Contrary, to popular belief, it is not that difficult to select the proper fragrance, once you understand each scent’s function and your personal needs. Let us break it down for you.
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 and is dependent on the base upon which the perfume is formulated.
There are four common bases. Citrus is 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. Finally, floral is 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 scent as it evaporates from the skin. All scents have three notes, called the top, the heart and the base. The top note is the instant impression created by the fragrance. It is supposed to attract people to the scent, but it quickly dissipates. The heart note is called the body of the perfume, its essence. It tells the smeller what the fragrance is supposed to be about. The base note is 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. It 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 directly onto the skin. To prevent this and to allow users to fully enjoy the fragrance, perfume oils are mixed into ethanol, with water sometimes added in.
There are four main different types of fragrances: Eau De Cologne, Eau De Toilette, Eau De Parfum and Parfum.
They range in concentrate and therefore differ in price. Eau de Cologne is the term used today to refer to a perfume solution with around a 3% compound in an oil and water base. It is the lightest of perfumes and, therefore the least expensive. Eau de Toilette is a perfume solution with a 3-8% compound in an oil and water base. It is a bit pricier. Eau de Parfum is a perfume solution with a 10-15% compound. Parfum is the highest concentration of oils, with 20-50% compound, which makes it last longer than others and it is the most expensive.