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Your Complete Guide to Perfume

These days, the term perfume is used as a description for scented mixtures.  It has its roots in the Latin word, ‘per fumus,’ which translates to ‘through smoke.’  The use of perfume is certainly not a recent phenomenon; its origin is generally ascribed to the ancient Egyptians.  Scents were utilized to celebrate religious ceremony and prayers by burning perfumed unguents, resin and essential oils.

Over time, the use of scents expanded outside of the sacred services; they were introduced in personal hygiene as well.  At the time in ancient Egypt, there was a fully concentrated trade of resins, aromas and spices that were in abundance in Egypt.  In addition, scents were brought in from distant lands like the, India, Arabia and the Middle East.  These trades also included the importation of fine woods, myrrh, scented resins and incense that comprised some of the primary ingredients of the scents at that time.  The Romans, the Arabs and the Persians further refined perfume.

It can be quite daunting to shop for the perfect perfume and with all the remarkable scents accessible on the market, making a decision becomes a lot more challenging.  Not only are there numerous choices, but there is a variety of perfume types, with each having a distinctive concentration of scent as well.  Are you planning on going for something musky or opting for something more floral?  The decision concerning a signature scent is all yours to make; however, help is available for you with narrowing down your options, while taking certain things into consideration, and ultimately picking the best perfume that is a reflection of your personality.

Types of Perfumes

• Parfum

Known also as pure perfume or Extrait de Parfum, parfum is available the highest concentration of fragrance. This type of perfume has a content of between 15 percent and 40 percent fragrance.  Most commonly, parfums have between 20 percent and 30 percent of aromatic compounds.  As it relates to longevity, parfum appears as the champion since it has the capacity to last for between 6 and 8 hours.  Obviously, parfum comes at the highest cost of all the types of perfume because of its tremendously high concentration of fragrance.  In addition, it contains less alcohol and as such, the likelihood of it drying out the skin is small to none.

• Eau de Parfum (EDP)

This type of perfume is among the most common perfume categories these days.  Its level of concentration is the second highest and this perfume type has aromatic compounds between 10 percent and 30 percent.  Eau de parfum, on average, has staying power that lasts between 4 and 6 hours.  When compared to parfum, the concentration of alcohol is higher, and it is less expensive. However, it is still highly suitable for everyday wear and works remarkably for sensitive skin.

• Eau de Toilette (EDT) 

This perfume blend is weaker in comparison to eau de parfum and parfum and has a fragrance concentration between 5 percent and 15 percent.  As might be expected, it will not last for any significant length of time, especially when compared to parfum and eau de parfum; however, it can still last between 2 and 3 hours.  This type is not too overpowering, and it is also cheaper than the previous two.  This type of perfume is ideal for daywear whereas eau de Parfum is more suitable for nighttime wear.

• Eau de Cologne (EDC)

This is typically mixed up for Eau de Toilette since they have an almost indentical concentration percentage. However, Eau de Cologne has a weaker concentration of between 3 percent and 8 percent.  This perfume has an elevated level of alcohol concentration and a less significant percentage of aromatic compounds.  This is ideal for individuals who are merely going for a hint of scent.  Typically, there is a 2-hour window in which the scent of eau de cologne will last.

• Eau Fraiche

Of all the previously mentioned perfume types in this list, this perfume has the smallest concentration of fragrance.  It has only between 1 percent and 3 percent of aromatic compounds; therefore, it usually lasts for a maximum of one hour.  The majority of its formulation is water, and it does not have a high content of alcohol.

The Art of Choosing Perfume

• Only Try Three Scents Each Time

Initially, particularly if you do not really have any concept of what you might like, go ahead and smell everything.  However, you should limit your discoveries to sniffing just three scents on each visit. The olfactory bulb will be receiving more of an exercise than it is used to.  Therefore, each fragrance should be given its own proper shot. You can purchase a range of samples from online sellers such as Scent Split. This will allow you to try various perfumes without spending big.

• Start Out with Lighter Scents

Starting with more musky or aqueous scents is the way to go; half of the population cannot even smell musk.  The muskier fragrances are scents that smell more like clean laundry; the aqueous scents are fresher.  You should go from musky scents to citrus and then to fruity florals and finally into the heavier woody smells.

• Rebounding with a Fragrance is Good

If you keep going back to a sample and enjoying it, you are being drawn in by something in that fragrance.  Ask for the fragrance sample and use it on yourself because body chemistry can impact the smell of a fragrance.  Put it on your wrists, crook of your elbow or the top of your hands. These are areas that are not constantly getting washed. Check every 20 minutes to hour to see if you still like it.

• Observe How a Scent Develops After Four Hours

Fragrances evolve over time and are living organisms.  A top note lasts roughly 20 minutes and provides the first impression of a perfume. The heart lasts throughout the majority of the day, roughly 4 hours.

• Understand the Pricing of Fragrances

Typically, cheaper fragrances have top notes that are extraordinarily strong when initially sprayed and some find that they have a metallic smell.  More costly fragrances contain the intricacy of a heart and dry down; they also typically have longer-lasting staying power.