Some of the advice was correct and some was just plain wrong.
The beauty tips we learned from our mothers can be pretty hard to rewire once we get into a routine. Their advice, no matter old many decades old, lingers as a voice that many of us still heed dutifully. It’s the desire to be like our mothers, so beautiful and graceful, that keeps these memories alive. But, when it comes to perfume in particular a lot has changed in how we do things these days. The way your mother told you to apply perfume might not have been the best way in light of everything we know today.
You may have been advised to apply perfume to your pulse points because the scent will be heated and release all day. Conversely you may have been told to apply perfume where you’d like to be kissed, although perfume tastes horrible so we can’t really advise that today.
If you enjoy the way a spray perfume smells then this application method will probably never be quite as good for you. And, it is a matter of taste as to where the perfume should be located. However, most people today find parfum, one type of very concentrated scent sold in stoppered bottles for dab application, to be far too strong for most situations these days.
What about behind the knees? The old wisdom in France is that this was done in summer so that as a woman in skirt walking by, your scent would affect the people sitting outside in cafes. The same French logic also says that placing perfume behind the ears is a treat for the person who greets you with a kiss on each check.
You may have been given the advice that you should spray your scent in your hair and will linger all day. It’s true that the heat of your scalp will release the scent while the movement of your hair will mean that others can smell it. But, experts now say it is better to spray perfume on your hair brush and brush your hair through to avoid drying out your locks with the alcohol that perfumes contain.
You may have been told that, once applied to the wrists, you should rub the perfume to release the scent. Today we know that this action can change a perfume for the worse since the formula is changed at a molecular level when rubbed between the wrists. If you use a parfum, splash, or rollerball then it’s is best to let the scent dry on your skin before continuing your beauty routine.
Helpful hint, if you love the way a scent smells in eau de toilette form, then buying it in rollerball will not give you the same effect since the method of application does change the way that perfume smells.
While it seems very old fashioned today, there was a time when women used powdered perfume every day. Anti-perspirants were less common back then and powders and perfumes were a woman’s weapons in the fight against unseemly odors. Back then nearly every scent had a matching powder that one could buy, but this is isn’t the case anymore. For women who wore both powder and perfume they had the right idea.
Creating scent layers means that a deeper level of perfume surrounds you and it also means that if you get hot and your perfume spray wears off then there is still something left of your scent from the powder. The equivalent today is perfumed lotion, which adds dimension and longevity to your scent. The added bonus of using a lotion is that perfume sticks around better on moisturized skin.
Have a look at the old-fashioned way of applying perfumes, including potent parfum and scented powder, in the 1961 Avon video below.