Fragrance myths

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Everyone has an opinion about fragrance (or, it would seem, a blog) and what you should and shouldn’t be doing with it. Here at we are of the opinion that you should do what works for you. But that’s not to say that there aren’t some things you should know about how to use your (often, let’s be honest, quite expensive) fragrance to your best advantage. We bust a few myths.

Myth 1: Rubbing your wrists together will bruise your fragrance
Truth: This myth is based on the (mistaken) belief that rubbing your wrists together will break the molecular structure of the perfume and ruin it. This is not true in that you can’t break molecules just like that. But what you are doing when you rub your wrists together is creating heat and friction which will affect the way the fragrance smells because you’re messing with the way it performs on your skin. All those lovely top notes (which are the ones that evaporate the quickest) will disappear almost immediately, and the base notes will quite probably be activated sooner than they would normally. So you’re kind of mashing the notes together and, in effect, rushing the fragrance and going straight to the heart (the middle) notes. If you like to rub your wrists together, go right ahead, but stick to gentle dabbing to allow your fragrance to develop naturally.

Myth 2: You should spritz the air and then walk through it
Truth: You are wasting your precious fragrance on your clothes (and carpet). Fragrances work with the heat of your body to allow the slow release of the different notes of the scent – which is why it’s best to dab it on your pulse points – so save your fragrance and put it where it’s going to work best: at the base of your neck, behind your ears, your décolletage, behind your knees if you like, the crook of your elbow and even your temples.

Myth 3: You shouldn’t wear perfume when you are pregnant
Fact: This is based on a study done on rats, which showed that male rats exposed to perfume in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy were more likely to suffer from undescended testes or infertility. No studies have as yet been done on humans.

Other concerns are that some fragrances use phthalates, hormone-mimicking chemicals, which manufacturers are not obliged to list on their packaging (because fragrances are considered to be trade secrets). But many pregnant women find that because their own hormones are all over the place, their sense of smell becomes acutely sensitive and so their favourite fragrance smells odd to them.

In general though, it’s probably best to play it safe in these matters and stick to natural fragrances or scented oils when you are pregnant.

Myth 4: The more expensive the perfume, the better quality it is
Truth: Well, this can be true sometimes, but really, it’s all about what you like. There are plenty of perfectly delicious fragrances that don’t require that you part with an eye-watering amount of money!

Myth 5: You have to find your signature scent
Truth: Why? If you want to, go right ahead, but you can also have a different fragrance for every mood. Do what works for you. If you do prefer to have a signature scent, at the very least you should have two: a lighter, fresher fragrance for summer; and a heavier, warmer one for the cold winter months.


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  1. Diana Van Den Berg

    MMM interesting read, I never knew you shouldn’t put perfume on while pregnant! And Myth 4 I totally agree!

    2 years ago •

  1. Tembisa Maqungu

    Myth 1 I’m guilty of doing, I learned from my mom after all…. the spritzing in the air felt like a waste and seemed ridiculous. Glad I never bothered doing it.

    2 years ago •

  1. Feli0017 CHEYANAND

    So many myths, not knowing whether it’s true or not, finally busted.

    2 years ago •

  1. Luche Gomes Balanco

    So nice finally knowing the truth, and not having to break the bank for quality fragrances.

    3 years ago •

  1. Adele

    Awesome, interesting to know. Always doing the first one.

    5 years ago •

  1. me

    I also like to have something more ‘warm’ during winter.

    5 years ago •

  1. Manyela

    You know the other day when I sprayed my perfume onto the air my sixth sense told me I am waisting it, now I feel totally stupid.

    5 years ago •

  1. Gabby Correia

    Interesting read! Some myths just wont die..(rubbing wrists)

    6 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    Thanks for clearing things up for us! I’m a huge fragrance fan (18 bottles and counting) and I feel naked not wearing a fragrance when leaving the house. I find that 3 spritzes is all I need to find that balance of noticeable but not overpowering when wearing a fragrance regardless of the brand.

    6 years ago •

  1. Nancy Katy

    Wow, thank you for explaining these myths to us. I’ve learned so much from this awesome article.

    6 years ago •

  1. CherylGD

    Great article thanks and only using one perfume all the time is just plain boring. I find my choice of perfume for the day is determined by my mood and the occasion. Nothing picks me more than the first wiff of a beloved fragrance.

    6 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    While I’m glad to know that you cant break the molecular structure of the perfume by rubbing your wrists, I still will not rub them together as I prefer for my perfume to change according to its normal rate. I never bought spraying the air and walking through the mist, it seemed a bit of a waste to me. Thank you for busting these myths. I like this kind of article.

    6 years ago •

  1. Carina Vermooten

    Extremely interesting! I’m embarrassed to say that I believed all these myths up until now!

    6 years ago •

  1. Fuhri

    Thank you so much for this article. I love my perfume and glad these myths are explained.

    6 years ago •

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