What Does Culture Have to do With Fragrance?

What Does Culture Have to do With Fragrance?
Does perfume have a universal appeal or are you being sold a line for the sake of advertising? Can it be that our scent preferences are emotionally charged and deeply rooted in personal personal choice and culture? What gives perfume its mystique?

Fragrance has been connected to spirituality, geography and history. For some of you, perfume represents independence and prosperity. For others, the remembrance of simpler times. One thing’s for sure, scent is a form of self expression.

Middle Eastern Scents

On the Arabian peninsula, scent is so mainstream, you’ll find it in detergents. This has always been the case, yet in America, in the scheme of things, it’s a relatively new concept. When you think of Middle Eastern scents, Oud - the dark, resinous not that makes a fragrance instantly opulent - comes to mind.


According to Givaudan, “ Russian women spend 20 percent of their total beauty budget on fragrance” That’s nearly twice the global average. Euromonitor states that 92 percent of Russian women were fragrance.


In Australia, the air is so rich and heavy with Gardenia, that perfume can often feel unnecessary. A true case of less being more.


African women wear a lot of essential oils. Essential oils form a base for everything from scented oils for after shower and bath to natural perfumes. They can complement the natural scent of your skin instead of overpowering it.


In Korea, the wearer is far more reserved about scent. In their Sephora type stores, perfume wears can test scents in a giant walk-in-tube to prevent the particles from dispensing into the air. Perfumes in Korea are seen more as part of a bath regimen.


In India, it is said you weren’t supposed to wear any type of fragrance on your skin because people said it would attract unwanted spirits. Yet India has some the most beautiful smelling flowers in the world. Women of southern India, adorn their hair with heavily scented jasmine flowers.

Not every country or culture is mentioned in the article, yet it gives you an idea of what scents, perfumes or fragrance represent to the women of the world.

That’s it for this week. As always …

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