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Factors Affecting the Experience of Natural Perfumes

1) Cold weather. Scent is far less diffusive in the cold than in heat (think of how people intuitively gravitate toward heavier scents in the winter and lighter perfumes in the summer). Rather than smelling from the vial or jar alone (cold), you'll want to try everything out on your skin, which acts as a natural, warming diffuser.

2) Moisture/dryness. Make sure your skin is moisturized prior to applying perfume. This delays osmosis by allowing the perfume to sit on top of the surface for longer. Switching to the solid versions of fragrances will help too as beeswax performs two functions: traps the top notes to release them at a slower pace, and wax does not absorb as quickly as oil or alcohol. A third defense against quick absorption is to moisturize first, then apply a perfume fixative (mine or someone else's), and finally apply the solid perfume on top. Wild Veil fixatives contain base notes, so you'll be amplifying the base notes that you want to shine in the dryout, and they also help to "fix" the middle and top notes with less volatile aromatic materials like mosses, resins, balsams, and musks.

3) How you apply. Rub the scent in as little as possible. Rubbing only expedites osmosis, which you want to prolong. You want the perfume to sit on the surface of the skin for as long as possible. This is another reason why some people prefer solid perfumes-- they sit on the surface more easily/less messily and melt in over a longer period of time.

4) Skin chemistry. This will play a role. Our skin interacts with fragrance. If you've done all of the above, massage a perfume into the ends of your hair and see if you notice a difference in longevity as well as your perception of the scent. Hair absorbs fragrance at a slower rate (generally) than human skin.

5) Olfactory nerve saturation. After a few minutes of smelling the same thing intensely, our olfactory nerve is saturated. Take a break and return to sniffing after a half an hour or more. Sometimes you might not be able to smell the perfume in yourself, but others can due to the proximity of the scent having continually stimulated the nerve. I might wear a natural perfume all day; but the end of the day I can't detect it on my skin, but if I wake up the next morning and put on the same sweater or shirt I was wearing, I can smell it again, mostly the heart and base notes, where it rubbed off on the fabric. That's our general functional neurology...and on to

6) Noses. Just like hearing, sight and taste there are varying degrees of sensitivity. Some people can smell with incredible precision. Others, well, cannot. Across a lifetime our subjective sense of smell make be affected by conscious study/training, disease (colds, sinusitis, you name it), behaviors (smoking), environments (urban, smoke filled, rural, altitude), and aging. Furthermore, anosmia (the inability to smell something) is relatively common. A common one is being anosmic to musks and certain flowers/indoles. Anosmia can be permanent or temporary.

7) Expectations. As you may already know, for *most* people, *most* natural perfumes are not going to have the longevity or projection of synthetics. Reapplication is a solution, and if you are detecting it past hour 1, you're into the dryout. The top notes last 10-15 min; heart notes 30-45 min, and then you're into a drydown.

8) Composition. If a perfume is top heavy or has subtle base notes (ie sandalwood), the dryout will be subtle. The natural perfumes that are going to be the heavy hitters longevity/base/drydown-wise will contain musks. Especially animal musks.