Marathon Monday: Scents that last and last and last …

marathonAs I was poking through some sample lots the other day, I spotted a vial of indie perfumer En Voyage’s Zelda. I knew I had tried it before and enjoyed it very much, but with the chaos of life, unfortunately it slipped off my radar. So I applied it again and swooned. It has a lush, thick, green, almost Deep-South-in-August vibe to it; its creamy, smoky currents swirl around a mysterious magnolia. Just lovely and unlike anything else I’ve smelled. But on my skin as it dries down, I get something akin to coconut, but deeper, richer and more complex. And that something, whatever it is, just keeps going and going like it’s running a marathon — the Energizer Bunny of notes, if you will!

I applied this scent on a Thursday morning and it’s Friday evening and I swear I’m still getting a hint of it. And with one dab from the sample vial, no less –- now that’s saying something! I can’t even imagine what a spray or two would do.

Anyway, it got me thinking about what scents really have super-staying power. Guerlain’s Mitsouko, Amouage Memoir Woman and Bond No. 9’s New Haarlem are a few that really seem to go the distance on my skin. This is quite a nice problem to have if you love the scent. But of course, the flip side of that for me is that the ones I strongly dislike, with cumin, oud or something dark and metallic (looking at you Byredo M/Mink) refuse to let go and hang on and on for what seems like a never-ending marathon. Does that seem to happen with you?

Now if you are one of those people with “scent glue” skin, then everything lasts a while on you, I envy you, but it can be a mixed blessing sometimes, I imagine.

And what surprised me is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be extrait / pure parfum that lasts. Some of those wear surprisingly close to the skin and fade softly, and it’s the EDP that keeps on giving.

What fragrances are known for their lasting power? And what scents do you wear that make like long-distance marathon runners and just won’t quit?

53 Comments
Lynley March 28, 2015

Im so late but couldnt resist adding Armani Prive Amber Orient. I agree with lots of the above but in my experience, this beats them all. I think it actually says it's a concentrate on the label underneath and it's a big bottle. I cant imagine it will EVER be emptied!

sandipants March 5, 2015

LDDM & PHI by andy tauer have great staying power on me. so do most of the SSS fragrances i've tried. mitsouko EDP (current formulation) & aromatics elixir EDP (current formulation) are favorites, ones i wear often & last for-EVER. roja dove's fetish pour homme EDP lasts all day on skin & weeks on sweaters/scarves (personally, i love getting whiffs of it, esp when mixed with whatever else i'm wearing that day). frederic malle's une rose is one of the very few rose fragrances that seems to last forever, as well. everyone waxes poetic about POAL lasting forever, but i get 3-4 hrs max from that one. papillon's tobacco rose is another one with great staying power & wonderful sillage. odriu's perform like extraits (i can speak for peety & pathetique - both wonderful). tom ford's grey vetiver is the only vetiver i've tried that has great staying power (every other vetiver i've tried disappears after roughly 3 hours - esp sycomore - oh, the heartbreak!). estee lauder makes some of the stiffest, most potent fragrances known to my nose: esp youth dew & private collection. and vintage miss dior EDT smokes all of these put together! amouage EDPs are hit or miss for me. memoir woman & jub 25 have great staying power, but lyric woman disappears after 3-4 hours (even layered with the body cream).

malsnano86 March 3, 2015

I've got scent-eating skin as well, but there are a few that will stick around forever. POAL, as I mentioned above, is one of them. Soivohle Centennial is another. SSS Tabac Aurea, DSH La Fete Nouvelle (especially in oil), and most of the Tauers (which can be good or bad, depending! Loretta, for example, nearly killed me). Memoir Woman lasts a long time on me, though Lyric does not. Vintage Poison.

Diana March 3, 2015

I'm always looking for scents that stick around for awhile since they seem to fade from my dry skin rather quickly. Balenciaga Paris and Tom Ford Black Orchid are two that give me quite a bang for the buck in the longevity department.

Jennifer Counts March 2, 2015

I guess I'm toward the scent-glue end of the spectrum because I tend to get pretty good longevity out of scents that people talk about being fleeting, like Safran Troublant. I haven't tried 28 La Pausa, so can't say on that one. Most aren't multi-day commitments on me, though.. I generally get a full work day out of most things I wear. Even Afteliers, if the base is sturdy enough. I have had Palimpsest last overnight on me. The one that was really fleeting to me was Trevert, which I'm not sure she makes anymore. It was great for about 20 minutes, then it was just clary sage for a little while longer, and then nothing. Others that I have had last overnight are Vanille Insensee and Nasomatto Black Afghano.

Peppermoon March 2, 2015

Okay, Zelda was on my to-try list already, but after that description it's definitely moved up the list. I love "Southern gothic" scents and I LOVE magnolia.

AnnieA March 2, 2015

Rien by ELO is anything but after a long day and it can take two washings to get out of clothing.

Areon March 2, 2015

Guerlain Champs Elysees has staying power. Everyone smells it on me, even after the whole day wearing it, I can't even smell it on me , but people can. I always get compliments.

glamourina March 2, 2015

I Dare You by Liaisons de Parfum lasts for a day on my skin, with a beautiful, soft ambery drydown.

Portia March 2, 2015

Hey Ann, I just left a fabulous long answer that Wordpress ate. CHANEL No 22, Queen by Queen Latifa, Shalimar EdC, Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire and Terre d'Hermes were some on the list. Portia xx

eldarwen22 March 2, 2015

I have really dry skin year round so my skin loves to eat perfume. The best luck that I have had with perfume are the Amouage perfumes. Guerlains can be a crap shoot on me and I'm not talking the EDT's and those vanish in 5 minutes but Mitsouko in EDP lasts forever on my skin. But the Chanel offerings more often than not, have pretty good lasting power, even if it's an EDT. Now I with vintage Jicky would stick around.

FeralJasmine March 2, 2015

I have the ultimate in perfume-eating skin, with most scents lasting a couple of hours tops unless I spray them on clothes, but there are a few that last: Dior Oud Ispahan will perform for an entire day. Most of Sonoma Scent Studios scents last well, and there are several that I love. TF Velvet Gardenia lasts a decent three hours. Hiram Green's Moon Bloom lasts hours, which is strange because it's a natural perfume and usually I'm lucky to get an hour out of the all-naturals. And then there is the Tauer "gardenia" Sotto la Luna, which I despise and which is nuclear on me. Actually I only tried it once, but it took several scrubs over about eight hours before I could evict it from my skin. Yech.

mikasminion March 2, 2015

Oakmoss (love) seems to stick around well for me and anything with ambergris (which is really hit or miss for me and sometimes makes me nauseated). Diaghilev lasts forevvvver, which is great 'cause I'm never going to buy a bottle, and Chypre Mousse is a long term commitment for me as well. Several of the SSS scents outlast their welcome, much as I love them- I assume it's something Laurie uses in her base and I have to be just in the right mood. Seems like usually the ones I want to scrub are the most tenacious though. I can't name any off the top of my head but I know there have been instances of laundry detergent and Chapstick being the only thing preventing amputation. I think a couple of the Tauers have done it and I know most Vero Kerns have, we just don't get along :(

Jackie b March 1, 2015

Many Amouages last well on me,especially Jub 25. And anything that I can't wait to scrub!

AllGirlMafia March 1, 2015

Bond 9 fragrances (unfortunately) are most persistent on my skin.

Anne March 1, 2015

Very few things last on my skin. I usually have to douse my clothing to have anything stay. Amouage fades after a few hours, Guerlain vanishes, I get 30 minutes out of the Chanel exclusifs, same with Le Labo, etc... so I am delighted when anything sticks, even if I hate it! Still will be just a day worth. Extrait tends to die very fast on me actually, pretty much any I've tried are gone in less than hour. I suppose that saves money? Except I make it up on the sheer amount I need to apply to have any effect. Sad... my best friend projects perfume like it is going out of fashion.

Caroline March 1, 2015

Was checking notes on Fragrantica one day, and stumbled across Ungaro Diva. Since a vintage bottle was quite inexpensive on ebay, I bought unsniffed. I do like it--the quality materials immediately reveal themselves. But it's strong & tenacious, and the 100 ml bottle will certainly outlive me. When I run across a modern scent that won't let go, I often assume it's due either to aromachemicals or the presence of patchouli. Two that last on me are Balenciaga Paris and 31 Rue Cambon.

Eloquaint March 1, 2015

I wore Mamluk by Xerjoff for almost two days after my initial application, which consisted of dragging the mouth of a 1 ml sample vial across my wrist a couple of times. Fortunately that kind of application yields a low sillage, but it was quite clear to me. Also fortunate is the fact that I LOVED Mamluk.

johanob2014 March 1, 2015

Strangely enough:28 La Pausa lasts a good 10 hours on my skin.It's a legendary disappearing act,but on my perfume loving skin it lasts and lasts and lasts in all it's icy,rooty Iris-splendor!Love it.I get a good 2 days on skin from Portrait of a Lady as well.L'Eau d'Hiver is another marathon runner on my skin!

KimB March 1, 2015

Anything by Slumberhouse lasts forever on my skin, and especially layered Sadanne and Ore - an amazing combination with lasting power that seems to be additive, lasting for 2 days. Also some earlier Lutens like Un Bois Vanille, Ambre Sultan, Chergui - I love them but have to be prepared to love them into the next day!

Lisa Loader March 1, 2015

Portrait of a Lady - My office smells like it even when I have been out for days.