It all started with the Ancient Egyptians that used fragrance oils and incense in their spiritual rituals. They offered perfumes to their gods, they even buried dead bodies with bottles of perfumes. Scents were so important, that ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics used a picture of a nose as a symbol of “pleasure”.
Fragrances are the most personal product a person can buy. I’ve found that people spend the most time deciding on fragrance choices than any other hygiene product. A scent that one person loves can be a scent that another person hates!
Many people don’t know how to describe a fragrance, buy a great fragrance, or how to design or mix a fragrance of their own. This guide will help you do all of the above.
How Fragrances Are Composed
Fragrances are much more complex than they seem. When we smell a fragrance, we may only identify two or three notes (scents), but they usually contain many more.
1. The top notes. The top notes are what you smell first. Whether you spray it in the air, on a fragrance card, or on our skin, these are the notes you smell right away. These notes are usually the lightest, airy notes-typically feminine florals , citrus, and fougeres (I’ll explain what these are later).
2. The mid notes. The mid notes are the heart of the fragrance. It is what you smell as the scent sits on your skin a while. It gives the fragrance its charm. It’s usually the mid notes that people fall in love with. These are usually spicy florals, chypres and orientals.
3. The base notes. Also called the bottom notes, the base notes are the last thing you smell on your skin. You usually smell the base notes once the fragrance has been on your skin for at least 15 minutes. Base notes are my favorite because they are usually composed of warm scents like warm florals, woods, and musks.
These are the different kinds of scents that are used while creating a fragrance.
1. Floral. These are the most known, and are the easiest to identify. Jasmine, rose, patchouli, lavender, iris, violet, and gardenia are the most popular. These are also used in men’s colognes, they’re just hard to detect.
2. Citrus. These give the fragrance a fresh, watery scent. Bergamot, grapefruit, and lemon are the most popular. These are used generously in men’s colognes.
3. Fougere. (Pronounced foo-jer) These are sometimes artificial watery, fresh smells. They are a blend of citrus, herbal, fresh air type scents. They are usually used in “water inspired” fragrances and men’s fragrances.
4. Oriental. These are spicy, creamy, and exotic. These include cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and cardamom. These are very popular in both women’s and men’s fragrances.
5. Chypre. (Pronounced shee-pra) These are similar to oriental, except these are more of an herbal, earthy smell. These include rosemary, cedar, and moss.
Forms of Fragrances
1. Eau de Parfum. These are highly concentrated. They are usually made of at least 15% essential/fragrance oils.
2. Eau de Toilette. These are usually made of at least 10% essential/fragrance oils.
3. Eau de Cologne. These are usually made of at least 5% essential/fragrance oils.
How To Buy A Fragrance/Cologne
1. Decide what kind of fragrance you’re looking for. Are you looking for a fragrance to wear casually, are you looking for something to wear at work, or are you looking for something to wear on occasions?
2. Try on the fragrance. Spraying the fragrance in the air isn’t going to work. The way it smells in the air is different from the way it smells with the natural chemistry of our skin. You must spray it on your skin to get the real scent. Let it sit for at least two minutes before sniffing.
3. Try on no more than 4 fragrances at a time. Spray a different fragrance on each wrist and on each pit of your forearm. Having the fragrance spaced out keeps them from interfering with each other.
4. Take breaks between each sniff. After you’ve sniffed a fragrance, wait at least 60 seconds before smelling another one. Be sure not to brush your nose against your skin as you sniff. If the slightest bit of fragrance gets on the tip of your nose, it’ll interfere with the other fragrances.
5. Buy the one that you can’t get enough of. No matter what kind of fragrance you’re looking for, the fragrance you chose should be something you could wear everyday if you had to. You should love it that much.It should be versatile, and it should be something that puts you in a positive mood when you smell it.
How To Mix Your Own Fragrance
This will help anyone who has fragrances that they would like to combine with other fragrances for a brand new scent.
1. If the top note is floral, pair it with a fougere or citrus fragrance.
2. If the top note is citrus, pair it with a fougere, floral, or chypre fragrance.
3. If the top note is fougere, pair it with a citrus, floral, oriental, or chypre fragrance.
4. If the top note is oriental, pair it with a floral or fougere fragrance.
5. If the top note is chypre, pair it with a floral, citrus, or fougere fragrance.
How To Wear A Fragrance
Fragrance layering is the best (and easiest) way to make a fragrance last.
1. Bathe in a fragranced bubble bath, soap or body wash.
2. Pat your skin dry. Rub on a body lotion in the same fragrance.
3. Spritz your skin in the same fragrance on your neck or behind the ear, cleavage, pit of the forearm, and behind the knees.
Bonus: How To Sell A Fragrance
1. Samples are the key. Allow your customer to sample three or four different fragrances-nothing more. Anything more will overwhelm her.
2. Give samples that match her personality type. If she’s a bubbly person, try giving her floral or citrus. If she’s sophisticated, try fougere or oriental. If she’s laid back, try floral or chypre.
3. Encourage her to try something new. There is a such thing as fragrance trends. Encourage her to try something new and trendy. She doesn’t have to buy a full size amount of it. Sell her a trial size. If she likes it, she’ll come back for more.
4. Sell season inspired fragrances. At this time, designers are making summer inspired fragrances. These are usually floral, citrus and fougere based. Encourage her to try something that matches the season. Winter: oriental, fougere; Spring: citrus, floral; Summer: citrus, floral, fougere; Fall: oriental, chypre
I hope this was helpful to you. If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments bar below. If you would like to receive emails of my future article links, click on my profile, then click “Follow”. Also, follow VanityGoddess on Twitter and Myspace!
Two other articles you may also be interested in:
Who Are You Wearing? The Success of Celebrity Fragrances
Product Review: Coco Mademoiselle Perfume By Chanel