Here's why you should change your perfume for summer

Ever wondered why some scents are associated with summer while others aren’t?

Sure, it makes sense to enjoy a floral smell during the time of year when most flowers bloom, but there’s actually more to it than that.

According to Jonny Webber of Perfume Direct, the molecules of summery perfumes work differently to heavy wintery ones.

So if you’ve been craving a perfume change-up, now you’ve got the perfect excuse.

Jonny explained: ‘Summer scents are designed to work in a different way with our bodies. This is why perfumes being promoted for summer use tend to be fruity, lighter and “less volatile”, which means they can last longer and aren’t as overwhelming as a perfume more associated with winter.

‘Perfume works with heat. It’s made up of aromatic molecules in a neutral medium. Once on the skin, the liquid begins to evaporate and the molecules leave your skin, giving off a smell.

‘Perfumers measure the volatility of the molecules to control the nature and evolution of the scent. Different notes in a perfume are combined to hit the air at different times, hence top notes, middle and base notes in perfume descriptions.

‘Lighter weight molecules, such as those present in citrus, pepper, herbs and fruity notes come out first, while the least volatile (and generally heavier notes) will linger on skin longer. These tend to be amber, woody and musky notes. 

‘In warm weather, perfumes will evaporate quicker on the skin and in the air. So, citrus and crisp green scents are perfect in the heat, as are florals. White flowers in particular – jasmine, tuberose, frangipani – are known to “bloom” in hot weather.’

If you’re thinking of using your favourite heavier, muskier perfume when the weather (eventually) heats up, be warned – Jonny said it can come across as overwhelming.

‘Perfumes associated with the winter season tend to be heavier and last longer because the body doesn’t sweat as much, so they can be overwhelming if they evaporate too quickly in the warmth of the summer,’ he said.

If you’re wondering how to make your new summer scent last longer in the heat, Jonny recommends preparing your skin with moisturiser before you apply the perfume.

He also says spritzing and letting it sink in to your skin is better for longevity than rubbing it in.

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