BASIC PERFUME COMPOSITIONS
Have you ever noticed how a fragrance can suddenly change in 20-30 minutes after application to the skin: some scents become brighter, others have disappeared? No need to worry, you have no problems with your sense of smell, and you did not buy the “wrong” perfume. On the contrary, this game of aromas is the main feature of a high quality perfume. Fact is that the perfume composition is constantly changing after being sprayed; usually not very much, but the difference is still possible to notice.
Perfumery masters keep the secret of mixing fragrances strictly confidential, accompanying their masterpieces and only listing the main ingredients. All the public need to know is the scent of the perfume and what memories it will leave.
As a rule, the perfume composition corresponds to the principle of the triad and consists of three notes: the top (the head of flavor), the middle (the heart note) and base notes. In a short amount of time there will be a change from top to middle notes, and later followed by the last change to the base notes.
Perceived immediately upon application of a perfume, the top notes consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly. They form a person’s initial impression of a perfume and thus are very important in the selling of the product. The scents of this note class are usually described as “fresh,” “assertive” or “sharp.” The top notes are usually as follows: bergamot, orange, lemon, lavender, rosemary, basil, thyme, nutmeg and others.
The middle note compounds form the “heart” or main body of a perfume and emerge in the middle of the perfume’s dispersion process. To no surprise, the scent of middle note compounds are usually more mellow and “rounded”. Scents from this note class appear anywhere from two minutes to one hour after the application of a perfume. The heart notes can be fruity, floral, spicy, oriental, ozone, or leather. There are usually plant materials in use such as jasmine, wild lily, rose, amber, aldehyde, fern acting in conjunction with woody, fruity or oriental notes.
Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class are often the fixatives used to hold and boost the strength of the lighter top and middle notes. Consisting of large, heavy molecules that evaporate slowly, compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and “deep” and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after the application of the perfume or during the period of perfume dry-down. Some base notes can still be detectable in excess of twenty-four hours after application. In this base, sugary sweetish notes are used of sandalwood, cedar, musk and amber.
But keep in mind : that the structure of the perfume can change because of improper storage of it. So do not forget to store your perfume in a dark and cool place. Typically, the shelf life of a perfume is 2-3 years.
The difference between Perfume, Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette
People often do not know the difference between Perfume, Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette. Let’s answer this eternal question once and for all.
– The perfume comprises the largest percentage of essential oils (10-30%) which are dissolved in pure alcohol (96%). Due to this, the perfume is much more persistent – just a few drops of it will keep the character of fragrance on a cotton fabric for 30 hours! At present, few perfumers produce perfumes, and the most concentrated perfume in their assortment is an eau de parfum.
– Eau de Parfum. The concentration of aromatic oils is 10-20% (the less oil, the less sharp and persistent the smell is) and 90% of alcohol. Eau de Parfum is also called “Day perfume.” A perfume water must keep the character of fragrance for 4 hours.
– Eau de Toilette. Oil concentration is 4-10%, an alcohol content is 80-90%. This is an ideal variant for summer time, because toilette water can be used several times a day. Eau de Toilette must keep the character of fragrance for 2-3 hours. Nowadays it is the most common type of women’s perfumes, and almost all the men’s perfumes consist of toilette water. Officially the term «Eau de Toilette» was originated owing to Napoleon Bonaparte. While being in exile on the island of Saint Helena he invented his own recipe of aromatic water with bergamot instead of the ended cologne. The Emperor called his invention “Eau de Toilette”, and since then the term has become official.
In the Eau de Toilette the first notes of the fragrance are saved. In the same Eau de Parfum the heart note is shifted slightly upward, and also some chords of the fragrance can be changed or strengthened. Perfume water sounds more deeply, but is softer in comparison with the toilet water. The perfume respectively has an expressed base note and sounds more softly and deeply. Based on the foregoing, it is clear that the same scent, which is produced in various product lines, can be completely different but be called same name. Here it would be appropriate to give an example, which is sometimes seen on specialized perfume training. If you take the same scent in different versions (Perfume, Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum) and then apply them to separate plotters, you can mix up perfume and eau de toilette, because toilet water seems much brighter, sharper, so intuitively it can be perceived as a stronger concentration.
A piece of advice: if your aroma has toilet as well as perfume water, you should take Eau de Parfum. You’ll receive more pleasure in the process of using it, though, such choice is always more expensive. If you want a stronger impression from the scent in whole, at first buy Eau de Toilette, and then if you like it, buy the Eau de perfume. And the perfume is more suitable for the evening. Its scent will help to reveal such facets of your personality, which were constrained within you.
CHOOSSING A PERFUME
Choosing a perfume for oneself is not an easy task. From a choice between thousands of different pretty bottles and even more different smells, it’s easy to lose one’s mind. Let’s talk about this.
Are you going to wear that perfume during the day or at night? For work or the weekends? These are some questions that will help determine what fragrance you will need. Firstly I would like to remind you of the 3 types of perfumes that exist.
- We’ll start with Eau de Toilette, which is a perfume with 4-8% oil that will last you three to four hours.
- Eau de parfum has a higher oil concentration, 15-18% mixed with alcohol and will last you for 6 hours.
- The ones called simply parfum or perfume have 18-30% of oil, which is the highest concentration and will last you all day long if not even till the day after.
Once you have decided what type of perfume fits you best we can move on to scents. There are 6 main categories:
I. Floral perfumes which usually have a single note. They often smell like rose, lavender, jasmine and orange blossom. It’s a feminine and classic fragrance
II. Citrus based scents offer a tangy smell and are best during the daytime. Made of lime, lemon, mandarin, or grapefruit. They are very lively, soft and refreshing.
III. Chypre is considered a woody and musky fragrances. Think of bergamot, cedarwood, and sandalwood. It’s a strong and classic smell and can be often found in the unisex aisle.
IV. Oriental smells are sultry and rich and include vanilla, amber, musk or cinnamon as base scents. A very good choice as an evening smell.
V. Fruity is a popular choice due to it’s spicy and sweet scent. Their base notes are apple, berry, mango, and peach. These are great for evening plans.
VI. Green fragrances smell like fresh leaves and earth. They are very sporty, mild and unisex scents. A very good choice for casual events.
Okay now that we know this, we can get through the choosing process now.
Trying various fragrances right in the same aisle might seem tempting but isn’t exactly helpful. Because of all the different stale scents that already linger in the perfume section, it’s better to spritz on tester strips, exit the store and take a smell outside the store. If you’ve smelled too many breathe in the odor of coffee beans if they’re being offered. Then go on about your day with the strips and repeatedly smell them. Once you’ve chosen a favorite it’s time to try it on your body and see how it mixes with your natural scent. Spritz the perfume on pulse points like your wrists and inner elbows. Afterward, do not rub them, the friction heats up the perfume and disrupts the chemistry. Wait 30 minutes before taking a determining smell. If it’s not the one, repeat the process.
Perfumes are a very personal choice, they’re like a subconscious business card. Perfumes give you an opportunity to introduce yourself without words. Choose what you think represents you best.