All You Need To Know About Perfumes

“Perfume is a mark of female identity and the final touch of her style,” Christian Dior says. This shows that perfume does not only enhance your femininity, but also complements your outfit. Knowing the basic knowledge of perfumes help you choose your favorite perfume and wear it in the right way.

History of Perfumes

Perfumes have existed since the earliest human civilizations. The world's first-recorded perfume maker is a woman named Tapputi, who was mentioned in a cuneiform tablet from the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia. She distilled flowers, oil, and calamus with other aromatics, then filtered and put them back in the still several times.

Modern perfumery began in the late 19th century, with the introduction of commercial synthesis of aroma compounds such as vanillin or coumarin, which allowed previously unattainable smells.

Perfume Concentrations
Perfumes contain different concentrations of aromatic compounds. The more aromatic compounds in a fragrance, the more intense and lasting the fragrance will be. The concentrations and specific names for each type of perfumes are catergorized as below:

1. Perfume (Parfum): 15-40% aromatic compounds; lasts for up to 6-8 hours.
2. Eau de Parfum (EdP): 10-20% (typical 15%) aromatic compounds; lasts for up to 4-5 hours.
3. Eau de Toilette (EdT): 5-15% (typical 10%) aromatic compounds; lasts for up to 2-3 hours.
4. Eau de Cologne (EdC): Chypre citrus type perfumes with 3-8% (typical 5%) aromatic compounds; lasts for up to 2 hours.
5. Eau Fraiche: 1-3% aromatic compounds; lasts for up to 2 hours. 

Fragrance Categories
The scents of perfumes can be classified into 8 categories according to the ingredients that are used to compose that particular scent. 

1. Citrus: infused with the tangy essence of citrus fruits, these perfumes are lively and energetic.
2. Floral: sweet and romantic, these scents are the "good girls" of the fragrance world.
3. Fruity: the bright smells of juicy fruits please the nose, and is often blended with florals to create a compelling aroma.
4. Greens: a natural and energetic group, these fragrances smell of fresh leaves and newly-mown grass. Tend toward the unisex.
5. Oceanic: crisp and fresh, these perfumes evoke natural aromas such as mountain air, ocean spray or clean linen.
6. Oriental: exotic and feminine, these sensual blends feature an earthy, animalistic base scent such as musk or ambergris. They are often combined with warm notes such as amber or floral notes.
7. Spicy: featuring notes of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamon and pepper, these perfumes are comforting and alluring in an old-fashioned way.
8. Woody (Chypre): built on base notes of bark and moss, these scents evoke a no-nonsense femininity.

Applying Perfumes
The conventional application of fragrances is at pulse points, such as behind the ears, the nape of the neck, and the insides of wrists, elbows and knees. The pulse points will warm the perfume and release fragrance continuously. 

The modern way of application encourages fragrance layering by mixing two or more scents together. This allows you to custom-blend a signature scent to reflect your personality or your mood. If you haven’t layered fragrances before, try to combine two fragrances that have a common note, e.g. jasmine. If you’re adventurous, try combining two or more opposite fragrances, such as a spice and a vanilla.

Avoid combining two scents that are too dark and heady, they can be overwhelming when used together.

However, layering scents doesn’t necessarily mean spraying two perfumes directly on top of each other. It can also mean building up a long-lasting scent by combining body products and perfumes of your favorite scent. Lightly scented products such as bath oil, shower gel, and body lotion are recommended for the morning; Eau de Toilette is suggested for the afternoon; and Parfum for evening.

It is said that the type of perfume used by a woman can reflect her personality. What is your favorite type of fragrance? Let us know in the comments.

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