Imagine you’ve just stepped out of the barbershop after your favourite barber has spent an hour making your haircut look perfect. You’ve got a great looking fade, the lines are straight, the angles perfect.
You’re all dressed up because you’re about to go on a hot date with that cute girl that’s been eyeing you for the last few weeks. You feel like a million bucks!
As you step out of your car to meet her, she excitedly greets you and comes in for a hug… but as you bring her in close, her smile quickly turns into a grimace and you see her nose wrinkle. She hugs you and immediately pulls herself away from you.
“Hold on, this isn’t supposed to be how my date starts out!”
You felt like a million bucks… but did you smell like it?!
As you may have realized (painfully for some of us), your fragrance has a powerful effect on first impressions and how people will remember you.
That’s why for years, men and women have used colognes and perfumes for a wide range of benefits.
From sexual attraction, to helping you to calm down, to instilling you with more confidence… colognes (depending on the quality) can have a huge effect on your mood as well as how people view you.
Plus, did you know that our sense of smell is over 150,000 times stronger than your eye sight? There’s a reason why certain scents can trigger memories and strong emotions from years ago that come flooding back when you randomly come across the smell!
So for today we’ll be covering a number of different topics relating to fragrances to give you a better understanding of what’s out there and what you should be looking for when choosing the right cologne!
- What is a Fragrance?
- Perfume, Cologne, Toilette… What’s The Difference?
- Fragrance Notes
What Is A Fragrance?
Fragrances are an extract from various natural and synthetic ingredients. Ranging from plants, fruits, woods as well as animal secretions, these ingredients are carefully selected and are then processed and dissolved in alcohol. Doing this helps to concentrate and preserve the complex range of scents, which at this point they can also be referred to as perfume oils.
Perfume, Cologne, Toilette… What’s The Difference?!
In today’s society, it’s not uncommon for people to associate perfumes with women and cologne with what men put on. However, it goes much deeper than this!
All these different names actually describe the concentration of the perfume oil as well as how long the scent usually lasts. This is broken down into 5 main categories:
- Eau Fraiche: Contains between 1-3% of perfume oils and will usually only last up to an hour.
- Eau De Cologne: Contains between 2-4% of perfume oils and lasts up to 2 hours.
- Eau De Toilette: Contains between 5-15% of perfume oils and lasts up to 4 hours.
- Perfume: Contains between 15-20% of perfume oils and lasts between 5 to 6 hours.
- Parfum: Contains between 20-30% of perfume oils and can last up to 24 hours.
And as you may have guessed, depending on the concentration of the perfume oils will affect the price. The more concentrated, the more it will cost.
Now this is where things get interesting! Fragrance notes are the scents which makes up your fragrance. When you spray your perfume, cologne, etc. your nose picks up on those scents which are called notes.
Perfume makers spend a lot of time choosing certain notes in order to create a mood and evoke certain emotions and experiences. Certain notes will also break down and release a scent faster than others so a lot of time is spent creating a fragrance that gives way to different layers of notes over time.
Say for example you spend the morning and afternoon at work followed by a date later in the evening. You might want something that starts off as light and citrusy, but as the day progresses you want a more romantic scent that ends off with a woodier and musky smell. As you can see, things can get complicated pretty quickly!
Top Notes: These are the notes that your nose detects immediately after spraying your perfume on. These usually only last between 5 and 15 minutes and serves to give a first impression and transition into the next part of the fragrance. These notes include scents such as orange, lemon, lavender and bergamot to name a few.
Heart/Middle Notes: Heart notes make up the majority of the scent and will normally last the entire duration of the perfume. The heart notes are meant to retain the top scents while also bringing in new “heavier” or fuller bodied scents such as cinnamon, ylang ylang, lemongrass and jasmine. Some of these scents normally wouldn’t smell too good on their own, but when combined with the top notes, can create a very pleasant combination of smells.
Base Notes: You normally won’t smell the base notes until at least 30 minutes after applying. These notes help to give even more depth to the fragrance and creates the perfumes signature scent. Popular base notes include musk, patchouli and vanilla.
We hope this article has helped you get a better understanding on what fragrances are and what you should look out for!
We will also be creating a guide for choosing the perfect perfume for the occasion and how you should go about applying it in a future article so make sure you stay tuned!