A woman knows the power of a fragrance. A simple trace of a scent can evoke a wonderful memory. A favorite perfume is more than essential oils and aromatic compounds. It is a reflection of a woman’s personality, her mood and her style. In short, it is an expression of her beauty. It’s no wonder then that finding the perfect perfume for any occasion is as essential as the oils that go into it.
With the number of fragrances available today, how do you find just the right one? We’ve broken down the basics to give you a general understanding of perfumery and help you make sense of it all. Fragrances contain a wide variety of ingredients which vary not only in how they smell, but also in their “staying power” on the skin. Perfumers identify three parts of a fragrance, called notes.
- The top note is the first impression of the fragrance. It is the initial impact of the scent on the sense of smell.
- The middle note is the heart of the fragrance which unfolds and develops a few minutes after the perfume is applied to the skin.
- The bottom note is the final impression of the fragrance and can last several hours after the fragrance is applied.
To help identify their aromas and attributes, fragrances are classified by type or family. Fragrance families cover a wide spectrum of scents such as floral, oriental and chypre (pronounced she-pra).
- The floral family includes a diverse bouquet of aromas that range from a light floral sheer to a sweet floral fruity and a spicy floral.
- Floral oriental combines floral aromas with hints of sweet and spicy notes.
- Fragrances in the oriental sheer family include a light blend of traditional oriental notes.
- Chypre fragrances include a mixture of pine, lavender, citrus and mossy notes.