Why Perfume Smells Different on Everyone The Science of Skin Chemistry FM World

Published on

21 June 2021


Strong Habet Team

Why Perfume Smells Different on Everyone: The Science of Skin Chemistry

Ever wondered why your perfume smells different than your friends’ or family’s? You’re not alone! One of our most commonly asked questions is why perfume smells different on everyone. The answer lies in the science of skin chemistry and fragrance formulation. Let’s dive into FM’s perfume ingredients and how they can have an impact on your fragrance experience.

FM Perfume Ingredients and Their Purpose

A perfume’s scent starts with its composition – and can be strongly influenced by the ratios in which certain ingredients are used. For example, our FM Parfums are made up of between 20% to 30% perfume oils and denatured alcohol, creating a deep, full-bodied scent that’s set to last you all day.

There are other strengths of fragrances which have a lower percentage of perfume oils. For example, Eau de Toilettes are made up of 4 to 10% concentrated perfume oils, denatured alcohol, and water (hence the ‘Eau’). This creates a lighter scent for those that want to reapply throughout the day.

Fragrant Elements 

The most important part of perfume is the fragrant elements. Whether you’re drawn to a more floral or sweet scent, these smells are brought to your senses using essential and fragrance oils. 

Put simply, essential oils are compounds extracted from plant matter – for example, rose petals – mixed with carrier oils for cosmetic use. Fragrance oils, on the other hand, are synthetically created chemical compounds that tend to last a little bit longer than essential oils. Both are capable of producing some of the world’s most beautiful scents. 

These oils are layered in their respective formulas, becoming known as top, middle, and base notes when mixed amongst others – for example, FM 12 boasts rich head notes of passion flower, middle notes of gardenia and jasmine, and jasmine and gardenia, bottom notes of vanilla, maple, and vetiver. Each should release its fragrance at a different time throughout the day, creating an aroma journey. 


Alcohol, blended along with the essential and fragrance oils, is a key perfume ingredient across a majority of brands. While it may not sound the most appealing, it’s the perfect carrier for fragrance. When mixed together with a fragrant element like an essential oil, alcohol’s light and volatile composition is able to delicately distribute its scent – particularly when sprayed. The best part? It evaporates once its job is done. 

Delivering the perfect blend and formulation, FM perfumes spritz like a dream – take a look at the range of scents we have to offer in our latest edition FM catalogue.

Your Individual Experience with FM Perfume

Our FM perfume specialists and professionals work hard to develop the very best fragrances and products, ensuring all of our lovely customers are satisfied with whatever they buy. There’s just one thing they can’t guarantee – that their scents will smell exactly the same on everyone. Perfumes, once applied to the skin, mix with the unique oils and natural pheromones of one’s complexion, leaving you with a customised fragrance.  

How Perfume Smells Different for Everyone

What exactly affects how a perfume smells? Well, many individuals have narrowed it down to the natural oils that live within our skin. 

Some people are naturally oilier than others, which means that when a perfume is sprayed onto the skin, their unique complexion mixes with the formulation. Although this can make the fragrance last longer, it can also alter how the perfume smells. 

If you happen to have drier skin, then your perfumes may smell more true to when they were originally formulated, but can actually be weaker. This is because the perfume molecules won’t have any moisture to stick to and be absorbed by. 

Want to ensure your perfume smells great and lasts for as long as possible? Take note – prepping for the day is an important part of any good routine, and skin shouldn’t be last on your list. When the skin lacks natural oils – let’s say just after a shower where you’ve scrubbed your body with soaps – you can expect perfumes to be lacklustre. You may notice this in particular during the colder months when the atmosphere lacks humidity. Solving these issues can be as simple as applying an unscented or matching scent moisturiser first-thing for maximum longevity. 

Can Clothes Affect Your Scent?

You’re never fully dressed without a signature scent, but did you know your clothes can affect how your perfume smells? Depending on the fabric, clothes can absorb the perfume molecules, leaving you with a faint, enduring scent. Fibres like cotton and linen will usually absorb less perfume giving you a long-lasting fragrance. Synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester, on the other hand, tend to absorb more molecules, so if you prefer an impactful scent, go natural.

When spraying your perfumes, be mindful of what you’re spraying onto – some materials such as leather and suede can be negatively impacted by the alcohol content. For example, when repeatedly exposed to perfume ingredients, leather can become discoloured and brittle – so focus your spritzing on your t-shirts and other cotton items. 

Does Perfume Expire?

All fragrances do have a shelf life, no matter if they’re formulated with natural or synthetic perfume ingredients. But don’t worry, this normally occurs after a good few years – natural fragrances can last anywhere between two to five years, whilst artificial fragrances can actually last up to ten years! 

Expiration will typically leave your perfume with changes in colour, texture, and, of course, scent. These can be attributed to both age and other factors outside the bottle that can alter formulations. Some perfumes, when produced in a specific way, can age just like wine and develop a stronger colour and smoother scent. However, not all fragrances are like this, so here are some tips to ensure you’re taking the best care of your favourite perfumes:

Storing Your FM Perfume to Extend Its Shelf Life

To increase longevity and help maintain the scent you originally bought, try to store your bottle out of direct sunlight. The sun’s rays can quickly discolour the perfume but its heat can also break down the chemical bonds that give your fragrance its scent. So, keep your collection away from window sills and even radiators to prevent this! Another factor that can be detrimental to perfume is humidity. This can break particles down – a steamy bathroom would be your scent’s worst nightmare – so opt for a shaded, dry storage space like a bedroom or dressing room. 

Become an FM Perfume Professional

Found this interesting? Make it your daily reality! Whether you just want to enjoy incredible discounts on all of our luxury products or create your career, FM has the solution for you. Join a worldwide network of FM professionals to benefit from incentives such as bonuses and luxury holidays, and unlock huge earning potential. 

Join FM World UK today!

Become an FM Perfume Distributor, learn the ins and outs of the fragrance and cosmetic industry, and share your love of perfumes, makeup, well-being products, and more with the world! Become your own boss today and start living the life you’ve always dreamed of! Visit our join FM page to learn more about this amazing opportunity and sign up!