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Everything You Need To Know About Perfumes

Perfume bottle by Lancome.Source Black friday brand

We believe you have a favourite fragrance, but have you heard about top, middle and base notes? Do you know the difference between Perfume and Eau de Cologne?

If not, you might be interested and read this blog post until the end because we will explain all the basic things you need to know about perfumes.

About the Fragrances

The aroma we give off usually tells more about us than we think, so nothing defines us more than our smell. The long-lasting perfumes are those whose scents stay all day long and even more.

It is well known that the staying power of fragrances depends mainly on the ingredients used during the process of perfumes fabrication and the concentration of the essential oils in each type of perfume.

Did you know This?

The intensity and longevity of each perfume are based on the concentration, power, and longevity of the aromatic compounds or perfume oils used.

As the volume (the percentage) of aromatic compounds increases, so does the intensity and longevity of the perfume. Specific terms describe a fragrance’s approximate concentration by the per cent of essential oil (or perfume oil) in the final product’s volume.

It is not widely known that various brands differ considerably in their definitions of perfume types.

The most widespread professionally used terms used to describe a fragrance’s concentration by the per cent of perfume oil in the volume of the final product are six:

1) Eau Fraîche

Eau Fraîche products are often sold as “mists”, “veils”, “splashes”, or even under other names.

Generally, these products contain 3% (or less) aromatic compounds and are diluted with water rather than with oil or alcohol.

2) Eau de Cologne or EdC

Eau de Cologne (EdC) normally contains 3% to 8% aromatic compounds. This concentration of final product is also called cologne;

3) Eau de Toilette

Eau de Toilette (EdT) typically consist of 5% to 15% aromatic compounds, and this is usually the staple for many of the masculine perfumes;

4) Eau de Parfum or Parfum de Toilette

Usually, Parfum de Toilette (PdT) or Eau de Parfum (EdP) contain aromatic compounds between 10% and 20%. Parfum de Toilette is less typical than Eau de Parfum, but both terms are generally analogous. Hence both words can be and often are used as synonyms;

5) Esprit de Parfum

Esprit de Parfum (ESdP) consist of 15% to 30% aromatic compounds, but this is rather an unusual and occasionally used strength concentration in between EdP and perfume;

6) Parfum or Extrait

Whether called Extrait or Parfum, the final product contains between 15% and 40% aromatic compounds. Other synonyms or the Extrait in English known are Pure Perfume, Perfume Extract or just Perfume;

The Confusion about Perfumes concentration

As mentioned earlier, various brands differ considerably in their definitions of the perfume types. Besides, the different perfume houses, also known as perfumeries, assign different amounts of oils to each one of their perfumes.

As a result, the actual amounts vary among perfume houses, although the oil concentration of a perfume in EdP dilution will necessarily be higher than the same perfume in EdT from within a company’s same range.

For example — an EdT from one house may have a higher concentration of aromatic compounds than an EdP from another.

The Perfume Notes

Perfume notes (Fragrance notes) are the Fragrance ingredients or the ingredients that make up every perfume.

In the world of perfumery, the perfume is known to have 3 “notes”, or stages of life.

The perfume notes unfold over time, through the whole “life” of the perfume. They are categorized as top notes, heart notes and base notes.

The term notes in perfumery comes from the music, as having three sets of notes will result in a harmonious scent accord.

A bride with white dres holding perfume bottle.Source — Black friday brand https://blackfridaybrand.com/

This is How the Perfume notes work

The immediate impression of the perfume comes with the top notes heading to the deeper middle notes and the end — the perfume’s base notes gradually appearing as the final stage.

The perfume notes are created and crafted carefully by using the specific knowledge of the evaporation process of the perfume oils.

Top notes or Headnotes

The Top notes or Head notes are those scents that are perceived immediately on application of a perfume. The top notes consist of ingredients that evaporate quickly.

The Head notes are super important in the perfumery business since they form a person’s initial impression of a perfume. For this reason, they are essential for the selling of perfume.

Examples of famous top notes include lemon, orange, bergamot and lavender. Mint, Basil rose mint and coriander are also commonly used as top notes.

Middle notes or Heart notes

Middle notes provide the scent of a fragrance that emerges just before the dissipation of the top notes. The middle note compounds form the main body, known as the “heart”.

For this reason, Middle notes are also known as Heart notes in perfumes.

Technically the heat notes mask the unpleasant initial impression of base notes. The latter usually becomes more pleasant with time.

Examples of frequently used middle notes in perfumery include rich, aromatic floral oils like sandalwood, geranium, neroli and ylang-ylang, jasmine, black pepper, cinnamon, pepper, pine, cardamom and lemongrass.

Base notes

The base note represents the final scent of a perfume that appears close to the departure of the middle notes. The base and middle notes play a vital role in every perfume because they form its theme.

Base notes bring solidity and depth to each perfume. Compounds of this class of scents usually are rich and deep.

These compounds develop pretty some time after perfume’s application. Typical base notes include moss, tobacco, vanilla, amber, musk, patchouli and woody notes like cedarwood.

As you can imagine, the scents in base notes are influenced by both top and middle notes. Conversely, the fragrance materials used as base notes will affect the aroma of the middle notes and top notes’ scents.

This carefully selected blend of ingredients forms the perfume accord, the primary character of a fragrance. Perfume makers carefully choose notes to ensure a fragrance smells pleasant and evokes a specific experience.

The fragrance notes are classified in a pyramidal structure known as the fragrance pyramid.

This is how fragrance pyramid looks like:

Fragrance Pyramid.Source : https://blackfridaybrand.com/

The Perfumes’ families

Understanding fragrances can be confusing, as there are a number of defining fragrance categories.

The Fragrance Wheel

The most accessible tool to help understand the fragrance families or perfume categories is the Fragrance wheel, perfume wheel, fragrance circle or aroma wheel.

The fragrance wheel is a colour wheel that indicates fragrances’ relationship, including the similarities and differences in scents. The aromas’ place on the wheel shows what scents blend well or clash with each other.

The first official fragrance wheel was called the and was introduced in 1949 by the Austrian perfumer Paul Jellinek. The most commonly used Odor Effects Diagram aroma wheel today was created by Michael Edwards in 1992 and was edited late to contain four primary families of fragrances : Fresh, Floral, Oriental and Woody.

In real life, the Fragrance Wheel is helpful to determine the kind of scents we are drawn to or decide which aromas work well together and which don’t. Indeed, the fragrance wheel is a valuable tool for retailers and consumers.

This is how fragrance diagram looks like:

In the mesmerizing realm of perfumes, understanding fragrance families is key to finding a scent that truly resonates with your personality. Let's delve into the four primary fragrance families: Fresh, Floral, Oriental, and Woody.

  • Fresh fragrances are often invigorating and crisp, reminiscent of the purity of water and the zest of citrus fruits. A classic example is 'Acqua di Gio' by Giorgio Armani, which captures the essence of fresh sea water and lime.
  • Floral scents, the most traditional and widespread, evoke the aroma of blooming flowers. Chanel's iconic 'No. 5' is a testament to this family, offering a sophisticated blend of rose and jasmine.
  • Moving to the Oriental family, these fragrances are known for their rich and exotic undertones, often featuring spices, amber, and animalistic notes. 'Shalimar' by Guerlain is a quintessential Oriental perfume, combining the warmth of vanilla with a hint of incense.
  • Lastly, the Woody family is characterized by its earthy, robust aroma, often incorporating notes like sandalwood, cedar, and vetiver. 'Terre d’Hermès' by Hermès exemplifies this family, with its grounding oak moss and benzoin blend.
Each of these families offers a unique olfactory journey, allowing individuals to express themselves through the captivating language of scent.




We hope this article was helpful for you to learn more about the perfumes and your favourite fragrances. Remember that the scents we are using reflect our personalities.

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