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How to choose and wear perfume properly

Maximise your charm by wearing perfume properly

· French Etiquette

Perfume, one of the indispensable cosmetics in modern society, takes its origins back to Egypt, India, Rome, Greece and other ancient civilizations in 1500 B.C. In ancient Egypt and China, women used to bath with petals or carry perfume satchels made of spices.  

In the 10th century, the Arabs invented distillation, and essential oils began to spread. The Crusades brought essential oils and spices back to France in the 11th century. Until now, French perfumes have been considered a reference around the world.

This week, let’s share a bit of perfume etiquette and tips, which will help you wear it correctly and highlight your elegance!

Different types of perfume

Basically, we divide perfume into 5 types: Perfume, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, Eau de Cologne and Eau Fraiche. 


It has the highest concentration of all types of perfume which is up to 20-30% essential oils. The scent lasting time is usually long, up to 24 hours.

Eau de Parfum

It has the second highest concentration with 15-20% essential oils and the retention of fragrance could last for 6-8 hours. 

Eau de Toilette

It is considered to be the most popular perfume with a wide variety of fragrances. The concentration of essential oils is around 5-15% and could last for 2-4 hours. 

Eau de Cologne

This type of fragrance for men is relatively lighter than other perfumes as it has 2-4% of the concentration with essential oils. 

Eau Fraiche

“Eau Fraiche” means fresh water and it has the lightest concentration with essential oils, around 1-3%. It could only last for 1 hour and needs to be freshen up frequently.

When and how to use perfume

At the office

Avoid using perfume with strong smell at office. The perfume should be light and delicate. We recommend Eau de Toilette or cologne, with its fruity and slight floral and citrus notes, suitable for work as it holds relatively lighter concentration of essential oils.

At a party

Wearing the right perfume at a party can stress your charm and personality as well. Be bold and wear some distinctive and striking-scented fragrance, such as with notes of amber, wood, oriental. Eau de Parfum has higher perfume extract and can be a fantastic choice for a night out.

On a date

Ladies, when preparing for a romantic date, you should keep yourself fresh and wear perfumes with comforting notes such as subtle oriental notes, floral notes or fruity tones. Gentlemen, you may choose a fragrance with distinctive notes such as pomegranate, bamboo and coconut. Eau de Toilette would be a pleasant option for a date night as the concentration is less strong.

At an interview

There’s nothing better than opt for a clean or refreshing scent of perfume when conducting a job interview. Eau fraiche with notes of citrus or wood would be safe choices for interviews.

The don’ts of wearing perfume

When going out to the cinema or to enjoy a theater performance, pay attention to the use of perfume. These are indoor activities and the scent emitted from the fragrance might bother other audiences. Do you ever attend wine tastings? Perfume would clash with the wine aromas. You’d better avoid wearing perfumes on such occasions. 

You may get used to spraying perfume on your wrist and gently rubbing them. In fact, it can be terrible. It will heat up the skin, producing natural enzymes and altering the scent. Instead, gently spray the perfume on your wrists and wait till the liquid penetrate your skin.

When spraying, focus on pulse points such as your wrist, behind the ears or behind the knees. The armpit or the back are not suggested to apply perfume as these areas are prone to perspiration and the sweat would mix up with perfume, form other unpleasant smells. Also, the retention of fragrance on these areas would be relatively short. 

Additionally, hair holds the scents longer than your skin. You can spray a limited amount of perfume onto your hair. It helps with the diffusion of the scented as you move.

Wearing perfume could help to intensify your charm and personality, but wearing too much could have the opposite effect. Carrying too strong perfume will weaken your elegance and make people feel uncomfortable. When spraying, apply two, three shots at most.

The magic of perfume is irreplaceable. Select the perfume that suits you best and unleash your charm to the fullest!

Founded in 2018 by Matthieu Ventelon, Hedonia is the first institution in China combining professional Wine and Etiquette expertise in the same training offer.

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