Perfume Terminology (or ABCs)
Pure, natural extracts and oils from flowers and other vegetable materials. Very expensive for a small amount. Example: pure rose oil.
|tuberose from Morocco|
An odoriferous element in the perfume or cologne. When we smell a composed fragrance, we smell different notes within it. When the first scent — or top note — dissipates, we smell the middle note, also known as the bouquet. As that fades, we are left with the basic note, which is the third element of a composed fragrance. It’s like a symphony.
*test by spraying a small amount of fragrance on your forearm. It takes 20 minutes before the alcohol evaporates and you smell the ‘true’ scent.
Secret Number One: Don’t commit to a scent until you smell the final note.
|my fragrance testing kit|
What exactly is Eau de Cologne?
Eau de Cologne is three to five percent oil in a mixture of alcohol and water. It tends to be lighter and refreshing, typically with a citrus oil component.
Eau de Toilette
Containing about the same amount of perfume oil or a little more — somewhere between four and eight percent — than Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette is mixed with alcohol instead of water.
Eau de Parfum
A higher percentage of perfume oil — roughly 15 to 18 — mixed with alcohol makes up Eau de Parfum. It is more expensive than Eau de Cologne and Eau de Toilette.
Perfume is 15 to 30 percent perfume oil mixed with alcohol. Because it contains such a high percentage of perfume oil, it is far more expensive than Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette, or Eau de Parfum.
I Wear Eau de Parfum and Perfume.
Fragrance Families for Women
|fragrance family chart|
Fragrances are classified according to predominant scent characteristics. Four basic families make up most feminine fragrances. Floral/Sweet, Citrus/Fruity/Fresh, Oriental/Spicy, and Woody/Chypre. Within those families, there are sub-groups. Aromatic Fougère, a masculine scent family, used to be its own category, but was recategorized as a sub-category in the 2010 change. It has notes of lavender, fresh herbs, and moss.
At the perfumery I tested each client’s pH level and selected fragrances from each family for the pH level. Without knowing your pH level you will need try several scents from each family to see what scent appeals to you.
Secret Number Two: Floral and Sweet for daytime, and perhaps an Oriental/Spicy scent for date night. In cooler weather, stronger scents can be worn without overwhelming everyone around you. Conversely, lighter scents are better in warmer weather. Think of how summer smells like fresh cut grass and scoops of vanilla ice cream. December smells like evergreens and gingerbread. You can evoke those same wonderful emotions and memories with your own aroma.
Orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits. Apricot, apple, peach, etc. Clean, light, and invigorating.
Warm vanilla, spices and incense resins. Reminiscent of the Far East. Also ambery and musky. Kind of mysterious!
Scents like bergamot, oakmoss, labdanum, and patchouli. Mossy and very earthy smelling.
Choosing The Perfect Perfume
Perfumes and colognes are made up of many different accords to produce a harmonious scent. Because our body chemistry is unique to us, the same perfume will smell slightly different (or completely different) depending on who is wearing it.
Further, it will smell different in the bottle or sprayed on a card than it will on your skin.
Secret Number Three: Spray it on a card first. After five or ten minutes, smell it again. See if it still speaks to you. Then and only then, spray it on your skin. Remember with will take 20 minutes before the fragrance will be true to you pH level.
Secret Number Four: Never spray more than 4 fragrances at a time for testing.
Have you ever noticed how perfumeries have tiny jars of coffee beans scattered here and there? Take a sniff. It serves the same purpose as sorbet between dinner courses and cleanses your palate — or olfactory perception — in between scents.
How To Wear Your Perfume
Never spray on your wrists and then rub your wrists together, never tip the perfume bottle onto your skin because your body oil spoils the properties of the fragrance oils.
Apply the fragrance to the base of you skull because the warmth of your body and the movement of your hair creates release of the scent. Or one spray of scent to your abdomen. Do not spray on the front of you neck as even high priced Paris perfumes have properties that, over time, can create a slight discoloration on your skin. Remember, your fragrance will last all day. There is no reason to spray the perfume into the air and walk beneath it. If my room needs to be scented, I light a candle!
Enjoy your perfumes. Purchase a small collector bottle or s sample before committing to a fragrance.
Signature fragrances chance as a woman matures. I wear Chanel no 5.
What fragrance do you adore?
|My signature fragrance|
See you next week,