‘How long-lasting is this fragrance?’ invariably precedes all the questions that brim in every fragrance buyer’s mind during scent shopping. Although someone may find the aromas of a perfume or an attar incredibly appealing, until they are convinced that it offers several hours of lasting, or in perfumery language longevity, whether or not to buy it would remain a question mark.

Indeed does every customer deserve excellent value for money and aspects like performance, i.e. longevity, projection (how far a fragrance spreads beyond the wearer), sillage (the notes that actually spread beyond the wearer) are key factors determining how well their money was spent. However, it is important to remember that longevity is highly subjective. There are several factors that determine the longevity of any fragrance-perfume or attar:


CLIMATE AND POLLUTION: How long your fragrance will last either on your skin or on your clothes largely depends on where you live and/or in which climate you wear the fragrance. The humid, hot, tropical Indian climate, especially like that of coastal areas like Mumbai or Chennai would pose a great challenge to any fragrance’s longevity, especially during summers. The high temperatures and the amount an individual sweats would indeed decrease longevity.

In drier, temperate climates like that of Europe, fragrances tend to last longer. High pollution levels too, hamper a fragrance’s performance because after all, fragrance is a sophisticated product.


BODY CHEMISTRY: Each individual is born with his/her own body chemistry, pH value (the measure of acidity or alkalinity) of skin and body odor that react in a particular way with different fragrances. These factors vary from person to person and ultimately determine how much a fragrance would last on that particular individual. 

Hence, although inquiring about a fragrance’s longevity with friends, social media influencers and shop-owners is essential, it is only after personally trying out the fragrance you intend buying, that you will actually realize how it performs on you. A fragrance that performs well on you, may not, on someone else, and vice versa.


FORMULATION: Certain fragrances formulations tend to perform better during certain seasons. For instance, while during winters, heavy, deep notes like leather, amber, vanilla and smoky might last wonderfully on the wearer, during scorching Indian summers, it is important to wear fresh, sharp, citrus, fruity, aquatic and green notes, especially while traveling outdoors during daytime. These notes cut through the sweat and last for several hours despite the fierce heat and sun.


QUANTITY OF FRAGRANCE APPLIED: The amount of fragrance you apply also determines its longevity. Subject to a person’s tolerance of course, the more fragrance you apply, the stronger it will project beyond you and the longer it will last on you.

Last but not the least, never be stressed about performance! After all, if the scent of an attar or a perfume truly appeals to you, the wonderful olfactory experience it offers you will provide you with personal satisfaction and joy. Although it is very flattering to wear far-projecting, long-lasting fragrances that attract compliments, sometimes, a scent bubble (subtle spreading of the scent around you) will also appeal to both, you and people around you.   


-by Krishnaraj Iyengar