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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 October 17, 2013  Fifi  1,901 said:

No, I won't be bothered

on October 15, 2013  layalxo  2,543 said:

I've never heard of a perfume primer, although I don't think it would be for me. I find my scent sticks with me all day for the most part. Great idea, but not necessary.

on October 15, 2013  flower  4,433 said:

never heard of this

on October 15, 2013  reneemichelle  229 said:

Good question Bren! Technically the primer is scent free, but with the high alcohol content I found there was a pretty strong vodka scent at first spray. When the primer dries you can't smell it at all.

on October 15, 2013  Bren  25,761 said:

Does the primer have a scent?I have never heard of this...I think I would prefer to just reapply my perfume..

on October 15, 2013  fredamans  12,237 said:

Naw, not enough of a worry for me.

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