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By Don Donovan, Studio One Networks
Q. How long can I keep perfume before it goes bad?
A. Fine fragrances don't go bad for years if you keep them out of direct sunlight and excessive heat, and make sure the bottle is always closed. These three things allow you to maintain the perfume's smell. The color of a fragrance is also affected by these things, and color degradation is usually the first thing you'll notice. The scent may still be technically the same, but if your perfume now looks brown, no amount of reassurance will change your mind that it hasn't gone bad.
Q.Where on the body should I spray perfume so that it lasts the longest?
A. Wear perfume on the neck, wrists and chest. Your nose will tire quickly of the scent when perfume is on the neck, and you won't be able to smell it well. So to check if the scent is still strong after a while, smell a clean piece of your clothing and then smell your wrist. If it's faint, reapply to not just the wrist, but all the places you first sprayed it on too.
Q. Can I put perfume in my hair? If so, should I do so when the hair is wet or dry?
A. You can put perfume in your hair, but it is not recommended. If you do decide to use it, only spritz a small amount, as too much alcohol will dry out your hair. If you want the scent to last, put it on when the hair is dry; otherwise, some of the perfume will evaporate with the water.
Q. I like my hair scent to match my perfume. Are fragrance-line shampoos as effective as regular shampoos?
A. No. Make no mistake about it. The technology in the best shampoos is far superior in cleaning, conditioning and supporting the styling regimen than simple surfactant shampoos created to carry a significant fragrance percentage. On the other hand, if manufacturers focus on putting beautiful fragrances in their superior formulas, the consumer is almost always delighted with the in-shower experience and the wonderful smell on the hair.
Q. Do different fragrances really affect your mood, or is that just all a marketing ploy?
A. Fragrances affect mood because fragrances women love become part of their persona. It's not because they impact the neurological or physiological aspects of our bodies, but rather because they remind us of something pleasant -- a cherished memory, a feeling of success, a self-interpretation of a person's unique beauty. Many, maybe even most, women put on a fragrance they love that says something about themselves. And that's why perfume affects their mood.
Q. I get headaches really easily but am dying to wear perfume. Can you recommend any tricks to reduce the headache potential?
A. First and foremost, don't wear the fragrance near your face or get any on your clothing (or it'll get into your closet). Second, wear light "splashes" -- but only on the body. Third, find a summer scent that is mostly light floral and wear only on the wrist. It will be beautiful but very delicate.
Don Donovan helped lead the worldwide growth of fine fragrance brands Hugo Boss, Laura Biagiotti and Giorgio Beverly Hills. He has worked as a marketing director in fine fragrances at Procter & Gamble.
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