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Porter
The Beauty Memo

The dos and don’ts of wearing perfume

How you wear your scent is just as important as the scent itself, says famed perfumer Kilian Hennessy

Beauty

According to Kilian Hennessy, perfumer and founder of By Kilian, wearing a perfume is not as simple as mist-and-go – where you wear it, and even how much you spray, is something to consider, too.

In the city…

“The scent you wear during the day can act as a kind of barrier between you and the outside world,” says Hennessy. “A great perfume should be a bubble of protection against the bustle of the subway or the street. Wear less fragrance than you think you need – you don’t want to over-power the people around you – but wear it strategically behind your ears and on the insides of your wrists.”

In the evening…

“You should feel more generous with your fragrance in the evening, so spray it everywhere,” advises Hennessy. “Choose something a little heavier that lingers a while. Make sure you mist your torso and neck so it’s noticeable when someone embraces you.”

When you travel…

Airplane cabin air can be stuffy and stale, says Hennessy, who opts to travel with a scarf misted with perfume. “Wrap yourself in fragrance so you can breathe it in whenever you need to.” Flying with a travel pillow or a cashmere blanket? Mist them heavily before leaving home and the scent should last the entire flight.

In a meeting…

“It’s so important to get your fragrance right when you want to make a great first impression,” says Hennessy. “You want your fragrance to support you but you don’t want it to overwhelm everyone in the room. Put as much thought into your perfume as you do your outfit and apply it just to your wrists; this will mean you can smell it but it won’t be obvious to everyone else.”

In the office…

Hennessy suggests wearing a scented lotion rather than a perfume. “You want your fragrance to stay closer to you when you’re in a formal environment. A scented lotion doesn’t contain alcohol so it won’t project your perfume too far, and you can always top up your scent with a spray if you’re going out after work,” he says.

On vacation…

Don’t fall back on your regular vacation perfume – try something new. “You’re discovering new food, a new culture, so why shouldn’t you discover a new scent, too?” asks Hennessy. “Think about the country you’re traveling to and pick your scents accordingly. For example, if you are going to Africa, it’s unlikely that you will want to wear something very fruity; instead, something woodsy and warm is perfect.” Forget the tradition of wearing something light in hot weather; headier, more imposing scents really come into their own in the heat.

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