Perfumes and Colognes Basics That You Need To Know About

The word perfume is from a Latin phrase per fumus, which means through smoke and has been presumed to have been invented by the ancient Egyptians who burnt fragrant wood barks and plants to obtain a pleasant smell that could envelope the surroundings.


Over the years perfume was used, refined and enhanced by every significant culture, and has now been transformed as an everyday part of people’s hygiene, it certainly does hold a high significance in modern society.



3 Main Components of Perfume

1. Fragrance


Virtually anything artificial or natural that emits a scent may be used in the making of perfume, however, certain plants and flowers have been favored over time such as citrus fruits, jasmine, and roses. During the modern era, where discoveries have been at its peak, synthetic chemicals have been developed in the laboratories to produce amazingly pleasant scents, not emitted by nature.

Without fragrances, one that can be perceived by the nose, there won’t be any perfumes in the market. Fragrance is definitely the heart of perfumery.

2. Fixative


In the making of perfumes, several methods have been developed and perfected in the perfumery industry. One of the most important aspect is including the use of fixatives, which are the ingredients that act as stabilizing agents to the aromatic compounds.

Fragrances from nature and from artificial synthesis contain aromatic components crucial for its scent emission, so binding these would help ensure that the scent lasts for a longer period of time.

3. Solvent


Fragrances does not make up the perfume alone. A bottle of your favorite scent are a bottle of time and effort and a lot thinking from the perfumers. Without other components bound to the fragrance, it would lose its freshness and might even expire.

Hence, a solvent system is often added, but usually alcohols are the primary choice, since it keeps the bacteria from forming in your perfume and also helps in the preservation of the even consistency in the perfume bottle, you can easily spritz in on yourself.



4 Categories of Fragrances

The category by which a fragrance belongs to is defined by how much of the fragrance is used in the product. Simply, categories are based upon the purity of the essential oils of the fragrance used; the higher the concentration, the greater the purity of the perfume. Essential oils are the compound responsible for the scent emitted by flowers and plants.

4 Categories of Fragrances

Moreover, this allows the perfumers and the market to in setting the price of a perfume. The greater the concentration, the more expensive a fragrance would be.

Fragrance Longevity

1. Eau de Cologne

The least concentrated type of fragrance, a cologne is often light and employed for everyday use, as well as favored by parents for their babies and toddlers, since it is not overpowering and avoid any allergic reaction in young children, while keeping them smelling fresh all day long. Cologne products normally contain only around 2% to 3% of essential oils.

2. Eau de Toilettes

This type of fragrance only have between 5% to 20% of essential oils and mostly used for casual events and are most suited to teenagers, especially those who are in adolescence as they have really sensitive skin at this age, in order to lessen allergies. Toilettes are also quite cheap, but has enough fragrance to be caught by other people.

3. Eau de Parfums

This is the usual type of perfumes used by people, mostly from young adults and up, as it most suitable for use in offices, universities, parties, and other formal or informal affairs such as dating. It contains around 10% to 30% of essential oils and emits really strong scent, it can be perceived by people even at a distance. These are usually costly, but the scent almost always lasts for a day, so there is no need to reapply  every hour (no need spritz again and again!).

4. Perfume Extract or Parfum

Probably already too expensive for majority of people, parfums are the purest type of fragrance with a concentration between 20% to 40% of essential oils. It also commonly used by the elite class, since it is most suited for attending events of high importance such as gala, gathering, conferences, and even dates.

Parfums are already considered a luxury, though, but it comes in designer bottles and boxes. The scent of parfums would definitely lasts all day long!

Women’s products are usually categorized as parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilettes, and cologne, while men’s products are sold as perfume, colognes, and aftershave.

Surprisingly, fragrances and music share a common term, notes and sometimes, tones, for more informal terminology. Perfumes are often described by the various “notes” or “undertones,” which make up the scent.

These notes and tones are made to emerge at several times during the time that the fragrance is used or applied, similar with the way an orchestra may use different tools in playing a musical composition.

So yes, a fragrance can change or vary the way it smells throughout the day because the many different compounds present in a perfume bottle.



3 Stages of Perfume Notes

Fragrance Notes

1. Top notes

These are the most powerful scents but do not survive very long.

This is the initial burst of smell you get when you have a sniff of your favorite perfume. The best notes are often citrus or beige based, because they remain fresh-scented all day long.

2. Middle (or heart notes)

Constitutes the primary part of the scent.

These emerges after the top notes begin to fade out and are generally softer and mellower than the original fragrance. These scents are often floral in character.

3. Base notes

Form the foundation of the perfume.

Normally profound and musky in character. It emerges to blend with the middle notes and not replace them. It usually just reinforces the middle note and becomes a perfect undertone—to give varietion to the fragrance.




Fragrances are very complex products, which go through several stages of development before reaching the customer. There are thousands of different perfumes and colognes available now in the market, each one having its own special scent signature and what once was reserved for the wealthy and privileged is currently available to everyone.

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