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Monday, December 29, 2008

Most Commonly Asked Question About Perfume

How do I find my perfect perfume?

All perfume smells different on different people so to be sure that a perfume is right for you just try it! You should go to perfumeries and use a tester or obtain a sample preferably in the eau de toilette edition or other lower concentration editions. You should also live with the fragrance for a while to be sure because it will smell different at different times of the day and different occasions as well.

Why did a perfume I bought smell different when I was in the shop?

The atmosphere of most department stores and the other common places for buying fragrance are full of smells by definition so everything smells a bit different. But seriously, all perfume is affected by the environment in which it is experienced. This environment is made up of temperature, humidity and background smells. More importantly than this is the fact that each perfume has a different evaporation rate so the 'top note' that you smell in the store may be different from the 'middle note' that you experience later at home. So your best bet is to try just one fragrance and wear it for the rest of the day.

How long should a single application last?

That depends. Fragrances are made up of volatile ingredients which evaporate over time. As a fragrance is worn it goes through 3 distinct phases. The first of these is the top note and is made up of those ingredients that evaporate first because they are highly-volatile. Then comes the middle note (sometimes called the body or heart of the fragrance) which is made up of those ingredients that are not so volatile. Finally, you guessed it, you get the base or lower notes which are the foundation of the fragrance. These are the least volatile ingredients and hence the ones that last the longest. Good quality perfume will smell very similar through all of these stages but in all cases the length of time it takes to go through these depends on the ingredients.

Sometimes my perfume is too strong, can I do anything about this?

Well you could just put less on or buy a lower purity edition of the fragrance, an eau de toilette or splash if it is available. Alternatively, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you could add an alcohol and water mix (about 10% distilled water to 90% alcohol). You might do this and put the resulting weaker fragrance in an atomiser to take with you in a handbag to refresh your fragrance throughout the day. This will not affect the smell at all, just dilute the perfume and hence the strength of it.

Should I try just one fragrance at a time?

If you are in a department store there will already be many different fragrances in the air and discerning any one without being affected by another will be difficult. You can also try more fragrances that are very different in one go than you can fragrances that are similar. For example, you could try two or three fresh fragrances and then find your ability to differentiate is impaired. But if you try a fresh fragrance or two and then move to oriental or floral you will still be able to judge them.

You will also find that heavier fragrances are more difficult to try as they tend to be stronger - so always start with light ones. And if you are testing them on your skin, put them as far apart as you can. Best to try a different one on each visit to the store!

Does perfume smell different on different people?

Yes it does. This is because different people have different skin conditions, body temperatures and even diets which can affect the way a fragrance might smell. Everyone has their own individual smell and this is mixed with the smell of the fragrance to make up the smell so you should really always try fragrance on your own skin to be sure (not on a paper tester). Unfortunately, this also means that if you smell a great perfume on someone else you might find it doesn't smell the same on you!

How should I wear perfume?

To answer this, one has to explain how fragrance works; all perfume contains a volatile liquid which evaporates on the skin during the course of its use. This process is facilitated by the heat of the body and the body is warmest where there is good blood circulation closest to the surface of the skin. Therefore, the warmer the skin that you dab the fragrance on the more effective this evaporation will be. That is the reason that the most popular locations are behind the ear, on the wrist and at the bend of your arm.

You can also spray your perfume in freshly washed hair but be careful that your shampoo or conditioner does not have too strong a fragrance itself or you might affect the harmony of the perfume. You could also spray it on clothes near the skin as well which sometimes improves the life of a single application. This works best on natural fibers but be careful if you like to wear different fragrances with the same coat as they may clash.

It's thought to help if you spray your fragrance on damp skin. This can be done after bathing or showering. Apply perfume to pulse points such as: neck, wrist, navel, ankles, behind your ears, back of the knees and inside your elbow. A light spray on the hair can last all day.

Could I wear more than one fragrance at once?

Most perfumers will tell you that this is the ultimate perfume sin because perfumers spend a lot of time developing fragrances in order to achieve a balance and harmony. But I feel that a fragrance is designed to make you feel great and confident so you should wear which ever fragrance you like with what ever you like and feel most comfortable with. Don't forget that perfumes are only careful mixtures of various ingredients so why should you not try a bit of mixing yourself.

Is it possible to wear too much?

As a rule the daytime fragrances are lighter and more and better suited to wear for long periods of time without being overbearing. The evening fragrances are for just that, evening and special occasions because they tend to be heavier, stronger and more intoxicating. In addition to these categories you should also pick the edition carefully as well. If you are going to wear it all day then try the EDT edition and if it is for special evening wear you could use the parfum. Note also that the longer lasting 'base' notes will accumulate if you re-apply the same.

Why can't I smell my own perfume after a while?

You can become accustomed to a smell and your brain filters it out as a background smell so that it is better able to discern new smells. This way you might think your fragrance has worn off yet someone else may find it quite strong still.

Can my perfume affect my mood?

We wear a special fragrance on special occasions and every time we smell it our mood is affected dramatically. We associate it with happiness, friends and laughter and it puts us in that frame of mind. This is one of the most important affects of fragrance. So the answer is yes a perfume can definitely affect the mood of anyone who smells it.

Do use fragrance throughout every day; it will increase your feelings of well being...add a special degree of graciousness to daily living and makes life for you and those around you infinitely more pleasurable and enjoyable.

Blends of floral and citrus-based fragrances are recommended for casual and daywear. Spicy, woody or warm amber-based fragrances are traditionally favorites for evening and special occasions.

Should I use a fragrance which matches my partners?

There are a few fragrance on the market that can be bought in pairs e.g. Armani's He and She, but you shouldn't worry overly about this. Masculine fragrances and feminine fragrances have been moving closer together in terms of the notes they contain whilst there are still some very definite male and female concept areas. You could even try swapping fragrance if you like.

Why is most perfume expensive?

You need read only a little about the ingredients of fragrances to see that some of the methods for collecting them is long and labour intensive which means expensive. In addition to this there are the modern economies of the industry. Firstly, you cannot buy cheaper bulk packs of perfume because it would go off before a single wearer manages to use it all. Secondly the modern designer invests enormous amounts of time and money creating and maintaining sophisticated aspirational brands that people want to buy into through advertising and sponsorships. These brand creation and upkeep costs need to be recouped.

Are some perfumes better than others?

There is a technical answer to this which is that a fragrance should be dermatologically safe and evaporate from the skin evenly and harmoniously throughout its stages, not loosing its essential notes throughout. It should also have 'tenacity' which means it lasts well on the wearer and does not need continuous reapplication. This is achieved through careful use of fixatives or heavy and less volatile notes which maintain the broad smell throughout its use.

The real answer to this question is that a good fragrance is a fragrance that makes you feel good about yourself. It's about the individual and expression.

Does perfume go off? How can I tell?

Yes. New unopened fragrance normally last well (at least a year or more if kept properly) but opened perfume will eventually go off as it is based on a volatile liquid that will evaporate. You can tell if it has gone off by checking to see if it has darkened significantly or thickened and you get a strange sour smell on opening the bottle. To prevent this happening you should always leave your perfume with the lid on tightly and not placed in direct sunlight or near a heat source. Unfortunately there is little you can do with it once it has gone off as trying to dilute it will not return it to its former glory.

How should I keep my perfume?

The best way to keep fragrance is at room temperature or slightly cooler (but not too cool) in the dark. Unopened the perfume will keep for more than a year or so but once opened it will eventually go off. This takes about 6 months depending on how the perfume is kept.

Keep all fragrance in a cool, dry area and away from windows as sunlight or extremes in temperature can unbalance the various ingredients of the perfume and change its scent.

What should I choose as a gift for someone?

There are many ways of selecting appropriate fragrances as gifts but usually you can tell a lot about the fragrance from its name and the advertising, images and emotions it portrays. For example, for a more mature recipient it is easier to buy lighter and more casual fragrances as gifts because they are more widely accepted whereas the heavier fragrances for more evening wear are more personal. If you want to play it safe you should choose one of the long time classics. Good luck and don't forget that a perfume or aftershave always makes a wonderfully and personal gift, whatever it is.

Source : Fragrance Online

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