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Fragrance Guide

Fragrances vary in concentration, a factor that directly influences its price. The main ingredient is an alcoholic water solution. It is the percentage of perfume relative to the water content that determines its strength. Usually a fragrance will have a range of concentrations for the buyer to choose from.

Women

·         Parfum is the strongest concentration and is compiled to provide exceptionally long-lasting fragrance from very little liquid. Parfum is the most expensive fragrance type and is usually exclusive and very rare.

·         Eau de Parfum (EDP) is the next strongest version and is intended to give a more enduring scent for a more reasonable price. Eau de Parfum usually lasts on the skin between 3 and 5 hours.

·         Eau de Toilette (EDT) is the most popular and affordable concentration. Containing a higher percentage of water and fewer essential oils, EDP is nearly always presented in a spray. Eau de Toilette usually lasts on the skin between 2 and 4 hours.

·         Eau de Cologne (EDC) is weaker than EDT with a lower concentration of essential oils

·         Eau Fraiche has a very low fragrance content and is sometimes called ‘Perfumed Mist’. Often alcohol free, this concentration proves popular in the summer months. It is now common for many fragrance houses to release an Eau Fraiche edition of a popular fragrance as a lighter version, more suitable for hotter weather when a heavy scent is less desirable.

Men

·         Eau de Toilette (EDT) Spray is generally the strongest concentration available and can be used on the body and on clothing but should not be used as an aftershave as it may cause irritation. Most Eau de Toilettes for men are sprays but they do have splash versions available in some fragrance ranges.

·         Aftershave (AS) is weaker than EDT so that it can be used on the face and neck. It is most commonly in the form of a splash but there are also many fragrances which have a spray version. Aftershave usually lasts on the skin up to 3 hours.

·         Aftershave Balm is a perfumed lotion, balm or cream of similar concentration designed for use on the face and neck.

Fragrance notes

Perfume is described in a musical metaphor as having three sets of 'notes', making the harmonious scent accord. The notes unfold over time, with the immediate impression of the top note leading to the deeper middle notes, and the base notes gradually appearing as the final stage. These notes are created carefully with knowledge of the evaporation process of the perfume.

Top notes:

The scents that are perceived immediately on application of a perfume. Top notes consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly. They form a person's initial impression of a perfume and thus are very important in the selling of a perfume. Also called the head notes.

 Middle notes:

The scent of a perfume that emerges just prior to when the top notes dissipate. The middle note compounds form the "heart" or main body of a perfume and act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which become more pleasant with time. They are also called the "heart notes".

 Base notes:

The scent of a perfume that appears close to the departure of the middle notes. The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and "deep" and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application.

The scents in the top and middle notes are influenced by the base notes, as well the scents of the base notes will be altered by the type of fragrance materials used as middle notes. Manufacturers of perfumes usually publish perfume notes and typically they present it as fragrance pyramid, with the components listed in imaginative and abstract terms.

Fragrance Facts & Helpful Tips

·         Kept well away from heat and light, an unopened fragrance will be good for at least five years

·         Identical fragrances will not only smell differently but also last longer when applied to some people than others. The balance and chemical make-up of your skin is why this is the case

·         Avoid storing fragrances in bathrooms as the fluctuating temperatures and humidity will degrade the scent rapidly

·         Exposure to the air should be kept to a minimum, as once opened, the ingredients will deteriorate – this mainly applies to dab-on fragrances more so than sprays

·         People who are sensitive to fragrance should apply the liquid to clothes as opposed to directly on the skin.


 


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