Perfume Concentration

Friday, March 13, 2009

The most practical way to start describing a perfume is according to its Concentration Level, the Fragrance Family it belongs to, and which all affect the overall impression of a perfume from first application to the last lingering hint of scent.

Perfume oil is necessarily diluted with a solvent because undiluted oils (natural or synthetic) contain high concentrations of volatile components that may result in allergic reactions and possibly injury when applied directly to skin or clothing. Solvents also vaporize the essential oils, helping to diffuse them into the air. By far the most common solvent for perfume oil dilution is ethanol or a mixture of ethanol and water. Dilutions of the perfume oil can also be produced using solvents such as jojoba, fractionated coconut oil or wax.

Different perfumeries or perfume houses assign different amounts of oils to each of their perfumes. Therefore, although the oil concentration of a perfume in eau de parfum (EDP) dilution will necessarily be higher than the same perfume in eau de toilette (EDT) form within the same range, the actual amounts can vary between perfume houses.

The cost of a perfume is directly related to its concentration, with the least diluted being the most expensive formulation of the scent. The following chart summarizes how the concentration by percent/volume of perfume oil relates to its strength (approximate, in hours) and price range:


Your Perfume Selection

Knowing the difference between these categories helps you to choose fragrances that fit and put the cork on perfume selection confusion. Seven basic types of fragrances are as follows.

These are flower based notes. They are associated with naturalness and smoothness. This is the largest and most popular category which is created mainly from flower based notes, such as jasmine, rose, gardenia, orange blossom and carnation. They are often blended together in order to create a distinctive floral bouquet.

Fougere: Fougere is French word for “Fern”. Fougere fragrances use the fern or forest-like note of oakmoss which is combined with other herbal notes like lavender, and coumarin. Fougere is very popular structure for men’s fragrances.

Chypre: Chypre represents a perfume structure where fresh notes, (mainly Citrus) are combined with the rich woody-animalic characters of Patchouli and Labdanum and Oakmoss. The fresh notes of modern Chypres may be modified or even completely replaced with green or fruity combinations. Many men’s colognes are usually based on the basic Chypre structure. Chypres frequently display a leather character.

Leather: Pungent animal smokiness characteristic of the ingredients used in the tanning process of leathers. Achieved in perfumery with castoreum, labdanum, phenols, and quinolenes

Woody: An odour which is linked to the aroma of freshly cut dry wood such as Cedarwood Oil, Virginian, Sandalwood or displaying these notes such as of vetiver or Patchouli.

Oriental: Fragrance family or style based on balsamic notes with vanilla, oakmoss and animal notes. Examples are Shalimar, Obsession, Opium, Samsara. Now frequently also applied more generally to perfumes that are heavy, full bodied and tenacious.

Citrus: They are derived from citrus fruits such as Pomello, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon. This fragrance type projects a sharp, tangy aura. They are naturally refreshing and uplifting. Citrus blends are among the oldest known scents, first worn by men and now popular with women as well.


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