How To Wear The Right Perfume For Your Skin Type

We’re all aware of the importance of picking the right skincare for your skin type, and the right clothes for your body shape, but have you ever thought about matching your fragrance to your skin type?

The type of skin you have on your face stays largely the same for the rest of your body. The larger pores and more active sebum glands that characterise oily skin are found on the body as well as the face. In the same way, dryness or sensitivity are rarely limited to just the face.

So when picking your signature scent, take your skin into consideration! Along with your diet, hormones, skin chemistry, microbiome, and body temperature, the type of skin you have also plays a big role in how a fragrance smells on you.

Here are our top tips picking and wearing the right scent for your skin type.

OILY SKIN

When it comes to wearing perfume, oily skin actually works in your favour! The natural oils produced by your body give the fragrance oils something to cling to, so you’ll find that your perfume tends to last longer and project more.

Fragrance experts recommend making the most of this with volatile citrus notes that usually don’t stick around for very long. The brightness and freshness of citrus and green notes also means your perfume won’t run the risk of turning into an overly cloying scent on your skin.  Besides that, apply your perfume with a light hand – a little goes a long way when your skin holds on to scent so well!

Our top picks:

The Body Shop White Musk L'Eau, RM99

Crisp pear and clean florals are blended with the iconic White Musk scent for a fresh spring scent.

FRESH SUGAR LYCHEE ROLLERBALL, RM98

Delicate citrus with juicy lychee and mango sparkle over a sweet but non-cloying base.

 

DRY SKIN

In complete contrast to oily skin, fragrance wears off quickly on dry skin. The lack of oil and cling results in the fragrance dissipating quickly into the air, which is why dry-skinned folks like myself may find that their perfume doesn’t last for more than a few hours.

Light, breezy top notes will probably disappear quickly, so look for fragrances with base notes that you like. Base notes are usually heavier, deeper and more resonant, anchored in oils themselves, so they’ll adhere to dry skin longer. When you try a perfume in-store, don’t make a judgement right after you spray it on – all you’ll be smelling is the top notes. Allow the base notes to develop and see if you like them. You can also opt for a perfume oil rather than a spray, as sprays are just perfume oils diluted with alcohol to help with dispersal. Alternatively,use an unscented moisturiser on your skin before spraying on your perfume to help it last longer.

Our top picks:

ATELIER COLOGNE ROSE ANONYME, RM955

Rose, bergamot, ginger and oud over a deep base of papyrus and benzoin.

MERMAID N° 1 MERMAID PERFUME BODY OIL, RM295

Orange blossoms and the scent of ocean waves anchored in warm tropical coconut oil.


 

SENSITIVE SKIN

Sensitive-skinned people don’t share the same sensitivities. So you may find that an ingredient that irritates you won’t irritate another person. Because of this, it’s hard to recommend the right fragrance for sensitive skin, as it’s impossible to know how one will react.

A common misconception is that “natural” fragrances – that is, naturally-derived essential oils with no added synthetic chemicals – are better for sensitive skin. While synthetic chemicals can irritate sensitive skin, so can lots of natural essential oils. Which is why facial cosmetics, body care, and deodorants for sensitive skin are always fragrance-free. But what if you just want to smell like something other than yourself?

Proceed with caution. Be sure to test every and any scent you’re interested in purchasing. Both perfume sprays, with their alcohol content, and perfume oils, with their high concentration of aromatic compounds, can irritate sensitive skin if applied directly. Instead, spray the outside of your clothes or rub the oil into the ends of your hair.

Our top picks:

DIPTYQUE EAU ROSE SOLID PERFUME, RM229

A solid perfume of roses, lychee, honey and cedar to be applied to skin, hair, or clothes.

CLAIRE ORGANICS ENCHANT AROMATHERAPY PERFUME OIL, RM43

Essential oils of citrus, lavender, and rose suspended in nourishing jojoba oil.

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