevity of a fragrance can influence consumer choices. It concludes that longer-lasting fragrances are generally more appealing to consumers.
  • Source: Frontiers in Psychology

Summary: How Long Does Perfume Last?

In conclusion, when asking ‘how long does perfume last’, the longevity of perfume on skin depends on several factors such as fragrance concentration and note, skin type, temperature & humidity, air flow and product type.

Depending on what you are looking to achieve, choose a combination that fits your needs and circumstances best. In addition, we have offered a few simple Pro Tips that might help you.

What you choose, is a very personal decision. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You might find that it suits you better.

In this context, we invite you to try our Natural Eau de Parfum Intense and we are confident once you have tried one of our Niche Perfumes, you will answer “All Day” when a friend asks you: “How Long Does Perfume Last?”

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