Most people dab perfume on their neck or their wrists and call it a day. Some even make the mistake of rubbing their wrists together, which crushes the smell. But if you want lasting fragrance, apply the oil to the pulse points below your waist — the back of your knees, ankles, even feet. Scent rises, and throughout the day the heated places will release the fragrance upward to your nose. Another trick is to soak a piece of cotton with the fragrance and tuck it into your bra, or dab some on hats and scarves or even gloves, like they did in 16th-century France, to layer the scent. Hair holds on to scent really well, but use sparingly and make sure your hair is clean — your scalp oils can change the chemistry of the scent. If you’re using a love potion or voodoo scent to conjure love, lust or sexual desire, make sure you hit those erogenous zones, the ones most likely to get sniffed — the back of the neck, the décolletage, the small of the back. Perfumes react differently on everyone, and, over time, can even smell different on the wearer because age, diet and skin pH all affect a person’s scent. Oilier skin holds perfume longer than dry skin, and fair skin less than dark skin. And if you love a scent but not how it smells on you, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has a line of lavalieres, heavy silver lockets hung on gossamer ribbons, that can hold a slip of muslin, cotton or velvet doused with a favorite scent. As your body warms the silver, the pure scent is released without your skin’s interference. The average life span of a scent is one year. To prolong a perfume’s life, always store it away from direct sunlight, in a cool, dry place, making sure the cap is on tight. Oxygen, light and heat are perfume’s foes.
Black Phoenix lavalieres are available at www.blackphoenixtradingpost.com, $70.