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Perfume Etiquette: How to Store, Apply and Choose Yours & Why I Keep My Scent a Secret

02 JUNE / 2023 / 03:17

Welcome to today's discussion, where we dive into the highly anticipated topic of perfume etiquette. Have you ever wondered why some people refuse to disclose the name of their signature scent? Or perhaps you're curious about the do's and don'ts of storing and using your favourite fragrance.


Well, today we'll be exploring all of these questions and more. But first, let me address the most commonly asked question I get all the time as an etiquette coach: What perfume do you use? While I appreciate the curiosity, there are two reasons why I choose not to answer this question.


Keep reading to learn more.


My Perfume Choice is Intimate and  Personal


As an etiquette teacher, I understand that asking about someone's perfume is a personal and intimate question. Perfume is something that we apply to our bodies, and as such, its use is a private matter. While it's acceptable to discuss perfume openly with someone who is willing to share their preferences, it's best to avoid asking about it if they are not.


The scent of a woman, in particular, is a mystery that should be kept private. If you've discovered a new perfume that you love, it's best to keep it to yourself unless you're sharing it with someone close to you. By doing so, you can maintain the uniqueness of your scent and enjoy it as your own personal signature.


Unwanted External Influence


As an etiquette coach, I believe that your choice of perfume should be a personal matter, and it's not something you should share with others. Sharing this information can unknowingly influence someone's purchase and lead them to believe that a particular scent is the only option out there.


However, perfume is a very intimate and personal choice that should be made based on an individual's preferences and budget. Moreover, the same perfume can smell different on different people based on their body type, ph level, climate, and other factors. Therefore, it's essential to choose a scent that suits you and makes you feel confident and comfortable, rather than relying on someone else's choice.


Proper Way to Store Your Perfume


Perfume is a delicate product that requires proper storage to maintain its quality and longevity. It should be stored in a dry, dark, and cool place away from heat and sunlight. Once opened, the countdown to expiration begins, and on average, a bottle of perfume will last for about two years.


However, if unopened, the perfume can last much longer. It's crucial to keep an eye on the colour and scent of the perfume to determine if it has expired. If the colour has turned brown or yellowish, or if you can smell a metallic scent, then it's time to dispose of it.


Collecting different perfumes is common, but it's essential to store them properly and not open them until you plan to use them. Keeping them in a dark, dry, cool place or in a refrigerator can help maintain the scent's integrity. Remember, it's better not to use any perfume than to use an expired one.


What Perfume Should I Use?


Viewers have often asked for my opinion on what perfume to use, and I always advise them to consider three critical factors: the time of day, the occasion, and the people around them. These factors can greatly influence the choice of perfume and ensure that the scent suits the situation and the individual wearing it.


Time of the Day


Perfume is a personal choice, and there are no strict rules when it comes to selecting the right scent. However, certain etiquette guidelines can help you choose a fragrance that suits the occasion, time of day, and season.


As a general rule, lighter scents are preferred during the daytime, while heavier ones are better suited for the evening. Eau de toilette is a more diluted version of eau de parfum and is ideal for daytime use, while eau de parfum is a concentrated liquid that lasts longer and is more expensive.


However, personal preferences can override these guidelines, and you should choose a scent that suits you and your budget. Some people prefer to stick to one perfume for years, while others like to switch it up. It's essential to choose a scent that makes you feel confident and comfortable, regardless of the etiquette rules.




Choosing the right perfume for an occasion is important as it reflects your personality and can create a lasting impression. For formal business occasions or job interviews, it's best to opt for lighter perfumes or no perfume at all. For social gatherings like weddings and birthdays, you can go for heavier scents.


Keep the occasion in mind when choosing a perfume and avoid overpowering scents that may distract from the event. In general, lighter scents are preferred for formal occasions, while heavier scents are better suited for social gatherings. Choose a scent that suits you and the occasion to make a lasting impression that reflects your personality.


Being Mindful of Those Around You


When it comes to wearing perfume, it's crucial to be mindful of the people around you. The scent should be kept personal, within arm's length, and not extend beyond that. It's important to remember that our scent can affect those in our immediate surroundings, and we should be considerate of their preferences and any allergies they may have.


Some events or conferences may even request that participants avoid wearing fragrances altogether, creating a fragrance-free environment. By being mindful of those around us, we can ensure that our perfume is not overpowering and allows everyone to enjoy the occasion comfortably.


How to Properly Apply Perfume


● Apply the perfume to your pulse points, such as behind your ears, neck, shoulders, wrists, elbows, knees, calves, and ankles.


● Hold the bottle about 12 centimetres away from your pulse point and do two to three pumps, depending on how concentrated you want the scent to be.


● Avoid rubbing the perfume, as it creates heat and can corrode the fragrance molecules. Instead, gently tap it into your skin or let it dry naturally.


● Don't apply perfume directly to your clothing, especially if it's made of silk or if you'll be exposed to sunlight. Instead, apply it to your skin before putting on your clothes.


● To make the fragrance last longer, moisturise your body with a fragrance-free lotion or one that matches the scent of your perfume.


● Be mindful of others when applying perfume in public spaces, as some people may be allergic or sensitive to certain scents.


● To keep your bag or notebook smelling like your perfume, spritz some perfume on a tissue or cotton swab and place it inside.


When choosing a perfume, take your time and find a scent that truly represents who you are as a person. Avoid impulsive shopping and try different perfumes before making a decision.