Here’s our top ten FAQ’s by lab visitors about perfume.
EAU DE PARFUM OR EAU DE TOILETTE?
A fragrance is made out of the concentrate (or oil): the pure blend of ingredients (what smells) and alcohol (the carrier). EdT is generally concentrated at 10 to 12% in alcohol, which means that in any 100ml of your perfume, you have 10ml (or 12) of the pure oil while the rest is alcohol. EdP is generally concentrated around 15% and the same logic applies. EdP should be a stronger version than EdT, for instance, woodier, more amber and sweeter although nowadays there is little difference.
>> Read more perfume facts <<
WHERE SHOULD I WEAR MY FRAGRANCE?
You can wear a fragrance anywhere, but it’s always a good idea to spray on your pulse points (the wrist and neck). These areas are generally warmer which then helps project the fragrance so people are more likely to be able to sense how good you smell! If you want a fragrance to cling to your clothes then there’s no harm in a little spritz all over, but it will need to have a lot of base notes to stick around.
ARE SYNTHETICS BAD?
Molecules are synthetic ingredients which are sadly too often associated as “something bad” in people’s minds, but did you know that a lot of these molecules are present in nature? These molecules are called nature identical and some can even be organically certified (uh?). Synthetic ingredients constitute the lion’s share of the perfumer’s organ and often help to make natural ingredients stand out in original compositions. In some occasions, molecules can even be rarer and more expensive than naturals! So, in short, they’re not bad, but rather quite the opposite!
WHY CAN’T I SMELL MY PERFUME BUT OTHERS CAN?
Our noses are all different. That means some are better at detecting some smells compared to others! Also, after we’ve worn a fragrance a few times or for a short while, we can get used to the smell but to someone else it’s scent is just as strong as the first spritz. So be careful, some times less is more and we don’t want to be that person who you can smell five minutes before they enter a room because we can’t seem to smell it ourselves!
DOES PERFUME CHANGE ON THE SKIN?
Yep! All perfumes will smell ever so slightly different depending on who’s skin it’s on. Why? Well, it’s made of molecules much like our skin, so it will react to many different things such as pH levels, diet, hormones and heat. Some brands will market a fragrance as “smelling different on everyone” but that’s true for all perfumes. All of this is also without taking into account your own personal perception of a fragrance, remember all noses are different.
>> Join us for a workshop <<
WHY DOESN’T MY FRAGRANCE LAST VERY LONG?
Maybe one of the most frequently asked questions! It’s all down to the fragrance formula and how ‘base’ heavy the fragrance is. Base notes and ingredients that fall into this family determine how long a scent will stick around for. The more base notes the longer it will last. They are big and heavy molecules which is why they don’t fade away easily. Some base ingredients also last longer than others, but generally speaking, you’d need a fragrance that has a lot of woody/musky/ambery ingredients.
WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR INGREDIENTS?
There’s always a lot of love for the well known natural scents such as rose, bergamot, blackcurrant and jasmine. Now with more niche fragrances growing in popularity, we’re also seeing a lot of people using synthetic superstars such as Iso E Super and ambroxan in their bespoke fragrances.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN’S FRAGRANCES?
There isn’t any. Gendering fragrances goes back to the 50’s and the introduction of mass-marketed fragrances, in particular targeting women. Go back to the original creation of fragrance up until this point and you’ll discover any fragrance was for anyone. There’s also a cultural element to how we view fragrances. Here in the western world men tend to wear deep, warm and woody scents and women soft, floral, sweet fragrances. Go with what your nose likes and that’s what you should wear.
HOW ARE PERFUMES MADE?
Fragrance is a combination of perfume ingredients diluted in alcohol and sometimes a little water. A perfumer will create a fragrance by firstly trialling different combinations of oils (natural and synthetic) before diluting in alcohol at different concentrations and testing how it wears on the skin. When happy, the oils are created in bulk and left to sit for a few weeks so the ingredients can come together. The final step is the oils being diluted in a calculated percentage of alcohol (which will influence if it is Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum) and left once more for another few weeks. The ‘juice’ is then carefully filtered, bottled and ready for you!
SHOULD I SMELL COFFEE WHEN TRYING DIFFERENT FRAGRANCES?
Nope. It’s just a marketing technique (again) to keep you in the store longer with the hope you’ll buy something. It also adds an air of fiction and fairytale to sell a fragrance. If you’re trying lots of different fragrances at once, just smell your own skin and that will reset your nose. As simple and as easy as that. You won’t find any fluff on here! Just honest perfume facts.