Perfume your style!

With a new year and a new beginning I would like to introduce you to a new chapter of this blog’s life. I’ve decided to expand our horizons and offer our readers even more reasons to come and visit. This will involve talking more about style, in all aspects.

And to start off on a pleasant note, we are going to talk today a bit about a little accessory that should be present in every lady’s wardrobe (don’t worry gents, your turn comes up soon). That’s right, we are talking about that little colored bottle that gives the finishing touch to your outfit and to others something to remember you by.

“You are never fully dressed without perfume!” – C. JoyBell C.

I, personally, have always considered a perfume to be so much more than a simple fragrance. It is a statement that you make every single time you wear it. It is a wonderful accessory for any outfit and any occasion. And it’s the memory that remains in other people’s minds when you are long gone.

The versatility of perfumes is one of their main qualities and the reason that they can represent the perfect accessory. This comes from the variety of ingredients with the aid of which they are made. Since the 9th century, where there were over 100 known recipes for perfumes and aromatic waters, and to this very day, the number of different fragrances has easily risen to the thousands.

We may not be able to afford a personal perfumer anymore, like in the days of Catherine de Medici, but it is easy enough to find our fragrance. That scent that can define not only our style, but us as a person. So no matter if you prefer the delicate touch of a sweet flower or the fresh feeling of the morning dew, the perfect fragrance is out there for you. Just seek it!

But how can one classify a perfume? We are going to talk a bit about the different types of perfume, strictly from an olfactive point of view.

The Fragrance Wheel created by Michael Edwards

The “Fragrance wheel”, represented in the image above, is a new form of classification, created in 1983 by Michael Edwards. The purpose of this scheme is to show not only a simplified version of fragrance classification but also to show the relationship that exists between these.

The four main categories of fragrances are known as Oriental, Woody, Fresh and Floral. Each of these divide into several more groups, based on the main ingredients of the fragrance and their influences. Every existing perfume falls into one of these subcategories and can be easily placed by an experienced nose. As a simple yet striking example, we can mention that the famous Chanel No. 5 fits under Floral category and the Soft Floral subcategory.

But as much as important as the fragrance is the time it dresses us up and in this case the spotlights are all on the concentration or the percent of perfume oil present in the final product. So we have:

  • Parfum or extrait, known in english as perfume extract, contains between 15% and 40% aromatic compounds
  • Esprit de Parfum can contain between 15% and 30% aromatic compounds
  • Eau de Parfum or Parfum de Toilette can contain between 10% and 20% aromatic compounds
  • Eau de Toilette contains between 5% and 15% aromatic compounds
  • Eau de Cologne, or simply cologne, contains between 3% and 8% aromatic compounds

Besides all of the above, we should consider that the fashion and perfume industry is a very creative one so in the latest years, perfumers have started a new trend by marketing a variety of fragrances under the names of “splashes,” “mists,” or “veils”, which contain an aromatic compound concentration of less than 3%.

So, ladies, what are you waiting for? Your perfect fragrance is out there waiting to be tamed and make a mark on what is your style, your personality, yourself.