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  1. #1

    Default Breathe out... Breathe in...

    OK, strange question maybe but it's something I've noticed lately and it puzzles me a little. When I test a fragrance I usually apply it to my wrist and sniff it during the course of the day so I get a good picture of the development of the scent. After wearing it for a couple of hours I usually feel like I've got a pretty good picture of the scent at that point, but when I put my nose to my wrist at the spot I applied the fragrance and breath out air through my nose on my wrist and then immediately take a sniff, the scent changes drastically.

    In that short moment the strength of the scent is intensified tremendously and also it seems like the composition totally changes, like all of the notes come to the foreground at once. Even when I've been wearing the fragrance for hours, that instant I can suddenly smell notes that I didn't smell before and probably would have never smelled if I didn't smell it this way. Several times when I read a review or see a note list of a fragrance and a specific note is mentioned I'm unable to smell that note regardless how hard I try but if I apply the trick above I sometimes can smell it immediately, in fact sometimes it comes out so harsh I wonder how I could not have smelled it before. This only lasts a second and then the smell changes back to what it was before.

    The strange thing is that this trick only works once on me. When I try it again, even if I wait a while first, it won't work anymore and the smell stays unchanged. It's almost like I'm forcing certain notes to evaporate more quickly than normal by breathing out warm, humid air on it and once they're evaporated it won't work again. Could this be true, is it just the warmth and humidity that amplifies the fragrance and seems to really change the composition for that short moment?

    Could that also mean that by doing this I am shortening the longevity of the fragrance or maybe even changing the scent by 'forcing' certain notes to evaporate more quickly? It could be my imagination but I have a feeling that this trick has a negative effect on projection and longevity of the fragrance afterwards. Also, would this effect on the fragrance be similar when wearing it on a hot summer day? If so, it seems in some fragrances the difference between wearing it in hot and cold weather is huge, judged by the dramatic change I experienced with the trick above. Anyway, I hope I made some sense with my rambling and would love to hear your thoughts...

  2. #2

    Default Re: Breathe out... Breathe in...

    I'd say it is the humid, warm air, yes. Same as when one takes a shower. I'm always a little sceptical if people mention that they still could smell a scent the next morning in the shower and judge longevity by this as I think most scents can be smelled (again) then.

  3. #3
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Reside in McLean, Va., Manhattan NYC, Manuel Antonio Costa Rica & Búzios Brasil

    Default Re: Breathe out... Breathe in...

    I have never experienced what the OP has but then again I don't seem to analyze any fragrance which the same thoroughness.

  4. #4
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    The south of England
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    Default Re: Breathe out... Breathe in...

    l have noticed the exact same phenomenon, though whether breathing on the skin alone changes the projection or longevity of the fragrance is doubtful. l do notice that different temperatures & humidity levels affect certain fragrances hugely; the warmer & more sweaty my skin, the greater the projection. But l don't think it shortens the longevity; if anything, it improves it.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Breathe out... Breathe in...

    I noticed that wetting shin applied with perfume rejuvenates it.
    I found this when washing my hands and arms.
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  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Washington, DC

    Default Re: Breathe out... Breathe in...

    Interesting point. As others have said, blasting it with warm air certainly makes molecules evaporates, so that's probably why the perfume jumps out. Not to that extent, but something similar happens when one does physical activity (eg gym) or sweats, more of the notes come out.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Breathe out... Breathe in...

    I have found this too and also use it on test strips (especially once the smell becomes faint after a day or more). I don't have any problem with only being able to do it once though - I can't understand how that would work.

    I think it probably works for two reasons:
    - you apply warm moist air to the fragrance which "reactivates" it or parts of it.
    - you tend to breath in more deeply after purposefully breathing out, so more fragrance than normal is inhaled.

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