What is perfume made from?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Perfume is usually made of a mixture of fragrances, either man-made (synthetic) or organic which, when combined, creates a pleasant scent or aroma. As well as on our persons, perfume fragrances are used in air fresheners for homes and cars, and many other everyday commodities.

Perfume fragrances are the ways we identify with our surroundings, people, and memories. Perfumes and perfume scents surround us, but perfume is more than just a pretty scent. Perfume design is a science.

When we first smell a perfume, our brain tries to identify the origin of the aroma. Perfume developers have categorized perfume scents into seven different categories, used to create both synthetic and natural perfumes. The perfume categories include Chypre, Citrus, Floral, Fougère, Leather, Oriental (Amber), and Woody. In addition, perfume designers sub-categorize these scents even further by whether the perfume is designed for men or women.

  • Chypre has a base of bergamot, jasmine, or oak moss with a scent similar to apricot or custard.
  • Citrus is based on the distinctive smells of citrus fruits like oranges, limes, and lemons.
  • Floral perfumes are the scents of a single flower variety or a group of flowers.
  • Fougère (aromatic) is usually men’s cologne and tends to have a woody smell mixed with herbs.
  • Leather is another usually masculine scent with a focus on honey, aromatic wood, or tobacco smells.
  • Orientals are based in camphorous oils and incense resins.
  • Woody fragrances come from natural woods and other aromas you’d find in the forest such as patchouli and sandalwood.

Although you may be familiar with the distinct aromas of each of these categories, what many people don’t know is the perfume note classifications of their perfumes.


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