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Getting the most from pricey fragrances

Fragrances are expensive enough as it is without wasting any. If you were fortunate enough to receive a pricey concoction from your Valentine -- or even if you paid for it yourself -- here are the top tips from the Fragrance Foundation to help you get the most out of your favorite scent.

Learn to layer: You can stretch your fragrance budget by layering scent. If you enjoy a costly eau de parfum, for example, purchase the more moderately priced body lotion to go with it. After bathing, apply the lotion all over and use just a dab of scent on warmest areas -- throat, neck, back of the knee and crook of the elbow.

Keep scent away from light and heat: The shelf life of most fragrance is less than two years. To preserve quality, store out of direct sunlight and high-moisture sites, like bathrooms. Better yet, keep bottles used infrequently in the refrigerator.

Spray, don't splash: When purchasing scent, opt for sprays rather than splash bottles. Fragrance stays truer and keeps longer if it never makes contact with bacteria-carrying fingers. If you prefer a dab of scent, make sure your hands are freshly washed.

Avoid scents when ill: If you're feeling under the weather, avoid wearing fragrance. Illness affects the smells we find pleasant, so you can suddenly find you dislike your new perfume -- and never want to use it again!

Keep your scent personal: Never give your favorite perfume as a gift. Your scent is like your signature, and you really don't want someone else to have it. On top of that, fragrance makes a personal statement about you.

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-- Updated: Feb. 6, 2006
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