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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.

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.

Perfumes And Features

While dealing with the discussion regarding the right selection of perfumes it would be great to have a glance on France being the industry of perfumes. Although invented by the Egyptians, the French had carried out extensive research works on the perfumes and developed the concept of layered fragrance. This has today become the salient point to distinguish an original perfume from rest of the perfumery items such as colognes, eau de toilettes, eau de perfumes and lotions. An original perfume usually has three distinctive layered fragrance called notes the top notes, middle notes and the base notes.



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 perfumes 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.

You might be wondering what body parts would be the best place to apply your perfume on. If you have the intention of just sampling the perfume and smelling it yourself, it would be best to apply it on your wrist. If you want others to notice it, dab the perfume on the different pulse points like the wrist, the throat, the back of your knees, and the area near your ears. Your natural body heat will help activate the scent.

If you are confused on the types of perfume available in the market, they are differentiated by their content concentration. Essential oils are the strongest followed by eau de perfume, eau de toilette and eau de cologne.

When you are shopping for perfumes and trying on different types, your scent receptors may go into overload. Wait for a few minutes before smelling on another scent. Dont try on more than three perfumes at one time. Smelling coffee beans while choosing perfumes can help clear your smelling power.


erfumes usually would last long for two to three years. To help increase the longevity of your perfume, store it in a dry and cool place. Avoid it being exposed to heat, humidity and sunlight for it shortens the shelf life of your perfume and can affect its scent.

How a fragrance may smell on you is due to your body chemistry. Other factors that can affect would be the medications you may be drinking, the type of food and spices that you may be eating and the things that you may be applying to your skin. So you cant expect for a perfume that would smell good on your friend to smell good on you as well.

In case you have applied too much perfume dont try to apply other fragrances to mask the scent for it will only make you smell worse when the fragrances will get mixed up. If you have the luxury of time, spraying on it a mixture of soap and water should do the trick. Dabbing the area with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol could also solve the problem.

If you want to make the fragrance last longer you can use a set containing the same scents for a total effect. Start with by using the body gel or wash, followed by a lotion and then spraying on the cologne or perfume. Most scent manufacturers offer their fragrances in sets of body wash, cologne and perfume.



fragrance families



The floral fragrance family is the largest and most diverse group of scents. It

is the essence of femininity expressed in fragrant roses, peony, jasmine oils,

combined with the freshness of fruits or intensity of exotic spices. The floral

fragrances family is divided into seven sub-families: floral-fruit, floral-oriental,

floral-water, floral-green, floral-aldehyde, floral-citrus and floral-woody.


Oriental scents are sensual and seductive. These are compositions with

warm and exotic notes. They contain sweet notes of vanilla, spicy aromas

of cardamom, cinnamon and clear accents of incense and ambergris. The

oriental group includes a few subgroups, including: floral, fruity, spicy and



Unique woody compositions, herb-soil patchouli aroma, aromatic bergamot

oil castoreum or cedar oil, these notes pump in the heart of chypre

fragrances. The name of the group comes from the French name for Cyprus.

Fragrances in this group have been divided into subfamilies: chypre-fruit,

chypre-woody, chypre-oriental and chypre-floral.


Fresh and juicy fruits – lime, lemon, orange and bergamot – create an

extremely refreshing citrus group, providing invigorating experience and an

incredible energy boost. Initially the fragrances from this group were created

mainly for men but the group is now considered universal. Depending on

the composition formula, the citrus fruit family is divided into four subgroups:

lemon, mandarin, orange and floral


Warm and rich notes of sandalwood and guaiacum, patchouli oils, combined

with a bit raw, yet refined aromas of cedar and vetiver create an elegant and

sophisticated group of woody fragrances. The group of woody fragrances

is divided into a few subfamilies: floral, fruity and oriental.


Fern and lavender complemented by oak moss, fresh herbs or coumarin,

create an intriguing family of fougère fragrances. Its name is derived from

French and means “fern”. The history of this group dates back to the 19th

century – it was then that the most well-known fragrance composition in this

group was created: Fougère Royale. Due to its composition, this group is

divided into subgroups dependent on the dominant note: lavender or fern.


The group of water scents is one of the youngest fragrance families. Cool,

invigorating notes of sea breeze, water flowers and grasses, complemented

by hints of green or metallic are dominant in this family.




How To Choose A Perfume?

There is not an ultimate advice because everyone interprets odors in their own way, and the same fragrance can smell totally different considering type of skin, hair color, temperament and even the season of a year. There are important nuances if you do not want to seem vulgar or lacking of taste.

First, when you choose a perfume, do not account on anybody except yourself. When you breathe in the scent, imagine yourself in it, wear it, like an unseen dress, and look at. Does it fit you? After some training, you will learn which of them best suits you.

Second, do not buy cheap perfumes in occidental places.

Third, when using perfumes it is important to take to account the season, the clothes and the place where you are planning to go. It is known that day perfumes are subtler and more transparent than evening perfumes which are considered as darker and richer in their aroma and mysteriousness.

At work at the office or just on a walk, it is better to use day perfumes; they are softer and lighter. In the evening, going to the theatre, it is essential to emphasize the luxury.

When you are preparing to a date, avoid using perfumes that include lavender, wood, cumarine and bergamot. Your secret goal is to temptate your man, to shock his senses, to give him a hope, not to demonstrate proud independence and unavailability.

There is an advice of an old Russian perfumer who had worked for many years for CHANEL: At night, use perfumes with fruity scents- they evoke the taste (flavor) sense. These odors turn a woman from a flower to a lustful fruit that promises pleasure.

In winter, cypress perfumes are recommended. Their heavy, sharp woody notes emphasize the luxury of furs and give a feeling of internal heat. By the way, in 1948 Rochas introduced a special winter perfume to use on furs only.

In summer, it is recommended to use sweet-honey and flowery perfumes. They make woman feel like a blossoming fresh flower. 

Never exaggerate with perfumes. Psychologists have proved that our sense of smell stop reacting to odors we are used to, but people around us feel them very well. So it is not recommended to exaggerate if you do not want to become an object of irritation.




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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