The Language of Perfume Explained

Something smells really good!! A whiff of perfume you smell as you walk past the counter at the shopping mart. Have you ever wondered what goes inside each bottle of perfume? You’ll be amazed at the things you discover when you go deep into the bottle of perfume. The language of scents is as unique and interesting as its smell. Let’s decode this fragrant language and understand its nuances.

Fragrance Notes:

All fragrances feature layers of notes. When you spray the perfume on your skin, the scent slowly develops over time, releasing particular odors over time. The first odor that hits you when you spray or apply the perfume is called the top note. Consisting of volatile oils, it quickly evaporates in about ten minutes. The top notes are generally light and fresh. After the top notes wear out, the middle “heart” notes emerge. The scented oils in this note take about half an hour to develop and once released, the scent lingers for a few hours. The base notes are the heaviest scents and take a long time to develop. But, it lingers on the skin for up to 8 hours.  Some of the basic notes are sandalwood, musk and vanilla.

  • Light notes, volatile, 5-10 minutes
  • Floral scents, Release after 30 minutes
  • Heavy scents, linger for up to 8 hours

                                                                                         Image Source:mariesaintpierre

Aromatic Wheel:

Based on the ingredients and the scent, perfumes are classified into 4 types:

  • Oriental Notes: Incense, resins, vanilla, musk, woods, patchouli and ambergris
  • Floral Notes: Jasmine, lilacs, rose, violet, hyacinth, lavender, fresh cut flowers, orange blossom, sweet spices and aldehydes
  • Woody Notes: Cedar, sandalwood, musk, tobacco, cigar, honey, ginger, pepper, thyme, eucalyptus, vetiver, cinnamon, curry, nutmeg, cardamom, oak moss, curry and myrhh.
  • Fresh Notes: Apples, pear, papaya, berries, mango, mint, rustic, peach, pineapple, grapefruit, raspberry, lemon, orange, cucumber, leaves and grass.

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Scent Types

Did you know scents are also a great way to show off your personality? Your signature fragrance defines your attitude and style preference. The basic categories of perfumes are:

  • Spicy scents: With a leathery base tone, these spicy scents perfectly match your outgoing ebullient, rebellious personality.
  • Citrus Scents: Love to go for a fresh, clean look? Citrus-based scents perfectly fit the bill. Light and airy, they release a subtle odor without being overwhelming.
  • Green Scents: If classic is your style code, then the sweet and clean green fragrances are a definite go for.
  • Floral Scents: Loaded with the strong perfumes of flowers, these scents are perfect to show off your feminine side.
  • Summer Scents: It includes light scents such as fruity citrus, aquatic or floral perfumes.
  • Winter Perfumes: Rich and earthly, winter scents have a strong perfume. Their composition include woody and oriental notes.

Perfume Dispensing Types

Perfumes are available in two types – spray and lotion. Some perfumes, you can spritz over your body. Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette are available as sprays. You dab a bit of the splash perfume on your wrist or other points. Heavy and concentrated perfumes are available in this form.

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