Perfume Guide - How to choose a perfume

Perfume Guide - How to choose a perfume

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Fragrance Types:

Ever wondered what EDP, EDT and perfumes are?

Fragrances are a mixture of concentrated perfume oil in a solvent (Mainly Ethyl alcohol). The stronger the perfume, the more concentrated fragrance oil it has with respect to the solvent. Perfumes are categorized according to its strength. The following picture shows a broken down categories of perfumes.

Eau fraiche: This has 3% or less perfume oil with respect to the solvent, which lasts for around 2 hours.

EDC – Eau De Cologne: This along with Eau de Toilette is a light fragrance which can be used every day. It has 2 to 5% perfume oil with respect to the solvent which lasts for 2-3 hours.

EDT – Eau De Toilette: This is a lighter fragrance which can be used for casual everyday use.It has 4-10% perfume oil with respect to the solvent, which lasts for around 3-4 hours.

EDP – Eau De Parfum: This is a lighter fragrance than Perfume, but has relatively long lasting effect. It has 8-15% fragrance oil which lasts for around 5 hours.

Soie De Parfum: This is a relatively strong fragrance with 15-18% fragrance oil which lasts for around 6 hours.

Parfum: This is considerably strongest fragrance available in the market which will last longer, around 6-8 hours. It has 15-25% perfume oil which is also sometimes referred to as extract or extrait.

Perfume Oil: This is basically concentrated fragrance oil in an oil base rather than alcohol base. It has 15-30% perfume oil.

  • Fragrance Notes:*

Notes are the impression of aroma created by perfume over a period of time after application.

Top notes: The aroma or the immediate scent perceived by the individual upon application of the perfume is because of the top notes. Top notes are also called as head notes.

Middle notes: The middle notes are heart of the perfume and appear anywhere from 2 minutes to the hour depending on the concentration of the fragrance oils, after the top notes dissipate. These notes tend to give a savoury mellow impression.

Base notes: These notes appear after dissipation of top and middle notes. They tend to give a deep after effect and are not perceived until after 30 mins of application. Sometimes the base notes can be long lasting and can be detected even after 24 hours of application; this depends on the concentration of the fragrance oils.

The following picture shows a general representation of perfume notes.

  • Fragrance Families:*

The different types of perfumes are described by their emanating scent and the ingredients that have been used to make it up.

Floral Oriental: as the name suggests the perfume fragrance is soft, spicy and lucidly feminine.

Soft Oriental: Floral oriental base and layers of spices and amber are combined with soft incense which gives out a smooth sweet texture. Perfumes belonging to this family have a light feeling associated to them.

Oriental: these are traditional Oriental Fragrances which are extremely exotic, heavy and have a sensual feel to it. The sensual feel is comprised of exotic flowers, oriental resins, vanilla and musk.

Woody Oriental: There is a wide variety of these fragrance families available. They have an unusual feel to them, they combine essence of oriental notes like patchouli with floral and spice tones. They are mostly overwhelmed by patchouli or sandalwood which gives a woody feel.

Mossy Woods: These families are often called Chypre Boise. These fragrances have oakmoss woody feel as the central theme along with side notes of citrus notes.

D*ry Woods:* These families have smoky, sensual woody feel to it often made soft with fresh citrus notes. The woody sensual feel is mostly comprised of cedar, tobacco, leather and burnt woods notes, mostly focussing on its dry characteristics.

Citrus: as the name suggests, contains notes of citrus and fruit oils, such as lemon, orange, peach, lime, apricot and grapefruit. They have a tangy, juicy fresh and light feel to them.

Green: these fragrance families have fresh notes and sharp edge to them. The sharp edge is due to the aromatic addition of freshly cut grass or addition of green leaves. These fragrances have a crisp effect to them but due to the strong fresh notes, it feels refreshing and aromatic.

Water: Fragrances belonging to these families are light, which can be used as summer fragrances. They are generally light and composed of notes such as water, sea air and fresh water plants often mixed with citrus and fruit tones and slight mix of green leaves.

Floral: fragrance families as the name suggests mostly compose of floral notes. These fragrances either concentrate on a single note of single flower or target multiple notes that emanate like a bouquet of flowers. They contain notes of stark white flowers, and sweeter notes of jasmine, gardenia and many more. They have a soft but floral burst of sweet fragrance.

Soft Floral: These fragrance families contain soft floral notes combined with aldehydes and powdery textures. They are often unusual fragrance, aldehydes on their own smell burnt and wax like, but when its mixed with floral notes and powdery texture it is softened and smells flowery and soft.

Aromatic Fougere: Fragrances belonging to this family are universal fragrances. They are a combination of elements of all the categories discussed above, and blend them into a beautiful fragrance. They contain all the elements and notes of citrus, sweet spices, aromatic herbs, grass, soft floral, oriental wood and many oriental tones. When all combined it forms a zesty and masculine but a light, smooth and fresh fragrance. This fragrance was usually popular with men, but a lot of variants are being released for women as well

Note: Perfumes smell different on different people, because everybody has a different skin and the perfumes react differently on different people giving out distinct smell.