Saturday Question: Does Longevity Matter?

Today’s Saturday Question is brought to you by the letters h, a, j, u, s, u, u, r and i, and the number 8. (Undina)

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #30:

Does Longevity Matter?

When I use “longevity” as it relates to perfume, I am referring to how long the perfume lasts on your skin with normal wear.  To be more specific, if you typically wear 2 or 4 or X sprays, when do you stop being able to smell it without pressing your nose to wherever you applied it? Good luck if you only applied behind your ears.  Does longevity matter when you’re considering a perfume purchase?

My Answer

Unlike Undina who takes her time to test and notate her sampling experiences, I am not that disciplined.  Wait, “not that disciplined” gives me too much credit!  I am NOT disciplined at all.  As a result, most of the time, not being inclined to diligently test perfumes, I end up reading reviews and making a decision based on the reviews.  Most of the reviews cover what a perfume smells like, how the perfume makes the reviewer feel and which other perfumes it is similar to.  Occasionally, the review also includes longevity; however, I don’t pay attention to this knowing that it all depends on how many sprays you use, where you apply, your skin’s moisture levels, the temperature where you live/work and whether or not perfume got on your clothes.  Therefore, as long as the notes and scent descriptions sound good, I end up buying it.

What if I actually tested a perfume and found its longevity to be lacking?  Would I still buy it?  Yes, because it is how it smells that matters more than how long it lasts.  The best example of this is COMME des GARCONS Series 2: Red Carnation.  I first tried this at Barneys (R.I.P.), one of a few times that I actually sprayed it on skin versus just smelling it on a tester strip while perfume shopping. After a few minutes, I couldn’t smell it anymore; I sprayed more, and the same thing happened – POOF!  I left the store without buying it.  Over the following weeks, I kept thinking back to how much I really enjoyed the perfume, so I went back and bought a bottle!  If you really must know how long Red Carnation lasts on me – 4 sprays last 20 minutes, with detectable minute traces for up to an hour.

 

How about you?

 

Does Longevity Matter?

53 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Does Longevity Matter?

  1. Generally, longevity matters to me in choosing perfumes. This is one thing I love about the Serge Lutens fragrances. They tend to last a long time on my skin. If a scent is very fleeting, yet something I really want to own, I use a base of ‘canvas and concrete’ fragrance primer to help accentuate the scent and make it last longer on my skin. It works pretty well and it doesn’t interfere with the scent of the fragrance that one wants to make ‘louder.’

    Liked by 1 person

      • I got mine from luckyscent a couple of years ago, it’s just called Canvas & Concretus, a fragrance primer to put on before applying perfume. It works for me, making even the faintest scent louder and more longlasting. I found 2 other similar items online. One is a primer called “Linger” that has its own website. The other is called Fragrance Lock and it’s sold on HSN. The fragrance lock product is sprayed on top of the perfume, like a makeup setting spray. It hink I’d rather use the primer. I’d be afraid the Fragrance Lock would affect the fragrance, but maybe not. I’ll have to try it.

        Like

  2. Hi, Hajusuuri. When I really like something then poor longevity will not put me off, but it will p*** me off! I find that currently more and more fragrances do not last, and I don’t think it’s my nose getting worse but rather manufacturers selling dilute perfumes. When I find something that stays with me for more than a few hours I am always so happy. And it is a strange fact that something one finds unpleasant seems to have a radioactive life span.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m not obsessed with longevity. One of the things that always amused me about the fragrance “bros” who populate forums like Basenotes (and Instagram) is the obsession over “performance”. I picture them as those young guys you encounter at a club who have fragrance coming off them in tidal waves. (Not that I have been to a club in the last 20 years!!) Fragrance must last hours and project across the room. I have always worn perfume for myself – as a teacher I have to be careful how much I project – and I can get as much enjoyment out of a hour’s worth of a beautiful perfume as I do from something that lingers to the next day. You can always respray.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank goodness I have never encountered this. Do your students ever mention your fragrance? Also, I know you are the photographer for your son’s football team – do you find yourself selecting your perfume based on longevity since you’ll be outside and also be out of the house for longer than when you can reapply?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment made me remember the 80’s when I lived in Miami and everyone wore the loudest perfumes ever. I would get in an elevator and the clashing perfumes were like clashing cymbals of scent. It was a smell riot every day. LOL I confess that I contributed to the olfactory ‘noise’ by wearing Calvin Klein Obsession and Must de Cartier. Crazy times.

      Like

  4. Usually it doesn’t matter, unless the brand makes extravagant claims about its potency. For example, I’ve recently been wearing Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte EDC. It doesn’t last long at all. But who cares when it’s such a beautifully composed scent.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. If it’s expensive, I’d want it to last longer per spray. Usually I expect a perfume to last at least half a day (not with much projection, but for me to catch whiffs when I move or there’s a breeze or something).

    Like

  6. I like a perfume to get me through a working day. But I also sometimes like to put on something different after an evening shower, and am not too keen on longevity monsters that will even survive a good scrub with soap and hot water. Case in point: Tauer’s Au Coeur du Désert, which has a longevity of over 24 hours and is tenacious as hell. That gets on my nerves, although I find the scent of it beautiful. (As opposed to the plethora of synthetic woods that after several hours all smell the same, and just won’t go away.)

    So, I like a scent to last around 8 hours ideally. I accept less for a light summer refreshment, or a quick Cologne splash. I tend to regard anything above 12 hours as an offense. I also hate it when articles of clothing that I don’t wash every day (like scarves, jackets etc.) retain a smell for too long.

    However, the question is complicated by the fact that I cannot smell some fragrances on myself after some time, but people around me can still detect it.

    Like

    • Yes! I have to experiment with the right number of sprays that will last x hours (for me, it’s 12 hours which includes the round trip commute and an hour for lunch).

      I wonder if you can wear the Tauer on top of lotion. I know that sounds counter-intuitive since most people wear lotion to prolong the life of a perfume. My reasoning is that the lotion will be absorbed by your skin and the perfume will ride on top of it so at some point, the perfume will dissipate first.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think I don’t like extremes in longevity — I want a scent to last longer than a half hour, but I don’t want it to last, say, 24 hours. I do like to reapply fragrance, whether the same one or a new one, so if one lasts for six hours, I’m very satisfied. I don’t want a huge projection! I like it when I’m wearing a fragrance and my husband comes into the room and asks, “What smells nice?” But I don’t want to leave a big trail behind me.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Good that your husband also appreciates your perfume. I 100% agree with not leaving a scent trail! I’ve had co-workers who must somehow have damaged their olfactory senses – ugh.

    Even working from home, I don’t reapply other than the handful that I know would only last 2 or so hours that I couldn’t just double the dose without asphyxiating.

    Like

  9. I won’t probably say anything new, but let’s do it.

    While I notice perfumes’ longevity, he more I like perfume, the less it matters to me how [not] tenacious it is (I even made a graph for it – see here). I might complain about perfume not lasting (at all or as long as I’d like it to), and with perfumes that annoy me (poorly chosen name, aspirational pricing. dozens new releases per year, etc.), poor longevity will be an extra quibble about it, but if I like perfume, my decision to buy it or not will not depend on how long- or short-lived it is on my skin. I decant almost all of my perfumes in 5 ml bottles to take with me for re-application.

    Having said that, I love those of my perfumes that survive on my skin overnight. Though, even 2-3 hours are not that bad in my book.

    Like

      • I intentionally clarified what I meant by “annoy” ;) Good thing it would be if I just disliked the scent, but that alone usually doesn’t annoy me – I just dislike the scent. I was rather referring to those perfumes that are not necessarily unpleasant to the nose. But if I already “hold a grudge,” I will pile up that charge on top of other complaints.

        Like

  10. Hello Hajusuuri, good question. Yes and no. As you mention yourself longevity can be about the skin of the wearer, it can also be a skin scent type perfume. I don’t like and don’t wear skin scent type perfumes. Also, I have more often than not rejected a perfume which didn’t last on me although I liked it very much,( Dom Rosa, springs to mind) in which case it would be weak to start with and then completely disappear fast. If a fragrance is loud to start with but disappears (rather) fast, I don’t mind as much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Btw. Agree with no 24h+ longevity either, especially where dry down turns out to be some combo of white musk, ambroxan or the like, and it just won’t go away.

      Like

    • Hey Asali! It sounds like you are also diligent about your decisions regarding perfume purchases. I am wracking my brain to see if I can think of a perfume that bills itself as a skin scent and I was only able to think of Les Elixirs Precieux Christian Dior (Rose, Musc, Amber and Oud). They are skin scents for the wearer but project to others. I have to dig mine out to wear it (I have Amber) as the cooler weather is perfect for it.

      Like

  11. LOVE this question Hajusuuri,
    It plays on my mind a lot actually.
    There are different perfumes in my wardrobe that perform different tasks. Some are fleeting and it means I can change out my scent through the day or layer over remnants. Others are spritz and go all day, especially important if I’m working and want to be a fragrant beacon.
    Will I buy a fragrance that lasts poorly? Yes, there are plenty of L’Artisans here that prove it.
    Portia xx

    Like

  12. Great question! I have the kind of skin that seems to make perfume last, and I live in an area where we’re bombarded with signs that say ” No Scents is Good Sense” which is annoying on so many levels. I like an 8 hour average. I will definitely buy a perfume that’s…elusive…like Nuits d’hadrian. That dry down is just sublime, but from top notes to dry down seems to take about 20 min lol.

    In the latest Kamilla Shamsie book one character likes to apply her perfume and then hop in the shower so she is left with the perfect amount of perfume on her skin. I love it when books or films have perfumed references :)

    And I think I bought L’artisan’s Safran Troublement, based on your review, Hajusuuari:)

    Like

    • Woo hoo! An enabler’s pin. My tiara 👸🏻 has gotten quite heavy 🤣.

      It worked out well for you then with Nuits d’Hadrian given that the drydown is the best part!

      Like you, I also enjoy references to perfumes in books, films and even unexpectedly, in news articles!

      Like

  13. The answer here is yes! I started wearing perfume in the seventies and I am used to my perfume lasting a good 5-6 hours with 3-4 sprays. When I worked in an office I applied perfume in the morning and usually reapplied 5-6 hours later when I went out for a break.
    I usually carry the perfume bottle in my bag when I go out and I solve the problem of poor longevity by reapplying regularly. I am a bit annoyed with the longevity nowadays though.

    Like

    • Glad you’re able to solve the poor longevity problems. I don’t like respritzing at work because that means I have to have a decant in hand and I hardly ever do. Just about the only time I did was around the holidays several years back and I knew I had to work a full day, take the subway to an evening function. Although OJ Woman had good longevity, iI knew it was no match for my even longer day.

      Like

What's on your mind? (I encourage posting relating links to your posts)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.