How is a painting painted, a symphony composed? What is certain is that perfumers use their materials in much the same way as painters use their colours, musicians their notes. To make a perfume is to find a harmony of three or four scent that you can smell in your mind .Like a great symphony, a truly great perfume evolves with a sensory message so emotional, it moves the hearts of women and stirs the senses of men.
The word comes from the Latin, meaning “a sweet-smelling fluid containing the essence of flowers and other substances”. But perfume has its origins in ancient Roman ritual. In the temples of Rome, crushed flowers, leaves, wood shavings, spices and aromatic resins were thrown onto burning coals as offerings to the gods. Their scent was released through smoke(per fumum).
A perfumer who creates perfumes, whose olfactory skill composes great fragrances, sublime harmonies whose notes haunt the imagination of men and women the world over. “To be a ‘nose’ is not anything mysterious,” said the celebrated perfumer Edmond Roudnitska. “The thing you have to reach is not only the memory of a smell, but the memory of a smell in combination – otherwise you are just mixing at random and that is not creating. The creation of a perfume is cerebral, not nasal.” Roudnitska always insisted that “time is essential to a creative perfumer. It can take several years to come up with a great perfume. You can’t keep sniffing the scent you are working on day after day until you reach perfection … often you must leave the perfume for months and then come back.”
They are the different phases through which a fragrance develops when you spray it on your skin. Each of these stages or groups of “notes” has a different degree of volatility. The head or top notes are the first impression of a fragrance. These are the light volatile notes that burst on your skin as you first spray, the fragrance you experience as you open a bottle. The head notes are so volatile that they usually wear away within 10 to 15 minutes. As they fade, the heart or middle notes bloom on your skin. These form the core of the composition, and are the dominant theme of the fragrance. This theme is accentuated and fixed by the base or soul notes. These are the foundation of the fragrance, the notes that bind the other ingredients together. They create the memory that makes the theme linger in your mind, and make the fragrance last for some four to five hours on your skin.
Emphatically not. Modern perfumery is based on the synergy of natural and man-made ingredients. Both are of equal importance to the perfumer. Technically, a perfumer differentiates between natural oils, extracted from blossoms, woods and leaves, spices and resins; semi-synthetic oils separated from natural sources; and completely synthetic oils or aroma notes, created to enhance natural essences, to make them vibrate with notes quite unlike anything you have ever smelt before. Think of the synthetic aroma notes as the perfumer’s notes, created in laboratories to add originality, character and tenacity to nature’s notes.
It varies. A perfume may contain 10, 50, 100 or more different materials but it doesn’t necessarily follow that a fragrance made with 300 is superior to one containing 10. The key is how the different ingredients blend together to ‘talk’ to you.
Preferably not because each perfume is a balanced, complete creation. If you wear one fragrance on top of another, you may create a scent station but, more likely, you’ll produce an odour.
Where the skin is especially warm and where there is good blood circulation. This is because heat helps diffuse and magnify the aroma of fragrance. The “pulse points” on the body (see below) are the perfect activators for perfume. Because fragrance rises, it should be applied to several pulse points – not just, for instance, at the base of the throat. Consider the small of your back and your navel. If you prefer to have your fragrance trail you, apply it at the nape of your neck – just on the hairline – the heat and movement will diffuse the fragrance.
All other things being equal, perfumes evaporate more rapidly from dry skin, so the best way to make fragrance last longer is to use a relatively heavy body lotion or cream. Some people like to buy the “matching” cream for their fragrance, but you can also use an unscented cream like Cetaphil, or try petroleum jelly or jojoba oil. You might also try a light mist to your hair, which is said to hold scent longer than skin.
Trends are always changing – driven by demand, cultural influences, and sometimes by raw materials, suppliers and availability. Floral notes remain consistently strong, while the early eau de cologne style fragrances cyclically reappear with every summer season. For most, nothing says summer is here better than the citrus freshness of a timeless eau de cologne.
Your own body chemistry affects how different notes react on your skin. Anything that affects the “natural” smell of your skin, such as stress, hormonal changes, your current diet or medications, might change how a perfume smells on you.
Because it helps us feel good about ourselves and others. Recent psychological tests show that people who use fragrance regularly have a more positive attitude towards socializing and may be more socially skilled than those who seldom or never wear it. It was generally found that people who believe that others think they smell good have more confidence. More fun, too?
Some industry experts say that perfume should be replaced every year, but properly stored, perfumes should last much longer. Most perfumes will keep 2-5 years.
To store perfume properly, keep it away from heat and light. A dark closet or a covered box is best. You can keep it in refrigerator if you want it last for several years.
Generally speaking, it feels natural to change your perfume with the seasons but it is a question of what feels comfortable to you. Follow your instinct or what comes naturally to you.
Perfume is part of us and we do change with the seasons, such as our clothes:
warmer when it is cooler, and
fresher when it is hot.
To some, it may feel uncomfortable to wear a heavy, oriental fragrance at the height of summer. Whereas others love wearing a strong oud or woody perfume in the same conditions.
Also think about how much perfume you apply or at what time of the day you are wearing it, e.g. a warmer note will feel very natural towards the evening of a beautifully sunny Spring day when it still gets cool.
Here is a quick guide from a perfumer’s perspective:
For autumn, the drop in temperature means you will gradually drift towards a much more grounded and sensory fragrance. Take inspiration from the natural transitions of your environment with scents that combine both the fresh notes of summer that has just passed (citrus, lavender, green) with the warm elements for dropping temperatures (e.g. wood, amber, …). A Chypre note offers this combination.
In Winter, when temperatures have fallen and the layers of clothing have come on, people are often attracted to cosy and comforting bouquets that envelope your character. Look for perfumes with notes of fruits, fiery spices and delectable gourmand ingredients that relax (vanilla, almond,..). This is the time of the year where Oriental accords are perfect!
When it comes to Spring, we would recommend that you opt for fragrances that add a new energy to your day. Nature bursts into life and you should take inspiration from light floral notes or green and herbal fragrances. The temperatures might still be cool and you should ensure that you fragrance still has a warm base note such as Sandalwood, Patchouli or Oud.
Last but not least: Summer! When it comes to perfume, you should aim for notes that bring you sunlight, add a swing to your step or the sensation of being ‘on holiday’. Think of radiant floral bouquets with Rose and Jasmine on the one hand, and beautiful aquatic or deliciously tropical, fruity accords at the other end. Gourmand notes are also perfect for this time.