In today’s world, who you really are is defined, not just by what you do but also by the aura that you carry around you. It is this aura that identifies your style, your preference and creates a singular, undiluted perception of you. The way you dress, the words you speak, the confidence you exude, all these are the undeniable elements that define who you are. But nothing plays a bigger role in underlining your unique personality than your fragrance – the scent that highlights your presence. In a way, your fragrance quietly and undeniably headlines your entire persona and your true worth.
The word perfume is derived from the Latin phrase per fumum, meaning "through smoke", and the art of making perfume is believed to have been invented by the ancient Egyptians who burnt fragrant woods and plants for their pleasant odours. Over the years fragrance has been used, refined and enhanced by every major civilization and today perfume as we know it is an essential accessory for every man and woman.
The journey into the world of fragrances is a heady concoction of sensory experiences. Like all true works of art, fragrances are truly complex creations that go through numerous stages of development before reaching you, the consumer. There is a plethora of different perfumes and colognes available in the world today, each one with its own unique scent signature and personality.
The category a fragrance belongs to is defined by how much of the pure essence or aromatic compound is used in the fragrance product.
- Lotions and aftershaves generally have a 2% to 8% of the pure essence.
- Deodrants/Bodysprays with gas have 3% to 4% pure essence, while without gas products are in the 8-10% range.
- Eau De Cologne comprise of 3% to 5% pure essence.
- Eau de Toilette products are generally 4% to 8% pure essence.
- Eau de Parfums will have from 15% to 30% pure essence in them
Just like in music, where a unique range of notes harmonise together to form a soulful tune, exquisite fragrances too are a fusion of different ‘notes’.
Similar to the synergy of an orchestra where different instruments play throughout a musical composition, the various notes of a fragrance emerge at different times during a scent span.
Every fragrance has a head, heart and base. The head is the initial opening note of a fragrance, and comprises materials that are very diffusive and volatile. Among all the different families of fragrances, the clean sharp notes from the Citrus family are most often chosen as head notes.
The head notes give way to the heart which is made up of heavier and more tenacious materials, providing layers, richness and strength to the fragrance. Notes from the floral family are an excellent choice for the heart of a fragrance.
The base notes are the strongest and most robust part of the fragrance, adding to the depth, complexity and long lasting effect of the fragrance. The sensuous notes of musk and wood make for a distinctive choice for base notes of a fragrance.
As a perfume is sprayed and the fragrance begins to emanate from your skin, the top notes are the first to be experienced. A short while later the fragrance takes the distinctive character of its heart notes which last for a longer period of time. Eventually the base notes take over as the final, lingering expression of the fragrance.
Notes are layered one on top of the other to create unique fragrance blends which have a long lasting effect. While notes are used in all fragrances, the number of notes used provide complexity, richness and tenacity to the fragrance. More the notes, richer the experience. The combination of similar or different aromatic notes creates a complex smell, which can be perceived as a single unique fragrance.
Every note in a fragrance can have a distinct character, and based on this uniqueness a fragrance can be commonly classified as belonging to one of the seven broad olfactive families:
Oriental - Oriental perfumes are perhaps the oldest fragrance family, and are rich with woods, balsams, incense, amber, musk, vanilla and spices.
Citrus - Fresh and crisp, with the citrus tartness , citrus led fragrances are extremely popular.
Green - Green notes such as galbanum, grass, violet leaf and herbs are added to create a dewy garden, meadow, fresh, outdoor and close to Nature like impression.
Fruity - Fruity or fruit-like notes such as cassis, peach, apple, strawberry and lychees provide a fresh juicy youthful and very modern aspect to fragrances.
Floral - Floral compositions are the most popular and account for more than half of the perfumes today. Florals are extremely versatile and there are many different sub categories in this family.
Woody - Woody notes like sandalwood, patchouli and vetiver add warmth depth and robustness to fragrances.