Guest Author - Rebekah Mack Bono
Perfume can be very confusing. Not only does it have its own language, there are literally thousands to choose from. Having a good understanding of the basics will make your next trip to the perfume counter a little easier to navigate.
Perfume is first classified according to the strength of their scent. This is determined by the concentration of their perfume oils. Perfume is priced in the same manner, so the higher concentration of perfume oils, the more expensive the perfume.
There are four main categories of Perfume, Parfum, Eau de parfum, Eau de toilette, and Eau de Cologne.
Parfum has the highest oil concentration at approximately 30%. It is extremely expensive, due to its high concentration, and is the longest wearing.
Eau de Parfum at approximately 15%, is one of the most popular forms of perfume and like parfum, is very long wearing.
Eau de Toilette contains around 8-10% perfume oils. This is also very popular, but not as longwearing.
Eau de Cologne, with concentrations of approximately 2%, is a very light mist, with little staying power.
These are estimated numbers. All perfumers have different quality standards, so there is a slight range in concentrations from one company to another.
Perfume is next, broken down by its notes. Each fragrance has three notes, top, middle, and base notes.
This is extremely important to know when shopping for a perfume. If you spray your wrist and purchase right away, you only smell the top note of a fragrance. The scent will change after around fifteen minutes, and the true fragrance will not reveal itself for up to an hour. So itís a good idea to sample the perfume for an hour or so before your purchase.
The top note is the first note you smell when you spray perfume. It will last for around 15 minutes. Top notes are the first impression of a fragrance.
The middle note, or heart of a fragrance begins to surface when the top note wears off. The middle note will give you a better feel for the fragrance.
The base note solidifies the fragrance, acting as an anchor to the lighter top and middle notes. Base notes can be smelled long after the other notes wear off, twenty-four hours or more.
Beauty magazines are a great source for perfume samples. As new perfumes are released, samples are sent with the magazine. You can also ask for samples at the perfume counter. This way, you donít feel any pressure to make a decision right away.
Whether you like citrus, floral, or woodsy scents, there is a perfect blend out there for everyone. It just takes a little patience to find it.