I have dry skin – how do I make perfumes last on me?

<span>Illustration: Edith Pritchett/The Guardian</span>
Illustration: Edith Pritchett/The Guardian

As a fellow dry-skin sufferer, I feel your pain. You’re right, perfume molecules don’t “cling” to dry skin as well as they do to oilier skin. But you can moisturise the area with an unscented lotion (so it doesn’t fight the perfume for attention) or use a little Vaseline on your wrists and behind the ears before you spritz, to lock the scent in for longer.

Perfumes evolve throughout the day. Top notes have a maximum of 15 minutes before they disappear, leaving behind the scent of the middle notes. Around six hours later you’re left with those warmer, deeper base notes, but by this point you’ll also be used to the smell of the fragrance, so you won’t register it as much, but others will.

It’s worth considering your scent choice if you like a long-lasting fragrance. Citrus and lighter floral perfumes disappear faster because the molecules are smaller and evaporate quicker, while woods, resins and tobacco have heavier molecules so evaporate more slowly. It’s also worth looking at formulations: parfum is stronger and more expensive because it has a higher concentration of perfume and should last six to eight hours; eau de parfum should give you four hours. But the choice is yours; if you like the way the scent evolves during the day, opt for the stronger versions. But you could also buy cheaper, less-concentrated eau de toilette sprays and use them every few hours instead.

For maximum longevity, after showering I use an unscented body oil (jojoba is my favourite, and is very close in composition to our skin’s natural oils), followed by a scented body lotion of the perfume I’m wearing. I’ll then apply my perfume to my wrists, behind the ears and clothes too, as fabric holds scent longer than skin.

Finally, I keep a mini travel spray (some brands also do perfume oils, which are even better) of my scent to apply during the day. Go forth and be your best fragrant self.

Got a beauty question for Anita? Email her at BeautyQandA@theguardian.com