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9 Creative Ways to Wear Fragrance for People Who Hate Spraying Perfume

Eau so clever.
By Loni Venti
March 17, 2021
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Drop the atomizer! OK, maybe just gently put it down (we don't want a glass catastrophe). The truth is that wearing spray fragrance "the right way" is tougher than it sounds. Over-spraying induces a headache, under-spraying is too subtle, and friction created by rubbing can heat up the skin and produce enzymes that alter the scent throughout the day. 

Enter non-spray fragrances. Even if you're not a perfume fan, these creative scent options will totally change the way you think about fragrances. From brushes to palettes to wearable candles, we've rounded up nine delicious and unexpected fragrance vessels that make it easy and fun to smell good all day long. 

1. Twist-Up Stick

The lipstick of fragrance! This spill-proof purse staple couldn't be easier to apply. Simply twist and swipe for a scent that lasts all day. Bonus: Solid scents are more self-contained, so they won't disturb a partner or roomie with a sensitive nose the way misting on a liquid scent might.   

interesting-fragrance-Crabtree & Evelyn Femme de Force Solid Perfume

Crabtree & Evelyn Femme de Force Solid Perfume

$25, crabtree-evelyn.com

Thanks to the compact packaging, this cutie is perfect for traveling or everyday use. The pretty-meets-gritty mixture has notes of citrus, grown-up florals (like woody rose), and spice. We love how the formula melts right into your skin when applied. 

2. Brush-On Fragrance  

Paintable perfume looks exactly like an elegant pen, and is just as convenient to tote around. Click to release the scent-filled, quick-drying gel formula, then sweep it on wherever you want using the brush applicator tip. Since the gel dries quickly, you can layer on multiple fragrances to create a completely custom scent. 

interesting-fragrance-Mix-Bar Cloud Musk Brush On Fragrance Pen

Mix:Bar Cloud Musk Brush On Fragrance Pen

$12, target.com

Fans of this yummy scent (which includes notes of cardamom, iris, jasmine, and tonka beans) rave about its long-lasting power. The budget-friendly price tag doesn't hurt either.

3. Perfume Palette

Each of the perfumes in these kits are curated to blend well together, offering the chance to create dozens of unique signature scents in a foolproof (and spill-proof) package that fits right in your makeup bag. 

interesting-fragrance-Mélange Solid Perfume Blending Palette in Single Notes Floral

Mélange Solid Perfume Blending Palette in Single Notes Floral

$30, etsy.com 

This brand, which literally translates to "mixture" or "medley," makes it easy to become an amateur perfumer. They have several kits available, but we love the fresh blooms vibe of this gardenia, tuberose, honeysuckle, and lavender mix.   

4. Fragrant Face Masks 

Pre-2020, we would've scrolled right past this. But if we're going to be wearing masks for a while, why not have them smell great? These disposable masks come infused with a mood-boosting scent. Reviewers love the playful twist on this safety staple, saying that the "great smell makes wearing a mask easy." Another mask fragrance option to consider: Scented mask stickers infused with essential oils. Just peel them off, pop them on the inside or outside of any mask, and breathe in.

interesting-fragrance-WashOTG Scented Face Mask Pack of 10

WashOTG Scented Face Mask Pack of 10

$25, amazon.com

Available in apple (which is a bright kelly green), or strawberry (a pastel pink), these disposable masks are a cute, comfy, and uplifting way to stay safe. The scent lingers all day without being overwhelming. 

interesting-fragrance-Aroma Stickers For Face Mask or Pillow

Aroma Stickers for Face Mask or Pillow 

$8, amazon.com 

Place this pretty patch on your mask (or your pillow) for instant relaxation. The stickers are available in several different scents, like lavender, grapefruit, yuzu, spearmint, and bergamot. 

5. Wearable Candle

This clever candle is so much more than home decor. Light it up to fill your space with fragrance. Blow out the candle, and you can use the warm coconut wax blend as a soothing massage oil (it burns at a low temperature so it won't be too hot). Or simply swipe a fingertip across the cooled wax and apply to pulse points for a solid perfume. 

interesting-fragrance-Objects With Purpose The Wearable Candle in Archetype Rising

Objects With Purpose The Wearable Candle in Archetype Rising

$47, etsy.com

This three-wick candle meets moisturizer meets perfume has notes of peony, cucumber, and firewood. It’s hand-poured and made with vegan, all-natural ingredients. The scent is carefully crafted to smell amazing both in your home and on your skin. 

6. Oil Drops

There are many benefits to choosing a perfume oil. To name a few, they generally have skin-nourishing ingredients (versus traditional fragrance, which can be drying and irritating—especially for sensitive skin), are highly concentrated for a longer-lasting scent, and can either be applied directly to the skin or mixed into a body lotion so you can apply the scent all over.  

interesting-fragrance-Nest Perfume Oil in Turkish Rose

Nest Perfume Oil in Turkish Rose

$98, sephora.com 

The roses used in this skin-quenching oil were all handpicked at dawn, when the flowers are most fragrant. Use the unique dropper to customize how subtle you want your scent to be. We love applying a few drops in the nook of our elbows and behind our knees (it releases a little hint of rose each time you move). 

7. Visual Fragrance 

A perfume you can...see?! Yes, you read that right. The first ever "Visual Fragrance" brand, Amkiri, was founded with the goal of taking the self-expression aspect of scent one step further. To apply, paint on the design of your choice using the minimalist tattoo stencils (think florals, moon phases, or letters) in either black or white. The fragrance and body art will last until you wash it off that evening or the next day (it's designed to last 12+ hours). 

interesting-fragrance-Amkiri Ink De Parfum and Variety Stencil Set

Amkiri Ink De Parfum and Variety Stencil Set 

$45, amkiri.com

This paint-on (temporary) tattoo-meets-fragrance is waterproof, sweat-proof, hypoallergenic, vegan, and cruelty-free. You can go bold, mixing and matching several stencils—or keep it simple with a small and subtle design, like placing one tiny design on your inner wrist. 

8. Scented Accessories

These chic and fragrant trinkets were inspired by the perfume-filled jewelry worn during the Renaissance. The brooch comes with a ceramic insert (refills are available), which diffuses the scent. The bracelet option comes with a dispenser filled with 30 bracelets—pull one out, wrap it around your wrist, close the clasp, and smell amazing all day. 

interesting-fragrance-Diptyque Perfume Brooch

Diptyque Perfume Brooch in Eau Rose or Do Son

$120, nordstrom.com

Not only will this create a subtle scent that never fades (as perfume applied to skin often does), it also adds a personal touch to your outfit. 

interesting-fragrance-Diptyque Perfumed Bracelet

Diptyque Perfumed Bracelet in Eau Rose or Do Son 

$90, nordstrom.com

This graphic black and white rope looks like a grown-up, elegant version of a friendship bracelet. To intensify the scent, wrap the bracelet around your wrist twice (and try to keep it dry). 

9. Self-Adjusting Roll On

If you're someone who never wants to smell like anyone else, this roller is for you. Once applied, Maya Base works in tandem with your body's chemistry and the environment around you to create a completely bespoke scent. You can also use it as a fragrance "base" and apply it beneath other perfumes to help them last longer and create something a little more tailored to you. 

interesting-fragrance-Maya Base Roll On Fragrance

Maya Base Roll On Fragrance

$72, mayafragrances.com

Reviewers love that this applicator is easy to apply on the go, the scent isn't overbearing, and it layers well with other perfumes. The brand calls it a daytime scent, but we think it’s great 24/7.