I still know the day I bought my own perfume, actually it was with my mother when I was 11. I stared and glazed to all this beautiful little bottles containing a magic liquid that smelled so good. From that moment on I became obsessed with this amazing world of different smells, each and every one being beautiful and different. The first one smelled of cinnamon and patchouli, it was warm and sweet. And guess what? I still have it in home.
When it comes to me picking a perfume, it´s not so difficult, because I´m a crazy perfume person who on this day owns around 35 bottles. And I still use each and every one of them and there is always room for more. But my thing is, exclusivity. Shops are full with eau de toilette and eau de parfums, but I love the niche lines and if it´s an extrait de parfum or even a pure parfum oil I´m even more happy. The less you need but the longer it lasts defines a great perfume.
To understand a perfume and the buildup you need to know the categories and their strengths first.. An Extrait de parfum is the strongest of the family, containing 15- to 40% of essential perfume oils, then you have an esprit de parfum(esdp), which is not so common but still exists and contains 15- to 30% Eau de parfum (edp) or even parfum de toilette contains 10-to 20% of essential perfume oils. All these are more used on the skin and best at the warm place where your blood veins come together and produce more heat to open up a perfume. Like the famous Coco Chanel used to say: “ A perfume is placed there where you would like to be kissed…. (behind the ears, on the wrist, in the hollow of your arm, the back of the knee).
Eau de Toilette (edt) is a lighter perfume containing 5- to 15% and an Eau de Cologne ( Kölnisch Wasser) is usually a citrus type of fragrance and contains between 3-to 8% of essential perfume oils. Eau de Toilette and Cologne are used more to refresh the body and usually are also used on the clothes, to keep it lasting longer. In some traditions, a woman after her bath ritual uses her perfumes on the skin for sensuality and her Eau de Toilette after on her clothes so she surrounds herself in a pleasant and good smell all day long.
Another fact these days is that the same perfume in eau de parfum, and eau de toilette both can smell different, because they change the composition. It´s recognizable, yet different.
Every perfume is after layered in 3 notes and every note can contain several essences.The top note is always the first impression. It´s a welcoming melody that introduces herself you, like she´s saying: “Hello, how are you? My name is Les nombres D´or Oud from Mona di Orio. I captivate you first with some freshness of green-mandarin, resin of elemi and petit grain. Don´t you just want to fall in love with me? But wait, there is more”. I know perfumes don´t really talk, but in my imagination they always do.
After that comes the heart note, is like a chorus of a song it keeps everything together and compliments the base , beautiful playful notes giving the perfume more body, the heart lasts longer than the top but leaves over time, only complimenting what comes last and as always the best is saved for last. The base notes is the one that last the longest, giving your perfume depth and solidity. Usually consisting of more rich and deep scents. They often reveal themselves after around 30 minutes. Depending what the base contains, it can last hours, sometimes even days.
All together it´s a sweet symphony and all the layers and notes complement each other, making it a song to remember. Perfumes have different families or can be categorized in different fragrant sections. For example; the Floral family, which can be a Single Floral that is based around one flower or a Bouquet floral that has a lot of different kinds in it.
The Chypre family is more fresh, having ingredients like citrus fruits, green plant extracts or essences like oak moss.
The Woody family are of course based around wood, like cedar wood, Oud wood, agar- and sandalwood. The Oriental family (one of my favorites) brings you perfumes with spices like vanilla, cinnamon and tonka bean, often also mixed with amber ( or ambergris). The purpose of an oriental fragrance is to bring the elements together as if you were in the Orient just by smelling your perfume. Furthermore there are categories like leather, Fougére, green, aquatic, fruity and Gourmand.
Whatever you choose or what you´re looking for, always try to remember what suits you best, what kind you´re looking for and how long a perfume should last (sillage). We all know that some perfumes maybe smell good, but are simply too strong or they don´t match your skin which can cause headaches or nausea, that is not the point of a perfume, naturally. If you need help finding a special perfume there are specialists in Boutiques that can help you with that.
Until next time my dear readers,