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A Guide to Perfume and Fragrance

Traditional perfumes and fragrances are said to have three "notes". The top note, middle note and base note. The top note lasts the least amount of time, the middle note lasts longer than the top note, and the bass note lasts the longest of all. This means that your fragrance will change whilst you are wearing it.

The three main fragrance types are perfume, eau de parfum and, eau de toilette.

Perfume is the most expensive and concentrated, and contains in the region of 30% pure fragrance oils. It is dabbed on as opposed to sprayed, as a little goes a long way and a spray can be wasteful.

Eau de parfum is the most used fragrance, containing around 10% pure fragrance oil. The top and middle notes of eau de parfum are lost more quickly than those in perfume, but the base notes last around 24 hours.

Eau de toilette contains around 3% pure fragrance oils, and lasts the least time of all the fragrance types, although it is useful in a body spray for all over freshness.

Where should perfume be applied?

Perfume is traditionally applied to the pulse points in the body, such as the wrists, behind the ears and between the boobs! I think it is nice to spray perfume onto one's hair - as hair is not warm, the scent tends to last longer, but is less intense. Fragrance lasts longer on skin that has been moisturised than dry skin.

What are the main different types of scent?

There are six main different types of scent, which include:

  • Floral - these scents are made from flower oils including jasmine, rose, and orange blosson. They can be mixed and matched to create a variety of fragrances. Floral scents are often worn in the day time.
  • Oriental - these scents have warm, musky tones and often contain oils from oriental spices, amber, resins, patchouli, sandalwood and incense. Oriental scents are often worn in the evening.
  • Citrus - made from citrus oils such as lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit, they have a distinctive, fresh smell.
  • Green - reminiscent of grass and pine trees, this is the type of fragrance to wear on a crisp Winter's day, perhaps walking in the park or sledging down a hill. Often contains sandalwood, cedarwood, vanilla and lemon oils.
  • Chypre - reminiscent of moss and woods, often combined with citrus notes, this is a classic no nonsense lady's fragrance. Chypre perfumes often contain rosemary, basil, peach, plum, and herbs.
  • Fougere - reminiscent of ferns and woods, containing lavender, oakmoss. A very fresh type of fragrance, often appealing to men.


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