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 Beauty, Good Looks, Grace & Charm


An Introduction To Perfumes And Colognes

The word perfume is from a Latin phrase meaning “through smoke” and was thought to have been invented by the ancient Egyptians who burned fragrant woods and plants for their pleasant odors. Over the years perfume has been used, refined and enhanced by every major civilization and today...

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The word perfume is from a Latin phrase meaning “through smoke” and was thought to have been invented by the ancient Egyptians who burned fragrant woods and plants for their pleasant odors. Over the years perfume has been used, refined and enhanced by every major civilization and today perfume as we know it is a very big business.

Today’s modern perfume has three main components:

The scent – Virtually anything natural or synthetic that has an odor can be used in the making of perfume. Typically scents are made from flowers, citrus, spices, woods and sometimes even leather.

The fixative – These ingredients act to stabilize the aromatic compound and help to make the scent last longer.

The solvent – This is usually alcohol and keeps bacteria from forming and helps maintain an even consistency so it can be easily applied.

The category a fragrance belongs to is defined by how much of the scent (or aromatic compound) is used in the product. This also plays a factor in determining the price as the higher the concentration of scent the more expensive the fragrance will be:

Lotions and aftershaves generally have a 1 to 2% scent base

Eau de Cologne products are generally 2 to 3% pure scent

Eau de Toilettes run between 5 to 20% scent

Eau de Parfums will have from 10 to 30% aromatic compound in them

Perfume Extract or Parfum has the greatest concentration of scent, between 20 and 40%

Women’s products are usually categorized as perfume, eau de parfum, toilet water, and cologne and for men’s products are sold as perfume, cologne, and aftershave.

Surprisingly fragrances and music share a common term, notes. Perfumes are often described by the different “notes” that make up the scent. These notes are designed to emerge at different times during the scent span of a fragrance just as an orchestra will have different instruments playing throughout a musical composition.

Top Notes are the strongest scents but do not last very long. This is the initial burst of smell you get when you first take a sniff of your favorite perfume or cologne. The top notes are often spice or citrus based.

Middle (or heart notes) makes up the main part of the scent that emerges after the top notes start to fade away and are usually softer and mellower than the initial scent. These scents are usually floral in nature.

Bass notes form the foundation of the scent and are usually deep and musky in nature and emerge to blend with the middle notes not to replace them.

Fragrances are very complex products that go through many stages of development before reaching the consumer. There are tens of thousands of different perfumes and colognes available today, each one having its own unique scent signature and what once was reserved for the wealthy and privileged is now available to everyone.


A Pursuit For The Nose

Take note, when you buy a perfume bottle most of the cost goes to the packaging, advertising, sales profit and tax.

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Take note, when you buy a perfume bottle most of the cost goes to the packaging, advertising, sales profit and tax. Only a small percentage, actually around ten percent, is dedicated to the costs of the scents.

So why buy when you can make your own perfume. Not only will you be able to save some money but you'll get a blast from the pursuit of the perfect perfume.

One of the greatest advantages of making your own perfume is that you don't have to worry about having chemicals and preservatives going onto your skin. Since you're more likely going to work with natural, you don't have to worry about the possible effects of synthetic materials on your body.

However, care should still be taken when using various essential oils. Some people might still have particular allergenic reactions to specific types of oils. It is therefore important to know or be familiar with your own body chemistry first before trying experimenting with blending perfumes.

First, let's differentiate between the various types of perfumes. Basically, a perfume is a mixture of aromatic compounds and diluted in alcohol and water. The amounts of aromatic oils dissolve in a blend determine if it can be called a perfume or a cologne. Arranged from highest concentration of oils to lowest the sequence would be: perfume, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne and body splash.

When we say perfume, the blend of aromatic oils is from 25 to 40%. Eau du parfum, meanwhile, are 15-30% aromatics. Eau du Cologne has even lighter aromatic oil contents. This type of scent usually has around 5-15% aromatic compounds. Toilet water or sometimes referred to as body splash has only 3-5% aromatics. Body splash are ideally used after you take a bath or shower.

When you make your own perfume, you get to choose which solvent you would use to dilute the blend. Available at your disposal are either jojoba or alcohol. Both have distinct differences and benefits. Jojoba is great for perfume blends because it never turns rancid.

When you have created your own perfume blend, it is best that you use the perfume only on your pulse points. Anywhere more and you might overdo the scent. For diluting the blend the traditional way, you use grain alcohol or a high grade proof of vodka. Alcohol makes the blend more volatile. The problem with alcohol is that you have to let the perfume blend evolve. If you don't the scent will smell more like an alcohol rather than a perfume. Usual proportions of alcohol and perfume blend is about three or four ml of the blend combined with five or 10 drops of alcohol.

Making your own perfume should be fun. Don't delve too much on the technicality of blending perfumes. Explore and try to make combinations that are unheard off. You never know, the resulting blend might be perfect to your body chemistry.

Scents and fragrances react differently when applied to your body. Choosing one that fits you is like choosing the right color of dress or the right pair of shoes to wear. Perfumes cannot just be worn arbitrarily. The resulting scent might be catastrophic. That's why you need to experiment more when making your own perfume. Try various combinations of scents until you find the perfect one for you.


All You Need To Know About Fragrances And Perfumes

Perfumes are very nice. Most people love the smell of perfume against the skin, and it is the rare person who does not take to fragrances. The art of making and using perfume has been around since the dawn of civilization, and people have used it for many different reasons.


Why do people use perfume? Men and women alike have their own purposes for using fragrances. Some just like to smell good, and smelling good enhances their own well-being. Some use perfume to make a grand statement as they enter a room and to leave an impression as they go out. Some enhance their own natural scent with perfume so they would be seductive and appealing to the opposite sex. There are many reasons as to why people use fragrances.

Unique Signature Scents

When you buy perfumes, however, you have to be careful. It is very unwise to just pick up a bottle and head off to the counter to buy that fragrance. You have to test it on your skin first. Not only is it possible that you could be allergic to some perfumes, but a fragrance that smells nice on one person will not smell the same on you.

There is something that biochemists and manufacturers of perfumes alike call the signature scent. This signature scent refers to the particular chemical makeup of the body, which dictates how our skin will take to any fragrance that we apply onto it. We all have unique signature scents because it is determined by our particular lifestyle habits and choices, diet, the medication that we take if we are taking any, our skin type and coloring, and many other factors. Thus, because of signature scent, a specific fragrance will smell differently on different people.

The Three Elements of Fragrance

The scent of a perfume is determined by three elements: the theme of the fragrance, its notes and its concentration. Knowing about these three elements can help you decide on which would be the best perfume that would suit you and your personality.

Theme is what creates variation among fragrances. It is also called accord and is dependent on the base upon which the perfume is formulated, and there are four common bases used in formulating perfumes. These four are:

* Citrus – created from fruits rich in citric acid, like oranges, bergamots and lemons, always light and fresh-smelling.
* Earth – lends an air of mystery upon the wearer, formulated from minerals or from non-flowering plants such as cinnamon, vanilla, honey and sandalwood.
* Musk – always considered sexy and alluring, and though previously made from the sacs of animals such as the civet and the Asian musk deer, they are now created synthetically.
* Floral – the most common theme among perfumes; as the name suggests, they are made from the essence of flowers and are often strong, clinging and sweet.

The notes of a perfume, on the other hand, are what are known as the impressions of the fragrance. It is the lingering air left by the perfume as it evaporates from the skin. All scents have three notes, called the top, the heart and the base.

* Top note – the instant impression created by the fragrance. It is supposed to attract people to the scent, but it quickly dissipates.
* Heart note – called the body of the perfume, the perfume’s essence. It tells the smeller what the fragrance is supposed to be about.
* Base note – the scent that lingers after the top note and the heart note evaporates. It is the main message of the perfume.

The last element to be considered is the concentration of the perfume. Concentration indicates how pure the perfume is, or the amount of perfume oil added into the fragrance. The purest perfume is known to be extremely volatile and can cause irritations when applied right onto the skin. To prevent this and to allow users to enjoy fully the fragrance, perfume oils are mixed into ethanol, with water sometimes added in.

Perfume extracts are the most concentrated among fragrances. They are meant to be used sparingly and only on the body’s pulse points. Coming after perfume extracts in terms of concentration is the eau de parfum, and after that, the eau de toilette. These two are often sprayed all over the body. The least concentrated of fragrances is the eau de cologne.

Tips on How to Buy Perfume

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying a scent for yourself.

1. Never buy a scent just because you liked how it smelled on someone else. Remember that our signature scent is uniquely our own, so what may smell good on others may not be as good on our skin.

2. Never be in a rush when buying perfume. The best way to test a fragrance is to spray some on your wrist and let it linger for 30 minutes. It usually takes a scent to display all its three notes within 30 minutes. If you like what you smell on yourself after that time, go ahead and buy the fragrance.

3. Always get a scent that expresses your personality. You should always think of the fragrances you wear as extensions of yourself.

4. Always remember that the chemical makeup of a perfume is delicate. Therefore, never store your fragrances in extremely cold or extremely hot places, or where they can be caught by direct sunlight.

5. Never hoard your perfumes or else they will just evaporate.


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