Fragrance is much more than just perfume, today it is part of lifestyle and daily grooming routine. Fragrance is a vanity that can conjure up stories, emotions, transport you somewhere else, capture many memories of family and friends or special moments in time.
It is a blend of various raw materials containing essential oils, alcohol, aroma compounds, solvent and aqua as well as other ingredients to improve the skin feel. The concentration of these compounds would determine the longevity of the fragrance.
Concentrated Perfume Oil
This is the extract of a fragrance and represents the scent in its purest form with concentration around 20 to 40%. Due to this high concentration this form lasts longer and requires less frequent application.
Eau de Parfum or EDP is one of the most popular forms of fragrance. Eau de Parfum contains between 15 to 20% of essential oils and is the second most potent and longest lasting means of wearing a fine fragrance. Eau de Toilette or EDT is fast growing category and the most common means of wearing a fragrance. EDT's are not as highly concentrated in essential oils as an EDP or Perfume would be and contain 5 to 15 % of fragrance oils. This impacts the ability of the fragrance to last and around 80 % of the oils in an EDT fragrance will evaporate within three hours of application.
A fragrance is composed of three notes and these are formulated to evaporate in layers. The composition of a perfume is called an accord where there are three sets of 'notes' that appear gradually on top of each other thus creating an olfactive harmony.
Top notes (head)
Top notes or “ Note de tete” these notes are THE MONEY SHOTS the first scents you smell, which wear away after around 10 minutes and leave behind the heart notes. A few hours later, the perfume’s essence, or base notes, emerge. Therefore one should wear a scent around for a while to evaluate how its entire fragrance profile develops.
The compounds that make up the top notes are usually sharp and volatile.
Middle notes (heart)
The true personality of these scents appear just before the top notes die down and are usually rounded and soft. Floral scents are the typical middle notes. The ‘heart’ gives the perfume its main character together with the base notes. The middle notes can start to appear a few minutes after application and will last about 3-6 hours on the skin.
Base notes (dry-down)
These notes are comprised of compounds which are heavy and large molecules that evaporate slowly. They emerge last and add a rich and deep character to the fragrance. They are also used to give lasting power to the perfume. You'll probably detect the first base notes between half an hour to an hour and they can last up to 24 hours on the skin.
- Role of Fragrances
Fragrance is both romantic and attractive. It certainly creates an allure when you are around somebody who smells good. For the world in general, a fragrance simply makes the wearer more attractive and pleasant to be around. Our sense of smell has such an evocative power. " Smell is the primordial sense, more powerful, more primitive, more intimately tied to our memories and emotions than any other. A scent can trigger spiritual, emotional or physical peace and stimulate healing and wellness."
The reasons why people wear fragrances are a complex of psychological motivations including social and sexual attraction, seduction, romance, status definition, confidence building, enhancement of feelings of personal well being and self esteem.
- How to apply
For maximum diffusion , you should apply fragrance to your “pulse” points, including the inner wrists and elbows, behind the knees and in the nape of the neck. For a more subtle effect, some people like to spray the fragrance in the air and walk into it. If you have allergic tendencies or very sensitive skin, you may prefer to spray fragrance onto your clothes, which will make a subtle but long-lasting impression
- Gift the right fragrance
Picking up a fragrance for someone can sometimes be exhausting. Start by asking yourself what are the perfumes that the person already has. What are the olfactive preferences of the person? Do they usually prefer light floral, fruity, green, citrus or spicy and warm fragrances?
Lighter skin and hair people tend to prefer lighter perfumes: floral/citrus, fruity/green, and darker skin and hair people tend to prefer more spicy and warm perfumes. Young people usually prefer light floral, fruity and citrus' perfumes.
Each fragrance family has its own personality, but each person’s ideal fragrance is unique to themselves.
Always keep the cap on your perfume bottle closely tight. Oxygen is a big enemy to perfume and will spoil its chemical composition. Sunlight exposure can have detrimental effects on the fragrance. Keep your perfume away from heat and direct sunlight. Your perfume should be kept in a cool dark place if you want it to retain its quality for a long time. If you like to keep your perfume on a counter, use it within a year.
When it comes to perfumes......Monogamy is a passé....especially when one is surrounded by multitude of tempting fragrances all around.....
Having a well-honed collection of perfumes is the way to go !!
One signature fragrance versus a "wardrobe"
The idea to have one signature fragrance is archaic. People now prefer having a collection depending on their mood, season or particular occasion. Also to avoid "olfactive adaptation " phenomenon where using one signature fragrance gets you desensitized to the perfume, its always better to have a WARDROBE. Why not have a rich and varied assortment of perfumes for your dressing table as well as to cater to multi-faceted aspects of your life and personality?
PARTY TIME !!! When you are in a party mood or having a night out , you should choose a heavier perfume for long lasting effect and to stand out a bit, of course !!! Musk types of perfumes work well in this case.
TIME FOR CELEBRATIONS !!! Wedding celebrations , festivals, ceremonies it is perfect occasion to wear your favorite florals. It is wise to choose romantic scents with a smell of sophistication. This you will find in floral types of perfumes. When you yourself are in a bit of a romantic occasion make use of oriental perfumes to enhance your sensuality.
When its time to go on that special date or for an romantic evening dinner, orientals and woodsy perfume add an air of mystery and seduction. For seductive scents vanilla, basil, cinnamon draw as much attention as musks do.
Choosing a fragrance suitable for particular event of occasion is important.
Our ability to smell and our sensitivity to scents changes over short periods of time, between morning, afternoon and evening, before and after a meal, as well as over longer periods with changes of season and temperature, hormonal changes, during pregnancy, according to our state of healthand as we grow older. Our sense of smell is directly linked to our emotional state as well as to genetic patterns that define physical balance and health. Some research suggests that our smell sensitivity declines as we age, so we may tend to prefer stronger, more long lasting scents as we get older. Medical and pysological conditions affect our ability to smell or alter our perception of perfume.
Women tend to switch fragrances due to factors including change of mood, special occasion, change of season, a friends recommendation, popularity of the perfume or something seen in press or TV advertising.
Human skin is a complex organ defined by thickness, moisture content, acidity (pH), oiliness and texture. All of these can change at different times and can affect the way a perfume emanates from the skin. In addition, each person has unique natural scent profile defined genetically. When you find that a perfume smelled great on a friend just doesn't work for you, it may be that your basic skin chemistry is changing the scent or rather that the perfume does not compliment your own natural scent profile.
Recent research indicates that each person's natural body scent profile ( and perhaps pheromone profile) is a unique and is defined genetically.
Fragrances also interact differently with dry or oily skin. Oily skin, on the other hand, hold on to the top notes longer, and can retain softer scents over time.