Forms of Fragrance
Parfum is the strongest concentrated form of fragrance. It provides a pure scent experience and lasts many hours, or all day, after being applied. As such, this form of fragrance is the most valuable and sought after in the marketplace. Women’s fine fragrances are traditionally manufactured as Eau de Parfum or Eau de Toilette strength. Parfums should be applied at the pulse points (neck, wrists, behind ears, etc.). The heat of the body at these points will assure a well-balanced fragrance application.
Eau de Parfum
Eau de Parfum is found in many of the fine fragrance collections; it assures a long-lasting application, although it is not as concentrated or as long-lasting as Parfum. It should be smoothed or sprayed, just before dressing, all over the body from the feet up.
Eau de Toilette
Eau de Toilette is a much more diluted form of Parfum and even Eau de Parfum. Eau de Toilette should be used as the base upon which to lay a foundation of scent, and is so diluted that you can spray several times all over your body within the same day and not gather too much fragrance on your skin and clothing. The majority of fragrances sold in mass distribution markets are Eau de Toilettes.
Cologne is diluted even further in strength compared to Eau de Toilette. Cologne is the lightest form of fragrance. Cologne is made for splashing liberally all over the body. It is the perfect solution to use as a refreshing touch-up throughout the day. It does not provide a long-lasting fragrance application.
Fragrances can be classified into several families by the themes of the fragrances. Here are just a few:
Floral: fragrances that are dominated by the scent of one or more types of flowers.
Fresh/Green: light, fresh character of botanical or citrus notes often combined with more feminine scents (flowers and fruits).
Fruity: An old fragrance family that until recently consisted mainly of “freshening” eau de colognes due to the low tenacity of fruit scents. Development of newer fragrance compounds has allowed for the creation of fruit-forward fragrances.
Chypre: fragrances made of sandalwood, bergamot, oak, patchouli and labdanum.
Orientals or Ambers: a large fragrance class featuring the scents of vanilla and animal scents together with flowers and woods. Scents bring to mind images of the Far East.
Gourmand: scents with “edible” or “dessert”-like qualities. These often contain notes like vanilla and tonka bean, as well as synthetic components designed to resemble food flavors.
The Making of Parfum
Perfume is made from about 78% to 95% of specially denatured ethyl alcohol and a mixture of fragrant essential oils and aromatic compounds used to give a pleasant smell. The amount and type of oils and compounds dictate what strength category in which it is identified.
- Parfum: 20%-40% aromatic compounds.
- Eau de Parfum: 10-30% aromatic compounds.
- Eau de Toilette: 5-20% aromatic compounds.
- Eau de Cologne: 2-3% aromatic compounds.
- Parfum: 20- 40% essential oils (most expensive form of fragrance).
- Eau de Parfum: 10 to 20% essential oils.
- Eau de Toilette: 5 to 15 % essential oils.
- Eau de Cologne: 3 to 8% essential oils (least expensive form of fragrance).
For those who crave super subtlety, Eau de Fraiche (or body splash), with 1 to 3% essential oils, is the lightest dilution of fragrance.
Structure of a Scent
Fragrance notes are used to describe the various scents within a fragrance. Fragrance develops at different stages based on the notes. Here is a summary of the 3 different notes.
Top Note: creates scents that form a person’s initial impression of a perfume. The top note provides the “Wow” factor of a fragrance, as it can be somewhat bold. The aromas that contribute to top notes evaporate quickly.
Middle Note (Heart Note): emerges as the top note fades. The middle note imparts the true personality and character of the fragrance. Scents from this note stage become evident anywhere from 2 minutes to 1 hour after the application of a perfume.
Base Note: tenaciously holds the entire fragrance until the previous impression/note disappears. The compounds of this layer are usually not identified until up to 30 minutes after the application of the perfume.
That’s all you need to know about Parfum!