The word ‘perfume’ is derived from the Latin term per fumus, which translates to ‘through smoke,’ and its first recorded use dates back to the Mesopotamian civilisation over 4000 years ago. Initially linked to spirituality and devotion, fragrances formulated with scented botanicals and resins were offered to the Gods during prayer and ceremonies.
It was around 3000 BC when incense made its way to Egypt. However, the ancient Greeks were responsible for the first liquid perfume via the process of distillation made known to the world by the Arabs. So, it’s safe to say that the advent of perfumery involved the collective effort of multiple civilisations.
Over time, as interest in aromas grew exponentially, they came to become associated with beauty and power – exclusively available to the nobility and upper classes. Now, if we fast-forward to the 21st century, scents are viewed as a mode of expression. In the era of fragrance wardrobes and signature scents, one feels compelled to find aromas best suited to their moods and personality.
With more focus on authenticity and emotional connectivity, the business of perfumes began boundlessly expanding, featuring formulations that boasted a mix of synthetic and natural ingredients. Today, we are spoilt for choice regarding varying price points, fragrance families, and more. No longer reserved for use by the bourgeoisie, perfumes have become accessible to the masses.
Wearing different scents during the day and at night has become a powerful tool for self-expression. The fragrance you’re wearing can exude unique aspects of your personality, preferences, tastes, and even moods. It’s an accessory, and as your style evolves, so do your fragrance choices. So, if you no longer feel stimulated by a scent, it’s probably time to reinvent your fragrance wardrobe.
Your fondness for certain smells can evolve with changes in your body chemistry. Step out of your comfort zone and try scents from other fragrance families. If you’ve forgotten your perfume basics, here’s a quick revisit to understand what fragrance notes and families are.
The Fragrance Pyramid: Top, Heart, and Base Notes
The fragrance pyramid consists of top, heart, and base notes. While top notes are the scent ingredients that will meet your olfactory senses first, they only last for five to fifteen minutes. Some familiar top notes include bergamot, lemon, lavender, rose, and orange. Then come the heart notes, also known as middle notes, which constitute 70 per cent of the scent profile and last for an hour or so. Some familiar heart notes include jasmine, cinnamon, geranium, lemongrass, pepper, cardamom, rosemary, basil, and nutmeg. Lastly, base notes create the foundation of your scent profile, adding character to your perfume. These aromas can last up to six or more hours. Some familiar base notes include vanilla, amber, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, and cedarwood.
Understanding Fragrance Families: Fresh, Floral, Amber, and Woody
Buy best perfume with the most common fragrance families are fresh, floral, amber, and woody. Reminiscent of a forest or garden, the first fragrance family smells refreshing and zesty, with aquatic and citrusy notes. Meanwhile, floral scents have a sweet and flowery fragrance. An amber aroma is a harmonious blend of warm, sweet, and spicy smells, while woody fragrances have a sensual, edgy, and captivating scent.
- Fresh Fragrances: Mandarin, bergamot, lavender, lemon, and basil
- Floral Fragrances: Lily, rose, jasmine, peony
- Amber Fragrances: Cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, jasmine, orchid, and orange blossom
- Woody Fragrances: Cedarwood, sandalwood, oud, and vetiver
Eau De Toilette vs. Eau De Parfum vs. Mists
Eau De Parfum’s (EDP) comprise 10-12 per cent oils and have a long-lasting fragrance. On the other hand, Eau De Toilette’s (EDT) is less potent and contains 5-10 per cent perfume oils that aren’t as long-lasting as their counterparts. Mists and sprays compromise even lesser amounts of fragrance oils, making their scent last not too long and requiring re-application.
Learning About Your Pulse Points
Pulse points refer to regions on the body that generate the most heat to amplify scents. The most common pulse points are behind the ears, along the collarbone, behind your knees, on your wrists, on the insides of your elbows, down your back, and in your belly button. Spritz your perfume on one or more of these areas to have the scent linger throughout the day. If you feel the smell is fading away, reapply the formula on the same regions.
When applying perfume, hold the bottle a few inches away from your skin, targeting the pulse points. You should also avoid spritzing fragrance on your clothes as it can leave unwanted watermarks that can be difficult to remove. Allow the perfume to dry on the skin before you wear your clothes. Remember to keep your fragrance bottle away from direct sunlight, as it can change the formulation’s chemical properties, which will change its aroma.