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We Tried It: Do We Need a Perfume Primer?

Posted by ChickAdvisor Team | Tuesday October 15, 201316 comments

The following is a true story: the other day, sitting at my desk at work, at about 5:30pm, I took a whiff of myself and declared to Miranda: "I don't smell so good." She said, "Um, what?" and I replied: "My skin smells like hummus". It was not a good moment in my life. This is exactly when a product like Canvas & Concrete's perfume primer would have come in handy. 

This perfume primer follows the same concept as a makeup primer. You give yourself a nice coating first, let it dry and then apply your perfume. It makes your scent last longer and keeps it true to the bottle smell. Sounds pretty awesome right? We obviously HAD to give it a try. I mean, as I so clearly demonstrated, I start to smell a little funky when mid afternoon hits, so this seemed like a perfect solution. 

We received a bottle from Canvas and Concrete to test out and each CA staffer took turns with it. Want to know what we thought? Wondering if you should invest in your own perfume primer? 

Rachel Okay - GREAT idea. Who doesn't want to smell funky fresh all day? But with every great product, it must satisfy an already existent need or solve a problem, and I haven't yet had someone complain about my stench - at least I hope not.

Despite my doubts, I gave my all to this product. I started my morning by dousing myself with a generous amount of this alcohol/aloe vera/leaf juice/chamomile based spray, followed by a healthy splash of my signature Michael Kors scent.

Shortly after, I realized there was really no accurate method of measuring the effectiveness of this product seeing as I am quite immune to my scent to begin with. I decided the best test would be to play the waiting game until someone courageously approached me about my youthful elegant scent.

Within very few hours, any scent that may have existed on my body had dissipated. I may blame a partial bit of that on the mean sweat I worked up on the walk to work, but as a whole, I don't think this product is checking boxes for me.

Again, fabulous idea, cutesy and quaint packaging, sleek bottle, and not the worst thing you could do to your credit card standing at $20.00. I recommend giving it a whirl!


First, let me say that I really wanted to like this product. I've always found that perfumes fade really fast on my skin and I reapply my fragrance at least once or twice throughout the day. If someone promised me a product that would help my perfume last, I would be alllll up on that. I followed the directions and tested this primer out before using my favourite Lush Sikkim Girls, layered with a body spray and decided to periodically sniff my arm to see how strong the scent was and if it changed throughout the day. 

After a few hours, the scent was seriously reduced. This perfume primer also promises to make your perfume true to the bottle smell. I did actually notice that this works, but to be honest, I am not sure why you'd want this. I enjoy the fact that perfume is altered to my skin. It makes it unique! I don't think I would purchase this primer. Plain and simple, this just didn't work for me. Like Rachel mentioned, it is only $20, so if this is something you're interested in, why not test it out? It may be exactly what you're after. 


I love perfume, so I was really excited to try out this product. 

Overall, I have mixed feelings about the effectiveness of the primer. I tried it with Burberry Brit perfume and found the scent smelled no different than usual on my skin and stuck around for an average time frame. I got to thinking, and my guess at the science behind this, is that most drugstore style perfumes are balanced with so much water, alcohol and other stabilizers that a primer might be a bit redundant.

I gave the primer a second try with Orange Sanguine by Atelier, a Cologne Absolute concentrated at 15%. This time I did notice a difference in the scent and found that the primer helped the scent stay pure. The blood orange notes also seemed to be bolder and last longer (citrus notes generally fade really fast). Scents with high concentrations of perfume oil tend to be pricey, so in this case spending the extra $20 on primer would be worth it in the long run - I say go for it!

Have you ever tried or heard of this product? Would you test it out? Is a perfume primer even necessary? 
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on May 16, 2017  Amanda112  25,515 said:

I came across this blog post while searching for a James Patterson book, in the Women's Murder Club.. no idea what perfume primer has to do with the book.. anyway, I had no idea perfume primer was even a thing..? After reading the somewhat mixed reviews above, I want to give it a try, its relatively cheap so I think I am going to try and find some!

on May 01, 2016  youssra.xo  4,680 said:

ive never heard of somehting like this.. i think its useless

on April 01, 2016  maddynha  2,226 said:

I've never heard of something like this before. Although I do love perfume, I don't think I'll be purchasing anything like this. If the perfume is of a high enough quality, it should already contain agents that help it to adhere for long periods of time.

on January 21, 2016  Sora  5,252 said:

Hm, like the others, I never knew such a thing existed. I guess it makes sense since longevity is something we pay attention to with fragrances, but I think I'll give this a miss.

on October 16, 2015  jessipickle  5,464 said:

I don't think this is a necessity. Just another product to add to the collection, I'll pass on this one.

on September 22, 2015  Kylee  40,914 said:

I don't think I would shell out $20 for this product, it sounds interesting but I find that my perfume lasts a long time anyways so I don't think I would need this. But if it works for some of you ladies then that is great :)

on November 26, 2014  glumbumble  10,038 said:

A good concept in theory, in concerns of making a fragrance last longer. But it's definitely not a bonus to advertise that it makes the fragrance smell closer to the bottle's fragrance. But I'm not surprised to hear that this doesn't work in the slightest.

on October 19, 2013  imfeehily  8,865 said:

Had never head of this product. Dont think i need it. will carry a travel size perfume instead.

on October 18, 2013  Weez  912 said:

I am horribly allergic to perfume. Now just what the world needs: a product designed to make it reek more.

Why people insist on spraying toxic VOCs and Phenyl Group chemicals all over their bodies yet scream bloody murder over GMO foods is beyond me. Inhaling alll this artificially fragranced crap and covering your skin in petrochemicals is far worse for a person's health than eating GM Foods.

on October 18, 2013  sandhur  29,780 said:

Have heard of it, will not try it

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