A Primer on Perfume 14 August 2018
Spicy, woody, floral, fruity – perfume has the power to transform & transport. A beautiful mix of art and science, the world of perfumery is exciting and confusing all at the same time. To make sense of it, we’ve prepped a primer – read on below.
On the Power of Fragrance
No other sense is as evocative of memories and places as scent. A whiff of a citrusy fragrance might remind you of your favourite summer vacation, for instance. The olfactory system is closely linked to the amygdala or the emotional center of the brain which makes fragrances so alluring – it’s not just pleasant smells one is looking for but also meaningful scents.
Understanding ingredients & olfactive families that work for you
Choosing a fragrance has a lot to do with olfactive memories. Any time a fragrance makes a positive olfactive impact on you, you’re more likely to look for the same in other brands as well. However, that’s not to say that your preferences may stay the same as you grow older. Often, we can reject our past favourites too.
The easiest way to explore a different direction but not break out radically is to look for ingredients you like paired with other slightly contrasting ingredients. For instance, if you prefer the freshness of citrus, try it with a woody aspect. The top & heart notes will be light & fresh while the base note will be mature & soft.
There are 8 overarching categories that often overlap
Oriental, Spicy, Woody, Floral, Aquatic, Green, Fruity and Citrus
The first three can be quite mysterious while the rest are quite fresh & sharp.
Take your time buying a fragrance
Often, it’s easy to pick up a fragrance in a duty-free as you liked the way it smells instinctively. However, it could react differently with your physiology or you may not be the biggest fans of the heart or base notes that will emerge once the top notes die down.
The best way to explore fragrances is to buy samplers so you may have the chance to spray it on your skin directly and observe how it changes during the day.