How to Wear Perfume
If you've come here looking for the right way to wear perfume, let me stop you, because you won't find the answers here. The truth is, there is no right way—and don't let the beauty magazines tell you otherwise. The so-called best way to wear perfume is the method that feels most comfortable to you. I am of the philosophy that if it makes you happy and it doesn't make others around you choke up or break out in hives, why stop yourself?
Perfume is agency; the ability to choose what you smell like and how much of it you exude is a rare form of power that doesn't require others' subservience as much as it reinforces your sense of your own presence in the world. With the right perfume on, I feel brazen and unstoppable, firmly anchored in my sense of being. It's great! I recommend it! So with that in mind, here are some completely subjective tips on how to wear perfume, calibrated to your own degree of comfort.
IF YOU WANT TO SMELL BARELY PERCEPTIBLE:
Spritz the perfume into the air in front of you a couple of times, then walk through it. The perfume will diffuse and spread over your body and clothes, which means it won't be as concentrated. Instead, it'll smell like a perfume ghost is giving you a very light hug. Try to avoid spraying at face-level: you'll inevitably end up with the taste of perfume in your mouth.
IF YOU WANT TO SMELL REALLY GREAT LEANING IN:
Give your hair a spritz or two, and one behind your ear of choice. Some people like to spray a hairbrush and run it through their hair, but I think that's a big ole waste of product. That shit is expensive. By the way, don't fall for newfangled gimmicks like "hair mists"—you'd be paying more than you need for something that's lower in quality and concentration. Just get the perfume.
IF YOU WANT YOUR SCENT TO SLOWLY OPEN UP, LIKE A FINE WINE:
Apply your perfume on your lower pulse points, like your wrists, behind your knees (especially in the summer), and in your belly button (unconventional, but a personal favourite). The thinking here is that as perfume evaporates from your skin, it rises upward with your body heat—which means you get small whiffs of it here and there throughout the day.
IF YOU JUST WANT TO SMELL YOURSELF ALL DAY:
Apply your perfume to the pulse points closest to your face, like your cleavage, the base of your throat, behind the ears, on the nape of your neck, and in your hair. Depending on how heavy-handed you are with each spray, you run the risk of smelling yourself a little too much, but I don't mind it. If you can't reap the rewards of this scent you've splurged on for personal pleasure, what is even the point?
Painting credit: Alex Kanevsky